300-42
REQUESTS FOR EMPLOYEE INFORMATION/REFERENCE CHECKS

Department: PERSONNEL

Effective Date:    04/15/87

Supersedes:    

Prepared by:    J. McFarland

Approved by:    Barbara Shinpoch

1.0 PURPOSE:

To establish guidelines for responding to requests for information from outside agencies or individuals pertaining to employees or former employees of the City of Renton.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments/divisions.

3.0 REFERENCES:

RCW 42.48.

Policy No. 300-19.

4.0 POLICY:

This policy is in recognition of the requirements of RCW 42.48 relating to disclosure of public information as well as the right to privacy by City employees. It is the policy of the City of Renton to respond to requests for personal information regarding employees only under the following conditions:

4.1    Provision of a bona fide court order or similar directive.

4.2    Provision of approval by the employee.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

Not applicable.

6.0 PROCEDURE:

6.1    Employment Reference Checks: Requests for information from prospective employers will be handled in the following manner:

6.1.1    Requests that are accompanied by a signed release/waiver by the employee/former employee authorizing a response to all questions contained in the request may be answered comprehensively and completely. Ensure that all responses are based on documented, known, or provable information.

6.1.2    Telephonic or verbal requests for employment reference checks without an accompanying release from the employee should be referred to the Personnel Department or responded to by providing verification of employment dates and job title(s) responsibilities only.

6.1.3    As part of the exit interview process, all employees will be presented with a consent form that acknowledges the City of Renton's right and intention to respond truthfully to any inquiries made as part of a reference check. Refusal to sign will result in the limiting of all responses as described in paragraph 6.1.2.

6.2    Request for Credit Information: All requests for information from financial and/or lending institutions will be referred to the Personnel Department.

6.2.1    Written requests for information accompanied by a signed authorization by the employee will be processed by the Personnel Department in conjunction with the payroll office. A copy of the completed request will be placed in the employee's personnel records jacket and made available to the employee upon request.

6.2.2    Telephonic or verbal requests for credit information will be referred to the Personnel Department which will limit all responses to verification of salary information to the inquiring agency.

6.3    All Other Requests: All other requests for information, including those directed by court order or other public agencies, will be referred to the Personnel Department. The Personnel Department shall:

6.3.1    notify the employee of the request,

6.3.2    coordinate collection of the information,

6.3.3    provide a copy to the employee of all information provided to the requesting agency.

In all cases, it is the responsibility of the responding official to ensure that all information provided is truthful and supportable if challenged; that the identity of the person making the inquiry is verified; that responses are limited only to the questions asked, and that they are limited only to matters concerning the individual's employment with the City of Renton.