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How to Avoid Discrimination During an Employment Check

When it comes to hiring new employees, employers want to make sure they are making the right decision. This includes conducting employment checks such as background checks, reference checks, and education verifications. However, it’s important to ensure that the employment check process does not discrimination against any candidates. Discrimination during employment checks is not only unethical but also illegal. In this article, we’ll discuss how to avoid discrimination during an employment check.


1. Develop a Clear Policy

The first step to avoiding discrimination during an employment check is to develop a clear policy that outlines the procedures and criteria for the hiring process. This policy should be well-documented and communicated to all employees involved in the hiring process. The policy should include the criteria for conducting an employment check, who will be conducting the check, what information will be reviewed, and how the results will be used in the hiring decision.

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2. Conduct a Job Analysis

Before conducting any employment check, it’s important to conduct a job analysis to determine the essential job functions and necessary qualifications. This will help identify which parts of the candidate’s history are relevant to the job and which are not. By focusing only on relevant information, the employer can avoid making decisions based on discrimination factors.

3. Obtain Consent

Employers must obtain written consent from the candidate before conducting any employment check. The consent should be clear and explain what information will be collected and how it will be used. Employers must also inform candidates that the information collected will be used only for employment purposes.

4. Conduct Consistent Checks

Employers must conduct consistent employment checks for all candidates applying for the same position. For example, if an employer conducts a background check for one candidate, they must conduct a background check for all candidates applying for the same position. This ensures that the process is fair and does not discrimination against any candidates.

5. Avoid Using Certain Criteria

Employers must avoid using certain criteria in their employment checks that could lead to discrimination. For example, employers must not use information related to race, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic. Employers should focus only on job-related criteria such as work experience, education, and job performance.

6. Train Employees

All employees involved in the hiring process must be trained on how to conduct an employment check without discrimination against any candidates. This training should cover the legal requirements of the hiring process, the employer’s policies and procedures, and how to recognize and avoid discrimination behavior.

7. Use a Third-Party Provider

Using a third-party provider to conduct employment checks can help avoid discrimination. Third-party providers are trained to conduct employment checks in a fair and consistent manner and are less likely to be influenced by any discrimination factors.

8. Follow Legal Requirements

Employers must follow all legal requirements related to employment checks, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers must also comply with any state or local laws related to employment checks.


Employers must be vigilant in avoiding discrimination during the employment check process. By following these tips, employers can ensure a fair and unbiased hiring process that benefits both the company and the candidates.


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