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How to comply with laws regulating criminal background checks

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

By Stephanie H. Fedorka, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, Syracuse

Employers want safe workplaces. Applicants with criminal records want a chance at gainful employment. Balancing those interests requires paying careful attention to laws that regulate inquiries about applicants’ criminal histories or arrest records.

Federal issues

No federal statutes or laws prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history.

However, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act expressly requires employers to provide a stand-alone disclosure and obtain a signed authorization form before conducting a background check. The authorization form must be separate from the application.

Be careful not to treat applicants with similar criminal records differently. Such differential treatment could result in a discrimination claim. For example, if a female applicant is rejected for a particular position because of a DWI convictio...(register to read more)

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