EEOC & FTC Issue Joint Guidance on Employment Background Checks

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued joint guidance to employers, employees and job applicants on the use of background checks in employment. The tip sheets do not deviate from prior agency guidance on this topic, but rather provide “best practices” guidelines and additional resources.  The first document, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, targets employers, while the other, Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know, is directed at employees and job applicants. 

The guidance intended for employers sets forth each agency’s recommendations on the steps employers should take before obtaining background information on employees or applicants; the use of background information; and how they should dispose of the background reports.  The guidance for employees and applicants includes information on reporting possible discrimination based on background check information.  Both documents contain links to previously issued agency information.  

In a press release, EEOC Legal counsel Peggy Mastroianni said: “The laws enforced by the EEOC and the FTC intersect on the issue of employment background checks, so this was a unique opportunity for the agencies to work together to provide user-friendly technical assistance to our stakeholders.”

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.