Job applicants are often asked to submit themselves to background checks. For some jobs, these are required by federal law. The huge emphasis on security and safety these days has significantly increased the number of background checks conducted.
Why does an Employer Need to Conduct a Background Check?
Employers screen job applicants for a variety of reasons, but mainly, to simply avoid putting their company in a bad light. If an employee’s actions hurt someone, the employer may be held liable for it. The threat of liability—and possibly a lawsuit—gives employers plenty of reason to be cautious in checking a potential employee’s past.
What a background check entails
Background reports that an employer will be interested in include Social Security number, educational attainment, employment and credit history, and driving and criminal records. Sources for these information are generally public records created by government agencies. Some employers even use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to research on their applicants (which has recently spawned controversy on the ethics of such a method).
Request background check reports
If you have been subjected to a background check, you may be entitled to a copy of your data from the employment screening company. For more info on this matter, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse website and see PRC Fact Sheet 6b.