Legal Issues To Consider Before Conducting a Criminal Background Check
A criminal record is a document that summarizes a person’s criminal history. It includes information about convictions, arrests, and sentencing. Mugshots are photographs of people who have been arrested. They are often published online or in newspapers. Since mugshots are public records, anyone can access them for free. If you live in Florida, you can search for “free mugshots Florida” to find criminals in your area. However, mugshots can negatively impact your employment and housing prospects, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to remove them if needed. Criminal background checks are becoming increasingly common for employers, but there are legal issues to consider before conducting one. Keep reading to learn more about the legal issues of conducting a criminal background check.
Is it legal to use a criminal background check to make hiring decisions?
There are a few things to consider when deciding if it’s legal to use criminal background checks in the hiring process. The first is what type of conviction the applicant has. Certain convictions cannot be considered, such as for those over the age of 70, for some misdemeanors, or if they did not result in a conviction.
The second consideration is whether or not the law allows an employer to ask about criminal history and then make a decision based on that information. Many states prohibit employers from asking about arrest records unrelated to the job. If an employer is looking for someone to work with children, they may be able to ask about arrests for child abuse but would not be able to ask about other arrests.
If it’s legal for an employer to consider criminal background during the hiring process, they must still comply with state and federal regulations around how that information can be used. Specific criteria must be met before an employer can take adverse action against an applicant based on their criminal history. Generally speaking, these criteria include:
- That the crime was committed within a certain period relative to when the person applied for the job
- That the offense is relevant to the job position
- That there is evidence that shows using this information will decrease crime rates
What are the legal implications of conducting a criminal background check?
When an employer performs a criminal background check on a potential employee, they look to see if the person has a criminal history. If they do, the employer will need to decide whether or not to hire that person. There are a few things that an employer should keep in mind when making this decision.
An employer should consider the type of crime the potential employee has committed. Crimes like theft or assault might be more serious than crimes like drug possession. An employer should also consider how long the crime was committed and how severe it was.
In addition, an employer should consider the consequences of not hiring someone because of their criminal record. They may be sued for discrimination if they decide not to hire someone based on their criminal record. Additionally, if the person has been convicted of a crime related to the job they are applying for, refusing to hire them could violate federal law.
What kind of information can be found in a criminal background check?
There are several legal issues when considering whether to conduct a criminal background check on an individual. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets forth specific requirements for those who perform background checks and the information obtained from such checks.
Under the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies may only furnish criminal history information if it’s obtained from state and local law enforcement authorities. The agency must verify that its criminal history information is accurate and up-to-date. If an employer relies on criminal history information supplied by a consumer reporting agency in making an employment decision, the employer must provide written notice to the employee of its intent.
The FCRA also requires employers to get written authorization from the employee before conducting a background check. Criminal background checks can reveal information about an individual’s past that may not be relevant to their qualifications for the job. An individual’s conviction for a drug offense may not have any bearing on their ability to perform sales duties, but it could be revealed through a criminal background check. Accordingly, employers should carefully weigh all potential risks and benefits before deciding whether to obtain criminal history information about an applicant or employee.