Can employers conduct background checks on applicants and potential employees?

| Mar 8, 2020 | Criminal Law, Employment law |

Under United States federal law, employers are allowed to conduct background checks of applicants and employees as long as the employer conducts the check directly instead of through a third party. However, if the employer uses a third-party vendor to conduct the background check, the process is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”). The FCRA does not prohibit an employer from hiring an outside vendor to conduct background checks or from taking employment action based upon the results of such investigations, but it does require the employer to first provide notice and obtain permission from the applicant or employee to conduct the background check.

  • The FCRA also requires that notice be provided to applicants and employees before any adverse employment action can be taken based upon background check information, and the FCRA requires that applicants or employees be given the opportunity to correct or explain any negative information.

Moreover, the FCRA requires employers to maintain the confidentiality of background check information, and places some limits on how this information can be used. It is also important to note that a number of states have their own laws governing the use of background checks and impose additional requirements and restrictions on an employer’s ability to obtain and use this information.

If you are facing pending criminal charges, it is important that you contact a Charlotte or Hickory criminal defense attorney so that you’re your rights and future is protected. Contact us today (888) 314-7127 for a consulation with our criminal defense attorney.