Posted by & filed under Business Law Attorney.

Background checks are an integral part of the hiring process which allows employers to verify that the information provided by their potential employees is correct and enables them to learn about their credit and criminal records. Here are some important points that an employer should keep in their mind.

Consent for Background Check

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) maintains strict policies that govern the procedures that an employer must follow for background checks. The applicant must be notified in writing that they will be subjected to a background check and it may impact their eligibility for the available position. This notification must be provided as a stand-alone document and must be separated from the application of employment. The process of background check shall commence only after an employee provides their written consent. A competent business lawyer will devise a standard procedure pertinent to a background check in order to ensure that all of these requirements are met.

No Discrimination

An employer must refrain from exercising discriminatory behavior when hiring a new employee. An individual may not be denied a chance to work because they belong to a particular set of characteristics or affiliations, or perhaps they have a poor credit history. Doing so can expose the employer to litigation for discrimination. Having an experienced business lawyer on board will enable the company to comply with state and federal laws pertaining to background checks and shield them from lawsuits.

Maintain Confidentiality

An employer must understand that while they may share some of the information provided by the candidate, they have to ensure the confidentiality of the data that they have provided during the application process. They may also refrain from accessing their protected information such as race, ethnicity, sex, national origin, religion, marital status, and disability, amongst others. It is not legal for an employer to inquire about these characteristics during a background check.

An astute business lawyer will make sure that no such attempts are made to make sure they are complying with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and adhere to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations.

No Violation of Online Privacy

Previously, employers used to employ certain techniques to view their potential candidate’s private profile such as creating a fake profile and even asking them to provide their login access. However, employers are prohibited to request a candidate’s login credentials of their social media accounts or make any attempt to bypass their privacy rights. As a matter of fact, it is considered a breach of privacy and their personal space which can lead to adverse legal consequences for the employer.

Consent for Credit checks

As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), an employer must obtain written consent from the potential candidate before requesting their credit report. As FCRA is a federal law, this consent is obligatory in all 50 states. Some states even place additional limits on whether an employer can request credit information. However, some industries, such as the trucking industry, are exempted from this law.

If you wish to get further information regarding background checks, contact the offices of John Grundy at 330-637-9030 to schedule a free consultation session with an experienced business lawyer.