Choose Wisely: Keeping your Use of Background Screening Results Legal


"The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned"

-Albert Einstein

Background Screenings and the decisions that are based on their results are the first step an employer makes to keep their jobsite safe. The purpose of a background check is not to discriminate against any employee or candidate, but to use prudence when determining which employee is best for the role you need to fill. Background checks can provide useful information on a candidate’s potential safety risk and are a commonsense approach to hiring, but they can’t predict the future. That’s why employers need to administer background checks in a way that is above board and non-discriminatory. We’ve discussed privacy issues in previous blogs, but there are other factors to consider when making hiring decisions from background checks.


“46% of reference and credential verifications indicated a discrepancy between the information given by applicants and what the screening revealed”- Shortlister


Arrests vs. Convictions

Criminal status is tricky territory. If a background check reveals that a candidate was convicted of a crime where an act of negligence led to death, you would have relevant information regarding worker safety. Maybe they have a conviction for theft or fraud, both of which give meaningful insights related to ethics. But what about arrests? Since we consider all suspects “innocent until proven guilty,” an arrest is ambiguous as to whether a person is a safety or criminal risk to your worksite.


According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC), an individual's arrest record standing alone may not be used by an employer to take a negative employment action (e.g., not hiring, firing or suspending an applicant or employee).


Legislation & Background Checks

Employers have an obligation to follow the law when conducting background checks, whether that is The Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Workplace Safety Screenings is a one-stop-shop for maintaining a safe workforce while remaining compliant to federal and state laws that protect both you, your employees and the rights of potential employees. We help businesses like yours obtain information for making the best hires, while making sure you follow applicable laws for doing so.


Employees account for 90% of all significant theft losses. Businesses lose $50 billion each year as a result of employee theft.


The ROI of Background Checks

You may be tempted to skip the background check altogether, assuming that the hassle or legal liability outweighs the benefits. We often remind employers of the ROI related to performing these checks, but there is another financial advantage for you to consider. Other companies are performing background checks. That means, your competitors are trying to snatch up the best, most reliable and skilled workers. When you forgo the background checks you are taking a calculated risk and losing your competitive advantage.


More than 95% of employers conduct employment background screenings. Texas is in the top three for the most diligent states with criminal background checks.


Pre Employment Screenings That Work for You

If you’re ready to compete for the top talent in your industry while maintaining the highest level of safety and legal compliance, contact Workplace Safety Screenings for background checks and other pre employment screenings services.


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