02 Jun Employment Acts and Restrictions in Sensitive Cases
An employer holds every right to go for checking the applicant’s background information. Such checking is indeed required for making employment decisions. However, it is important at the same time to make sure that the process conducted complies with the federal laws. Federal laws are meant to keep the applicants safe from any kind of discrimination by the employer or any kind of misuse of the information.
Acts meant for employment decision making:
It is important for an employer to note that no applicant can be discriminated for his race, skin colour, nationality, gender, religious faith, genetic information, and age. No matter the employer collects the details through any private background screening companies or through their own source, but decisions based on the above factors will always be considered offensive. In other words, an employer has to abide by the regulations applied by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC.
Apart from the EEOC regulations, it is equally important for the employers to meet the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act. No matter the companies conduct things through professional employment background investigation services or by themselves, meeting the above FCRA and EEOC standards is absolutely essential.
FCRA regulations are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC. At the same time meeting with the above two regulation standards, it is important for the employers to have a proper analytical review on the state and municipality regulations as well. This is so as some states have some of their own regulations as well, in accordance with the specific locality, those are essential to be followed.
Special cases as per FCRA and EEOC norms:
Like every other purpose, background check also does possess some special case those have to be followed. The best example of such special cases would be the genetic information. Though genetic information for employment purpose is considered illegal as per FCRA and FTC regulations, it can be allowed in some special cases as per the EEOC norms. EEOC has its Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, also known as GINA that has to be followed by the concerned employer if it wants to have access to the genetic information of the concerned applicant.
For sensitive cases:
Medical information or the questions regarding the medical history of the concerned applicant is often considered sensitive. Hence, as per the regulations, it is recommended for the employers not to ask any kind of questions on this aspect prior issuing the provisional job offers.
In fact, the employer should not ask medical questions unless and until it possesses particular information regarding the applicant’s inability to fit into the specific position. An employer can only take employment decision based on the medical history of the applicant only if it has enough evidence that there remains a safety threat for the applicant in that position for his/her medical background.
Apart from a medical background, criminal background reports are considered equally sensitive aspects from the decision-making point of views. An employer can’t just take any random decision based on its service provider’s criminal background report of the applicant. The employer has to follow the FCRA procedures prior decision making, despite having enough evidence regarding criminal background.