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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11035
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am applying for a job in California and the application asks

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I am applying for a job in California and the application asks me to sign a blanket release of prior employer records, performance reviews, supervisor references etc. This seems intrusive and my prior employer does not give references, only verification of salary, start and end dates etc. Do I need to sign this release? I guess if I don't they may not hire me? I do have a list of 6 references, both former supervisors and subordinates.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

You would be free to refuse to sign the release, but since the request for these materials does not violate any law, your prospective employer would be free to decline to hire you on this basis.

Also, consider this--although your prospective employer is asking for you to sign a release to obtain these records, they can probably obtain almost all of them without your consent by simply asking your former employer and overstepping you entirely. Employees have no expectation of privacy or property interest in their prior employment records. Those records are the property of the previous employer and are company business records.

While your consent would give your prospective employer the right to "demand" these documents from your previous employer, your withholding consent doesn't mean they still can't get their hands on these materials.

Something to think about in deciding whether withholding your consent would be worth it at all.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes to you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

on advice of legal counsel my prior employer has policy to only verify employment and does not allow employees to provide references as it does not want defamation suits. i do not think it in my best interests to provide blanket release as i do not know who they will talk to or how info may be interpreted. I only think records would be releasted in event of lawsuit and there is not one. Is this something new these requests for bksnket rekease have not rin ibto this before.

For what it's worth, I have never heard of a blanket release of this kind and I do think it's a bit odd. But don't get caught up on the intrusive aspect of the request, as the information they are seeking is not within your sole discretion to protect.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.

Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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