Posts By: Michael Gaul

Alabama Joins States Regulating Use of Criminal Records

Alabama has joined the growing list of state and local jurisdictions that regulate how and when criminal background information can be used for employment decisions. The new law, which allows citizens to expunge arrests for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies from the public record, went into effect July 6, 2014. These arrests will still exist in… Read more »

A How-To for Individualized Assessments

As you may already be aware, the EEOC is advising employers to use individualized assessments in cases where criminal history might be used to exclude a job applicant. The aim of the EEOC is to induce employers to look more at individual factors that might mitigate the impact of a conviction to avoid discrimination, and… Read more »

6 Great Reasons to Background Check Your Employees

best hiring practices

If you’re like most employers today, you already use background checks to help make employment-related decisions. But just in case you think you’re immune to hiring bad employees, we offer some compelling reasons to set up a background screening program. And, by the way, even if you do have a program in place, these reasons… Read more »

Frequently Asked Questions about Background Checks

Both employers and employees have questions about how background checks work, and how the law regulates them. It’s not always easy to get clear answers because there are so many agencies and stakeholders involved. A good place to start in understanding background checks is to know how the Federal Trade Commission’s and Consumer Financial Protection… Read more »

EEOC and FTC Publish Guides on Using Employment Background Checks

Some time ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the publication of “joint tips” on using background checks in hiring. One of the two co-published guides is for employers, titled Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know. The other is for job applicants and employees: Background Checks: What Job… Read more »

Do Employment Credit Checks Deserve the Bad Rap?

Reason suggests that using credit history to help make better employment decisions is a worthwhile idea in some cases. You probably don’t want to hire bank tellers with significant personal financial issues or CFOs with sizable judgments against them. Yet in the aftermath of the recent deep recession, we see continuing arguments and discussion about… Read more »

The Value of a Quality Employment Background Check

Since 9/11 the number of background checks performed on job applicants and employees has ballooned, for reasons ranging from heightened security concerns to legal mandates to conduct background checks. Coinciding with this, the amount of digital information available about individuals has increased many times over, and the Internet has given us easier access to it…. Read more »

4 Key Criteria for Evaluating an Applicant’s Criminal History

applicants criminal background

EEOC policy and the various Ban the Box statutes around the country share the common characteristic of requiring employers to adopt background screening procedures that are sensitive to individual-level circumstances. For example, the EEOC Guidance, which is important because Federal law pre-empts state and local statutes regarding discrimination, recommends using a so called, individualized assessment… Read more »

How to Hire a Felon

Giving ex-offenders who have served their sentence a fair chance at re-entering the workforce is a social goal many people can support. The problem is, employers have other, often competing goals such as maintaining a competitive advantage in their marketplace, improving productivity, minimizing their human capital risk, and avoiding a negligent hiring lawsuit. The EEOC… Read more »

Which National Criminal Database are You Referring to?

Employers—and people in general—want to minimize the time and expense of doing almost anything. And that includes conducting criminal background checks on job applicants. This cost motive opens the door for some vendors to promote quick access to all types of online information, leading to presumptively comprehensive background reports. For a relatively modest fee, you… Read more »