Employers may investigate past employment to verify position and salary information. More intensive checks can involve interviews with anybody that knew or previously knew the applicant—such as teachers, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family members; however, extensive hearsay investigations in background checks can expose companies to lawsuits.
Past employment and personal reference verifications are moving toward standardization with most companies in order to avoid expensive litigation. These usually range from simple verbal confirmations of past employment and timeframe to deeper, such as discussions about performance, activities and accomplishments, and relations with others.
The past experiences and the companies which have provided these experiences are also verified and researched upon to detect frauds. A fraudulent SSN may be indicative of identity theft , insufficient citizenship , or concealment of a "past life". Background screening firms usually perform a Social Security trace to determine where the applicant or employee has lived. The hiring of undocumented workers has become an increasing issue for American businesses since the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE division, as immigration raids have forced employers to consider including legal working status as part of their background screening process.
With increased concern for right-to-work issues, many outsourcing companies are sprouting in the marketplace to help automate and store Form I-9 documentation. Credit checks are done to applicants who are applying to positions who deal with financial records or deal with a lot of money. Pre-employment credit reports do not include a credit score. A pre-employment credit report will show up on an individuals credit report as a "soft inquiry" and do not affect the individual's credit score.
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Drug tests and credit checks for employment are highly controversial practices. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a project of the Utility Consumers' Action Network UCAN : "While some people are not concerned about background investigations, others are uncomfortable with the idea of investigators poking around in their personal histories.
In-depth checks could unearth information that is irrelevant, taken out of context, or just plain wrong. A further concern is that the report might include information that is illegal to use for hiring purposes or which comes from questionable sources.
In May , allegedly improper post-hire checks conducted by Northwest Airlines were the subject of a civil lawsuit between Northwest and 10, of their mechanics. In New Zealand , criminal checks have been affected by the Criminal Records Clean Slate Act , which allows individuals to legally conceal "less serious" convictions from their records provided they had been conviction-free for at least seven years.
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In Michigan , the system of criminal checks has been criticized in a recent case where a shooting suspect was able to pass an FBI check to purchase a shotgun although he had failed the check for a state handgun permit. According to the spokesman of the local police department,. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has criticized the federal policy, which denies constitutional rights based on a criminal check only if the subject has been accused of a crime.
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Background Checks: Powerful, but Flawed?
Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. April The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Credit check Criminal record check Employment discrimination Identity resolution Negligence in employment Psychological evaluation Security clearance Universal background check , a U.
Archived PDF from the original on Retrieved Archived from the original on October 14, Archived from the original on 28 August Retrieved 23 August Dental Abstracts. September An employer cannot ask you to hand over your password to access your private profile on a social networking website. The employer has no legal right to access this information without a court order. Similarly, an employer cannot check your internet browsing history on your personal computer. To do so, the potential employer would have to seize your computer and smartphone device, and only the police have the power to do this as part of a criminal investigation.
If an employer asks you to divulge this information, you are within your rights to say "no. The only time an employer can check your browsing history is when you have used a company computer. Then, the computer belongs to the company, and the company can monitor anything that comes over its network including files, emails, keystrokes, instant messaging and yes, your browsing history.
The situation may be different where, for example, you use your own laptop for both business and personal use. Then, you have a right to privacy for anything sent over your personal network. It's a good idea to check the company handbook which usually spells out the policy on computer-usage issues. When making a hiring decision, employers must apply the same standards to everyone, regardless of their gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, family status or age.
There are many kinds of background searches. For example, an employer might want a background check on a prospective employee, or a woman might want to know if her boyfriend is really divorced.
Top 10 Myths of Background Checks Busted - Sterling Thought Leadership
Conducting online background checks can be a lucrative field, but before you hang out your Internet shingle, it's important to study the different kinds of background checks, the legalities of the profession, and the licensing requirements for your state. Study background investigations. It's important to study the field, understand its legal requirements, what resources provide the most reliable background information, and so on.
Research licensing for private investigators in your state. Background checks are background investigations, and most states require investigators to be licensed or certified. Review these requirements, which include required education and internship, and fulfill each one. Network with other background investigators. Other investigators are valuable resources.