Employers have the right to conduct background investigations on prospective employees. A background investigation may be conducted by the employer or by an outside investigation firm, detective agency or consumer reporting agency. The investigation may include one or more of the following:
|Reference checks with former employers.|
|Consumer credit report.|
|Interviews with friends, neighbors or associates.|
|Drug and alcohol test.|
|Lie detector test (rarely used, only in certain circumstances).|
The scope of the investigation undertaken will vary based on the individual circumstances and the federal and state laws that apply. Employers are required to comply with employment laws, privacy laws, antidiscrimination laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers will usually inform applicants as to the nature of any investigation. Various federal and state laws will require the employer to obtain an applicant's authorization for certain types of investigations.
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