3 Things You Need To Know Before Doing An Employee Background Check
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3 Things You Need to Know Before Doing An Employee Background Check

Your Employee Background Check May Be Illegal

Conducting an employee background check without a release is illegal. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you need signed, written authorization (aka "a release") to investigate a person's background for the purpose of making an employment decision which may adversely effect them (such as not hiring them, or terminating an existing employee).

You Cannot Decide Not to Hire Someone Solely Because They Failed the Employee Background Check

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you cannot decide not to hire, or to fire, someone based solely on the presence of a criminal history found in an employee background check.

The EEOC states that you can discriminate based on a criminal record, but you have to consider things such as recency of the offense and how the particular offense applies to the job they are being hired for.

So if you're hiring a truck driver who looks like a good fit for the position in all other areas, but he has a misdemeanor assault conviction over 10 years ago, you may want to give him additional consideration.

On the other hand, you would justifiably never hire a convicted sex offender to work with children. Regardless of how long ago the offense was.

Be Careful Where You Get Your Employee Background Check

Before you go to the keyboard and pull up one of the many online background check providers to find out if your potential new hire had a criminal history, the FCRA also governs where that information can come from and how it is to be used when it comes to employment.

So just getting a quick employee background check from "XYZ Verified" may give you what you are looking for, but using it for an employee background check may cause you and the provider some legal trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Learn More About PRMG Employee Background Check Services

The Bottom Line

The bottom line when conducting employee background checks is to get them from a reliable source that says they are a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) and/or FCRA Compliant.

They should be able to help you navigate the FCRA employee background check waters.


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