Employers routinely use criminal records to make hiring decisions. The type of information your potential employer is allowed to access depends on federal and state laws. State laws vary a lot, but employers are generally allowed to access past criminal convictions, but not arrests (records of arrest that do not result in convictions or guilty pleas). Irrespective of what your potential employers allowed to access, there are a few measures you can take to protect yourself.
Identify Your Accessible Records
The first thing is to identify the kind of information your potential employer can access. You can do this by attempting to access your public records and perusing databases of criminal records (if you have a record). Some of the areas to focus on include Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records and court files. If you can find something, then you can be sure that your employer will find it.
Scrub What You Can
If you have damning criminal records, and you are eligible for an expungement or sealing, then that is the logical thing to do. Most states will only seal your records if you have a single conviction or multiple convictions from the same offense. It is easier to seal minor crimes such as misdemeanor vandalism rather than serious crimes such as sex offenses.
For some things, you don't even have to involve the authorities. For example, you need to remove incriminating posts from your social media sites before your employer-to-be researches them.
File a Complaint of Violation
If your potential employer has accessed your records, then you need to find out whether he or she violated any laws. Research state and federal laws, and if this is the case, make a complaint to the relevant authority. If the employer has violated federal laws, then you can submit your concerns by as outlined in this page. In the case of state law violations, you can start by contacting your state's attorney general.
File a Private Lawsuit
Apart from filing an official complaint, federal or state laws may also allow you to file a private lawsuit against the relevant employer. If you can substantiate your claims, then you may succeed in getting compensated for the breach of rights, denial or loss of employment, as the case may be.
The ideal thing would be to prevent your employer from accessing the records in the first place. However, if you are convinced that your rights have been violated, then you shouldn't just take it lying down. Contact an attorney to walk you through federal and state laws (labor and criminal) and help you get the remedy you deserve. For more information, speak with a firm such as Law Offices Of Doonan & Doonan Inc.Share