To avoid lawsuits, employers in Texas are doing a background check of their employees in areas such as credit information, criminal background and employment verification and education background. However, companies are caught in a tussle because if they use the information to deny a prospect a job, they may face discrimination lawsuit and on the other hand, if companies do not do the background check they could face liability due to negligence. The middle ground is for the employers to do a background check on potential employees for offenses related to employee duties and their kind of business. However, it is advisable for employers to update themselves with the laws regarding employee background checks, some the areas checked include:

Criminal records.

These are records of offenses that a potential employee has committed and convicted, made a guilty plea or no contest plea.

  1. The employer needs consent from the employee to access their criminal records.
  2. For jobs with a salary that do not exceed $ 70,000, the record goes back seven years.
  3. For in-home jobs, the background check can be 10 years of misdemeanor and 20 years felony.
  4. An employer may face lawsuits for failure to perform a criminal background check on offenses committed when an employee was performing similar duties, murder, aggravated sexual assault or robbery and sexual violence.
  5. The employers should also not use the criminal checks in a discriminatory way to avoid lawsuits.
  6. Companies should avoid using arrests while making employment decisions because of its discriminatory nature and it does not imply that someone committed a crime.

Driver's record.

The employer can check if a potential employee has a bad driving record. To avoid lawsuits a background check should be done on an employee;

  1. Who is likely to drive company's vehicle.
  2. Who may drive their car but for purposes related to work.


These apply to employees whose professions require licensing.

  1. An employer can check if the employee has any complaints and if they were resolved.
  2. The employer needs a written consent from the employee to perform the check.


It checks if an employee had financial instability and had been unable to pay debts.

  1. If an employee shall be handling money, the employer should consider doing a background check for bankruptcy.
  2. The information is a public record that can be obtained from the courts.
  3. The bankruptcy filings used should not be for more than 10 years.

Credit information.

This is for checking the creditworthiness of an employee.

  1. A background check should be done for an employee who is likely to handle money.
  2. It alerts the employer of possible money handling issues.
  3. The employee needs to provide consent for the background check to be done.
  4. If an employer uses the credit information to make a hiring decision, the applicant should be given a written note and a report's copy to explain.

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