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Facts You Should Know About Criminal Background Checks

Employers are choosing to run criminal background checks on prospective employees in increasing numbers. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers may inquire as to an applicant’s criminal history, but they may not discriminate against him or her based solely on the fact that this report contains negative data.

Initial Inquiry

An initial inquiry is usually performed at the time one fills out a job application. Most applications ask whether or not a person has ever been charged with a crime. This is legal, and applicants must answer this question honestly or risk sanctions down the road if they are found to be dishonest. Prospective employers may run a criminal background check on job candidates, and they are not required to obtain permission for this ahead of time.

Should a background check reveal an arrest, a hiring manager can do one of several things. He or she might ask for more information about the incident in order to make a better decision. An applicant could be turned down without further investigation if it appears that the crime one was charged with directly affects the business at hand. After viewing a criminal background check, potential employers may determine that the individual might be better suited for another position within the company and offer it to him or her instead.

Requirements by Profession

In order to work in certain professions, an individual may need to have a clean background check. In addition, certain professional licenses could be refused if an individual has a prior arrest. Schools, hospitals, medical clinics and day care facilities are typically banned from hiring former convicts. This is true no matter what the offense is or how long ago it happened. Those who work in any type of law enforcement capacity whether it is a corrections officer or probation officer are usually restricted as well.

Skirting the Issue

A common problem with many employers is that they tend to base their hiring decisions largely on the results of a criminal background check. This is not always fair, and it can be extremely difficult to prove. In many cases, it requires an individual to show that he or she was more qualified than the candidate who was chosen, and that the reason for being denied employment was a criminal history. When doing so, it’s also imperative that the crime is not related to the type of business one was seeking work in.

To hear more about criminal background checks, speak to Houston criminal attorney Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900.