We recently interviewed an applicant with a very spotty resume; there were repeated gaps in his employment history which were apparent from his resume. He was not hired and called HR to complain that it is illegal for us to consider his unemployment status. Is there a new law on this subject? Answer→
We are a private employer in the State of Minnesota and are expanding rapidly. In years past, we have received hundreds, sometimes thousands, of applications for each position advertised. In an effort to increase efficiency in the identification of qualified candidates, as well as in preparation for an anticipated round of hiring in the New Year, we plan to update our applications for employment. We would like to incorporate a number of new questions, including whether the applicant has a criminal history. Are we prohibited from including this question in our application? Answer→
We are a Colorado company which manages apartment complexes and use background checks including credit checks as part of our applicant screening. Yesterday, an applicant objected, writing on the application “I do not consent – this is illegal under Colorado law.” Is this a change in the law? Answer→
I read with interest your analysis of pre-employment background checks in Quirky Question # 189. I’ve got a slightly different inquiry touching on the same issue.
I’m a Human Resources Executive at a national retail company. During several parts of the year, we need to hire additional cashiers. For many years, we have successfully used a temporary staffing agency to fill these seasonal positions. The temporary workers are employed by the staffing agency, but work at our company.
We offer a store credit card, and instruct all cashiers (whether regular or temporary) to encourage customers to complete applications for the card while checking out their purchases. The credit card application requires detailed personal and confidential information. We have several practices, procedures and policies in place to protect our customers from identity theft. For example, we conduct pre-employment credit and criminal background checks on all of our regular employees, and assume that the temporary agency conducts similar background checks on their workers whom they place at our company.
Since the seasonal workers are technically employed by the staffing agency, does that eliminate (or reduce) our liability should it turn out that the worker steals a customer’s identity? Moreover, should we play any role in what background checks the staffing agency runs on the seasonal workers to reduce any liability we may have for negligent hiring of those workers? Answer→
I am the Human Resources Director at a mid-size company, with employees in eight states. We’ve recently read about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) bringing suit against employers based on pre-employment background checks, as well as some states prohibiting pre-employment credit checks. We certainly don’t want to create potential liability for ourselves based on our pre-employment screening, but feel that criminal and credit checks are a valuable part of our recruiting process. We are beginning to feel that no matter how we proceed, we face potential liability in one way or another. Do you have any advice? Answer→
Quirky Question # 98:
We hired another company (we’ll call it Company ABC) to provide our firm with contract employees. Company ABC performs background checks on its employee pool, utilizing publicly available sources of information.
We typically use a third-party vendor to perform background checks on the employees we hire, but we do not do so for the contract employees provided to us by Company ABC. A contract employee we hired through Company ABC recently stole our property. It turns out the employee had multiple arrests for similar crimes, which were not revealed by Company ABC’s background check. We are confident that this information would have been revealed had we used our normal third-party vendor.
We have decided that in the future, we would prefer to use our own third-party vendor to perform background checks on the contract employees provided to us by Company ABC. Is there any reason we cannot do so? Answer→