Employment Law

Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer, Get an Answer ASAP!

Pre-Employment Background Check Laws

Background checks are a common practice when an employer is looking to hire potential employees. Pre-employment background checks offer an insight to the employer about the potential employee and helps them learn about a potential employee’s former work ethics and performances. However, when an employee is not hired due to an unflattering background check for employment, it can lead to disgruntlement and raise questions about background check issues and background check laws. Below are five of the top questions about employment background checks answered by Experts.

Should an employer to the authorities and the temp service, if the employment background check reveals several arrest warrants?

Case Details: Employer hires employees through a temp service. 

You are not required to report to the local authorities or the agency which hired the employee to work for you. However, if you were to report the person, you would have to terminate the employee and notify the agency. The temp agency has access to the same background records that you have, therefore you would not be liable for not telling the agency, unless you have a contract stating this type of information must be shared.

Is it legal for an employer to do a background check on an employee months after they have been hired, and fire them if anything is found?

Usually, an employer will notify the employee that there may be a background check performed during the employment. Most employers will ask you for written consent to conduct a background check. Your employer should have told you that any negative feedback from the background check would mean that you would be terminated if you have already been hired. In the event that your employer didn’t ask you for written consent to a background check, or explain that negative feedback would result in termination, you should discuss these issues with your employer. There are certain regulations on how the information is to be utilized.

How do companies proceed when the employee who they wish to hire cannot verify a degree during a background check?

Generally, this choice will be made by the individual employer. Many employers, if they want to hire the applicant, will delay the employee’s start date in order to gather all of the information related to their degree. However, there is the chance that an employer will not hire an employee due to lack of proper information to verify educational degrees. In most cases, an employer can request the information from the schools registar, speeding up the process by having the school fax any information.

Can an employer run a background check on an employee after a year of service, without the employee’s knowledge?

Usually, an employer will conduct a background check prior to hiring an employee. However, if the employer chooses to wait, that does not mean that the employer has waived his right to conduct the background check. Most employers will alert an employee that a background check will be performed, which can be done at any time during hiring or employment.

If a former employer made false statements that a person is being investigated by police, how can you prove the allegations are false?

If the allegations were false, you can go to the police and ask for verification that there was never an investigation performed by the police department. You can also submit a statement or offer to take a lie detector test to prove your innocence. However, the choice is up to your current employer as to whether or not they want to go to such lengths to keep an employee. You have the option to sue the former employer for defamation of character. Your former employer made a false statement to a third party with the intent to harm your employment. If you are terminated because of the false statements, you would have further cause for a lawsuit. You should consider speaking with an attorney about your options.

Employment background checks offer an employer an n opportunity to view a potential employee’s past work relationships with employers and to get a better understanding of the employee’s work ethic. Usually a background check is nothing of major importance and won’t affect an employee’s standing with his future employer. However, not all background checks prove to be smooth sailing. Sometimes, a pre-employment background check may reveal obstacles or statements from previous employers that will hinder an employee from being hired. Being denied a job based on past employers remarks about your job performance can leave a person wondering about their rights and background check laws. In times like these, it is always best to ask an Expert and get informed about your legal rights.

Please type your question in the field below

3 verified Employment Lawyers are online now

Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer are verified through an extensive 8-step process including screening of licenses, certifications, education and/or employment. Learn more



Doctoral Degree

8184 positive reviews
Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

Juris Doctor, Cum Laude

12436 positive reviews


Doctoral Degree

12222 positive reviews
See all Employment Lawyers
JustAnswer in the news:
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.