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    Background checks on hiring new employees

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    The security company that you manage will be hiring 5 new employees. You should research and discuss the information that you can legally request from the each applicant as part of your plan to conduct a thorough background investigation.

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    What laws must I follow when hiring new employees?

    A variety of state and federal laws govern what you can and cannot do during all phases of the hiring process, including interviewing, investigating, testing, and selecting new employees.

    Generally, you must:

    * avoid illegal discrimination
    * respect the applicant's privacy rights
    * refrain from making promises you can't keep
    * follow the legal rules for hiring immigrants, and
    * follow the legal rules for hiring young workers.
    Running Background Checks

    You must respect applicants' privacy rights when conducting background checks.

    When you are making hiring decisions, you might need a bit more information than your applicants provide. After all, some folks give false or incomplete information in employment applications. And workers probably don't want you to know certain facts about their past that might disqualify them from getting a job. Generally, it's good policy to do a little checking before you make a job offer.

    However, you do not have an unfettered right to dig into applicants' personal affairs. Workers have a right to privacy in certain personal matters, a right they can enforce by suing you if you pry too deeply. How can you avoid crossing this line? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

    * Make sure your inquiries are related to the job. If you decide to do a background check, stick to information that is relevant to the job for which you are considering the worker. For example, if you are hiring a security guard who will carry a weapon and be responsible for large amounts of cash, you might reasonably check for past criminal convictions. If you are hiring a seasonal farm worker, however, a criminal background check is probably unnecessary.
    * Ask for consent. You are on safest legal ground if you ask the applicant, in writing, to consent to your background check. Explain ...

    Solution Summary

    What information potential employers can request to find out about potential employees.