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The Legality And Ethics Of Business Background Checks

2020 words - 9 pages

The Supreme Court has broadly defined privacy as the right of the individual to control the giving out of information about oneself. Privacy as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution differs in two significant ways from privacy protected by tort law: (1) the types of acts constituting an invasion of privacy are very different, and (2) the type of protection provided to individuals - constitutional privacy protects against governmental intrusion while tort law primarily protects against invasion by private parties.Restrictions imposed by the Fourth Amendment are effective against the federal government while the Fourteenth Amendment imposes these restrictions on state and local governments. The ...view middle of the document...

I think the verification of an immigrant's status is important to the employer and only to the employer. If there are any discrepancies in the documentation, including the social security number, the employer would then have an obligation to report the problem to the authorities.Motor vehicle and criminal background checks: A motor vehicle report (MVR) is necessary if the position calls for the applicant to operate a motor vehicle of any type. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires certification if the hire is for the operation of certain vehicles such as semi tractors and trailers or the hauling of hazardous materials. The MVR will also help to verify the identity of the applicant. Employers have a legal duty to exercise due diligence in the hiring process, and that duty can be violated if an employer hires someone that they either knew or should have known in the exercise of reasonable care was dangerous or unfit for a job. Even when an applicant discloses information regarding past convictions, employers can justify denial of employment where the offense is arguably job related.Ethically, if a prospective employee is being hired to operate a vehicle, an MVR should be obtained. This may not clear the employer if an accident happens, but he did follow the letter of the law. Employers have also been the subject of large jury verdicts for negligent hiring in cases where they hire a person with a criminal record that harms others, and it could have been avoided by a criminal record check.Legal or illegal substance abuse or potential abuse via tests and checks: According to the "EEOC Guidance on Pre-Employment Inquiries under the Americans with Disabilities Act," there are specific questions an employer may and may not ask during the pre-offer phase. An employer may ask about current illegal use of drugs or current drinking habits. Questions that may uncover a drug or alcohol disability prior to the post-offer phase of processing an applicant are prohibited.[ ] Random drug testing is the norm for "safety sensitive" positions or on hazardous job sites as determined by an employer. Although most states allow random testing, some states and specific counties within certain states do not.Ethically, if there is no indication of drug or alcohol abuse during the hiring process, then the person should be hired. Once on the job, if the new employee exhibits impairment in judgment, non-production, lateness, absenteeism, errors, or accidents, then it would be time for testing.Personality profiles: A personality profile is a knowledge management[ ] tool used to provide an evaluation of an employee's personal attributes, values and life skills in an effort to maximize his or her job performance and contribution to the company. (personality profile, 2002) Advocates of personality profiling claim that it's a valuable reality check when viewed in the context of an employee's job performance. Critics recommend that face-to-face communication and evaluation...

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