March 31, 2014
March 31, 2014
Davis Dwight & Tremaine LLP
Oregon business law firm
New Guidance for Employers Conducting Background Checks
By Angela Galloway
Employers who investigate workers’ criminal or credit backgrounds may want to review federal guidelines released March 10.
The joint publication of the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides detailed guidance for employers who check into the criminal or credit histories of applicants or employees. “Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know” aims to guide employers in complying with federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination and regulate commercial background reporting agencies.
The publication released today offers guidelines for developing policies and practices that avoid improper practices or discriminatory employment decisions. For example, the report advises:
The guidelines are based on existing standards and cover only the basics that businesses need to consider before running background checks of candidates and employees. The FTC/EEOC pamphlet does not attempt to address many important details of employment law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Employers should ensure that all background checking practices are appropriate under federal, state and local laws.
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