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Pre-Employment Background Screening: Legal Pitfalls

A Live 90-minute CLE Webinar/Teleconference

August 23, 2011



Pre-Employment Background Screening: Legal Pitfalls - Crafting Policies to Comply With Title VII, Fair Credit Reporting Act and State Laws / A live 90-minute CLE webinar/teleconference with interactive Q&A


Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT / Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, July 29, 2011


This CLE webinar will provide guidance to employment counsel on the legal pitfalls of pre-employment background checks. The panel will prepare counsel to guide employers in structuring hiring policies and procedures that minimize liability exposure. 

Because employers are increasingly checking the credit histories and criminal records of prospective workers and examining their social network website profiles when making employment decisions, employment counsel must guide employers on developing policies and procedures to avoid the legal pitfalls.

When pre-screening applicants, employers must balance their interest in avoiding negligent hiring and retention claims against the myriad legal rights of applicants under federal and state laws, including Title VII and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Employment counsel should help employers weigh whether the benefits of obtaining a comprehensive background check outweigh potential liability for violating relevant laws. Counsel should also assist employers with developing effective and lawful screening policies.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment attorneys examines the legal risks of conducting pre-employment background checks. The panel will provide strategies for counsel advising employers on ways to minimize liability exposure when obtaining and using credit histories and criminal background information to make hiring decisions.


I.Recent legal developments

  • A.Litigation trends
  • B.State legislation

II.Risks of background checks

  • A.Discrimination claims
  • B.Fair credit reporting laws
  • C.Off-duty conduct statutes

III.Best practices to minimize litigation risks

  • A.Weigh benefits of obtaining data versus potential legal liabilities
  • B.Develop written policies on what information can be collected and used
  • C.Enforce policies consistently and uniformly
  • D.Train managers, supervisors and employees on company policy
  • E.Considerations when using recruiters in hiring—joint employer liability


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How can businesses balance their duty to conduct due diligence background checks on applicants against their duty not to discriminate in employment decisions?
  • What are the best practices for employers when developing and implementing policies for the use of credit records, criminal histories and social networking sites in hiring decisions?
  • How are the EEOC, U.S. Congress and the states addressing the growing use of credit checks as an employment pre-screening measure?
  • Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Cindy D. Hanson, Partner
Kilpatrick Stockton, Atlanta
She focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and class action defense. She has handled hundreds of matters under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Her practice includes the representation of both consumer reporting agencies and entities who furnish information to consumer reporting agencies.

Pamela Q. Devata, Partner
Seyfarth Shaw, Chicago
She specializes in all aspects of employment defense including counseling, training, and litigation. She also has a special emphasis on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws effecting background screening. She counsels both employers and providers (resellers and consumer reporting agencies) of background information on compliance requirements under the FCRA and related state laws.

Lester S. Rosen, Founder, President and CEO
Employment Screening Resources (ESR), Novato, Calif.
He is a consultant, writer and frequent presenter nationwide on pre-employment screening and safe hiring issues. His speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences. He has qualified and testified in the California. Florida and Arkansas Superior Court as an employment screening expert on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence.

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