We constantly get inquiries from our clients regarding when and if it’s appropriate to conduct background checks on current employees. Our first response is to ask if a background screening policy is already in place (having an existing policy limits the employer’s exposure to discrimination claims), and specifically is language exists in that policy pertaining to background checks on current employees. A policy should specifically explain when a current employee may be subjected to a background check. For instance:
- When they are considered for a promotion
- When the receive a pay increase or additional responsibility (such as access to a company credit card or keys to the building)
- When the employer is awarded a Contract that requires background checks on all existing employees.
- When an employee returns from a leave of absence
We strongly urge employers to consult with their legal counsel before conducting any background check on current employees.