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Background Checks on Employees: Rules and Procedures

When deciding on checking the background of a candidate, many employers ask themselves questions like whether it’s legal and what kind of information they should get to make their final decision. The results of the check depend on different factors the specifics of that particular business, what industry the company is in, and other.

Although there are misconceptions about the procedure, background check is a totally desirable thing to do, and not only to the new applicants but also to the current ones.

Employee Background Check Rules

During the check, though, employers must follow certain rules:

  • The employer has to notify the candidate about the background check in writing form. The document has to be sent to the applicant separately from other necessary forms. There should also be a warning that the check may damage or improve the receiver’s eligibility.
  • The employee must provide his or her consent in writing form as an answer to the notification.
  • If conducting background checks is the company’s norm, it must be specified in the policy available to everyone.
  • In case specialists conduct the interview to learn more about the personality, reputation, etc. of the candidate, the latter has a right to ask for a description of this interview and the questions that will be asked.

Employee Background Check: What’s Legal

Online Check

Online check is legal, while it’s illegal in many states to ask for the login information of the candidate. Open social media accounts and search engines can be a great help in finding out more about the applicant’s personality.

You can improve your online presence by opening your accounts, checking your tweets and photos, by starting a blog, and guest posting on a business blog that might be related to the job you’re applying to. Make sure to include your name there, so your potential employers can find your articles.

Medical Records

Medical records check is legal with limits. Unless a physical or mental disability directly affects the person’s ability to do the job he or she is applying for, the employer is not allowed to check his or her medical records.

In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act helps control medical information available for employers.

Credit Information

Credit information check is legal with consent. The employer has to get a written consent from the candidate to get their credit history checked. He or she has to be notified when and how it will be looked through. Besides, if the credit information can affect the potential employee’s credibility, the employer has to notify them about that. If there is a problem with that information, they have to provide detailed explanation of the reason, as well as the name and contacts of the company that provided them with the data.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is legal in some states. There are jobs like those connected to nuclear energy or government that require drug testing by law. However, there are states that allow the test as a part of the employee background check if it is necessary.

Mostly, all the other pieces of personal information are illegal to gather, but it’s better to check with the local authorities before filing a complaint.

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