Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Take care of your people and protect your business

Verification of employment helps employees and former employees by providing truthful information quickly and efficiently. What should a verification of employment include? Why is it important? Continue reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.

What Is Verification of Employment?

A verification of employment is a request from another business, entity, loan officer or others for information on present or former employees. Verifications may occur via phone, email or even fax. This may include verifying their employment dates, title, hours worked, base pay and more. Sometimes organizations may also request additional information such as pay stubs.

Types of  Verifications of Employment

An employment verification can help an employee get a loan or housing, obtain employment with a prospective employer, authorize an employee to work, and more. Employers also complete other forms to comply with state and federal regulations.

Prospective Employers

Employers considering hiring a former employee of yours may contact you to verify that they worked the dates and position indicated on their application. Your company needs to determine what kind of information you choose to share with prospective employers. Some companies refer verifications to a third party and some refuse to complete certain types of verifications if there is no state law requiring them to complete it. The verification may ask for a history of certifications, disciplinary actions, alcohol use, pay history (some states prohibit this), etc. Some kinds of businesses may also have extra state requirements in order to stop a negligent hire.

Mortgage Lenders

Although employers aren’t required by law to complete verifications of employment from mortgage lenders, doing so can help an employee obtain a loan. It’s important to provide truthful information in good faith. Keep in mind that a borrower’s authorization form (which is a consent form from the employee or former employee authorizing an employer to provide details to a company requesting a verification) is also typically provided by loan officers.

State and Federal Compliance

One example of a common state form is a request to verify wages when it comes to child support. It could also be a step for the employee to receive help through a government program or even to prove that an identity was stolen. The regulation for these kinds of forms is usually included. Although it can be a little tricky to know exactly what kind of information should be divulged on a verification form from other sources, you can have confidence that the employment details you provide on a state or federal form are legal to answer. Failure to answer these kinds of forms truthfully could result in legal consequences, and it’s important to complete them as soon as possible. The time frame to complete it is usually located on the form.

Form I-9

Form I-9 is the mandatory form you fill out for each new employee that demonstrates their eligibility to work in the United States.

Rentals

An employee may ask for help in obtaining a verification of employment to give to a prospective landlord. This is an example of how providing quick and truthful information can help them out. This is typically completed in the form of a letter and is sometimes referred to as proof of employment.

State Unemployment

When a former employee applies for unemployment benefits, the state requires verification from you. Although the application form for each state can vary, the information that is typically required is the employee’s total earnings along with their reason for termination.

Collection Agency

If you receive a verification of employment request from a collection agency concerning a current or past employee, it’s important to realize that you aren’t legally required to respond. You may consider speaking with a form of legal help to determine next steps.

What to Include on a Verification of Employment

Several items might be included on a verification of employment, such as your company information, employee information, and information of the person filling out the verification.

Company Information

If the verification is requested informally, you may respond back with the desired information on company letterhead, which includes the address, phone number, and company name.

Information on Employees

It’s important to use discretion when providing this type of information; best practice is to set a policy with the help of an attorney. Generally, a verification will ask you for an employee’s job title, probability of continuing employment, their name, employment dates and pay history.

Employer Information

This is the information about the authorized employee who has been designated to complete the verification of employment. Generally, the authorized representative includes their name, title, signature, printed name, and the date that they completed it.

Additional Information

Even though most verifications are optional to complete, it’s important to recognize that it’s important to provide required information on state or federal verifications.

How to Provide Verification of Employment

You may consider creating a policy for responding to different types of verification requests. The policy might include a time frame for responding along with specific information that can be provided.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Verification Needed

Is the verification request coming from the state or federal level, a prospective employer, a loan officer, a collection agency, a landlord or somewhere else? By answering this question first, you can determine how to respond.

Step 2: Determine the Information You Will and Will Not Divulge

Does your company have a policy? If not, it’s important to decide together what information you will and won’t provide (except for state and federal verifications, which you must complete in full). You may create a policy to be reviewed by an attorney, who will know any state laws that pertain.

Step 3: Provide Financial Information

You may need to provide pay stubs if the request is coming from a financial company or loan officer, which are usually accompanied by signed permission from the employee to do so. These can typically be found in your company’s payroll software, and you can usually send them by fax or secure email.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Verification of Employment

It depends. With state and federal agencies, the answer is yes. With a mortgage lender, the answer is no. However, it is still a good idea to fill out loan verifications in order to help your employees. 

Depending on the state, pay history is something that may not be permitted. Many things are not required, and it is up to the discretion of the company what they will and will not divulge. Be cautious not to make statements of malice or false statements towards a former employee, could result in legal trouble. 

James has worked in the HR field going on 5+ years and currently serves in the role of HR Manager. His areas of expertise are in managing recruiting, onboarding, HR metrics, performance and engagement, employee relations and development. He has earned a masters degree in HR along with the nationally recognized certification of SHRM-CP.

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