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
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to the law on service animals in public accommodations.
Pennsylvania has become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana for people suffering from certain chronic health conditions, including terminal illnesses.
Updated to reflect Austin, Texas "ban the box" law affecting most private employers, effective April 4, 2016.
Updated to reflect forthcoming pregnancy accommodation requirements.
Updated to reflect Austin's new ban the box criminal history law affecting most private employers, effective April 4, 2016.
Austin will become the first Texas city to restrict the use of criminal history information by private employers in the hiring process. The ordinance will prohibit both criminal history inquiries and criminal background checks until after a covered employer makes a conditional job offer.
Revised to incorporate amendments to disability discrimination regulations on the interactive process and service animals, and amended coverage and notice requirements under the pregnancy disability leave law, effective April 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect amended national origin discrimination regulations regarding policies requiring employees to hold a driver's license, effective April 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect information regarding the forthcoming revised Form I-9 and its instructions.
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.