Pre-Employment Background Checks

When you are hiring employees, its important to have as much information as possible on a candidate to help you make an informed decision. However, you do not have unlimited rights to investigate an applicant’s background and personal life. Employees have a right to privacy in certain areas. If this right is violated, they can take legal action against you. Therefore, it is important to know what is permitted when following up on a potential employee’s background and work history.

 The following list includes the types of information that employers often consult as part of a pre-employment check, and the laws governing access and use for making hiring decisions.

Criminal Records

To what extent a private employer may consider an applicant’s criminal history in making hiring decisions varies from state to state.

Knowledge is the crucial factor in staying ahead of the competition. Contrary to popular belief, what you don’t know can hurt you.

Credit Reports

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) employers must obtain an employee’s written consent before seeking an employee’s credit report. If you decide not to hire or promote someone based on information in the credit report, you must provide a copy of the report and let the applicant know of his or her right to challenge the report under the FCRA. Some states have more stringent rules limiting the use of credit reports.

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