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是否需要背景调查?

在大多数情况下,法律并不要求雇主对其求职者进行背景调查事实上,根据 CareerBuilder 2016 年的一项调查,28% 的雇主不使用背景调查来审查他们的新员工。之所以存在这 28%,是因为没有法律强制要求进行就业背景调查。

是否进行背景调查的问题比任何法律所能揭示的都要复杂。虽然许多企业确实可以选择不对其候选人进行审查,但某些行业的雇主却没有同样的自由。此外,即使没有法律强制您的企业进行背景调查,不对员工进行背景调查也会产生法律后果。下面,我们概述了这次对话的一些复杂性,目的是帮助雇主更好地了解他们的背景调查义务。

存在背景调查要求的行业

没有联邦法律要求所有雇主对所有新员工进行背景调查。也没有实施这种要求的州、县或市法律。

相反,背景调查要求更多地是在逐个行业的基础上确定的。甚至这些法律也可能因州而异。因此,雇主应始终检查其所在行业是否遵守有关背景审查的特定法律或法规。以下是一些几乎总是要求雇主对新员工进行背景调查的行业。

  • 医疗保健: 医疗保健行业的医生、护士和其他员工具有极高的责任感。他们的决定可以决定患者的生死。此外,医疗保健工作者通常可以接触到年轻人、老年人或残疾患者——所有这些都是人口中最脆弱的部分。由于这些原因,与其他类型的雇主相比,医疗保健雇主通常需要满足更广泛的背景调查要求。这些背景调查包括犯罪筛查和执照和教育验证。

  • 教育: 联邦法律要求所有公立学校在聘用新教师或教育工作者之前进行背景调查。一般来说,教育行业对任何领域都有一些最严格的背景调查要求。通常,高等教育级别的筛选要求较为宽松。

  • 法律: 法律领域的专业人员具有高度的权力和责任。律师应尽其所能诚实、合乎道德地代表客户。他们还倾向于访问机密的法庭文件和其他敏感信息。由于这些因素,州和联邦法律都要求对律师和其他法律专业人士进行背景调查。这些检查可能包括犯罪筛查、教育和专业执照验证,以确保律师毕业于法学院、通过律师考试并获得州委员会的许可。
     

  • 金融服务: 金融服务行业的工作通常涉及获取资金、客户账户、社会安全号码、信用卡号码、税务信息等。由于这些诱惑,该行业的滥用风险(例如欺诈、身份盗用和盗用)异常高。因此,《公平信用报告法》(FCRA) 中规定了要求对金融服务行业的大多数人员进行背景调查的规定。雇主应该审查 FCRA 以确切了解他们的义务是什么,但对这个行业的所有员工进行背景调查是明智的。

这些行业并不是唯一需要背景调查的行业。通常有法律要求出租车司机(以及越来越多的 Uber 和 Lyft 等拼车公司的司机)接受背景调查。联邦汽车运输安全管理局要求货运公司对其司机进行筛查。

尽职调查和疏忽招聘

虽然从技术上讲,大多数雇主在雇用新员工时有权跳过背景调查步骤,但这样做总是有风险的。雇主有义务为其雇员提供安全的工作场所。他们还有义务确保他们的公司运营——以及他们雇佣的人员——不会对客户、客户或公众构成风险。由于这些义务,雇佣前背景调查通常被视为尽职调查,即使雇主在技术上不需要进行检查。

当雇主忽视进行这种尽职调查时,可能会导致招聘索赔的疏忽。雇佣疏忽索赔通常来自个人或一方声称他们受到雇主雇佣决定的伤害。只有当受雇人的背景(刑事指控、吸毒问题、欺诈性大学学位等)表明他们是危险的、不值得信赖的或不适合手头的工作时,这些说法才成立. 从本质上讲,疏忽招聘意味着雇主遗漏了员工背景中的某些内容,如果知道这些内容,本可以防止发生合法地伤害提出索赔的受害者的事件。

疏忽的招聘索赔可能会引发针对公司的非常昂贵的诉讼。过失招聘索赔的确切形式因情况而异。在一种情况下,攻击客户的可能是有暴力犯罪历史的员工。在另一个情况下,可能是一名醉酒的司机撞毁了公司的送货卡车并杀死了另一名司机。他们几乎总是围绕雇主会知道(或能够预测)的细节进行,如果它进行了充分的背景调查。

