Are there any laws, either Nebraska or federally, that REQUIRE an employer to give any information to a caller who wants to “verify employment?” In other words, can an employer deny giving any information out, essentially not confirming at all that the individual works/worked there?
No, but there are laws for specific information. For instance, Nebraska Health and Human Services or the child support division have the legal right to collect certain information. If you are ever unsure you can request the statutory basis for their request. Often it is listed on the written request. In my office, our policy is to not release any information unless I have a signed authorization from the employee or it is that we are legally required to provide. This usually takes care of the random phone call asking for employment verification. Usually the legally required stuff only comes into play if you are dealing with child support or a court-ordered garnishment – and these would be written requests. You ARE legally required to answer those, and your company can incur liability if you don’t. I would advise that if you don’t have signed authorization from the employee and you are unsure about the request, you should press the requester on their purpose and what authority they have to request it. If it is legitimate, it should be an easy question for them to answer.