The job market is really fierce right now. There are often many people vying for good jobs, and when that occurs, sometimes people will lie to gain an advantage in the hiring process. One important way to keep from getting taken advantage of is to run an employment history check. However, the process isn’t really as easy as just finding out if the person has the employment background they claim, or if they have a criminal history.
The potential employee has a right to privacy in certain personal matters and is protected by federal law and many states have additional laws. Employers must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) which is federal law and requires you to get consent, in writing, before conducting an employment history check or a criminal history check. Even after acquiring written consent, the future employer in most cases is limited to information that is relevant to the position being filled.
A job that requires a specific license, certification, or degree would require proof that the candidate has earned those credentials and a professional license verification or education verification would be appropriate. However, if you’re hiring a custodian, proof of a college degree may not be necessary, and it could be violation of a job candidate’s privacy if a future employer seeks to find that information.
Credit checks are another sticky situation that everyone may not understand where the limits are. As previously mentioned, under the FCRA, an employee, or job candidate must give consent for an employee’s credit check. Running a credit check is important for certain jobs and industries, like banking.
States and some cities also have laws about how much criminal history information an employer has the right to know. In some states, certain types of jobs are not allowed to know about crimes in the past; whether they were found guilty or not. However, in other jobs, such as teaching positions, a criminal history is deemed to be relevant to the job. In many states, it doesn’t matter how far in the past the crimes occurred.
Because knowing many of these things is very important to an employer to have the peace of mind in knowing they have hired someone they can trust, hiring a professional screening company to do an employment history check is a smart course of action. A professional screening company should ensure that they find out the proper employment history check information without violating any FCRA laws.
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