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No, they can't, though it's usually assumed you refuse contact due to some adverse situation at your previous workplace. Still, that may be better than having to explain a truly adverse situation. If it's being fired, it's hard to admit in an interview but it's perfectly normal in the course of one's work life. Everyone has lost a job now and then. What your new or prospective employer will be concerned with is what you learned from the experience and how you've changed your work habits.

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The majority of states have exceptions to laws that regulate what private employers may or may not to in connection with the hiring of employees. Basically the only thing they may not legally do is discriminate against an applicant petaining to the person's race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and so forth. And even many of those issues can generally be gotten around depending upon the nature of the job for which the person is applying.So even though the employee does not want former employers contacted and that is still done, the legality of it is pretty much on the side of the employer.Because of the new security laws and guidelines, citizens are having and will continue to have difficulty in successfully invoking the protection EEOC and other such laws.

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Q: If you tell a potential employer that they cannot contact your previous employer can they still contact them?
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Legally your previous employer cannot give a negative feedback to a potential new employer. All they can do is verify employment, dates of employment, and the position held by the employee.


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If you were fired from your previous job will every other employer discrimate towards you?

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What can we the new company offer that your previous company cannot offer?

What can we (the new company) offer that your previous company cannot offer?


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How does unemployment find out how you was fired?

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Can your former employer say you were fired?

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If a person was fired for a positive drug test can that employer disclose to potential employers what drug they tested positive for?

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