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Background Checks

What’s in a (college’s) name? Sometimes, not much

More than 200 “diploma mills” operate online churning out phony degrees, often with very official-sounding college names. In fact, a survey by an AT&T corporate trainer revealed that HR professionals were …

Allow applicants to answer negative background-check results

It’s true that your company could be held liable if it rejects an applicant based on inaccurate data in his background check. But don’t stop doing background …

Learn the legal risks of viewing school records

Issue: Using school transcripts to screen applicants can lead to discrimination claims.
Risk: Without guidance, hiring managers can inadvertently use school records …

Beware legal risks of using school transcripts in hiring

Worried that poor grades and lax attendance might spell an employment risk, more employers are requesting applicants’ school transcripts. Our advice: …

FCRA: How to comply with background-check rules

THE LAW. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates how your company performs background checks on job applicants. Contrary to popular belief, this federal law …

References: Stick to Facts


Q. An employer asked us for job verification on an employee we fired. It has a written consent form from the worker allowing the query. Can I release any and all information regarding the ex-employee’s history with us? —R.F., Colorado

Root out violent applicants by asking right questions

Sept. 11 put a new kind of workplace violence on the radar screen, but the threat of verbal and physical attacks by co-workers, customers and spouses is still just as pressing …

Beware legal traps of hiring online reference checkers

Since Sept. 11, security fears have sent companies scurrying to do criminal background checks on job applicants. Many companies are outsourcing this function to Web-based reference checkers. But beware: Some …

Don’t pull punches; fire when necessary

The Cook County, Ill., Sheriff’s Department fired Harriet Rizzo when it discovered that she didn’t have a high school diploma as required, and she had lied about it on her job …

Scrutinize resumes; layoffs increase lying


Raise your skepticism a few notches. RÃ?sumÃ? fudging is on the rise again. The so-called Liar’s Index, the percentage of applicants who falsify their educational credentials, has risen steadily …