Will a Background Check Policy Help Or Harm a Potential Employer?
Employers these days are using background check lawsuits to obtain information regarding a potential worker’s past. Now you may be thinking, “what does this have anything to do with me?” Here are some things you need to know about background checks and your legal rights when subjected to one.
Background checks may offer more details on a potential employee’s history than you’d imagine, but that doesn’t mean you have any rights whatsoever. Employees have a right to know and must be notified of the pending investigation in writing. The employer should also inform the prospective worker that information contained within the background check record may be used to help determine whether or not to employ the applicant. Many employers use this to weed out certain applicants with prior criminal records or who have been involved in criminal activity in the past.
However, there is one very important caveat to keep in mind. All 50 states require employers to obtain a criminal record search on any potential hire. An employer need only show that the person is not eligible to obtain employment based on a criminal record. There are no other requirements. For example, an employer may inquire as to the person’s criminal record if a job ad for a position requires that the person be a non-custodial parent. While it is true that employers need this information to run a background check lawsuit, they may only use criminal record information so that they may make a hiring decision based on factual evidence rather than pure hearsay.
Because many employers use a criminal background check policy as a tool to weed out applicants without criminal records, the courts have set very specific rules for how they may use this information. For instance, an applicant cannot be employed by a company if they are serving a divorce judgment or have committed sexual assault. However, an employer can hire applicants such as nannies, personal trainers and life coaches without having to worry about any type of criminal record. They are not required to do a background check. They simply need to provide documentation that the applicant was hired due to their professional ability.
When an employer does not follow the letter of the law when hiring individuals, they open themselves up to a lawsuit. In addition, an applicant who is not granted employment based on their truthful answers when filling out the application can sue for damages. The lawsuit must include all of the facts and must include everything that a reasonable person would find significant enough to cause concern. Therefore, it will be necessary for the applicant to prepare both an accurate application (which details anything that would cause the courts to be concerned) and a lawsuit that highlight the problems that were resolved by the employer. It is also important for the lawsuit to clearly state that the applicant suffered a personal injury as a result of the employer’s actions.
Many job applicants are denied employment solely based on their truthful answers to the questions on their application. This type of lawsuit is known as a “mock lawsuit” and many people have used this procedure to get compensation for things like medical bills, property damage, lost wages and emotional pain and suffering. Many states have taken action to protect against employers who refuse to hire people based on their truthful answers to employment questions. For more information on how to file a lawsuit, contact a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in filing these types of lawsuits.