Policy Spotlight Series: UCR Local Procedure on Giving Employment References

April 7, 2021
Ian Harazduk
Compliance Analyst & Privacy Officer
Chief Compliance Office
April 7, 2021

Each month the Chief Compliance Office will highlight a policy for its Policy Spotlight Series. This month focuses on the UCR Local Procedure on Giving Employment References:

UCR Local Procedure on Giving Employment References

The Local Procedure on Giving Employment References is to provide managers and employees information on how to determine when to give an internal or external reference check.


UC Systemwide (Internal) Reference Checks

If a manager from UCR or another UC location is conducting a reference check on a former or current employee, the manager/supervisor of that former or current employee is authorized to provide information, such as work history, objective feedback on candidate’s qualification, past performance, attendance. Upon request, and for finalists only, the contents of the employee’s personnel file may be reviewed with the manager/supervisor over the phone.


External Reference Checks

Any manager, supervisor, Shared Service Center, or department that receives a reference check from an external employer should direct them to The Work Number to provide employment verification for the former or current employee. More information can be found on the UCR Verification of Employment job aid. If there is a request to provide information beyond employment verification, ask the external employer to provide a copy of a signed release from the employee authorizing the university to share this information. In addition, upon a signed release, you must still abide by PPSM-80 by only giving public information about the employer such as name; date of hire; current position title; organizational unit; date of separation; office contact information; and current job description, whether full- or part-time, and appointment type. Unless legally required, the university will not release information relating to evaluation of performance and goal setting records to an external employer.


In general, reference checks should be provided according to TERMS:
T    – Truth. Truth is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.
E    – Evidence. Base your opinion on credible evidence.
R    – Respond. It is better to answer questions than volunteer information.
M    – Malice. Malice is not allowed.
S    – Scope. Keep your comments to matters that you know as an employee.