Connecticut References laws & HR compliance analysis

Connecticut References: What you need to know

Reference checks are a useful way for employers to gather information about applicants that they might not discover through the application and interview process. However, despite the usefulness of reference checking, many employers are legitimately concerned about lawsuits from former employees based on information provided in response to a request for a reference, and liability for the actions of employees where the company failed to conduct a thorough reference check. A detailed discussion of these legal issues is available.
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To deal with employers' reluctance to provide information about former employees, a number of states have enacted laws “immunizing” employers against employee claims over such disclosures. The immunity laws generally provide protection from claims by former employees for defamation of character. Connecticut has not enacted a reference immunity law.
However, the state Supreme Court has recognized a qualified privilege for communications among managers of the same company regarding an employee’s job performance and the preparation of documents regarding an employee’s termination (Torosyan v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 662 A.2d 89 (Conn. 1995)). In a later case, the Supreme Court clarified when this qualified privilege can be defeated (Gambardella v. Apple Health Care, Inc., 969 A.2d 736 Conn. 2009)). In this case, the plaintiff worked as an admissions counselor at an extended care facility. After a resident died, her niece told the plaintiff that she did not want her aunt's furniture and the plaintiff could keep it. The plaintiff then took two chairs and offered some of the furniture to another employee. The plaintiff informed the maintenance ...

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