Issues with Background Checks In the United States

Issues with Background Checks In the United States

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As hiring rates increase along with the levels of available talent, the job market is more competitive than ever. Employers who want to hire the best talent available are doing everything they can to avoid a “bad hire.” They are thoroughly vetting each candidate to ensure that the costly hiring, onboarding, and training processes are not for naught. The Fair Credit Reporting Act governs background checks from a federal level, but there has been an increasing incidence of states creating their own protections for potential employees. If you are going to run pre-employment background checks using VeriScreen or other popular services, here is what you need to know if you are hiring in the United States.

State Drug Testing Laws

Pre-employment drug screening has become a regular part of the hiring process. Despite the proliferation of pre-employment drug testing, some states have certain procedures that are required in order to make the process legal. In Maine, for example, drug testing programs need to be approved by the state’s Department of Labor before it is implemented.

E-Verify Requirements

While E-Verify on the federal level is only required for federal contractors, many states now mandate its use in the hiring process. E-Verify is the process that verifies a potential employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. Regardless of the state you are hiring in, it is best to follow through with E-Verify procedures to protect yourself and your business.

State Mandated Background Checks

Most states require certain background checks for potential employees in health care, education, and other similar fields. Some circumstances allow for these background checks to be made by a consumer reporting agency, while other times it is necessary for the state to conduct checks into FBI files or other databases. Not all states have the same policy regarding this, so it is necessary to check what laws apply to your specific situations. For example, some states require background checks to be issued to anyone conducting repairs in a private home, while others do not.

State Limitations on the Use of Convictions for Non-Hire

Federal law does not include any requirements regarding an employer disqualifying a potential employee due to their criminal history, but some states do. Some states make it illegal to not hire a potential employee based on any criminal history that is not a potential impediment to the job that needs to be filled. New York State is an example of one of the strictest set of laws regarding this. In New York, employers are required to consider the length of time since the offense was committed and the potential employees’ rehabilitation since the incident. Industry requirements must also be considered here. Such laws may not apply to, for example, positions dealing with alcohol control, as these positions have established convictions that immediately disqualify a candidate.

Arrests Not Resulting In Conviction

Many state laws restrict employers from using arrests that did not end in a conviction as a reason for non-hire. Employers may question the candidate about the situation in most cases, but may not use the arrest itself as a reason for disqualification.

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