What Texas Laws Say About Employment References

If you’re looking for a job in Texas, there’s a high chance you’ll be asked to submit the contacts of previous employers that can act as a reference for you. References are important because if your previous employer has something negative to say about you, it’ll be hard to get hired. A good reference can either make or break your chances of getting a new job.
But if you ended your job on a bad note, you might be wondering whether this can affect your chances of getting employed. If your prospective employer wants to know about your previous work experience, what is your employer allowed to say?

Am I required to provide employment references to a new potential employer?

Most employers would require you to submit your employment references before they hire you, and if they request it, you have no choice but to submit it or forget the job. If your previous employer refuses to give you a reference when you’re trying to get another job, you can sign a release.
A release is an agreement you sign to give up your right to sue in exchange for getting a reference from your previous employer. Before giving up your right, you should ensure it’s going to be a positive reference.

What can a previous employer say about me to a new potential employer?

What a previous employer can say depends on the company’s policies although the Texas laws also play a part in it. Some companies don’t give out information on the employee’s reason for leaving or their performance while in the company. But these are company-specific. According to Texas laws, there are three main points that a previous employer can say in their reference to a potential employer. For one, the reason for leaving. If the employee was terminated, this has to be mentioned with the reason. The second is the employee’s performance on the job. Finally, we have other points like the employee’s attitude and effort. The employer’s reference must be in good faith and they must believe its true for there to be no liability.

What are some specific laws in Texas concerning employment references?

A specific employment reference law in Texas is the service letter law. This happens when an employee leaves the job voluntarily. In this case, the employer must give the employee a document stating that the latter’s choice to leave the company was voluntary. The document should list out the job title, employee’s performance and the date of employment.

Another law is the fact that the former employee is allowed to ask for a written copy of the reference that the previous employer sent to the prospective employer. Within 10 days of getting the request, the previous employer must send the statement to the employee and mention the recipients of the reference.

If the employee was terminated, the previous employer has to send a copy of the reference they sent to the prospective employer. Even if the employee does not request it, they are still required to send it. This isn’t necessary if the former employee already allowed the reference in writing.

Contact the Scott Gilmore Thompson for help with any of your employment or legal needs especially related to employment references. We’re here to help represent you and meet all your needs!