Background checks are commonplace in many industries ranging from finance to transportation. But are they required by law? In today’s post, we answer this common question and provide other useful facts about background screening.
Are Background Checks Required by Law?
First things first: There are no federal or state laws that mandate background checks for all employees. However, certain industries and professions may be subject to mandatory background checks.
For example, healthcare providers and educeducationaltitutions may have to conduct background checks on new employees or volunteers to comply with state laws.
Another example is the transportation industry, where some roles require background checks due to regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). These roles include commercial drivers and other safety-sensitive positions, such as train engineers and airline pilots.
The DOT also stipulates that employers must carry out drug and alcohol tests alongside background checks to ensure the safety of both employees and the public.
Likewise, employers who plan to hire foreign workers must carry out background checks to comply with federal immigration laws. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that employers should verify that their hires are eligible to work in the U.S., which involves conducting a background check.
Additionally, some state laws may require background checks for certain jobs, such as positions that involve working with vulnerable populations like children or the elderly. For example, The California Health and Safety Code requires a background check of all community care license applicants, community care licensees, adult residents, volunteers under certain conditions, and employees of community care facilities who have contact with clients.
FCRA and Beyond
It’s important to note that while many industries and states require background checks, employers still have to adhere to rules set out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law that seeks to ensure that applicants are treated fairly and equally when undergoing background checks.
Among other provisions included in FCRA, Employers must give candidates written notice before conducting a background check, and the candidates must provide written consent that this is okay. Employers must also inform the candidate of any negative information found during the background check and give them the opportunity to dispute that information.
Depending on where you live, there may be state laws you must observe in addition to FCRA. That’s why working with a dependable background screening company is essential to your success.
Plexus Global: Background Screening Services in California and Beyond
Plexus Global is a California-based background screening company serving organizations all over the U.S. and abroad.