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Employment Reference Rules in Delaware

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 22, 2012.

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Employers in Delaware must comply with these state rules on providing service letters for former employees.

An employer who operates a health care facility and/or child care facility, or provides health, nutritional or personal care in such a facility, may not hire a person seeking employment without obtaining one or more service letters regarding that person, provided that the person has been previously employed.

The service letters obtained must include a service letter from the person's current or most recent previous employer. In addition, if a person seeking employment was employed in a health care facility and/or child care facility within the past five years, the employer must also obtain a service letter from the employers.

If the person seeking employment has not been previously employed, or was self-employed, then the employer must require the person to provide letters of reference from two adults who are familiar with the person, but who are not relatives of the person.

The required service letter must be a form provided by the Department of Labor. The form must be signed by the current or previous employer and must contain information about:

  • the type of work performed by the employee
  • the duration of the employment
  • the nature of the employee's separation from employment
  • any reasonably substantiated incidents involving violence, threat of violence, abuse or neglect by the person seeking employment toward any other person, including any disciplinary action taken as a result of such conduct

An employer who is required to obtain a service letter for the purpose stated above must obtain a statement, signed by the person seeking employment wherein the person authorizes a full release for the employer to obtain any and all information pertaining to the facts of his/her current or previous employment.

An employer who receives a written request for a service letter from any other employer for the purpose stated above must provide that service letter within 10 business days from the date the request is received. An employer who fails or refuses to provide the service letter, or who fails to make a full and complete disclosure of information, as required, may be subject to a civil penalty.

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