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Some information is not accessible in a background check

| Jan 26, 2018 | Employment Law for Employers |

Often, when an employer reviews a complete job application and has a successful interview with the candidate, they may be ready to extend an offer of employment to the individual. However, it is a good practice in many cases for a New York employer to first utilize a background check to learn more about the individual’s history and possible legal troubles. This post will briefly discuss some of the information that an employer may discover through a pre-employment background check and what information is considered confidential.

In general, publicly held records are reviewable in an employment candidate’s background check. These can include, but are not limited to, credit reports, driving and property records, as well as personal and character references supplied by the candidate, licensing records, inclusion on the state’s sex offender registry and drug tests.

A fair amount of information is publicly available but may not be considered by an employer when they are deciding if they should hire a particular candidate. This information may include any bankruptcy filings made by the candidate and workers’ compensation claims. Some information is truly private, such as military service records or medical records, although employment candidates can waive their rights to keep these and other records confidential.

It is always good for an employer to exercise their due diligence when making the decision to fill a vacancy within their organization. However, their investigation into the background of a candidate may be limited by the law as well as by what may be judged as reasonable given the role the potential candidate would play in their new position. Employers with questions about background checks and what is appropriate to review should discuss their questions with attorneys in their communities.