在近一半的州,雇主被认定为疏忽招聘负责。这种责任不仅在结算成本和其他法律费用方面代价高昂,而且对公司的公众形象也是毁灭性的。为了避免这些后果,雇主最好对所有候选人进行彻底的背景调查。即使没有法律要求企业进行这些类型的筛查,它们也可以帮助雇主做出明智的招聘决定并防止出现麻烦。



The question of whether to run a background check is more complex than any law can reveal. While many businesses do have the option to opt out of vetting their candidates, employers in some industries do not have the same freedom. Furthermore, not running a background check on an employee can have legal ramifications even if there is no law in place forcing your business to run background checks. Below, we have outlined some of the complexities of this conversation with the goal of helping employers better understand their background check obligations.

Industries Where Background Check Requirements Exist

There is no federal law that requires all employers to run background checks on all new hires. There are no state, county, or city laws that implement this kind of requirement, either.

Instead, background check requirements are decided more on an industry-by-industry basis. Even these laws can vary from one state to the next. As such, employers should always check to see if their industry is beholden to specific laws or regulations on background screenings. Here are a few industries where employers are almost always required to conduct background checks on new hires.

  • Healthcare: Doctors, nurses, and other employees in the healthcare industry have extremely high levels of responsibility. Their decisions can make the difference between life and death for patients. Furthermore, healthcare workers often have access to patients who are young, elderly, or living with a disability—all among the most vulnerable segments of the population. For these reasons, healthcare employers often have more extensive background check requirements to satisfy than other types of employers. These background checks include criminal screening and verifications of licenses and education.

  • Education: Federal law requires all public schools to conduct background checks before they hire new teachers or educators. In general, the education industry has some of the strictest background check requirements of any field. Typically, screening requirements are laxer at the higher education level.

  • Law: Professionals in the legal field have a high level of power and responsibility. Lawyers are expected to represent their clients honestly, ethically, and to the best of their ability. They also tend to have access to confidential court documents and other sensitive information. Because of these factors, there are state and federal laws on the books mandating background checks for lawyers and other members of the legal profession. These checks might include criminal screenings and education and professional license verifications to ensure the lawyer graduated law school, passed the bar exam, and is licensed by the state board.
     

  • Financial Services: Jobs in the financial services industry often involve access to money, client accounts, social security numbers, credit card numbers, tax information, and more. Because of these temptations, the risk for abuse in this industry—such as fraud, identity theft, and embezzlement—is unusually high. As a result, there are regulations laid forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that demand background checks for most personnel in the financial services industry. Employers should review the FCRA to see exactly what their obligations are, but it would be wise to conduct background checks on all employees in this industry.

These industries are not the only ones where background checks are required. There are often laws that require taxi drivers (and, increasingly, drivers for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft) to undergo background checks. Trucking companies are required to screen their drivers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Due Diligence and Negligent Hiring

While most employers technically have the right to skip the background check step when hiring new workers, doing so is always a risk. Employers have an obligation to provide their employees with a safe place to work. They also have an obligation to make sure their company operations—and, by extension, the people they hire—do not pose a risk to customers, clients, or the public. Because of these obligations, a pre-employment background check is usually viewed as due diligence even if the employer is not technically required to run the check.

When an employer neglects to do this kind of due diligence, it can result in negligent hiring claims. Negligent hiring claims usually come from an individual or party claiming they were harmed by an employer’s hiring decision. These claims only hold water if there was something in the hired person’s background (a criminal charge, a drug use problem, a fraudulent college degree, etc.) that could have indicated they were dangerous, untrustworthy, or otherwise unsuitable for the job at hand. Essentially, negligent hiring means an employer missed something in an employee’s background that, if known, could have prevented an incident that legitimately harmed the victim making the claim.

Negligent hiring claims can fuel very expensive lawsuits against companies. Exactly what form the negligent hiring claim takes varies from case to case. In one situation, it might be an employee with a violent criminal history who attacks a customer. In another, it might be a drunk driver who crashes a company delivery truck and kills another driver. They almost always revolve around details the employer would have known (or been able to predict) had it run an adequate background check.

In nearly half of all states, employers have been found liable for negligent hiring. Such liability is not only expensive regarding settlement costs and other legal expenses but is also devastating for a company’s public image. To avoid these consequences, employers would be wise to conduct thorough background checks on all candidates. Even if there aren’t laws requiring a business to do these types of screenings, they help employers make informed hiring decisions and prevent headaches down the road.


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