Pre-Employ Blog

How Your Old Hiring Process Might Be Putting You at Risk for a Lawsuit

Posted by admin on October 01, 2015

Today’s world of hiring practices can be tricky and easy to mess up.  It used to be a standard to ask right away if the applicant had a criminal record, but try and do that today and you could end up in a lawsuit for discrimination.


When hiring or promoting an existing employee, companies face a balancing act.  On one hand, they must avoid discrimination against those with criminal backgrounds.  On the other hand, they’re nervous about potential negligent-hiring claims.  A good way to avoid possible discrimination claims is to eliminate blanket policies that reject applicants based on criminal history.  Instead, do a case-by-case analysis of criminal records that consider the nature of the crime, the amount of time that has passed since the crime, and how the crime relates to the position.

So let’s say an employer is using a third party agency to conduct a background screening on a job applicant or giving a promotion to a current employee.  In order to run the background check the applicant/existing employee must first be notified of it in writing.  After the applicant or current employee has received the notification they then have to give consent to the background screening.  Before you can reject a job applicant or reject a promotion you must adhere to your companies’ obligation to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  A company should follow the FCRA’s two-step process that provides applicants and employees with the opportunity to review, dispute and correct any possible misinformation in the report.  This process is known as Adverse Action Procedures.  Failure to comply with the FCRA’s pre-employment screening process may place the company in violation of federal law and at risk for legal action at the federal level!

As an employer you need to be aware of the constant development and change on laws that restrict what and when employers can ask about criminal history.  Make sure to work closely with your pre-employment screening company to assure you stay compliant in your hiring process.   For more information on this topic and related pieces of information please download our free eBook titled, 5Myths of Criminal Background Checks.

The 5 Myths of Criminal Background Checks

Here are some more relatable interesting tpoics for you to further your research:

It's a Myth: "Hiring Process isn't a Concern to the Applicant"

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" About Criminal Records


Topics: Hiring Compliance, Hiring Process, Lawsuit, FCRA

Keep up to date!

Get the latest information for employers and candidates alike by subscribing to the Pre-employ blog!

Subscribe Here!

Recent Post


See all