HR400-4: Assess how employment tools and documentation are used for employee selection.

Assignment: Background Checks

Background checks are generally conducted with the final candidate in the selection process. The
background checks can include employment and education verification, references, criminal history,
and other sources if they pertain to the job. In this Assignment, you will describe potential legal issues
associated with background checks. You will also be reviewing a scenario and making a
recommendation on what action to take.
In this Assignment, you will be assessed on the following outcome:

HR400-4: Assess how employment tools and documentation are used for employee selection.

Before starting this Assignment, review the Assignment Checklist.
You are the hiring manager for Home Improvement Center and need to fill a position for a night
supervisor position. You have narrowed the selection to an applicant you think would be a good fit for
the position. The applicant meets the job requirements and responded well to the competency-based
interview questions you posed during the interview. You conducted reference checks on the applicant
by contacting former employers and received positive results. However, the background check shows
the applicant had been convicted of possession of illicit drugs ten years ago for which the applicant
served time in prison. Respond to the following questions in a 2–3 page paper.
1. How do the results of the background check influence your decision to hire the applicant? Do you
still hire the applicant, despite the results of the background check? Explain.
2. What are potential legal issues associated with background checks? Include a description of
negligent hiring and defamation of character. Describe the steps an organization should take to
prevent negligent hiring and defamation of character from occurring.


Background Checks

As the hiring manager for Home Improvement Center, it is critical to conduct a thorough background check for the best candidate to fill position of a night supervisor. Conducting a background check comes after identifying a potential candidate, usually following the interview. Background checks reveal crucial details concerning the applicant. This paper examines how background checks may influence the decision to hire a job applicant.

The results of the background check would have little or no impact in making the hiring decision. As the hiring manager, I would consider a number of factors. First, there were positive results from the former employer. This indicates that the applicant maintained a clean record at the former employer’s place. Another factor is that the background check does not reveal any connection between his job and the crime he committed. Since it is not a job-related offense that led to the applicant’s incarceration, it is worth considering making the hiring decision. Some states such as Connecticut and Colorado has issued legal guidelines concerning the circumstances under which the employer may refuse to offer employment based on the background checks. For instance, the employer should not refuse employment if there is no connection between the crime committed and job. Another reason for hiring the applicant is that the conviction is already sealed. The applicant spent time in prison and was released, meaning he is not a danger to the society any longer.

There are other factors to consider during background checks, such as the time when the offense was reported. State governments may regulate time limits concerning background checks. The common time limit in most states is 7 years. As such, the employer may not consider a criminal conviction that occurred past 7 years. A state such as Texas does not consider criminal convictions with 7 years or more following release or parole. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) recommends that employers may not report negative information about an applicant that is over seven years old and bankruptcies that occurred over 10 years ago (“FCRA,” n.d). Considering this policy, it would be prudent to give the applicant a chance to employment.

Question 2

There are various potential legal issues concerning background checks. One of the legal issues is negligent hiring. This occurs when the HR Manager fails to conduct a thorough background check of the applicant. The HR Manager holds the responsibility of ensuring that the applicants do not have a recent criminal history. If the HR Manager fails to conduct a thorough background check, he is legally liable for damages that might occur. The HR Manager must ensure that the applicant does not pose a danger to self and others within the organization. Failure to conduct through background checks leads to legal charges. Another legal issue involves defamation of character. This occurs when a former employer issues defamatory remarks concerning an applicant. Defamatory remarks may involve giving false information concerning the applicant. In this case, the employer would be liable of defamation of character.

The organization may take various steps to prevent negligent hiring and defamation of character. In order to avoid negligent hiring, the organization should conduct complete investigation covering employment history and educational background. From there, the organization should check driving record violations and conviction records relating to the applicant. Lastly, the organization should ensure compliance with appropriate acts such as IRCA. To avoid defamation, the organization should ensure it provides accurate historical account of the applicant. The information provided should be employment-related, and should not be of personal nature. The organization should provide true information, regardless of whether it is negative.


FCRA (n.d). Retrieved from


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