Employee Background Checks: Know Your Rights When Applying for a Job

Online employee background check services such as Veromi.com offers a user-friendly platform to check someone’s criminal history, educational background, drug use history, and other details. Employers regularly turn to these services after a candidate passes all rounds of interview. They are often referred to as “routine formalities” by HR executives. However, they are much more than that. Candidates can be rejected based on what gets revealed by the background check.

Laws related to background checks grant job seekers some basic rights. You as an applying candidate have every right to hold a company accountable if these laws are violated.

Employers Need Your Permission to Perform a Background Check

It’s unethical and unlawful to perform background checks without first getting a consent from the person who is applying for the position. Read the job application form carefully as sometimes companies dedicate a few lines in a long list of pointers to seek consent for a background check. However, most ethical companies are open about performing background checks. They explain the process and ask candidates to fill up and sign a form that’s dedicated to seeking consent for a criminal background check. Read whatever document you are given to sign very carefully to ensure you are not unknowingly giving consent to a background check.

Employers Do Not Need Your Consent for Performing Social Media Checks

Social media pages are public platforms where anyone can access any information. Employers don’t need your permission to check your social media presence. If your profile is public your employers can check the nature of your posts before making a final call.

It’s Discriminatory to Reject Someone Just Because They Have a Criminal Record

Having a criminal record isn’t reason enough for immediate disqualification. Sure, some jobs require candidates to have a clean record. However, for most positions rejecting someone just because they were arrested or convicted in the past can be considered as an act of discrimination. If you think you are being discriminated against because of your criminal history then you can inform the authorities. Call EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and report the incident.

Employers May Need to Give You the Copy of the Report If You Get Rejected

Many times background reports contain false information. There are also cases of mistaken identity where people with the same names get their reports mixed up. If an employer rejects your application solely because of something they found in the report they are required to give you a copy of the background report. This is called the Adverse Action Notice. They also need to give you sufficient time to review the report so that you can fix any errors. If you find any errors, you need to contact the background report company and have any misinformation fixed as soon as possible. The background report company would then send a new and corrected report to the employer. Once the report is fixed you get a fresh opportunity to get the job.