“Employee Background Checks – What Constitutes Discrimination?”


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New years are for resolutions – at home and at work.  One of my resolutions is to continue focusing on an aspect of my job that I love  – advising employers on methods for avoiding costly litigation. I am cognizant of the fact that my clients want to operate efficient, profitable businesses. The foundation of a successful business is effective and legal employment practices.

On January 15, 2015, I am giving an teleconference seminar entitled “Employee Background Checks – What Constitutes Discrimination?” for the National Business Institute.  There was never a better time than now to brush up on business obligations in relation to background checks. In 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission released a joint initiative to combat workplace discrimination as a result of background checks. During my seminar on January 15th, I will instruct employers on methods for avoiding discrimination landmines (and subsequent expensive litigation) when conducting criminal and credit background checks on applicants and employees. Specifically, I will educate business personnel on employer obligations and rights as it pertains to federal anti-discrimination law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.  A full outline of the topics I will cover in the teleconference are as follows:

Increased Scrutiny by the EEOC and FTC:

  1. Interpreting the Most Recent Warnings Regarding Use of Credit Reports and Criminal Records
  2. When Bankruptcy and Other Credit Setbacks Become Forbidden Factors
  3. Allowing Applicants the Opportunity to Dispute Credit Information
  4. Discriminatory Use of Criminal Records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  5. When is a Criminal Conviction Job Related and Consistent with Business Necessity?
  6. Can Foregoing Background Checks Create Exposure for Negligent Hiring?

Creating Legal and Effective Background Check Procedures:

  1. When to Use Background Checks During the Hiring Process
  2. Notification of Applicant and Training of Screeners
  3. Should a Third Party Firm Conduct the Background Check?
  4. Timeline for Reserving and Destroying Records

If you have questions as to the propriety of your own background checks, I recommend that you make it part of your new year to click here and sign up to attend this teleconference.  For any other questions or concerns regarding the background check process or employment-related inquiries, please contact me.