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Background checks — Pennsylvania

The value of conducting background checks

Screening candidates for employment by conducting background and reference checks is a valuable way for Pennsylvania employers to discover relevant information about prospective employees. An important benefit associated with thoroughly checking into the applicant’s background is that an employer may protect itself from potential liability associated with negligent hiring and negligent retention claims. See, Negligent hiring in Recruiting and hiring. Recent surveys show that nearly all employers perform some form of background check before hiring a new employee.

There are many different methods an employer may use to check into an applicant’s background. Depending on the nature of the position in question, employers may choose to use a few or all of the methods that follow for conducting appropriate background investigations. For certain positions, Pennsylvania law mandates that a background check be conducted.

Conducting reference checks

In most cases, it is advisable that employers check the personal and prior employment references listed by an applicant and document the information received, or, if not successful, the efforts made. While the law does not always require a written authorization from the...

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