Michigan Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Michigan Background Checks: What you need to know

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, many employers hire third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws.
Depending on the job, employers may want information 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. In Michigan, employers must comply with laws concerning criminal background checks and driver's record information.
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State law prohibits employers from asking applicants about misdemeanor arrests not resulting in conviction (MI Stat. Sec. 37.2205a). In addition, the Michigan Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide published by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights advises employers that they are prohibited from inquiring into misdemeanor arrests not resulting in conviction, but they may inquire about pending felony charges and all criminal convictions.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the position that it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to base an employment decision solely on an applicant's arrest record. In addition, according to the EEOC, employers may only rely ...

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