Employer Background Checks

Background checks are typically performed by companies and employers in an attempt to ensure the safety of current employees, customers and staff of companies. By thoroughly looking into a person's past criminal or civil records, the company can effectively protect individuals, company assets, the company's reputation and more.

The Different Areas of a Background Check

Depending upon the company hiring the potential employee and the company handling the background check, several things may be looked at. First and foremost, the company will look into the potential employee's past to find proof of criminal activity or convictions. This includes any sort of crime the individual may have been arrested for, considered a suspect for or convicted for including but not limited to:

  • Theft or Robbery
  • Violent Crimes or Domestic Crimes
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
  • Aiding and Abetting
  • Tax Fraud or Financial Crimes

Along with criminal background checks, the financial, past employment and civil background may be checked as well. When searching for past employment records, the company will obtain information about previous jobs the potential employee held, how long the position was held and any notable information regarding the particular jobs. Financial information may contain bankruptcies, credit scores and other important information.

What Kinds of Jobs Require Background Checks

Typically, the kinds of jobs that require background checks include positions of a special nature or those in which the potential employee will be handling sensitive information. This may include positions such as:

  • Federal or Government Jobs
  • Jobs in Which the Applicant Would Interact with Children, such as Teaching, Daycare Assistant, etc.
  • Positions in Banks or Other Financial Institutions
  • Police Jobs

In order to protect the public, other employees and topics of sensitivity or assets, these background checks are performed.

Controversy or Issues with Background Checks

Because of the sometimes sensitive topics which are contained in financial or other information, the laws and processes of background checks are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Potential employers risk being sued for invasion of privacy and other illegal actions if several criteria are not met.

For instance, employers are required to inform the applicant if they will be performing a credit check. Some employees obtain a copy of the information to be given to the applicant before the employer ever sees the information within – this is so the potential employee can resolve any false information previous to the employee viewing it.

Should these records be used to make an adverse-hiring decision, the applicant must be provided with reason for the decision as well as information as to which companies or third parties provided the information to the employee's company.

Background checks are necessary to ensure the safety and protection of current employees within a company, the customers the company caters to, the reputation of the company, assets of the company and much more. Depending upon the sensitivity of the job, the background check may be more or less thorough and could contain more or less information. Consult with an employment attorney if you would like to get more information.

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