BPHR’s Director Lisa Salcido, SPHR, SHRM-SCP provides answers to your pressing HR questions.
Question: Our company has never run background checks on new hires but we would like to start. Can they be done randomly at our discretion, or must we do them for all applicants?
Answer: Performing at least some level of a background check on all new hires is good idea. It will help to determine whether an applicant should be disqualified for a position due to a record of criminal conviction, motor vehicle violations, poor credit history or misrepresentation regarding education or work history. Before running an investigation, you must provide the applicant a stand-alone notice of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and obtain a signed authorization to perform a background check.
To avoid possible discrimination claims, an employer should conduct backgrounds checks equally and consistently. You may run the same check on all applicants or all applicants within a particular department or position. You may select who you run a background check on, like certain job titles or positions with sensitive access, as long as the process is uniform. Deciding to run a background check based on an applicant’s race, national origin, religion or other Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protected class, is unlawful.
When introducing background checks into your hiring process, it’s best practice to review and comply with federal nondiscrimination laws, the FCRA and the laws of your state.
For more on this topic, read what SHRM has to say.
Take a More Balanced Approach to HR with BPHR
To ensure the safety of your workplace, it’s imperative that you hire moral, loyal and trustworthy employees. Background checks help you do just that and BPHR can help make sure they are performed in accordance with the law. By eliminating the concern, you can focus on grooming your employees for success within your organization.
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Have a question for Lisa? Email her directly.
DISCLAIMER: The material presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion.