Pre-Employment Background Screening Under 2014 EEOC Guidance and Intense Scrutiny

Structuring Policies to Comply With Title VII, Fair Credit Reporting Act and State Laws

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to employment counsel on the legal pitfalls of pre-employment background checks. The panel will prepare practitioners to counsel employers on how to structure hiring policies and procedures that minimize liability exposure. 


Employers are increasingly checking the credit histories and criminal records of prospective workers when making employment decisions. Since the EEOC’s initial guidance issued in 2012, there has been significant criticism. Based on complaints from state attorneys general for clarification, the EEOC collaborated with the FTC on guidance issued Mar. 10, 2104, in a never-seen-before move.

When pre-screening applicants, employers must balance their interests in avoiding negligent hiring and retention claims against the myriad rights of applicants under federal and state laws, including Title VII and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Employment counsel must guide employers in weighing whether the benefits of obtaining a comprehensive background check outweigh potential liability for violating employment laws. Counsel can also assist employers with developing effective and compliant screening policies.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the legal risks of conducting pre-employment background checks. The panel will discuss the EEOC’s recent guidance on criminal background checks and provide strategies for counsel to minimize employers’ liability exposure when obtaining and using credit histories and criminal background information to make hiring decisions.



  1. Recent legal developments
    1. EEOC and FTC guidance on criminal background checks
    2. Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance
    3. State law compliance
  2. Best practices to minimize litigation risks
    1. Weigh benefits of obtaining data versus potential legal liabilities
    2. Develop written policies on what information can be collected and used
    3. Enforce policies consistently and uniformly
    4. Train managers, supervisors and employees on company policy
    5. Considerations when using recruiters in hiring—joint employer liability
    6. Considerations when using social media in hiring


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How have employers responded to the EEOC’s recent clarification and additional guidance issued on criminal background checks?
  • How can businesses balance their duty to conduct due diligence background checks on applicants against their duty not to discriminate in employment decisions?
  • What are the best practices for employers when developing and implementing policies for the use of credit records, criminal histories and social networking sites in hiring decisions?


Devata, Pamela
Pamela Q. Devata

Seyfarth Shaw

Ms. Devata specializes in all aspects of employment defense including counseling, training, and litigation. She...  |  Read More

Cindy D. Hanson
Cindy D. Hanson

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Ms. Hanson focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and class action defense. She has handled hundreds of...  |  Read More

Rosen, Lester
Lester S. Rosen

Founder, President and CEO
Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

Mr. Rosen is a consultant, writer and frequent presenter nationwide on pre-employment screening and safe hiring issues....  |  Read More

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