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Are you vetting your prospective employees legally?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Employment Litigation

Employers in the technological era have several highly effective tools to vet job applicants. Vetting candidates ensure you find workers who are a good fit for your business.

At the same time, awareness about the rights of U.S. workers is at an all-time high. The problem for employers is balancing the need for information with the rights of job applicants.

Can you check credit scores?

Under Florida law, you may obtain credit and other consumer reports when vetting prospective employees. However, you must adhere to strict guidelines outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). For example, you must inform applicants in writing that you may obtain a credit report.

Can you ask about their criminal history?

Florida does not outright prohibit employers from asking or researching the criminal background of job candidates. We suggest caution, however, as some counties in the state ban employment-related criminal history checks. Make sure it is legal to look into an applicant’s criminal history in your location. 

Simple tips for vetting applicants legally

To say that employment law in the modern world is complex is an understatement. Always check the law before you begin vetting your prospective job candidates. Some basic ways to vet (legally) during the hiring process include:

  • Always keep job interview topics focused on employment matters only
  • Never ask job applicants personal questions or make personal remarks
  • Always obtain written consent from candidates before looking into their background
  • Only use reputable and approved background check agencies or consider performing such checks in-house

The more you know about Florida employment law and litigation, the better prepared you are to continue operations without the risk of legal trouble. Learning more also prepares you to handle employment litigation if it ever arises.