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Old 15.08.2016, 19:40
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Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Hi there,

My previous employer is not cooperating with me. It's been more than 2.5 months since I finished working for them and I have still not received my 'Reference Letter'. I tried to contact HR many a times (Via emails and phone calls). They kept asking me for more time. At one point the HR said that they were waiting for the 'feedback' from my supervisor. She has stopped answering my phone calls for past few days.

Last week I sent them a letter through Registered post giving them 7 days time and now I'm waiting for their answer.

I have been thinking about taking legal steps in case they fail to respond to my mail. Meanwhile I have moved to a different canton a week ago (from Zurich to Bern), so not sure which agency could help me..

I called Zurich Impuls (sah-zh.ch/impuls/) the other day, but they said they can't help me as I don't live in Zurich anymore. They asked me to contact a similar agencies based in Bern canton. Was wondering if someone knows an agency based in Bern who can assist me?

Regards,
Gem
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Old 15.08.2016, 19:46
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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Hi there,

My previous employer is not cooperating with me. It's been more than 2.5 months since I finished working for them and I have still not received my 'Reference Letter'. I tried to contact HR many a times (Via emails and phone calls). They kept asking me for more time. At one point the HR said that they were waiting for the 'feedback' from my supervisor. She has stopped answering my phone calls for past few days.

Last week I sent them a letter through Registered post giving them 7 days time and now I'm waiting for their answer.

I have been thinking about taking legal steps in case they fail to respond to my mail. Meanwhile I have moved to a different canton a week ago (from Zurich to Bern), so not sure which agency could help me..

I called Zurich Impuls (sah-zh.ch/impuls/) the other day, but they said they can't help me as I don't live in Zurich anymore. They asked me to contact a similar agencies based in Bern canton. Was wondering if someone knows an agency based in Bern who can assist me?

Regards,
Gem
How long did you work for the company, they only have to confirm that you worked for them. Clearly there were 'issues'.......
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Old 15.08.2016, 20:09
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

7 months.. This company is a Joke. Poor HR policies, No exit interview. All they care is whether you are billable or not. I was billable till last working day. They even paid me bonus during this 7 months of employment !
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Old 15.08.2016, 20:13
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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7 months.. This company is a Joke. Poor HR policies, No exit interview. All they care is whether you are billable or not. I was billable till last working day. They even paid me bonus during this 7 months of employment !
You won't get a reference for 7 months, it's meaningless, they will just confirm you turned up (if you did) on a regular basis.
Companies only are interested in billable hours, business is about making money & very little else.
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Old 15.08.2016, 20:20
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Background:

So...I was with this massive consultancy firm ("MNC" ?) and was placed at their client site (major Swiss Bank) in Zurich. They have got massive presence in Zurich and have managed to secure big projects with top clients. There are rumors that they win these projects via Lobbying (and Not because of their track record of delivering high quality services). In fact they have got very bad reputation in the US for visa frauds, employer-employee relations etc.. This "MNC" has got very bad HR practices and they don't really care about employees who are not part of their coterie (basically they care only if you are somehow connected to their actual "head office", which is located 1000s of miles away from Switzerland).

Even their recruitment process is flawed. You will find loads of their "job adverts" on linkedin and all other sites, however the chances of a qualified person getting hired for senior roles (Management) are very slim. If at all you are lucky to get hired for Junior roles (regardless of your experience), you will be forced to report to an incompetent supervisor. You will eventually get frustrated and leave the company. No attempts will be made to retain you. Infact they will be happy to leave you, cause it becomes easier for them to process their friends' visas and bring them onshore.

I was one of those lucky ones' to get hired..Though we were at their client site, client didn't have any control or say on the working conditions of external staff- for understandable reasons..

Almost all of my team members were employees of this "MNC". Abusive supervisor, Bad working conditions.. In short- things weren't going well and it was taking toll on my health. So I handed over my notice and finished with working with them in the last week of May'2016. My supervisor lacked basic knowledge about our profession. I was kind of tortured by this abusive supervisor even during the notice period which led me to take an extreme decision of leaving the job without having any other offer of employment.

At the moment I'm with RAV and my adviser in Zurich knows very well about this company. Unfortunately I had to move to Bern canton and I want to prepare a solid case against this "MNC".
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:15
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

You do realise, don't you, that this is a public forum, i.e. accessible to anyone at all?
This means that anyone in or from your former employer could well be reading your posts here.

In addition, the way you post here could possibly shape the opinion of any potential new employer who might try to gain an impression of you from your internet presence.

Last edited by doropfiz; 15.08.2016 at 21:25.
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:22
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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...I want to prepare a solid case against this "MNC".
And what 'solid case' would that be? It sounds like neither side was happy so a split was the best thing. Honestly I think you'd be wasting time and money trying to use a lawyer just to get a reference letter they clearly don't want to write.

My two Rappen: Write your own acceptable letter, including basic stuff about your duties and that you performed them satisfactorily. Send it to your supervisor or HR and ask them to sign. Make it easy for them and for you, so you can put this chapter behind you.
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:28
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Usually RAV will insist on having the work certificate and if the employer isn't handing it over, they will start contacting the company.

Have you told the RAV office they refuse to comply?
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:33
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Same question: you're trying to build what case? Trying to achieve what exactly?

Just FYI, as a (former) employee, you almost always get the short end of the stick.

