If I’m the victim of a maintenance employee who hid a camera at my job and took pictures of me in the staff bathroom, do I have the right to find whether my employer ran a background check before hiring him?

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If I’m the victim of a maintenance employee who hid a camera at my job and took pictures of me in the staff bathroom, do I have the right to find whether my employer ran a background check before hiring him?

Asked on October 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, as a general matter unless you file a lawsuit, you do not have the right to do this, and you also would have no recourse against the employer if they did not run any background check. The law does not require employers to run background checks--some employers do, some don't, but it's purely voluntary and for their own purposes i.e. not due to any duty when they do.
If you sue the maintenance employee for, say, invasion of privacy, in the course of that lawsuit, you could subpoena records from your employer to bolster your suit. 
If your employer fails to investigate or take reasonable action against this maintenance employee for what I presume is sexual harassment taking the pictures for salicious purposes, then you may have a sexual discrimination/harassment against your employer the employer is not liable for the employee's sexual harassment, since they did not cause or direct it, but they are required to take your complaint assuming you did complain seriously and respond appropriately, and a failure to do so can then make them liable. If so, you may then have a lawsuit vs. the employer, and in the course of that suit, could get these records. Again, though, the mere failure to do a background check would not make them liable.


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