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
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 Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to preemployment screening and testing.
As mandated by the New York City Commission on Human Rights an employer with four or more employees in New York City must provide notice of its analysis of an applicant's criminal history if it is seeking to withdraw a conditional employment offer.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming statewide ban on handheld phone use by commercial motor vehicle drivers, effective July 1, 2016.
Effective March 14, 2016, Philadelphia's "ban the box" ordinance will expand to cover all employers in the city regardless of size. In addition, the amended law will prohibit employers from asking about an applicant's criminal history or conducting a background check until a conditional employment offer has been made.
Updated to reflect expanded E-Verify unlawful employment practices and notification procedures, effective January 1, 2016.
Several handbook statements in the California Handbook have been updated to reflect legal developments effective January 1, 2016.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Oregon employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Pennsylvania employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
HR Guidance concerning federal and state legal requirements on the screening and testing of job applicants.