Criminal Background Checks in Employment: An Unfolding Legal Quandary for Employers
Dr. Frank J. Cavico, Dr. Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Dr. Stephen C. Muffler

This article examines the important and controversial topic of criminal background checks in employment. An overview is provided as to the prevalence of the use of background checks and the legal and ethical controversies ensuring therefrom. The article analyzes the applicable law pertaining to criminal background checks in employment, including federal, state, and local statutory law, federal case law, as well as EEOC “guidelines” and enforcement actions. The implications for the stakeholders affected by criminal background checks, especially legal consequences for employers, are discussed. Finally, the authors make recommendations to employers as to how to use criminal background checks in a legal, ethical, and efficacious manner.

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