Author: David B. Weisenfeld, XpertHR Legal Editor
With stories of workplace violence too often in the news, many employers rely on background checks in screening prospective employees. However, the use of these checks raises a host of compliance issues that an employer cannot afford to ignore.
Key factors to consider include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its notice requirements; the trend of state "ban the box" laws that prevent employers from asking criminal history questions on initial job applications; limitations on credit checks; and ensuring background checks do not have a disparate impact on minority job applicants.
Using XpertHR's various Tools and resources can help an employer that wants to make use of background checks in its hiring process to do so in a legally-compliant manner.
- Determine When to Do a Criminal Background Check on a Job Applicant
- Determine When to Run a Credit Check for Employment Purposes
- How to Exercise Reasonable Care in the Hiring Process
- How to Use Criminal Records for Employment Purposes
- How to Conduct a Credit Check for Employment Purposes
- How to Conduct a Drug Test
Policies and Documents
- Background Check Policy
- Background Check Adverse Action Letter
- Criminal Offender Record Information Policy (Massachusetts)
Quick Reference Charts
Employment Law Manual
- Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing
- Recruiting and Hiring > Negligent Hiring
- When can HR use criminal records in the hiring process?
- What privacy rights does a job applicant have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
- May an employer ask about a job applicant's arrest record?
- What if a job applicant lies on an application about their criminal record?
- How far back may an employer search into a job applicant's past for criminal convictions?
- May an employer check an applicant's credit as a condition of employment?
- Are there special limits in running credit checks on independent contractors?