I recently had to leave work for psychiatric reasons. I wish to return to work in a new career field. Will the employers I submit my application/resume to have access to the records? There is some information which I am very sensitive to....
I cannot say for sure but most employers when called by a new employer now follow this procedure: they divulge nothing except your last job title, dates of employment and your salary.
You can ask the HR department whether this procedure is followed at your former place of employment.
Please note that I am not admitted to practice in Wisconsin and so my comments are general and may not be considered legal advice.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Unless your former employer maintains what is referred to as a "neutral reference policy," where it does not release any information beyond certain, set things (usually dates of employment, last position held, and last rate of pay), then your former employer would technically be allowed to answer any question asked of it by a prospective employer, so long as they do so truthfully. So, in the event your former employer does not have a neutral reference policy and you were terminated, if your former employer was asked how your employment ended, it could say that you were terminated, and so on and so forth.
In your question you referenced "records," and there is no reason for your former employer to be sharing documents from your personnel file with prospective employers, if that was your concern. This is particularly true with respect to medical records. There is no employer dumb enough to share that sort of information.
Hope that helped.
James A. Walcheske
Walcheske & Luzi, LLC
This answer was provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed or interpreted as providing legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship.