Hiring & Background Checks
At SMM Law, we work with businesses at every step of employment, from hiring to termination. However, the process of finding and selecting the right employee can come with risks. We can help your company navigate the laws surrounding hiring and background checks, reducing a company’s liability even before the employment relationship begins.
Our extensive experience in employment law allows us to work with clients to review and draft applications, offer letters, and employment contracts to ensure that they comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. We also work with companies to consult and train HR professionals, managers, and others who conduct interviews and hire employees.
Now, more than ever, employers are relying heavily on background checks of job applicants in order to eliminate potentially bad applicants and maintain a safe and secure working environment. In this regard, we help our clients by making sure that their background checks and pre-employment investigative procedures comply with federal, state, and local discrimination and privacy laws. These laws typically govern the collection, processing, and use of criminal records, credit information, and other information contained in background check reports. The most important of these laws are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
For example, the FCRA imposes specific duties on employers before they conduct a background check, as well as after they receive the background report. The FCRA’s complicated requirements have laid the groundwork for a multitude of class action lawsuits because even sophisticated businesses sometimes fail to adhere to all of these requirements.
Additionally, more and more states and municipalities are enacting “Ban the Box” laws that restrict questions about criminal convictions and limit their use in employment decisions.