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
California employers seeking to provide notice to new hires and existing employees that they conduct background checks and do so in a manner that is compliant with applicable federal, state and local laws should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that persons convicted of possessing less than one-half ounce of marijuana have the right to get those convictions erased. The result means that thousands of job applicants previously arrested for marijuana possession may petition for a court order so that records relating to those charges are destroyed and will not be visible during a background check.
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.
Effective March 1, 2015, New Jersey employers with 15 or more employees and employment agencies may not inquire about a job applicant's criminal record during the initial employment application process. This makes New Jersey the sixth state with a "ban the box" law affecting private employers.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to Interviewing and Selecting Job Candidates
In-depth review of the spectrum of New Jersey employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disabilities.
Effective March 1, New Jersey has banned criminal history questions on job applications for most private employers as well as employment agencies. The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees over 20 calendar weeks and includes stiff penalty provisions.
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.