Self explanatory. We interviewed a candidate, they listed references, we'd like to call them and we need to know if we need their permission.

We're remote and based across multiple U.S. states, but all within the United States.

  • 2
    This will likely get closed on law but would be on topic on Workplace. If an applicant has listed someone as a reference, it would seem like they've already given permission for you to contact that reference so I'm not sure I see the question. Mar 19 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Listing references constitutes permission from the candidate. But, you don't legally need permission to contact someone to ask their opinion about an employment candidate at all.

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    However the one contacted might be limited in what they can say.
    – Trish
    Mar 19 at 15:29
  • @Trish: Could you explain what kind of limitations you have in mind, and the legal basis for them? Mar 19 at 16:08
  • @NateEldredge some laws limit former employers from saying certain things about ex-employees (like: "He was a horrible employee and always late", even if that would be true), and NDAs can limit what they say too.
    – Trish
    Mar 19 at 16:34
  • @Trish: Are there specific examples of the former in United States jurisdictions? Mar 19 at 16:42
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    @Trish The limitation is largely a fear of defamation lawsuits. If what you say is true, there isn't actually any legal prohibition on saying it, but some employers prefer to avoid saying anything because why take a risk of being sued for something an employee claims is false when you get nothing in return for doing so.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 19 at 17:27

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