Labor: Pre-employment screening may be useful, but careful execution is critical

Understand the risks and guidance associated with pre-employment screenings

From the smallest family business to the largest multinational corporation, every entity has some form of pre-employment screening process. Inquiring with a mutual acquaintance about the applicant’s reliability is a form of a “background check,” after all. And any pre-employment screening, no matter how ad hoc, carries risk.

Of course, the results of a pre-employment screening can bar applicants from hire. With the current economic situation, state and federal agencies are invested more than before in helping individuals win gainful employment. Accordingly, we are seeing increased scrutiny in the impact of pre-employment screening processes.

Crime Search

Criminal record searches are another fairly typical category of pre-employment inquiry. However, an employer’s ability to use criminal record information in making a hiring decision varies from state to state. You need to ensure that your criminal record search is not overreaching either as to time or scope.

Contributing Author

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Heather Sager

Heather M. Sager is a partner in Drinker Biddle's Labor & Employment Practice Group. Heather regularly provides management training seminars and advice and...

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