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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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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?
A woman who claims the Wood County Sheriff’s Office rescinded a job offer is suing the county, alleging it discriminated against her because of her age and disability.

Employers that develop clear, fair and transparent hiring processes seldom have to worry about losing a failure-to-hire lawsuit. That’s true even if they end up using so-called subjective reasons for not hiring a candidate. Simply put, judges are impressed when it looks like a potential employer bends over backward to ensure it doesn’t discriminate.

It’s common to tell a job applicant he’s hired—as long as a background check doesn’t reveal anything that would disqualify him. But some applicants think such an offer creates a contractual relationship. Under most circumstances, it doesn’t.

In an unusual twist, a federal trial court considering an Ohio case has permitted an employer being sued by the EEOC to ask pointed questions about the EEOC’s own hiring practices.

Background checks into arrest and conviction records must follow strict steps, so employers know when and where it's legal to request details of such actions, and where they must draw the legal line.  Sample hiring policies can help avoid legal liability when conviction records are in question.

As its workload has increased, the EEOC has sought greater funding so it can pursue cases in which employer hiring practices discriminate broadly against members of protected classes. Those practices include using criminal background checks and credit-history checks to screen applicants.
Employers operate in an increasingly complex legal environment, made all the more difficult by the tough economy. Hiring has emerged as a particular trouble spot. Here are the key liability hot spots you must watch out for in the hiring process:
In a recent case, EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education, employers scored a major victory. Now, perhaps, we can expect more courts to look skeptically on some of the EEOC’s tactics, giving employers more tools to build the workforces they need.
The EEOC has been pushing the idea that using credit reports to screen job applicants may discriminate on the basis of race—and it’s actively pursuing cases in federal court. But now an Ohio federal court has limited the scope of a class-action lawsuit after the EEOC wanted to include many years of hiring history.
The EEOC received a record 99,922 charges in the 2010 fiscal year—the most the agency has received in its 45-year history. Given this sharp increase in charge activity, now is a good time to review your personnel policies and practices to make sure you’re taking appropriate steps to help prevent potential dis­crimination claims.
On July 21, a new amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) kicks in that affects employers using consumer reports that include credit scores to make employment decisions.
Effective July 12, 2011, Philadelphia employers with 10 or more employees will be limited in their ability to inquire about job applicants’ criminal records. Under the Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Ordinance, employers must treat inquiries into criminal convictions much the same way they must treat inquiries into an applicant’s disability under the ADA.

In tough economic times, people who lose their jobs often have to file for bankruptcy. But some employers frown on bankruptcy and don’t want to hire someone who can’t pay his or her bills. Now the 5th Circuit Court of Ap­­­­peals has ruled that a private employer is free to turn down an applicant because he or she filed for bankruptcy.

Lay yourself off? That’s what the owner of Accurate Background Check in Florida did when business slowed down. She took another job and retained her nine longtime employees.

Under limited circumstances, a job applicant might be able to win a discrimination lawsuit without actually applying for a job. For example, someone could conceivably prove that it would have been be futile to even bother filling out an application. Fortunately, such cases are rare.

Q. We send formal offer letters to job candidates for certain positions. Could such letters legally bind us, and would we be smarter to avoid them?
Every summer, enterprising teens turn up in droves seeking employment at businesses all across the country.  As much as teens might want to be treated like adults, employers would be remiss to do so. Reason: Treating teen employees in the same manner as you treat adult employees could result in a violation of federal law.
The NCAA basketball tournament may be done, but the “Final Four Biggest Workplace Headaches for 2011” competition continues. Read up on four of the most vexing HR problems, and then cast your vote for the winner—the one that makes your work life miserable.
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