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Background Checks

Expunged convictions set hidden trap for Illinois employers


If you are an Illinois employer with 15 or more employees and your application asks job-seekers to detail their criminal histories, expunged criminal records pose a hidden trap for you …

Job background check must comply with Fair Credit Reporting Act


The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates how your company performs a job background check on applicants. Contrary to popular belief, this federal law doesn’t just cover credit checks. It covers any background report, such as driving records and criminal histories obtained from a “consumer reporting agency.”

‘Just the facts’ answer is key to avoiding reference trouble

One of the quickest ways to get into reference trouble is to agree to provide information on a former employee and then offer up incorrect or misleading statements. Giving a favorable reference on a former employee who performed (or behaved) poorly can be extremely risky …

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 …