A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) press release promotes two new guides on employment background checks. The guides were jointly developed by the FTC and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and explain the rights and responsibilities of employers in addition to those of applicants.

The employer brochure, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know provides companies using background screening companies for investigative reports (background checks) with guidelines that include:
• Informing the applicant or employee in writing that background information may be used to for employment decisions.
• Requiring written permission before the background check.

Additionally, the brochure contains a warning from the EEOC, telling employers that “it’s illegal to discriminate based on a person’s race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or age (40 or older) when requesting or using background information for employment.”

The job applicant and employee brochure, “Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know,” informs applicants that “it’s not illegal for potential employers to ask someone about their background as long as the employer does not unlawfully discriminate. Job applicants also should know that if they’ve been turned down for a job or denied a promotion based on information in a background report, they have a right to review the report for accuracy.”

Click on the links to read the press release and the brochures. Additionally, Corporate Screening has posted pdf copies of both brochures on our website in the Resources section under the section “Important Links and Resources.”