Pre-Employment Inquiries and Arrest & Conviction

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There is no Federal law that clearly prohibits an employer from asking about arrest and conviction records. However, using such records as an absolute measure to prevent an individual from being hired could limit the employment opportunities of some protected groups and thus cannot be used in this way.

Since an arrest alone does not necessarily mean that an applicant has committed a crime the employer should not assume that the applicant committed the offense. Instead, the employer should allow him or her the opportunity to explain the circumstances of the arrest(s) and should make a reasonable effort to determine whether the explanation is reliable.

Even if the employer believes that the applicant did engage in the conduct for which he or she was arrested that information should prevent him or her from employment only to the extent that it is evident that the applicant cannot be trusted to perform the duties of the position when

  • considering the nature of the job,
  • the nature and seriousness of the offense,
  • and the length of time since it occurred.

This is also true for a conviction.

Several state laws limit the use of arrest and conviction records by prospective employers. These range from laws and rules prohibiting the employer from asking the applicant any questions about arrest records to those restricting the employer’s use of conviction data in making an employment decision.

In some states, while there is no restriction placed on the employer, there are protections provided to the applicant with regard to what information they are required to report.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) imposes a number of requirements on employers who wish to investigate applicants for employment through the use of consumer credit report or criminal records check. This law requires the employer to advise the applicant in writing that a background check will be conducted, obtain the applicant’s written authorization to obtain the records, and notify the applicant that a poor credit history or conviction will not automatically result in disqualification from employment.

Certain other disclosures are required upon the employee’s request and prior to taking any adverse action based on the reports obtained.

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Hiring Trend: Hiring From Within

Article Date: 11/12/2013

A new corporate trend in hiring.  Companies are turning to moving employees around instead of increasing their workforce.  This is a time and money saving option that is becoming very popular in today’s economy.  With companies trying to figure out how to cut the fat and reduce overhead employees positions are being combined leaving room to eliminate others.  With minimal involvement from the HR department and reduced training time this is a win for the company.  Many companies will include an employment background re-check as part of the move ensuring there have been no changes in the employee’s background history.  Global Information Network, LLC offers its clients a recheck package checking only the needed reports such as criminal background check, driving record, employment credit report and sex offender checks.  Re-check packages come with a reduced price saving even more to the bottom line compared to a new hire background check which many times will include previous employers and education verification’s.

With companies looking to downsize the option of hiring from within is taking hold of corporate America and internationally.  Global Information Network, LLC international division has seen an increase of this practice over the last year.  Until consumer growth and corporate confidence becomes a steady reality Global Information Network believes we will see more of this economically smart trend.