What’s the cost of a bungled reference on a former employee? Here’s a nice round number: $1.6 million.
That’s the amount a court awarded William Raedle, after his previous supervisor made disparaging remarks about Raedle to a prospective employer.
Being on the hook for the money’s bad enough, but here’s what must be really galling to the employer, Credit Agricole: The company has a strict policy on providing references on former employees. Managers are to confirm dates of employment, nothing more.
But Raedle’s supervisor took it upon himself to inform the man who would have been Raedle’s new boss that Raedle had difficulty working with others and suffered from “mental issues.”
Judge cuts employer a break
You know what happened from there: The man’s job offer was withdrawn. Raedle sued. And now the company’s on the hook for $1.6 million.
And it could have been worse. A jury originally awarded Raedle $2.4 million in damages, but the judge reduced the total following a post-trial motion from Credit Agricole.
Do your managers know what to do if they receive a reference request concerning a former employee?
Cite: Raedle v. Credit Agricole