I hereby authorize to obtain information about me from my former employers, educational institutions, credit sources, and other listed references.

I hereby authorize my former employers, educational institutions, credit sources, and other references listed on my employment application to disclose any information they may have pertaining to my work performance, cooperativeness, ability to get along with co-workers, and other qualifications for employment to .

I hereby release , any former employers, educational institutions, credit sources, and other references listed on my employment application from any liability arising from the provision or use of this information or any other information reasonable and necessary to the employment process.

Signature: _____________________________

Date: ___________________


Employee Release of Information Form - Free Template

Make informed hiring decisions with an employee release of information form. Request prospective employees to authorize the release of their employment history and personal information for employee verification.

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Employee release of information form: How-to guide

It's common for organizations to request a release information form from a candidate's previous employers. This form protects employers from legal liability when disclosing information about former employees. However, before verifying an employee's information, the potential employer must obtain their explicit permission. This can be done through an employee release of information form, which outlines the specific details the employer wants to verify. This release form serves as a document of consent from the employee, allowing the employer to conduct the verification process lawfully and ethically.

This guide will help you draft the release form and conduct the required background checks with the candidate's consent.

What's an employee release of information form?

When hiring new employees, it's essential to thoroughly scrutinize their applications and ensure that the right person is selected for the job. One way to do this is by asking potential hires to complete an authorization to release employee information form. This form allows you to independently verify their employment history and personal information before hiring. It can help you avoid problems in the future and ensure that you're making the best choice for your organization.

Importance of a job applicant’s background verification

Verifying the educational and employment history of job applicants is a crucial step in the hiring process. It ensures that the right candidate is selected for the job. Additionally, conducting background checks to rule out any instances of a criminal history is essential.

Such investigations encourage applicants to be honest during the application and interview process.

What are the different types of background checks in an employee's release of information?

Educational background: This authorizes an educational institution—a high school, trade school, college, or university—to release information on an individual's academic performance.

Employment background: This allows former employers to share information about a potential employee's job history, typically including job title, employment dates, and salary. It may also include performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, or termination reasons (if any) and whether the employer would rehire the person. 

References: If an application process requires applicants to designate professional references, the applicant should assume that they may be contacted to provide professional information and should notify them about it. However, if contacting the references by mail, including them in the release form is a good practice.

Criminal background: This specific kind of investigation aims to uncover information such as records of arrests and convictions, traffic citations, and listings on sex abuse registries.

Credit report: This type of background check requires an understanding of what federal law requires, specifically the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Exercise caution when obtaining a credit report from major credit reporting companies. 

When to use an employee release of information form?

Sometimes, an HR professional, a hiring manager, or a job seeker would need to use an employee release form. Some of them can be:

  • As a hiring or HR manager: As a hiring or HR manager, you want to check an applicant's references. When hiring a new employee, you may want to verify their employment history and information in their application. You may be required to prepare various documents; new hire documentation could be one of them.
  • As a job seeker: As a job seeker, you may be required to permit a potential employer to contact a former employer and verify your past employment details.

What are the key aspects of an employee's release of information?

1. Obtaining the candidate's consent

It's crucial to understand that an employee must provide consent for a background check to be performed. This requirement is set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. A joint publication on background checks by EEOC and FTC provides detailed information on the necessary and prohibited information.

2. Conducting the right type of background check

The extent and nature of a background investigation must be done according to the nature of the position held by the prospective employee. Verifying the employee's educational and employment history is sufficient for most positions. However, a credit report may be necessary if the position involves handling money, such as banking, accounting, or investment. Additionally, a criminal background investigation may be required by law if the person will be employed in a position of responsibility for children or the elderly, such as a daycare worker, a school bus driver, or an aide in an assisted living facility.

3. Specifying the exact purpose of the request

When requesting an employee's release of information, it's essential to clearly state the specific purpose for which the information will be used. This will help ensure the request is appropriate, legally compliant, and respectful of the employee's privacy rights. Providing a clear purpose facilitates timely and accurate processing of the required information.

4. Listing the exact information required

It's essential to provide all the necessary details accurately in an employment release of information form. This form usually includes information such as the employee's legal name, date of birth, social security number, dates of employment, job title, and specific details about the information being released. Ensuring you've listed all the required information without errors is crucial to avoid complications.

Drafting the employment release of information form

An employment release of information form is a vital document that employers use to gather information about a potential employee's background. It’s carefully crafted to meet legal and ethical standards, providing employees and employers with a fair and transparent process. Employers must use it responsibly and ethically to make informed hiring decisions, and it should not violate any laws or regulations related to employee privacy. Let’s explore the step-by-step approach to draft this form in a detailed manner:

Length of the reference letter

An employment release of information form is ideally one page long.

Authorization to various entities

To a prospective employer: Here, a candidate who may be a potential employee authorizes a prospective employer to obtain information about them from their former employer(s), educational institutions, and other listed references.

To former associations: In this part of the form, an employee authorizes their former employer(s), educational institutions, and other listed references to disclose any information about their work, cooperativeness, and other relevant skills required of their prospective employer. Information about the employee may be helpful for a prospective employer in providing them with an employment opportunity.


This is where the employee releases former employer(s), educational institutions, and other listed references (in their employment application form) of any liabilities arising from using such information that may be deemed necessary for the employment process to be conducted smoothly.

Contact information

The name and contact information of the candidate must be mentioned below their signature.

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