Waiving Rights

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by jodygirl, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. jodygirl

    jodygirl New Member

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    Feb 3, 2010

    I came across an online application for a public school that requires job seekers to waive their rights to obtain written notice from current/ former employers who reveal information about them. Signing the application also allows the school to use any background information they find relevant against the job seeker. And the applicant cannot hold anyone liable for sharing information that results in damages to themselves, their family, or their associates.

    Is this kind of thing within the norm for a public school application? I've applied to a few districts, but this is the first time I've encountered this.
     
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  3. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Feb 3, 2010

    It was like that on the district I worked for.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 3, 2010

    It's like that in just about any job or school you apply to, I think. I've seen it on all the letters of recommendation I write for our kids as they apply to college.

    Yesterday I wrote a letter of recommendation for a Sophomore in HS who is applying to Columbia University's summer program. He waived his rights to see what I had written.

    To be honest, I wouldn't write as freely if the applicant hadn't waived his rights. I'm doing him a favor by writing the letter; I don't want flack if it's not to his liking.
     
  5. guest_teacher

    guest_teacher Rookie

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    Feb 3, 2010

    This is common in my experience.

    The good news is that signing such a waiver does not necessarily take away all of your rights. The federal and state laws governing privacy and employment are complex.

    The bad news is that your prospective employer is sending a strong message that it doesn't trust its employees. If other districts do not expect you to sign such a broad a waiver, do you want to work for one that does?

    The really bad news is that, if an employer does discover a blemish on your record, you might never find out the real reason why you were not hired.

    To Aliceacc: When applying to academic programs, I always used to waive my right to access letters of reference because I thought it was the right thing to do. In one case, I asked to examine my file three years after I'd enrolled in a program. No one had bothered to separate the confidential letters, so I got to see them in the end. I almost cried at the nice things that people had written about me so long ago.

    In a school setting, if anything in a letter of reference might not be to the candidate's liking, I think it would be best to decline the reference request or to warn the candidate. One of my high school teachers wrote, in an otherwise glowing recommendation, that I was not realistic about resource limitations (time, etc.). He was trying to say that I was a perfectionist! He showed me the recommendation form before sending it, so that I would know.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Absolutely. I've been known to tell kids that I would be happy to write a letter, but since my name was on it, I would have to be honest-- to mention that they don't ever do homework or whatever.

    But, as a former department chair, I've also done more than my share of recommendations for teachers. If I ever had to say something negative about an adult (or, more likely, refrain from gushing and let the silence say it all) I might want to prefer it to be kept from the applicant. If my name is going on the recommendation, I'm going to be honest, even if the news is less than good.
     

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