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Down Under Guy
Why do employment ask whether they may contact previous employers?
How do they respond if you say 'yes' or 'no'?
(do they disregard applicants or ask in cases where the answer is 'no'? / do they usually contact past employers? / what if you were a whistle blower and your past boss is angry and he is the one they would have to call?)
Additional Details
A responder spoke of requesting an interview so that the situation can be explained.

That is ideal but I don't know whether it will work as planned when they have thousands of applicants - many of whom also want interviews. I already request an interview. They (not me) make the decision who they will devote time for interviews. Calls to past employers or decisions whether someone with 'NO' responses should be scrapped might be made prior to determining whether they even want an interview with me.

Is this respondent suggesting that I make a special note for them to (in)formally seek an explanation? If so, how should it be presented? How should it read?

It's one thing to have documents that prove that I had unearthed something wrong within the company and another to get people to care to listen rather than just go with what a powerful, wealthy company that many people not following the news closely trust.

The whole point is to get an interview.

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Just say yes, most of the time they only want to know these three things dates you were employed, your job description or employment capacity and your salary information. Other things are strictly confidential and prohibited.

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moanalua pride!
they ask because they want to know if you had any problems at your old job or if your old boss thought you were a good worker or not.

they will most likely not take you if you do not let them contact your previous employers.

If your old boss is angry at you and he was the one to call then he might/ might not say good/bad things about you... it depends on the type of person they are.

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marie massacre
well you might say no if that buisness no longer exists or they died or your past boss left the company. i got fired from one job so on my application i said no. you cant really get penalized for it, because if its not a huge major job then they usually dont check all of your previous employers anyways

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Josh S
If you were going to hire someone, and you asked them the same question and they answered no, what would you do? Those questions are there to help the management know your past accomplishments or failures, and if you falsify that evidence and they find out about it, it's "bad bombin", so to say.

I would always request an interview at management's convenience so you can explain to them why you could or couldn't have them call a previous employer. And by asking for an interview, you are showing them that you mean business, and that you are genuinely interested in the position that's offered.

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Probably to ask about your work record. Did you show up to work on time every day? Did you have to many days that you called in "sick"? Did you do your work correctly and on time? Did you get along with your fellow employees and work-mates? These may be some of the questions that employers would ask if contacting your previous employers. Also, they may want to know if you had quit your job or had been fired.

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