Can my employer do a background check on me without getting my consent than fire me for it?

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Can my employer do a background check on me without getting my consent than fire me for it?

They refused to give me a copy of this background report but they said all they did was google free public records than searched my name. They said I lied on my application but everything in my background is either Juvenal or a closed record. I never signed a release form, and while firing me my manage said, “I don’t want people like you working in my store”. Is this legal?

Asked on December 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a background check may be conducted without your consent, as long as the employer is only checking records that do not require your authority or permission to review. They do not need to share the results of the check with you. And they may decline to hire you if the results of the check provide reason to believe you would poses a risk to store, to other employees, or customers--so, for example, a record of shoplifting could provide grounds to not  hire you for a retail store.


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