ERIC Number: ED260175
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Letters of Recommendation/Verbal References Should Not Become Endangered Communications: an Analysis of Rights, Responsibilities, and Duties of References.
Bell, James D.
In view of the dramatic increase in the numbers of laws and lawsuits since the 1960s, teachers must become aware of the privacy considerations and potential legal problems that may arise when writing a letter of recommendation or giving a verbal reference. They should become familiar with present common law doctrine and recent legislation pertaining to exactly what constitutes legally defensible information in a recommendation. The following four laws presently and potentially affect references: the Privacy Act of 1974, the Fair Credit and Reporting Act of 1970, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Buckley Amendment (1974), and the Freedom of Information Act (1966). Besides knowing how these laws affect information, persons providing references should also know how common law dealing with defamation, libel, and slander affect communication. The defenses afforded persons providing statements and letters of recommendation include the securing of permission (waiver), proving that a statement made is true, and using the doctrine of qualified privilege. (This paper includes 10 guidelines for defensible recommendations.) (MN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 1974; Freedom of Information Act; Privacy Act 1974