Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

New Screening Tool for Employee Background Checks

Businesses routinely run employee background checks. The type of background check tools used often depends on the business, but all tools are used for the same function: to determine if employees have any history that might impact their ability to perform job duties.

The best way to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits is to use background check tools. CheckToHire is one of the newest tools out there and offers a flexible pay-as-needed option with no monthly fees.

CheckToHire runs credit checks, criminal history checks, amongst other services. This type of tool may be something business owners might want to keep in their arsenal.

But employers should be cautioned: dig too deeply into a prospective employee's life and you may face a lawsuit.

This is why getting an applicant's express consent before a background check is advisable. Some things like credit checks expressly require an applicant's consent by law.

Employers should continue to err on the side of caution even with a prospective employee's consent. Background checks should be kept reasonable. The information you find should be relevant. Mainly, ensure your investigation is "business-related."

Criminal background checks can be reasonable and business-related when hiring security guards. They may not be as reasonable if you're hiring a part-time dishwasher.

Even if you can search and find information does not mean you can use it. Some information that is part of the public record, like bankruptcies, usually cannot be used in hiring decisions.

Using background check tools can be vital in preventing lawsuits. Just beware of the pitfalls. Employee background checks can run dangerously close to becoming an invasion of privacy.

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