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An occasional landmine for employers: ex-worker references

Just stick to the facts.

When pared to its essence, that is perhaps the best advice that can be given to any Ohio employer solicited for information concerning the aptitude, temperament and work-related performance of a current or former employee.

We allude to landmines in today's post headline. That is because the term seems a most apt metaphor to describe the potential repercussions for any Ohio business that fails to closely toe the legal line when discussing a still-employed or ex-worker.

And that line is clearly drawn, both across the Buckeye state and in most other states nationally. A strong focus has emerged in recent years on what can and can't be said to another party concerning a potential new hire. It has become a core concern for courts and lawmakers.

That line posits a qualified immunity for business representatives speaking to an employee's work record and personal characteristics. A manager that stays within statutorily imposed limits will be immune from civil liability in the event that a worker or other business entity objects to what was -- or was not -- imparted in a reference discussion.

Even though Ohio's law addressing employee references is clearly and succinctly stated, it is certainly open to debate and potential litigation in given instances. Employers seeking information on the subject and advice regarding how to implement best practices to safeguard against liability can reach out to an experienced Ohio employment law firm for guidance and proven legal representation.

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