I didn't like my job anymore and left the company in 2006 after 2 years. The CEO took that personally. He probably still holds a grudge, 13 years later. I emailed the generic info@ company address and asked for a certificate of employment, but did not receive an answer.

Before I follow up by phone: am I entitled to a simple letter that says "Robert was employed as a X at COMPANY from START DATE to LEAVE DATE"?

This is in Texas in the US.

Edit on reason: I'd need this letter for proof with social security / Rentenversicherung in Germany. I could try to show my employment from the paystubs, but a simple letter would be easier.

  • Who asked for this letter? Can't they call the company and ask if you worked there? Would showing your receipts from that period help if you don't get the letter?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 22:15
  • I'd say you try calling first and then asking here how to proceed in case it where negative. If they give it to you then this is a non-issue thankfully :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 22:16
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    @PeteCon that reads like a valid answer to me. Mind not putting it in a comment?
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 22:23
  • 2
    Have you checked using the social security web site? They have a full record of my US earnings. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 22:26
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    @DarkCygnus I was trying to clarify the question. The situation is very different if there was a problem with the OP's earnings record for the time in question than if the earnings were properly recorded. The web site I linked is the way to find out. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


If a prospective employer needs to check dates, they'll ring the HR people at your previous company. This is 13 years ago.. pretty much irrelevant, and I'm sure the CEO will have forgotten you exist. It would have to be a very small company for the CEO to be involved in HR. So, not your problem.

However... The issue gets confusing when you bring in the Germany aspect. Are you in Germany at the moment, trying to claim social security? If that's the case, I'd be phoning the HR department - not emailing.

  • 2
    As I understood, OP is currently in Germany, and they are asking for OP's previous employments on the USA.
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 22:51

Am I entitled to a certificate of employment from a previous employer?

Absolutely not. You are entitled to truthful information from a previous employer. I was in the position to response to these questions; I was also responsible for our data retention requirements. We kept records of employees for 5 years after they left. Any further back and their employment history is shredded. I would not be able to provide any accurate information further back than that. For mid to senior position, we often would have some tribal knowledge, i.e. 'Yes that senior programmer worked for us a decade or so ago for a year or more', but there is just no other information that I had for employment over a decade ago. For an junior position, we have responded just with 'Our records don't go back that far,

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