Employment verification is a significant element of the hiring process. You want to be sure that the person you are hiring is telling the truth about their experience and qualifications. 

Employment verification is a vital part of the background check process and helps ensure that everyone involved in the hiring process can trust each other.

However, it is important to be aware of what information you can legally provide when verifying employment history. Navigating compliance requirements can be a challenge; you need to make sure that you are collecting and sharing the right information in accordance with laws and regulations.

In this article, we will outline the key pieces of information that can be released when verifying employment history and discuss how to ensure compliance with applicable laws. 

What Is Employment Verification?


Employment verification is a process employers use to make sure employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.  It is a critical part of the hiring process and a way for employers to ensure their workforce is legal. When it comes to employment verification, certain pieces of information must be collected and verified. 

Specifically, employers need to obtain the employee's name, Social Security number, date of birth (or other proof of identity), and immigration status. Additionally, employers may also require additional documents such as passports or driver’s licenses to verify employment.

Once the information is collected, employers must then verify it via an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (also known as an I-9 form). This form is typically completed on the first day of work and submitted as part of each employee’s employee file for review.

What Information Must an Employer Provide?


When it comes to employee verifications, employers must ensure all information disclosed is accurate and up-to-date. To ensure compliance, employers must provide the following information:

1. Job Title & Description 

Be prepared to provide a clear description of the position filled by the employee as well as any special requirements for the job.

2. Compensation & Benefits Information 


Employers must be prepared to verify compensation and benefit arrangements, such as health insurance coverage, paid leave, retirement plan contributions, etc.

3. Start Date & Termination Date


Make sure that you can provide the start date and termination date (if applicable) of the employment period.

4. Employment Status 


Understand what should be disclosed when an employee is part-time or on a contract basis; this could be in relation to salary or one’s confirmation of continued employment.

5. Employee Verification Forms 


When an employee completes their hire paperwork, make sure that you have retained any relevant documents completed by them during this process. These can include forms such as tax withholding documents, direct deposit forms, I-9 forms, etc.

To ensure smooth employment verification processes, employers must stay up to date with the latest legislation and regulations surrounding data protection – as these will differ slightly from country to country – whilst providing accurate and complete information when required.

Recommended - Identification Vs Verification Vs Authentication - Understanding the Differences


What Information Can an Employer Not Provide?


When verifying a current or former employee's employment, there are certain pieces of information that employers cannot reveal without the individual's written consent. 

These include:


a. Sensitive Information


Employers should never provide an individual's sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, health records, or sexual orientation. 

Even if an employer is asked to confirm an individual's job start and end dates or title, this should not be done without the individual's permission.

b. Salary and Bonuses


Federal law prohibits employers from disclosing an individual's salary or bonus information without written permission. Unfortunately, however, this information can often be the most important factor in employment verification.

c. Details About Termination


An employer cannot discuss the details of a former employee's termination unless doing so will help to explain their reasons for leaving the company. 

Any other details about the employee's tenure should generally remain confidential unless specified by state laws or stated in the employee handbook.

Who Is Responsible for Verifying Employment Data?


In addition to the information needed for employment verification, it is also important to know who is responsible for verifying the data.

1. Employee vs. Employer


The responsibility for verifying employment data typically falls on the employer, not the employee. However, employers are not required to release any additional information beyond what is necessary for an employee's background check.

2. Background Checks


For most systems, employers will be required to provide certain pieces of information such as date of hire, current pay rate, and job title during the background check process. 

Some employers may also need to provide details of any disciplinary actions taken against an employee or previous employment history if applicable.

However, when verifying employment data, employers should only release what is requested and never assume that additional details are required. 

Providing too much information can be a breach of privacy and can leave both the employer and employee exposed to potential legal issues.

How Can Employers Protect Confidential Employee Data While Providing Necessary Information?


Employees must provide their employers with the necessary information to satisfy employment verifications. In return, employers must ensure that confidential employee data is kept secure. So how can employers protect confidential data while still providing requested information? 

Here are some best practices for verifying employee data:

  • Ensure your employees understand and comply with any applicable state laws or regulations when it comes to sharing personal and private information.
  • Develop policies and procedures for releasing employee data, including protocol for responding to requests from background checks, and credit or criminal reports.
  • Take extra security measures when managing employee data to mitigate the risk of a data breach, such as encrypting electronic files, having a secure server, and using two-step authentication when granting access to sensitive information.
  • Train your employees in the proper handling of confidential employee data, such as physical document storage and disposal practices, proper password use, and other security protocols.
  • Be aware of your obligations under privacy laws such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).


By taking these steps to protect confidential employee data while satisfying legal requirements for employment verification, employers can rest assured that their employees' private information is safe from unauthorized access or use.

FAQs on the Information Required for Employment Verification


You may have questions about what information can be released for employment verification, or what needs to be included in the requirement. To help you navigate compliance requirements, here are some frequently asked questions to provide answers.

What Information is Generally Required for Employment Verification?


Generally, employers are looking for the following information:

  • Name of the employee
  • Social Security number
  • Address of residence
  • Length of Employment dates
  • Position held with the employer
  • Rate of pay/Salary information


What other Information Can I Request for Employment Verification?


Depending on the nature and purpose of the verification, you may also request additional information, such as:

  • Degree or educational credentials earned
  • Professional licenses or certifications obtained
  • Drug test results
  • Criminal background check results

Are There Any Restrictions on Releasing for Employment Verification?


Yes - there are state and federal laws that govern how much (and what type) of information can be released by employers when verifying an employee's work history and qualifications. 

Be sure to refer to these laws when releasing any personnel-related data, as there may be restrictions depending on where you are located and who is requesting verification (for example, an applicant for a job in the healthcare sector).


Final Thoughts

Navigating the complexities of compliance for employment verification can be overwhelming and confusing. By carefully considering the information that is released, employers can ensure compliance with state and federal guidelines while providing a positive experience for employees. 

Now that employers understand the guidelines for employment verification and comply with best practices, they can move forward in providing the necessary information for their employees securely and efficiently. 

Youverify offers reliable employment verification solutions to verify your employees. Take action today by Requesting a demo today to get started.