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Need help regarding reference check for a new job.

I've been unemployed for three months. My supervisor at my old job was a vicious person and she did everything she could to get me to leave or get me fired. After a bad situation with her one day, I was asked to leave, but never actually fired. It was eventually worked out that they accepted my resignation, and things were left at that.

Well I had a great interview a couple weeks ago at a place that would be a perfect fit, and now they want to check references. I sent my reference list, which includes a former department director, a former practice manager, and a lead from the job before last. Now they want a supervisor from the job I just left. I never told them in the interview that I was fired, because technically I wasn't. If they were to just call and ask HR, they would be told the dates I worked there and that I quit. I was rather vague as to why I wanted to leave that job.

Idk what to say to them. I really want this job, and if I give them my former supervisor's name, I know it won't turn out well at all. My manager from that same job is no better as she was good friends with my supervisor and always defended her actions, no matter how bad. I'm really at a loss. I don't want to take too long to respond to the email, but I don't want to screw things up either. Any advice?


Asked by anime_mom619 at 12:35 PM on Jan. 14, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 38 (99,845 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • I think the only thing they are allowed to do are to confirm the dates you worked there and if they would rehire you. As a reference, can you just give them the name of a fellow employee?

    Answer by m-avi at 12:40 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • If you worked for a company that was big enough to have an HR dept. directing the new job there makes the most sense. HR will do the legal thing and confirm dates of employment. If the new job asks you for more details, be honest and let them know you resigned and do not give them the name of anyone that would not give you a decent reference.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 12:43 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Even the supervisor can only confirm the dates you worked there, and what your position was, and if you would be rehired if you applied. As long as you don't use her as a "reference" (that being a person who speaks about your character, work ethics, personality, etc.), she can only confirm those things. If she goes beyond that, I believe you could take legal action.

    Of course, if you want to avoid that, you can simply say that you don't know if she's there anymore, and that it would be better to call HR. Or that all reference calls have to go through HR.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:44 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

  • Thanks ladies. I just really want this job, and I want to be careful. I was really careful putting together my reference list, but I wasn't expecting they would want to talk directly to each manager/supervisor. I was hoping the managers and directors on my reference list would be enough, and they could just verify employment through HR on the last job.

    They specifically asked for the name of my direct supervisor at my previous job so that they can speak with her. The thing is, I was only there for about 5 months and was at another facility within the same company for two years prior. I have given the director's name and my lead co-worker's name and number as reference for that facility. They would know me better than anyone at the other place anyway. Maybe I'm over thinking things and stressing out over nothing.

    Comment by anime_mom619 (original poster) at 12:52 PM on Jan. 14, 2013

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