All these new Equal Employment Opportunity Council guidelines on background checks have caused many employers to reevaluate the way they conduct their employment screening, as well as the justifications for each type of report they request on every potential new hire. While that is a positive outcome, and the desired one, from the EEOC’s standpoint, it has caused some employers to be a bit confused about just what is acceptable and OK in regards to the various types of background checks they’d gotten accustomed to using without question for just about every hire.
So when is it acceptable (and a very good idea) to request and use a credit check as part of the employment screening process? Here’s a checklist:
- When the position you are hiring for involves access to confidential financial information.
- When the employer is a bank, credit union, or other financial institution.
- When the position in question is a law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, or a firefighter.
- When the position of employment requires a financial responsibility to the employer or a customer. Responsibilities might include authority to issue payments, collect debts, transfer money, or oversee contracts.
- When the employer can demonstrate that the information is a valid and reliable predictor of employee performance in the specific position of employment.
- When the position of employment involves access to an employer’s payroll.