reference checking

i am doing some research on reference checking guidelines and i came across a “professional reference checking” [their words, not mine] company called Allison & Taylor Inc. they have some pretty weird written material online to do with reference checking. this is from their question and answer section:
this is bizarre:

Isn’t it illegal to ask about things other than title and dates of employment during a reference check?
No, and that is one of the interesting things about references. It is a private conversation between two people, your past employer and a prospective one. Anything can be said, regardless of what the laws are. Go to your local legislator’s office. They can find the most recent laws for you but remember, every road we drive on has a speed limit. When we are running late, if a police officer is not in sight, we speed. There is not a reference police officer watching over you past employer. Essentially, your past employer or reference can take 5 minutes on the telephone with a total stranger and either increase your chances of obtaining a new position or absolutely ruin them.


If my references are bad, what can I do?
A bad reference can be strategically dealt with depending on what is actually being said and to what degree things are explained. You need to first determine what is being said before you can develop an appropriate strategy. Depending on what the research reveals as well as the laws within your state, you may be able to take legal action. We suggest taking our report to an employment attorney for proper legal advice. Allison & Taylor, Inc. will be available to supply our research evidence and to testify in support of your situation should the need arise. Although we will not make a referral to a specific attorney, we do suggest finding one through NELA – the National Employment Lawyers Association. Additionally, very good legal advice and information can be accessed at US Law Books.

wow. haha! how does one follow the other? silly reference checkers.

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