New Mexico Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

New Mexico 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 New Mexico, employers must comply with laws relating to criminal background checks and driver's record information.
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The New Mexico Human Rights Commission has indicated that it will follow the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines regarding the use of criminal history records in employment. The EEOC takes the position that it is a violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act to base an employment decision solely on an applicant's or employee's arrest record, because statistics show that a disproportionate number of minorities have arrest records and an arrest, by definition, is not evidence of criminal guilt. In addition, the EEOC states that an employer that denies employment on the basis of a criminal conviction should be able to demonstrate a sound ...

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