Background Check Considerations

Reference & Background Investigations
HR Compliance
Recruiting & Hiring

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When making employment decisions, including hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment, employers may want to consider the backgrounds of applicants or employees in the decision-making process. Employers should proceed with caution any time background information is used to make an employment decision; employers must comply with federal, state, and municipal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination. At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees employment-based background checks to prohibit unlawful discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religion, disability, genetic information, and age.

Additionally, compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a requirement when an employer runs background checks through a third-party vendor. The FCRA states specific requirements that must be followed, or monetary penalties will apply. For example, covered employers who deny employment to an applicant based on the background check must follow precise adverse action steps.

And further, employers must be aware of the laws of their state and municipality regarding background reports because some regulate the use of that information for employment purposes.

Employers should consider the following key components for their background check policy and procedure...

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