Staff HR Policy D-760.00
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Employment Verification and Reference Procedure


Any requests for references of current or former Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) employees shall be referred to the Office of Human Resources. 


All requests for verification of employment of current or former NMC employees shall be referred to the Office of Human Resources.  Only the following information will be released with no restrictions:  name, verification of current or former employment, dates of employment, title, and department.  Further requests from outside parties, such as other employers, credit companies, banks, etc., for verification of salary information must be placed in writing and authorized by the employee, unless NMC is required by law (e.g., Freedom of Information Act requests) to provide the information. 

Employee Consent/Release Form

It is the policy of the College not to disclose employment references/information about current or former employees unless and until the College has received a release form signed by the employee.  For former employees, the Office of Human Resources will check the employee's file for a signed reference authorization form.  For current employees, a signed release from the employee for whom the reference is requested is required. NMC's Employee Consent/Release Form, should be given to the current employee for signature, and then delivered to the Office of Human Resources before any information is released.

Persons Who May Provide References

Only the Office of Human Resources or the employee's current or previous supervisor may provide references.

To Whom May References Be Provided

References may be provided only to bona fide prospective employers of current or former employees. Precautions should be taken to ensure that reference requests are legitimate, such as a) requiring the prospective employer to send a letter on letterhead requesting the reference; b) obtaining the business card of the person requesting the reference; or c) telephoning the person back to verify that he or she is indeed employed by the prospective employer.

What Information May Be Provided

Only job-related information may be provided to persons requesting information on current or former employees. Under no circumstances should information be provided regarding the employee's race, religion, national origin, health, child rearing, sexual preference, veteran status, complaints about alleged discrimination, political views, or private affairs.

Record of References Provided

It is the policy of the College that copies of any written references be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for inclusion in the employee's Personnel Record.


Except as provided by this policy or law, all employee information is considered confidential.

Policy Guidance

Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources with any questions about this policy.

In the event this procedure does not effectively meet the needs of the employee(s) and/or the institution in a particular situation, the Director of Human Resources (or designee) may make exceptions on a non-precedent-setting basis, in consultation with relevant staff or others as necessary.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Authorized on 1/21/05