South Carolina Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

South Carolina 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. 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.
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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. Employers in South Carolina can receive information on convictions, not-guilty findings, notices of decisions not to prosecute, dismissals, and similar information showing any final disposition of an arrest (S.C. Admin. Code § 73-23 et seq.).
Columbia ban-the-box ordinance. employers are prohibited from conducting background checks on job applicants unless a background check is required by law or the employer has made a good-faith determination that the job in question is of such sensitivity that a background check is warranted (Columbia, S.C., Ord. 2019-022 (2019)). Job applications may not ask about an applicant’s criminal ...

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