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New Reasons to Take a Fresh Look at Your Background Check Practices

Lexology (05/04/12) Kevin D. Kelly; Genetha Turner; Saira Najam

In light of some recent developments, employers may want to re-evaluate their background check practices. On April 25, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released updated guidelines on how to properly consider job applicants’ criminal histories under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The guidelines point out that companies’ reliance on an applicant’s criminal background information may have a disparate impact on the employee because of his or her race or national origin.

In addition to Title VII considerations, companies may want to review their Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance. The FCRA requires that companies inform individuals of their intent to obtain a background report on a form that consists “solely” of that notice and not included as part of boilerplate language at the end of a job application.