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Legal Background Checks - Are You Compliant or A Victim?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Always Peform Employment Verification or Background Checks on New People

What You Must Know About Legal Background Checks in America

Electronic Data Privacy requirements are foisting more and more responsiblilities on employers, to make sure that their employees who manage personal customer data, do so legally.  Legal background checks are the responsiblitities of the employers and service providers who do these checks as a regular part of their daily routines.  If you apply for a job today, chances are, part of the application process is that you will give this employer the authorization to do a legal background check on you.  This verification process normally covers your credit history, criminal past, and your work history.

There are other laws enacted by the various states within the union to determine what type of background information can be used in determining eligibility for jobs, services, or other considerations.  For example, a prospective employer will most definitely pull a credit history on most job applicants as a way to gauge the applicant's level of personal responsibility.  However, in many states it is illegal to use an applicant's bankruptcy information to deny that person a job.  This is where employers often straddle the thin line between an illegal and a legal background check.

Most employers will often out-source employment background checks as a routine part of their business practices.  If they use a third party's database to cull this information on you or anyone else, this practice falls squarely under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), where there are specific restrictions and requirments designed to ensure that each person in a database is treated fairly, and the information held on this person is accurate.  Whether an employer specifically tells you this or not, when you sign a job application form, you are normally giving this employer the authorization to check your background.

Legal credit reports peformed by the Big three (3) companies in the USA must strictly conform to the provisions of the FCRA.  However, online databases which pull together pieces of disparaging information about anyone from various sources, while useful, may not conform completely with all provisions of state laws.  It is important that you check on the legality of these services, especially if you are job-hunting.  The best way to do this, is to do a background check on yourself, using one of these services, so that you can see what a prospective employer will see. To put this matter into perspective, let us look at an example.

An employer who provides cable services to a community can be held legally culpable if his employee assaults a customer while doing legal work in that person's home, and if the employer did not do a background check on this employee which would have shown a similar pattern of behaviour.  On the other hand, if your older daughter just got married to a man who is already married to someone else in another state, but you did not know because both you and your daughter failed to do a basic background check, there is hardly anyone else to blame! If you love her, do insist that she pulls this report, no matter how 'in love' she might be.

Sometimes the best value in a background check report, is the ability to detect patterns of behaviour that would have otherwise gone undetected, only to surface at a most inopportune time.  You can trust, but it is better to verify.

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