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Post-Employment References Policy

Here’s a post-employment references policy template that you can adapt with the help of your lawyer for your own use. The policy is designed to ensure your organization gives accurate references and limits the potential for lawsuits by former employees and their future employers. The policy requires centralized administration for all references and sets out the procedures that must be followed when a reference request is received.


ABC Company maintains strict confidentiality for current and former employees. Improper employment references can result in lawsuits and significant liabilities to both the individual providing the reference and the employer. The purpose of this Policy is to inform employees how to respond to requests for references from prospective employers and to limit the potential for legal liability.


ABC Company may disclose personal information about current or former employees in response to reference requests from prospective employers. ABC Company will deliver, upon request, reference information to prospective employers only in accordance with the following procedures. No employee is permitted to provide a reference regarding any former or current employees without following each of the procedures listed below. Any release of information that is contrary to this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


    1. All reference requests must be in writing on business stationary and directed to ABC Company’s Human Resources Director (“HR Director”).
    2. Upon receiving a reference request, the HR Director shall prepare a written reference based on the employee’s personnel file. The reference letter may not include any information that is untruthful or not supported by the personnel file.
    3. All references shall include the following information about the former employee:
      • Employee’s name
      • Employment status
      • Job title and description of duties
      • Salary range
      • Date and term of employment
      • Reason for termination, if applicable
    1. A copy of all reference letters shall be included in the employee’s personnel file.
    2. No references shall be provided to prospective employers without the written consent of the employee for whom a reference has been requested. Current and former employees must consent to the provision of references in writing by signing the consent form.