Background Checks Toolkit

Resources to assist employers with legal issues surrounding employment-related background checks.

Practical Law Labor & Employment

Even if they are not required to do so, many employers use background check information on applicants and current employees to improve the chances they will hire, retain and promote the best candidates. Employers must use background check information appropriately to avoid being exposed to substantial legal and financial risks.

Employers using a consumer reporting agency ( to obtain background check information on applicants or employees must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( (FCRA) disclosure and authorization requirements in conjunction with both:

  • Obtaining consumer reports.

  • Taking adverse employment actions because of information in the consumer reports.

Employers using criminal history information should be familiar with the EEOC's updated guidance, which cautions against use of arrest records and provides information for employers that consider convictions, including developing a targeted screen and undertaking an individualized assessment for individuals excluded by the targeted screen.

Employers must also be aware of the various state law considerations that apply to background checks in the employment context, such as distinct disclosure and authorization requirements or mandating background checks for certain types of work.

Practical Law has a collection of resources to help employers understand and comply with their legal obligations with respect to background checks:

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