There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. In Connecticut, employers must comply with laws concerning arrests and convictions, mandatory background checks, and driver's record information.
Employers may not require disclosure of an arrest, criminal charge, or conviction if the records were erased because there was a finding of delinquency, a finding that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication of youthful offender status, the charge was nulled or dismissed, of a not guilty finding, or of an absolute pardon (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-51i).
An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant must contain a notice in clear and conspicuous language that:
• The applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge, or conviction, if ...