Missouri Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Missouri 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, 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 Missouri, employers must comply with laws concerning criminal background checks and driver's record information.
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There is no state law prohibiting the use of arrest and/or conviction records in employment decisions. In fact, criminal background checks are required by federal and/or state law for certain types of jobs. However, according to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights preemployment inquiries guide, it may be discriminatory for employers to ask job applicants about arrest and conviction records. Employers may, however, ask about convictions for crimes that are substantially related to the applicant's ability to perform the job in question. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the position that it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to ...

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