Employers perform background checks on their prospective new hires, but there are rules and regulations that were meant to prevent employers from asking job applicants for information that would identify their ages. The dilemma is that employers need to ask for a date of birth in order to check their applicants’ background, and this has been disallowed by federal law as well as state law.
The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 sought to prevent older people from refraining from applying for jobs by not allowing employers to ask their applicants for their date of birth during the application process; after the person has been hired employers may request this information. The individual states also have enacted their own civil rights legislation that would make it illegal to ask for an applicant’s date of birth. For example, California specifically spells out which questions about age that cannot be asked when employers are considering hiring an applicant.
A very important issue is the criminal background check. Employers need to be able to perform background checks on applicants
and they cannot do them without a date of birth. The reason is because the courts’ most important information for identifying people is the date of birth rather than the social security number or other information.
Employers will be permitted to ask for a date of birth under strict circumstances. All applicants must be given a reason for the request for their date of birth and there must be a permissible reason for doing so. If it is warranted, the EEOC will make sure that the employer followed all the rules when asking for an applicant’s date of birth.
To comply with the laws, employers have begun to perform measures that delay the hiring process. Some employers have waited until they offer applicants the job before requesting their dates of birth, and other employers have asked the applicants to be the ones to give the screening company their dates of birth. Both of these procedures can keep employers from doing background checks in a timely manner.
An alternative is to have the prospective employee fill out the screening company’s form at the same time that they fill out the employment application. To ensure that the person doing the hiring will not see the screening form, another employee can be charged with the task of keeping both forms separate from each other.
Pre-employ.com is a company that offers all types of pre-employment services
including an extensive background check. They understand that employers need these services performed quickly, and they are more than capable of accommodating this need.