Determine When to Do a Criminal Background Check on a Job Applicant

Key Points

  • Use of criminal background checks are a useful tool for certain hiring situations. An employer that fails to conduct a criminal background check could leave itself open to a negligent hiring lawsuit.
  • Be aware, however, that many states place limits on the use of arrest and conviction records by employers. It is important to know your state's requirements before using this tool in the hiring process.
  • Using information about arrests in the hiring process may be viewed as discriminating against minority job applicants under federal civil rights law.

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