Number: XIV.1. 
Date Issued: Nov. 15, 1990
Date Revised:


To identify policies and procedures regarding inquiries and verification of employment. 


Personnel File Contents: Access, Removal/Sealing/Expunging, Retention and Destruction - Section XIV.3.


  1. Telephone or in-person inquiries regarding employment of a person with the County.

    1. The ONLY information that will be given out by Personnel Department staff is to confirm whether or not the person is a current County employee. Department or Job Class information will NOT be given.

      There have been instances of employees being stalked and kidnapped. Accordingly, we will only confirm that the person is an employee. It is up to the employee whether or not to give out his/her work number or other information to persons s/he chooses.

    2. The only exception that may be made to this rule is when there is an in-person inquiry by a representative of a law enforcement agency, with identification as such, who needs to contact an employee for some pressing reason. Inquires of this nature will be referred to the Personnel Director (or other division manager in his/her absence).

  2. Telephone or in-person inquiries for reference checks 

    1. Except for current or former employees of the Personnel Department, NO information is given out by Personnel Department staff in response to verbal reference checks.

      For employees of the Personnel Department, the caller should be referred to the division manager of the current or former employee.

    2. A caller inquiring on any other County employees should be told that the reference needs to be checked with that employee's immediate supervisor or manager, and should be referred back to the employee for that contact information.

  3. Telephone or in-person inquiries from the media (press, TV, radio)

    All requests for information from the media should be referred to the Personnel Director.

  4. Telephone inquiries from State agencies regarding employee data

    1. Occasionally, the Personnel Department will receive telephone calls from State agencies (P.E.R.S., State Franchise Tax Board....) requesting verification of data (e.g., social security number).

    2. These calls should be referred to the Records Unit staff who will take the person's name and phone number and then call back to ensure that the person is with the agency they state they represent.

    3. If there is any doubt about the propriety of inquiries of this nature, the call should be referred to the division manager or Personnel Director.

  5. Employment Verification for Loans or the like

    1. All requests for verification of employment MUST be in writing and bear the signature of the employee. If there is no signature for the employee, the request should be returned with a note explaining the omission. A self addressed stamped envelop must accompany the request.

    2. If the employee is active, and is not an employee of the Person nel Department, the verification request should be logged by the Records Unit and forwarded to the employee's current department for completion.

    3. If the employee has terminated from County service, or is an employee of the Personnel Department, Records Unit staff should log and complete the request.

    4. Information given out may include:

      1. date of employment
      2. current class title or class title at time of termination
      3. hourly salary rate
      4. hours worked per week/per year
      5. date of termination (but NOT reason for termination)
      6. probability of continued employment - by employee current supervisor only (not applicable to terminated employee)

    5. Information NOT given out includes:

      1. Social Security number
      2. address
      3. telephone number - work or home
      4. birth date
      5. marital status
      6. reason for termination

    6. Completed verifications of employment must be mailed DIRECTLY to the requestor in a self-addressed, stamped envelope. DO NOT GIVE ORIGINAL VERIFICATION TO THE EMPLOYEE.

      The person completing the verification is certifying that the information is correct, and may be liable if it is not. Since an employee requesting the verification could modify it, it is important that the original is sent directly to the lender institution.

    7. Written request for verification of employment or status by other public agencies

      1. A provision exists within the Merit System Services for counties in California where certain employees can transfer status or eligibility among counties. For example, a current or former eligibility worker can apply for work in another county's social services department without having to be on an eligible list, upon receipt of certain information from Santa Cruz County.

      2. Written requests of this type should be referred to the Personnel Services Division manager for action.

      3. A copy of any response should be placed in the employee's personnel file. 


      1. All telephone, in-person or written requests should be routed to the Records Unit staff.

      2. For written requests, Records Unit staff will:
        1. Log the request in the verification request log.

        2. If there is no signature by the employee, or no record of the employee on file, the request should be returned with an explanatory note, with a note in the verification log.

        3. If the request concerns a current employee of another department, the request should be forwarded to the payroll clerk of that department, with a note in the verification log.

        4. If the request concerns a terminated employee or an employee of the Personnel Department, Records Unit staff should complete the request, return the request in the self-addressed stamped envelop, place a copy in the employee's personnel file, and note this in the verification log.