What Can Be Searched in a Background Check?

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It is common practice for an employer to run a background check on prospective employees before extending a job offer. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has certain regulations that limit the scope of the search an employer can conduct. Read on to discover what can and cannot be searched in a background check and how one of the seasoned New Jersey employment lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can protect you.

What can be searched in a background check, according to the EEOC?

When an employer conducts a background check on you, they are allowed to look into and judge certain aspects of your character. Examples include the following:

  • A search of your education history.
  • A search of your employment history.
  • A search of your medical history.
  • A search of your use of online social media.
  • A search of your credit history.
  • A search of your criminal record, if any.

And while an employer has certain rights to a background check, you must understand that you heard certain rights as well. For one, if an employer uses a third-party company to conduct this background check on you, they must first obtain your written permission. Importantly, you do not have to give your permission. Though, this may give an employer the right to reject your job application.

What cannot be searched?

While your employer may search your medical history, they are usually only allowed to do so after they have extended a job offer to you. With this, they are not allowed to ask about your genetic information and your family’s medical history, unless it is a very specific circumstance.

Overall, when an employer runs a background check, they must treat you the same as any other prospective employee. That is, the EEOC prohibits an employer from discriminating against you based on your race, national origin, color, sex, religion, age, disability, etc. For example, an employer cannot require you to provide additional background information because you are of a certain race, national origin, or other protected class.

In another example, an employer cannot reject your application because you are of a certain race with a certain criminal record all while accepting the application of an individual of a different race but with the same criminal record. With this, an employer cannot exclude prospective employees with a certain criminal record if this policy or practice significantly disadvantages those of a specific race, national origin, or other protected class.

As you can likely conclude, numerous terms and conditions come with a background check. This is why, before signing off on one, you should reach out to one of the competent New Jersey employment lawyers. We will protect you from any discrimination, so give us a call today.

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