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PITFALL 3: BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR EMPLOYERS: LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

It is strongly recommended that employers hire qualified private investigators or background screening firms to do criminal background checks and not attempt to do them in-house. There are several reasons for this. Among these is their knowledge of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These professionals should be well aware of the employer’s duties under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and will be able to provide guidance to their customers.

In short, the FCRA regulates how, when and why an employer can pull a criminal background check on an employee or prospective employee. It also regulates under which conditions negative information can be used and dictates what the employee’s rights and protections are against inaccurate information.

An employer who uses an Internet-based criminal record service like Crime Smasher cannot legally make adverse hiring decisions based upon the results obtained. The main reason is the FCRA dictates that the criminal case information comes directly from the courthouse, not through a third party public record aggregator.

A book that addresses many of these issues is called Sleuthing 101: Background Checks and the Law. It can be ordered through my own website crimetime.com or through amazon.com.

The Importance of Redundancy in Records Checking

Model Private Sector "Best Practices" Criminal Background Check

Conclusion: The Role of Internet-based Criminal Record Searches

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