Before making a hiring decision for your business, you may consider looking into each candidate’s criminal history. However, there are employment laws in place in states across the country that prevent private employers from looking into an applicant’s criminal or credit histories.
In fact, most states—and some cities—have laws in place either allowing criminal background checks or forbidding them in some way during the application process. There are also state laws that apply to employers in certain industries and require them to conduct background checks on their applicants.
Georgia, St. Louis, and Washington are updating their existing background check laws in 2021. But if you live in another state, you most likely have rules already in place preventing and/or requiring background checks.
Be sure to check our state labor law guides to see what the rules are in your area.