Q: Can an employer conduct a background check before extending an offer of employment?
A: Federal law does not prohibit employers from conducting background checks before an offer of employment is made. However, state laws may have restrictions such as limiting what type of information may be requested before an offer is made. Examples include sealed or expunged records; arrests that did not lead to convictions; or even certain offenses or those of a certain age. In addition, many states have passed “ban-the-box” legislation, which prohibits employers from asking certain criminal history questions at various times during the interview and selection process.
In light of these restrictions, ESC recommends conducting a background screening and/or drug test after an offer of employment is made, with the contingency of successful completion of the pre-employment process.
For further guidance and questions, contact your ESC HR Business Partner. Not a client? We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our services. If you are ready to start a conversation, contact our business development team here.
Related article: Background Checks for New Hires