Employee Background Checks: Legal Factors and Trends

In part one of this two-part blog series, we discussed some of the basic reasons why background checks are often carried out by employers on prospective employees during the hiring process, plus some of the common types of background checks used here. These checks are increasingly being used by employers to ensure a few basic things about prospective employees, helping them make ideal hires while also avoiding liability or other concerns.

At WTA Inc., we’re here to help clients around Salt Lake City with a wide range of HR services, from recruitment and hiring to liability management, regulatory compliance and more. Today’s part two of our series will go over some basic legal considerations to keep in mind when conducting background checks, plus some trends in this world and why it pays to work with a qualified third party like our team when carrying out background check needs.

employee background checks factors trends

Legal Considerations When Conducting Background Checks

When it comes to background checks, it’s important for employers to understand and comply with federal and state laws related to this practice. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary law that governs background checks in the US, outlining requirements for obtaining an individual’s consent before conducting a check, providing certain disclosures and following specific procedures if adverse action is taken based on the results of a background check.

Additionally, state laws may have their own specific requirements and limitations when it comes to conducting background checks. For example, some states prohibit employers from considering arrest records that did not result in convictions, while others place restrictions on the use of credit reports in employment decisions.

Trends in Background Checks

With advancements in technology and data availability, background checks are becoming more comprehensive and detailed than ever before. This includes the use of social media and online databases in addition to traditional sources like criminal records and employment history.

Another trend is the increasing reliance on continuous or ongoing background checks, rather than a one-time check during the hiring process. These ongoing checks allow employers to monitor any changes in an employee’s background that could impact their eligibility for employment.

Working with a Qualified Third Party

Given the complex legal landscape surrounding background checks, it’s crucial for employers to work with a qualified third party like WTA Inc. We have extensive experience in conducting compliant and thorough background checks, helping clients navigate the legal requirements and avoid potential liability. Our team stays updated on any changes in laws and regulations related to background checks, ensuring our clients are always in compliance.

In addition to conducting background checks, we also offer a range of other HR services that can help companies streamline their hiring processes and ensure they are making informed employment decisions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business succeed!