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Attn: Legal Beagles - PRIA Question

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Active member
Nov 26, 2001
The nice lady who's performing my background check says that a current employer is not cooperating in returning the information she's requested about dates of employment, etc. When I asked him about it, he swore he faxed it "weeks ago." The nice lady says if he doesn't cooperate, it could impact my class date (currently Jan 2).

This job was actually performed as an "independent contractor" CFI at a local FBO. Under IRS regulations, I am not an "employee."

Questions: Am I an employee under PRIA? Can I bring the FAA down on this guy to get his rear-end in gear? Any other suggestions for breaking this logjam?

Many thanks!

I had a similar issue. My current employer contracted out for it's background checks and PRIA inquiries. They contacted me while I was in training to tell me that they had run into trouble verifying a CFI position I had held many years ago. The place was still around but under new ownership and had no records. As a CFI, I had been a contract employee. A letter from my accountant, that I had been a contract CFI during the period specified was sufficient. They are trying to verify that you were not in jail or out of the country selling secrets to the Chinese or something. A letter from your attorney or accountant should suffice. If the employer won't or can't (as in my case) play ball, it is no different than verifying a period of unemployment. Someone, other than a family member, must vouch for your whereabouts during the specified time frame. Best of luck.
I would ask them to send it in again. As far as I can see you still need to have the records for employment. Was it within the last 5 years? There is also an AC out that talks about the PRIA. Check with your FSDO.

Good luck

Thanks folks. I went over to the FBO today and baby-sat the guy for 1-1/2 hours while a new fax was sent, he filled it out, and faxed it back. Looking forward to meeting y'all on the bus to the hotel!

Best wishes,

I've collected letters of reference from nearly every employer I've had since college. I'd recommend getting a letter every time you leave a job. The letter should state your beginning and ending dates of employment, give a brief description of the work you did, and hopefully say what a fine, conscientious employee and great guy/gal and pilot you are.

The LORs don't necessarily have to be from the boss, but can be from an immediate supervisor or someone who knows you and your work. Getting these letters accomplishes several things: (1) you're not likely to get a bad letter, so you have an idea of what the employer will say about you; (2) submitting such a letter with an app can proactively negate a bad ref; (3) the letter on company letterhead should be prima facie proof to any reasonable person that you worked for that company; (4) having these letters in your files creates a paper trail of your employment history. The letters reduce your employment history to writing and will help you with filling out apps and the like. You will have names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of employment. It won't matter if the companies go out of business. In fact, the letter(s) might help a prospective employer fill in gaps in your employment history which it otherwise cannot fill in which could stop you from getting the job.

I'd use W-2s or pay stubs to verify salary if that issue comes up rather than having a statement about pay in an LOR. The person writing the letter may not know your pay or get it wrong. Wage records are irrefutable proof of your pay.

Hope these ideas help.
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