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Background Checks

May we ask about criminal convictions?

Q. Our employment application asks whether the candidate has been convicted of a felony. Is it legal for us to ask this? If so, can we ask what the applicant has been convicted of? Can that information be used as a basis for not hiring an individual?

The pitfalls of providing references

Q. Why is it that so many companies refuse to give references for former employees? …

Background checks don’t protect anyone if they’re ignored

With four—that’s right, four—teachers charged with sexual misconduct in the Hillsborough School District this school year, residents and board members are questioning the district’s screening and hiring procedures …

Background checks, employee investigations and the FCRA

Employers that use third parties (referred to in the law as credit reporting agencies, or CRAs) to perform background checks and investigations need to be aware of the requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) …

Responding to background checks

Q. Our HR department recently received an inquiry from another employer concerning one of our former employees who was applying for a job. The inquiry contained an authorization and release signed by the employee indicating we could share the information without liability. Should we share it? …

Is your PEO ripping you off? A primer on the fine print

Say you’ve decided to hire a professional employer organization (PEO) to handle some of your HR services—or you’re considering new PEO vendors to replace your current one. You have a choice of more than 700 PEOs to choose from. Prices and services offered by PEOs vary so much it’s hard to spot the best deal …

Lack of screening did not prove negligence in truck accident

In September 2004, Martin King and Tobias Ledzema were both driving tractor-trailers in Lake County when Ledzema’s trailer struck King’s. King sued Ledzema’s employer, Fierro Trucking, based in Illinois, alleging negligent hiring and supervision …

Employer may be liable when employee attacks

Sometimes an employee gets into an argument with a customer, and what began as a war of words turns into actual violence. When that happens, the employer may be on the hook for damages. Under the right conditions—or more precisely, the wrong ones—the employer may be liable for physical altercations its employee may engage in while working …

Inadequate screenings at DCF

Following the arrest of Department of Children & Families (DCF) spokesman Al Zimmerman on child pornography charges, the DCF inspector general launched a review of the department’s hiring procedures. A report on the results revealed serious security gaps …

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