When Background Checks are for You

August 17th, 2014 by Dodie

You may find yourself in a variety of situations in today’s world when you need to use a background check service. There are certain job industries, for instance, where a background check is a necessity. Meanwhile, landlords seek to gain information to lessen the risk of renting out to individuals with questionable activities that may put the business at risk.

Before You Start Hiring

Running a background check on potential new hires may help weed out employee problems before they start. Negligent hiring is a real issue. Perhaps, an employer is hiring for an occupation where the employee will be dealing directly with children, which should be handled sensitively. A criminal background check for this is required in almost every state to keep kids safe.

It is hard for an employer to simply rely on his instincts anymore. When you use a background check service, you can be sure that you are hiring the right employees.

Some job fields that require a background check: 

  • Teaching and other school positions (like bus driver)
  • Anyone hired for a federal job
  • Police officers
  • Bank employees
  • Payroll positions and/or Human Resources
  • Healthcare professionals

General rules in screening employees: 

  • You will need to gain written consent from the potential employee.
  • You may only check information pertaining to the job you are hiring for.
  • You may not discriminate against a potential new hire who has filed for bankruptcy.
  • Military service records are only released under very certain circumstances

For more information pertaining to employer rights, as well as rules regarding the appropriate amount of information that can be used in the hiring process, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has created a guide for jobseekers that also contain helpful information for employers.

There are no specific incidences when a background check is not needed. For some jobs it is not required, but is simply dependent on employers’ discretion. Some of these jobs are listed below:

  • Fast food workers
  • Bartending
  • Retail positions
  • Entrepreneurship
  • General labor positions that do not handle money

In any case, the decision may be more dependent on skills or how fast and well one can learn the ropes.


Before You Grant Lease

When it comes to renting to a new tenant, a credit check is a common part of the process. However, criminal background investigations are being performed more and more. Similar information gathered by employers may also be of use to landlords to verify any applicant’s identity and background that he claims he has.

Due to the risks at stake – your business and your other tenants’ sake – it is always a good idea to opt for a thorough tenant screening. You need to protect yourself and also your community when moving someone new into your neighborhood.

Remember, though, you are not allowed to discriminate against a new tenant based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family status or national origin. The Fair Housing Act is clear on this; you might want to go over the laws and orders stated under it.


In hiring a new employee or moving in a new tenant, a background check is a solid, smart choice. The information obtained will go far to protect you, your business, and your community. Be careful to follow the law on obtaining information and follow proper rules and regulations surrounding the use of a background check.


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