New Jersey Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey 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. New Jersey has laws concerning consumer reports, criminal background checks, and driver's record information.
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In addition to the FCRA, employers must also comply with the New Jersey statute regulating the use of consumer reports in employment. The requirements for obtaining consumer reports under the New Jersey statute are, for the most part, the same as the requirements under the FCRA, including that before procuring a consumer report, the employer must get the employee's authorization, in writing, and provide the employee with a clear and conspicuous written disclosure that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. The disclosure must be in a document that consists solely of the disclosures required under the FCRA and the New Jersey law, although it may also include a form for the ...

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