How to Avoid Negligent Hiring – Best Practices and Legal Compliance in Background Checks

What is the one question everyone will ask you if there is a bad hire?

“Did you conduct a background check?”

All employers have an obligation to exercise a reasonable duty of care in hiring.  In addition, many organizations have a legal duty to not employ individuals with certain enumerated criminal records.  There are a number of steps that employers can take in the hiring process to reduce their risk when hiring.

First, organizations must carefully review and audit their hiring program, including their application, interview and past employment checking practices, as well as procedures for performing criminal record checks.  In addition, employers need to consider a host of legal considerations when screening applicants, including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state laws, Sarbanes-Oxley and discrimination laws as well as privacy implications (bankinfosecurity).


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