Criminal Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know

Do you conduct background checks on job applicants or your employees? Take note!  In a new joint publication, "Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know," the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") provide useful tips on complying with federal discrimination laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The publication reminds employers of the "do's and don't's" to comply with the FCRA procedures when running a background check:

Before you Administer a Background Check

Procedures for Background Checks from Credit Reporting Agencies:

Follow Procedure If You Plan to Use a Background Check to Take an Adverse Action Before not hiring an applicant or firing an employee based on background information obtained through a credit reporting agency:

After providing the notice and summary, wait a reasonable amount of time for the person to review the report and explain any negative information.  A reasonable amount of time depends on the circumstances. Five to seven business days is generally acceptable. A complete copy of this joint publication can be found on the EEOC's website here.


Spotts Fain publications are provided as an educational service and are not meant to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers with particular needs on specific issues should retain the services of competent counsel.

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