If an employer wants to implement background checks for all new employees, should that employer run checks on all current employees as well?

My private clinic employer wants to begin running background checks. Should it run checks on all current employees as well as future hires to avoid EEOC discrimination issues later if audited? Will implementing the policy and

Asked on November 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that unless not running background checks on exisiting workers constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination, it is legal. In other words, if running such checks on new employees only is due solely to their race, religion, disabiltiy, age (over 40), gender, or nationality, then that would create problem. Otherwise, absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, most work relationships are "at will" which means that an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as as it sees fit.


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