1. What is the public policy behind giving privilege to employer references?
2. Is it fair that Belanger has a permanent bad reference? Would you hire him?
Swift operates a trucking company and hired Belanger as a driver. One of Swift’s safety policies involves five infractions that can lead to immediate termination of its drivers, including rear-ending another vehicle. In his third year of employment, Belanger rear-ended another vehicle and was terminated when Swift’s claims department concluded the accident was preventable. Swift recorded the incident on a clearinghouse data Web site that other companies used to check on commercial driving records, and as a result, Belanger was unable to find work and thus sued Swift for defamation.