Can a future employer find out I was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (called a “PIP”)?

Question: Can a PIP ruin one’s career after they leave the company? Can a future employer reach out to a previous employer asking for that type of information? Can the previous employer give out that type of information to the future employer? Thank you!!

New York, New York

Answer: Your question is a great question. I will begin to answer it this way: in over 26 years of helping employees with opportunities and problems at work, I have not heard a single instance of a former employer giving such information to a future employer. On that basis, I believe the chances of it happening are very, very small, and you can probably rest assured that it won’t happen to you.

Now, I am going to give you a more straight-forward answer. There is no “legal” reason why a future employer can’t ask for this information, and there’s no “legal” reason why a former employer can’t provide it. I believe the reason that this never seems to happen is that employers are very, very afraid of law suits. Almost every employer I have dealt with over the years has a strict policy that can be summarized as “We only give out (a) dates of employment, (b) title, and (c) salary level, if the employee requests.” That policy is so very common, you’d think it is contagious.

If you received notice of being placed on a PIP, or you are presently on a PIP, I strongly suggest you read my many Newsletters and Q&A’s on this topic. You can do so by [clicking here].

Hope that helps.

Best, Al Sklover

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

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