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Avoid These Pitfalls When Writing A Reference For A Dismissed Employee

Many employers worry that if they fail to provide a dismissed employee with a deserved reference, additional damages could follow. That concern is not without warrant, but careful thought should go into writing that reference.

If the lack of a reference leads to longer unemployment, the courts often compensate the employee for that. As well, courts, either expressly or otherwise, sometimes punish employers for refusing to provide a reference to an employee deserving of one. Quite practically, employers also realize, if the reference results in quicker re-employment, there will be less potential damages for the former employee to sue for.

For all of these reasons — some well-intentioned, others less so — employers often dash off letters of reference to employees, deserving or not, with little thought, hesitancy or foresight.

But the rise of negligent referencing and defamation claims in the United States and Britain in recent years is causing some to readjust their way of thinking.

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