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Is it legal for a manager to discuss resumes received with staff members who previously worked with the applicants to get opinons of them?

Monday October 21, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am curious if it is legal for my manager to discuss resumes she receives with staff members who previously worked with the applicant to get their opinion of the person. It is happening in our staff lounge, hallways and treatment rooms. It is not a confidential conversation.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Curious,

There is a difference between what's legal and what's professional. It's not unusual for a manager to get staff input on prospective employees and see if anyone has prior knowledge of the person. This is neither illegal nor inappropriate. What may be inappropriate and unprofessional, based on your note above, is how and where she does this.

You might approach your manager in a private setting and tell her that you are uncomfortable with the practice and concerned about confidentiality issues. If the behavior persists, or before you have this conversation with her, you might ask someone in human resources in a general way about issues related to confidentially of applications to clarify in your own mind what is appropriate and what
is not.

Best wishes,


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.