Caution Advised: Federal and State Laws Regulating Pre-Employment Screening and Safe Hiring

Date(s) of Presentation
March 3, 2010

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Failure to exercise diligence when hiring new employees can result in workplace violence, fraud, embezzlement and the legal and financial nightmare that can come from hiring someone with a false credential or who is not qualified. To avoid bad hiring decisions, employers increasingly turn to pre-employment background screening as a risk management tool.

The session will provide an overview of the latest legal issues triggered when conducting pre-employment screening in the United States. We will provide practical insight on how employers may conduct legally compliant screening programs that ensure that they hire a safe and qualified workforce and avoid claims from job applicants that their legal rights were infringed. Speakers will focus on:

  • Negligent hiring and how to avoid it
  • Following the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in four easy steps
  • The impact of state laws on background checks
  • The pros and cons of using credit report
  • Avoiding claims of discrimination when using criminal records and other screening tools
  • The pitfalls with using the Internet and social networking sites to screen applicants
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and background checks including worker' compensation records
  • Auditing your hiring program: Obtaining a due diligence report card.
  • Minimizing the risk of workplace violence


  • Michael Porter, Moderator, Miller Nash LLP, Portland OR
  • Judith A. Biggs, Holland and Hart LLP, Boulder, CO
  • Michael A. Blickman, Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis, IN
  • Mary E. Funk, Nyemaster, Goode, West, Hansell & O'Brien, P.C., Des Moines, IA
  • Sue "Corky" Erwin Harper, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Columbia, SC
  • Lester S. Rosen, Employment Screening Resources, Novato, CA