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Small Business: getting a job candidate’s references to provide insight, Newsday, ft. Keith Gutstein

Posted Jul 21, 2015

On July 16, 2015, Keith J. Gutstein, partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP in Woodbury, NY was quoted in a Newsday article specifically about checking a job candidate’s references.

“More and more companies are not really giving information on past employees,” says Keith Gutstein, a partner at the law firm of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP in Woodbury.

“Less is OK.” He advises his clients to offer minimal information, such as dates of employment and last position held. “You can’t go wrong with saying very little,” he says.

“Still, if a past employer is willing to offer details, you should avoid asking any questions that could be viewed as “inquiring about someone’s membership in a protected class,” such as religion or national origin, advises Gutstein.

“For example, you don’t want to ask if the worker took time off for observance of any religious holidays,” he notes. “If you have attendance concerns, you can go to the candidate, explain the job’s hours and ask if there are any problems with reporting to work during those hours,” Gutstein suggests.

“Keep all questions business-oriented and relevant to the job,” he says.

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