Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett provided insight on background check best practices as employers seek ways to balance the need to validate applicants’ background and experience with compliance and privacy issues, particularly amid a surge of legislation, litigation and public scrutiny. 

Because of this, Tim emphasized that compliance with background check requirements is more critical than ever, especially with the ongoing #MeToo movement. “It’s a fascinating problem because right now with the #MeToo and #TimesUp environment, you may be more likely to be denied employment because of an allegation than a conviction,” noted Tim. 

While many employers hire a certified and reputable agency to conduct background checks for them, some decide to do background checks on their own. In this case, questions should only be focused on job-related information and ability to fittingly perform their job functions. However, Tim explained that a single question posed to an applicant’s references could tell the employer all they need to know: “Are they eligible for rehire?”

The full article, “Background Check Best Practices: Balancing the Law with Business Needs,” was published by HR Dive on May 3, 2018, and is available online.