Solving the Employee Reference Problem: Lessons from the German Experience

33 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2008 Last revised: 30 Sep 2009

Matthew Finkin

University of Illinois College of Law

Kenneth Glenn Dau-Schmidt

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: September 22, 2009

Abstract

In this article we examine the problem of declining employer references in the American economy. We argue that the problem is not that employers inordinately fear potential slander and libel liability for giving references, but that they have no assurance of benefits from reciprocal references in exchange for taking any risk or suffering any cost in giving references. We provide a comparative legal analysis and argue that the United States might benefit from adopting an employer letter of recommendation system similar to that currently used in Germany.

Keywords: references, libel, slander

JEL Classification: K31, L21, M12, P51

Suggested Citation

Finkin, Matthew and Dau-Schmidt, Kenneth Glenn, Solving the Employee Reference Problem: Lessons from the German Experience (September 22, 2009). American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 57, 2009; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 142. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1215189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1215189

Matthew W. Finkin (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Kenneth Glenn Dau-Schmidt

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-0697 (Phone)
812-855-0555 (Fax)

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