When it comes to background checks and the law, many employers are concerned not only about protecting themselves against hiring inappropriate workers, but also about violating the rights of those they screen out.
First, most experts advise that employers avoid blanket employment policies that eliminate anyone with a criminal record from being hired. Otherwise, it may result in discrimination. Plus, according to a Justice Department study noted in the USA TODAY article, “Study could ease concerns over hiring ex-offenders”:
…over time accused robbers, burglars and batterers pose no greater risk to employers than job candidates in the general population.
You place yourself and your organization in a much better position to defend your decision if you review each job candidate and bad act on an individual basis. Specifically, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends considering “these three factors” to determine whether a decision is “justified by business necessity”:
- The nature and gravity of the offense or offenses;
- The time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence; and
- The nature of the job held or sought.
Next, know your state laws. For instance, some laws prohibit searching on a sex offender registry. As the Psychology Today article, “The Act of Violence,” says:
All states have language that says it’s prohibited to use the information disclosed on a Megan’s Law sex offender web site for “purposes relating to health insurance, insurance, loans, credit, employment, education, housing, or benefits, privileges, or services, provided by any business establishment.”
There are instances when employers may access registries, as with California’s law that allows access to “protect a person at risk.” Employers in most states are wise to scan the registry if the applicant will work around children, the disabled, or the elderly. Your labor law attorney can provide proper guidance.
Next, make sure of the laws governing notification. Many states require employers who receive records to provide applicants with the same information within a certain time period.
Finally, when it comes to getting complete, accurate, and timely background checks, leave the work to the experts. TruDiligence is a leading background check company that offers reports that are fully compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other federal and state guidelines. Contact us we’ll take the headache out of background checks.