Overview: Today's hands-off approach can be tomorrow's negligent hiring lawsuit. As a result, many employers turn to a variety of preemployment screening measures to find out ahead of time about any warning signs involving job applicants.
These measures can include employee background checks, reference checks, credit checks, drug tests, job-related aptitude tests and post-offer medical examinations. However, HR professionals should be certain to check their state employment laws as well as federal statutes to ensure that their testing efforts do not overstep.
If an employer decides to engage in any of these testing measures, it must do so across-the-board with all applicants in a consistent fashion. A failure to do so could lead to later discrimination claims.
Trends: Some states prevent employers from asking job applicants about arrests. Others have "Ban the Box" laws that prohibit employers from asking candidates to check off on an initial job application form if they have been convicted of a crime. This does not preclude such questions later in the selection process.
Employers also should be aware that several states limit the use of credit checks to certain positions where financial data, sensitive information or managerial responsibilities will be involved.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
Effective July 1, 2015, contractors working on public works projects in Indiana will need to comply with additional verification requirements.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Indiana employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
Effective June 1, Ohio will remove criminal history questions from state job applications that prospective employees are asked to check off if they have ever been convicted of a crime. In doing so, Ohio becomes the 17th state with at least some form of a "ban the box" policy.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act does not prevent an employer from conducting third-party credit checks so long as the employer obtains the applicant's written consent and complies with the FCRA's notice requirements. However, some states have gone beyond federal law and placed restrictions on when employers can conduct credit checks of job applicants or employees for screening purposes to certain types of positions.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a law prohibiting most employers from using credit reports or bankruptcies to disqualify job candidates from being hired or when making any other sort of employment decision regarding current employees.
The introduction of federal "Ban the Box" legislation follows that of a host of big cities and some states which already have enacted laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants if they have been convicted of a felony on initial application forms.
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.