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Background checks 2.0: What HR professionals need to know now

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

by Angela Rud, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis

When an employer conducts a background search on an applicant entirely in-house using only the employer’s staff, background check laws generally don’t apply. How­­ever, when an employer pays an outside entity to screen applicants, it must obey background check laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state laws.

That includes vendors that search social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for information about job candidates, a looming background-check hot topic.

The FCRA establishes several legal requirements for obtaining a background report, including notice, consent and various procedures that must be followed before taking any adverse employment action based on a background check, such as withdrawing a job offer. Even some in-house checks may trigger FCRA obligations, such as using an out-of-state agency to pull court records.

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