Very few laws protect applicant confidentiality. References and background checks are regularly discussed as part of the screening process for applicants. This is completely legal. Even casual gossip about applicants, while showing poor business judgment, is not prohibited. Some applicants rely on the integrity of a prospective employer to keep the application secret but there is no legal enforcement of confidentiality.
Some states have specific laws about certain information such as Social Security numbers but there are no general laws covering non-specific information.
Hope that helps you out. =)
A note about HR laws:
Laws concerning employee treatment, benefits, hiring and firingâ€¦etc are multi-level. What this means is that there are Federal laws, state laws and sometimes local regulations that have jurisdiction over an employee. The information presented here should not be considered legal advice. Ultimately, employers with serious legal questions should consult local attorneys with expertise in worker relations.
The questions and answers presented here are based on research and data from internet sources and should not be considered the final word.