Reference checking? Get the full story

With employment-related litigation mushrooming, employers are naturally reluctant to poormouth former employees.


With employment-related litigation mushrooming, employers are naturally reluctant to poormouth former employees. Given this situation, how does one go about finding out if a job applicant has been convicted of a crime, or fired for some other infraction or misbehavior?

One day Plant Engineer Horace Bogart confronted Maintenance Foreman Chuck Baine and Personnel Manager Elaine Citron with a serious problem. Three employees hired in the past 6 mo had been fired for cause. One had been terminated for stealing; another because of violent behavior; and a third when narcotic use was detected.

Bogart asked how these duds had managed to filter through the screening procedure. After reviewing their employment applications and reference letters received from former employers, Baine and Citron agreed that there had been no indication from these documents that they were undesirable candidates.

Bogart shook his head. "There must be some way of tightening up." He asked his counterpart, "Do you have any ideas?"

"I don't at the moment," Citron replied. "But let me look into it."

Question: What, if anything, do you think the managers will come up with?

Citron's response: "I checked this out with our labor relations attorney, Kay Fielding, and she offered to prepare a liability release."

"What's that?" Bogart asked.

"It's a form authorizing a reference check that applicants will be required to sign. This form would include a release of liability to former employers asked to provide information. Given such assurance, an employer would be less fearful of legal action and more likely to confide sensitive information useful in making the hiring decision."

"Good idea," Bogart replied. "Let's take her up on it."

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
Ensuring SCADA/HMI cybersecurity; Optimize manufacturing value in real-time; Simplifying drive-based and controller-based automation
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me