An underused tactic that often benefits employees with good wage and hour claims is the reference check. At the onset of a dispute, getting a paid reference check can often be quite valuable. There are a few companies who provide this service for a small fee, and the results can be quite valuable.
Many wage and hour plaintiffs first seek an attorney when they are terminated, and often, an experienced employment attorney can explain why the employee might not have a meritorious wrongful termination claim, but offer the good news that, although there is no claim for wrongful termination, there is a substantial wage claim against the former employer. These employees are often still in the job search stage, and knowing what their former employer is saying about them can aid them in interviewing and resume writing.
Every once in a while, the admissions made by the employer during the reference check can be crucial to a case. We've had several instances in which the former supervisor said that, for all their faults, the plaintiffs were hard working, and willing to put in long hours. When the contention invariably arrived from the employer declaring that the plaintiff rarely if ever worked past 5:00 p.m., the reference check was worth its weight in gold. Two service providers we are familiar with are Allison Taylor, and Documented Reference Check. If you know of any others, or have good or bad experiences (for employees or employers) with any of these service providers, drop us an email or leave a comment.