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The Ethical Questions Around Background Checks

An important factor to any company’s growth is hiring new people.  When you have potential new employees lined up in the hiring process, what do you look for in them? The answer may vary depending on what sort of business you run or help manage. Regardless I believe the two core principles every company looks for in a new employee are: Reliability and Trustworthiness. This is why running background checks on all applicants is crucial to the success and future of a company.  It also raises a whole slew of questions within the realm of ethical and moral decision making. When running a background check a good number of folks may come back with a clean record and hold no criminal offenses. Others may hold a different story. Below are two different scenarios that you may just come across. In the first scenario, imagine you are working for a hospital and need to hire more people to handle the increase in patients seeking treatment or care. While sifting through the applicants, you may find one or m ...

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Background Checks What Employers Need to Know

A joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission -  Background Checks What Employers Need to Know A joint publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission When making personnel decisions - including hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment - employers sometimes want to consider the backgrounds of applicants and employees. For example, some employers might try to find out about the person's work history, education, criminal record, financial history, medical history, or use of social media. Except for certain restrictions related to medical and genetic information (see below), it's not illegal for an employer to ask questions about an applicant's or employee's background, or to require a background check. However, any time you use an applicant's or employee's background information to make an employment decision, regardless of how you got the information, you must comply with federal laws that protec ...

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Huge Corporations Being Sued For Millions Over A Small FCRA Technicality

Employers are getting tripped up by a little-known law related to background checks, and it’s costing some of them serious time and money. While the general public likely knows little about the FCRA, employers like Whole Foods, Dollar General, and Publix Super Markets are becoming intimately familiar with the law because they are getting sued over it. Recently, Michaels Stores was slapped with a class action lawsuit in Missouri federal court that accused the craft store chain of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Michaels is accused of breaking the law because it failed to properly disclose that a candidate’s consumer report might be obtained during the hiring process. While the general public likely knows little about the FCRA, employers like Whole Foods, Dollar General, and Publix Super Markets are becoming intimately familiar with the law because—like Michaels—they are getting sued over it. So, what are employers being sued for? Technicalities, mostly. Before running a bac ...

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Seriously, Who Needs Background Checks Anyway?

The answer to this question is EVERY BUSINESS!  Businesses routinely spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars developing, marketing and growing their brand. However, all those resources could be wasted on one bad hire. There are countless examples of one bad apple tarnishing and in some cases obliterating an entire corporate reputation. In some cases this reputation takes several years and money to build. Why risk your reputation? Why spend all the time and money building your corporate image only to hire someone who can tear it all down? Does ordering a background check automatically preclude you from having an employee ruin your corporate image? No, unfortunately it does not. However, ordering the proper background check will significantly lessen the chances. Let’s take a minute to look at some of the more popular searches provided by Background Check companies and start to shed some light on why all background checks are not created equal  Nationwide/Multijurisdictional Search Over ...

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