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Employment Background Check

Our field-tested solutions are designed to assist you with employee background checks, background check guidelines and pre-employment screening.

You’ll also gain a full understanding of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to guarantee you’re in compliance with every facet of employment background checks

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Workplace lawsuits arise from negligent hiring when failure to conduct comprehensive background checks leads to employee-instigated injury or harm. Background investigations into past employment histories and possible felony convictions are just two of the steps necessary to lower the liability for being hit by negligent hiring legal claims.

New, official EEOC guidance reinforces the commission’s view that using criminal histories to screen out job applicants can violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by having a disparate impact on minorities.

Reference checking should be part of every company's hiring process. Due to fear of lawsuits, though, many former employers may be reluctant to provide much information about candidates you're considering. Here are various techniques to use to elicit this important information from them.

Q. An employer asked us for a job verification on an employee we fired. The request includes a written consent form from the worker allowing the query. Can I release any and all information regarding the former employee’s history with us?
The state Department of Human Services failed to check educational and employment references for the director of the state’s largest mental hospital, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have asked the DOJ and the EEOC to issue an opinion on one of today’s hot-button employment law issues: Is it a violation of the Stored Communications Act or any other federal law for an employer to ask job applicants to provide their Facebook passwords?
Here’s some good news for em­­ployers that check workers’ compensation claims against an applicant’s claim he’s never been injured on the job: You don’t have to inform him where you got the information be­­fore you take action because workers’ comp checks aren’t background in­­vestigations subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
New EEOC guidance makes it clear: Employers better be able to prove they have a good business reason for running criminal background checks on job applicants. That means it's time for you to review your job applications and hiring policies—and start training hiring managers on what's certain to be a major EEOC enforcement effort.
Employers may be suspicious about a prospective worker’s claimed professional credentials or other certifications—especially if it seems like the documents may have been altered or forged. If you have such doubts, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
Florida State Sen. Gary Siplin has introduced a bill that would limit an employer’s use of an applicant’s credit history as a hiring criterion unless it “is shown to be directly related to the position sought by the applicant.”
The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges in 2011. Given this sharp increase in charge activity, now's a good time to review your personnel policies. Consider two EEOC enforcement trends: scrutiny of background checks and inflexible leave policies.

Sometimes, it’s a close call to decide who will be the best fit for a job. Checking applicants’ references can break that tie. Just make sure you take careful notes during those discussions, and retain those notes in case there’s litigation.

Pepsi Beverages will pay $3.1 million to resolve EEOC charges that it discriminated against minorities when it refused to hire applicants with arrest records.

Sometimes, it’s a close call to decide who will be the best fit for a job or promotion. There may be several candidates with the relevant education, training and experience. If that’s the case, the decision may come down to who has the best “soft” skills—subjective qualities indicating a good fit. Checking applicants’ references can break that tie.

Q. We are re-examining our applicant screening process. One idea we’re considering is eliminating calling previous employers for reference checks. We haven’t found those calls to be very helpful, because most former employers will only confirm dates of employment and job title. Is this a good idea?
Q. Is it legal to institute a policy requiring all new hires to submit to a consumer credit report?
The EEOC issued an advisory letter last month that gives employers more clarity on their proper use of applicants’ arrest and conviction records during the hiring process.
Q. I understand that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires disclosure to and authorization from job applicants prior to obtaining consumer reports concerning these individuals. My company obtains criminal background records on all applicants. Are these records considered “consumer reports” under the FCRA?
Q. We use an outside company to conduct criminal background checks on applicants. The company asked us if we were interested in having it conduct searches on applicants’ past civil claims. Is that something we should do?
Q. We suspect that one of our employees has filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. We would like to hire a private investigator to gather information on his activities. By doing so, are we subject to the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
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