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
A new Washington, DC law bans employers with more than 10 employees from seeking criminal background information about job applicants until after a conditional employment offer has been made.
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.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a broad law restricting employer criminal history inquiries during the hiring process. The new law prohibits criminal history questions or background checks until after a conditional job offer has been made. It applies to employers with more than 10 employees.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Maryland employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to new hire paperwork.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Maryland employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
The new law takes effect March 1, 2015, and will apply to employers with 15 or more employees, as well as employment agencies.
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.