Hiring Processes Q & A: Are We Discriminating?

PayVision Online’s HR Answer Center Has The Answer

PayVision Online HR Answer Center

Imagine an entire HR department at your fingertips, 24 x 7, with a myriad of resources, news articles, documents and tools to help your business succeed.  One of the tools we especially like is the HR Snapshot which is delivered to your in-box with answers to FAQ. Here is a recent one on background checks and the process to follow to remove any question of discriminatory practices.

Question: We don’t typically do background checks, but we’re hiring an internal HR person who will have access to sensitive information. We want to do a background check for this position, but since we’ve never done one for anyone else, we’re worried it would look discriminatory.

Answer: You may conduct background checks for some jobs but not others. Different jobs may require different levels of investigation, but for the same job title, make sure you keep your process uniform to avoid charges of discrimination.

As long as you are consistently background screening similarly situated job types, selective background checks are acceptable. For example, if you have decided that you will conduct background checks for this HR role because the employee will have access to financial information, payroll data, and employee social security numbers, you should, going forward, also conduct background checks for other positions with similar access.

We recommend limiting what information obtained in a background check you use in employment decisions. In your situation, it would be logical to consider information obtained from a background check concerning an HR applicant’s conviction for identity theft or falsification of records, but probably not about a DUI or trespassing conviction.

HR Professionals To Help You

If you decide to do background checks, there are state and federal laws governing when and how it should be done. If you decide to conduct a background check for this position, check with your HR professionals, or contact us at 214-442-5888. We can quickly connect you with the pros at HR Answer Center to walk you through the process with state and federal laws in mind.