Employers are permitted to ask limited questions related to an applicant’s military service as part of a Background Check. Questions that are relevant to work experience and training received are permissible. However, an employer should not ask an applicant the reason they were discharged from the military as part of their screening process.
Employers can obtain information from military discharge papers (DD-214) on a limited basis, through our Military Verification service, but the need for this information should relate to the applicant’s job description and proposed duties. Military discharge questions have to be carefully asked, as such questions may result in obtaining medical disability information on an applicant – information protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Military discharge questions may also lead to disparate impact based on race or violation of state military discharge anti-discrimination laws.
The DD Form 214 is a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. This documentation verifies a veteran’s complete military history, including full name used while in service, service number or Social Security number, branch of service, dates of service and additional information about the individual’s military service. This form is provided to every service member of the U.S. Military upon discharge.
The DD-214 Form is the most reliable documentation employers can secure and review regarding military discharge information. Form DD-214 is considered record information that falls under the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §1681), one of which mandates that the applicant provides authorization to the employer when requesting military records. ECS will only provide Permissible Military Information to employers that exclude information related to medical history or the nature of the discharge.