Employers are more cautious than ever when bringing in new staff and often conduct pre-employment background checks to make sure there are no surprises waiting after they make a hire.
In some cases, companies will simply verify basic information. In others, the company will ask for more information, which your previous employer may, or may not, disclose.
Here are some of the issues that employers might inquire about when checking on your background with former employers:
- Dates of employment
- Job Title
- Job Description
- Whether you were terminated for cause
- Salary (many employers will not share this information)
- Performance issues and problems (most employers will decline to share this information for fear of lawsuits for defamation)
- Legal or ethical transgressions (some employers will not share this information)
Even though there are no federal laws prohibiting employer disclosures, some states have enacted limitations on what employers can say about you. Check with your employers regarding their policies regarding disclosures about your background.
In addition, when employers conduct a check of your background (credit, criminal, past employer) using a third party, the background check is covered by The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
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