They may or may not issue a reference letter. fatmanfilms is right, for employments < 1 year, there's usually just a confirmation of employment, but no full reference letter. Regardless, you are entitled to one if you insist for some reason. It's not as important as people make it out to be though. It's up to you whether you really want to spend the energy (and possibly money) to get something that is of little use anyway.

I agree with 3Wishes approach. Write your own, send it to both HR and former supervisor, registered letter, tell them to return within 7 days. Give a copy to RAV too, just in case; they probably need it for their files.

And btw - the rest is corporate reality almost everywhere. Nothing unusual.
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:33
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps



Well.. I don't have to pay anything to hire a lawyer. The advises you get from the agency (in Zurich) I mentioned in my original post is free ! I'm in search of a similar organization based in Bern.
Btw I don't think its a waste of time. If I don't do anything against them, they will get encouraged to torture their future employees just the way they did it to me. somebody's gotta bell the cat.
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Old 15.08.2016, 21:54
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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No exit interview.
What's an exit interview?

Tom
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Old 15.08.2016, 22:21
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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What's an exit interview?

Tom
Exactly, if that is what one measures a succesfull company with??
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Old 15.08.2016, 22:36
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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What's an exit interview?

Tom
It's a new way for companies to pretend they give a cr* about why certain people leave them There was probably an article about it in HBR at some point (or McKinsey published a study to the effectiveness of such interviews), so everyone started applying it Just one of those tick-the-box exercises...

(yes I'm a cynic!)


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Btw I don't think its a waste of time. If I don't do anything against them, they will get encouraged to torture their future employees just the way they did it to me. somebody's gotta bell the cat.
Sorry to burst that bubble a bit, but do you really think they will care that much? You're one of many. Already forgotten. They won't give a damn, let alone change anything unless there's a mass exodus at some point. And even then they probably won't.


Also not really sure where they "tortured" you, but of course I wasn't there.
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Old 16.08.2016, 00:00
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

I know a place where the VP says he makes a personal meeting with any employee that leaves if they have been employed for more than 2 years... how many were ever performed. .. 1!
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Old 16.08.2016, 00:17
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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I know a place where the VP says he makes a personal meeting with any employee that leaves if they have been employed for more than 2 years... how many were ever performed. .. 1!
Maybe no one stuck around for longer than 2 years?
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Old 16.08.2016, 01:14
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Or maybe he VP was gone just as quickly...
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Old 16.08.2016, 02:03
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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Usually RAV will insist on having the work certificate and if the employer isn't handing it over, they will start contacting the company.

Have you told the RAV office they refuse to comply?
In this instance RAV is your friend; I know many people who have gone this route - even managing to get the letter rewritten.

The RAV is motivated that you have a good letter so they can place you and save paying you while unemployed.
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Old 16.08.2016, 10:55
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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Maybe no one stuck around for longer than 2 years?
Some but not many..
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Old 16.08.2016, 14:12
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

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It's a new way for companies to pretend they give a cr* about why certain people leave them There was probably an article about it in HBR at some point (or McKinsey published a study to the effectiveness of such interviews), so everyone started applying it Just one of those tick-the-box exercises...

(yes I'm a cynic!)
Well, in 95% of companies does the boss know why he fired you or you decided to leave. In a consulting environment where the formal superior is often not working on the same project is it standard practice: There is a good chance that something is wrong with a project or account and the employer wants to know about it. That's why the exit interview is not done with the superior - as they tend to be part of the problem - but purely HR with employee. It's not done to pretend they care aboout the guy leaving... they could not care less. But they do care if business has a problem and people leaving is an indication for that.


It also prevents these stupid discussions around the reference letter.


To the OP: 1. You have a right to get your reference. Looks like the bridge is already burned, so go on...
2. Reference letters are becoming increasingly less valued. They used to be the corner stone of the Swiss application process, but by now does the last person in HR get that they are not for real... so it is much more important to have a reference person at your last employer. Just write your CV and when the second or third interview comes tell them to call and talk to your reference... I am currently doing this for a colleague who left the company and did not leave with our manager on the best terms.
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Old 20.08.2016, 20:49
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Re: Employer Reference Letter- Legal steps

Ok..so after a long battle, my ex-employer sent me the 'reference letter'. Interestingly the letter is backdated (31st-May). Letter has been signe by the Managing Director & HR Director.

I showed it to my RAV adviser. But because the letter is not written in French/German/Italian, she could not say if its good or bad.

Now need some expert advice to decode this.

Reference Letter
-------------------

1st part: My personal details (name,dob,nationality etc), Employment start & end dates, Postion at the time of departure

2nd part: About the company. How great they are and all that BS

3rd part: List of my roles & responsibilities (20+ bulleted points) - copied from my offer letter

4th part: Mr John Doe is an SQL professional who worked in a project with one of our largest clients in the banking and financial services industry in Switzerland. He had a pleasant and friendly demeanour and maintained good relationship with superiors, peers and colleagues. His overall performance was satisfactory.

Mr John Doe leaves our company at his own request. We wish John all the best for his personal and professional future.

Crooks Technology Solutions AG
------------------------------------


A Swiss friend of mine told me that the last 2 lines gives an impression that I quit & they didn't mind. If they really wanted me to stay then they could have written that I was an 'asset' to their organization, how sorry they felt that I left their organization..blah blah blah..

What do you think? Do you think I should get it rewritten?
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