Business

Essential Facts You Need to Know About Background Checks

 

Before you agree to have a background check done on you, there are a few essential facts that you need to know. First, you should ask for copies of any records, personnel files, or other information that might be included in the check. Second, you should check your online presence to see if any postings might damage you or your employer. Your employer or a third party may do this, and you must ensure that you don’t post anything that could hurt your chances of employment.

Criminal History Inquiries

There are many legal ramifications of doing a background check. While no clear-cut laws prevent a company from performing such statements, many states and local jurisdictions prohibit certain kinds of background check inquiries. For example, Massachusetts prohibits employers from asking about a potential employee’s salary history. Therefore, employers should ensure that the person they are considering is not a criminal. 

Identity Searches

Identity searches are one of the most common methods used when doing a background check. These searches establish an applicant’s identity, address history, and financial reputation. Performing an identity check on an applicant can give you confidence that they are not a fraud. These checks are not exhaustive, but they can provide the basic information you need to conduct a thorough background check. In many countries, you can use an identity search to verify an applicant’s government-issued identification card.

Salary Bans

Employers should be aware of salary bans when performing a background check. Many jurisdictions have banned salary history information, as they are meant to help close the pay gap between men and women. However, employers still have the right to ask about compensation expectations, and a background check can help verify non-salary information. Below are some tips for avoiding violations and protecting your company. So how can you ensure that your employees’ salaries are legal?

Ban-the-Box Laws

There are two significant examples of ban-the-box laws in the United States: the Washington and Wisconsin laws. While these laws prohibit employers from performing criminal background checks before hiring qualified candidates, they do not prevent them from doing so later in the hiring process. However, these laws are not uniform across the country. The patchwork nature of current banning-the-box laws makes them difficult for employers to understand and comply with. Some only apply to public employers, while others also extend to private companies.

Requirements

Employers must comply with federal laws regarding using background information in the hiring process. These laws protect both employees and applicants from discrimination. Moreover, these laws prevent employers from excluding applicants because of their race, national origin, sex, religion, or genetic information. To ensure compliance, employers must have a written policy that explains the background-check process. The FTC and the EEOC have developed this document to help employers comply with the laws.

Timeframes

Many employers conduct thorough checks on applicants before hiring them. A background check can range from a few days to a few weeks. While the exact turnaround time is often not within the employer’s control, the process generally involves verification of credentials, trade organization membership, certification, license authorization, and an overview of a person’s credit history. For instance, an employee applying for a government or high-paying position should expect to wait two to three days for the background check to be complete.

Privacy Rights

Whether performing a background check for a job application or other reasons, you should know your privacy rights. Personal data refers to any information about a natural person which can be identified directly or indirectly. This information may be based on a biometric identifier, demographic identifier, or another factor that relates to an individual’s physical, physiological, genetic, or economic identity.

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