In a joint publication with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a booklet regarding the use by private sector employers of background checks on existing employees and job applicants.
Any time an employer uses a job applicant’s or employee’s background information – including criminal histories -- to make an employment decision, regardless of how the information was obtained, the employer must comply with federal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination.
That includes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion; disability; genetic information (including family medical history); and age (40 or older). These laws are enforced by the EEOC.
In addition, when an employer runs a background check through a company in the business of compiling background information, it must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FTC enforces the FCRA.
The 10-page booklet may be obtained online free of charge at: