RE: credit check for interviews

Subject: RE: credit check for interviews
From: SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 12:00:25 -0500

Here's another aspect of credit checks/background checks/criminal record checks. If you interviewed for a job, and the first things the interviewer asked about were your age and your race, you would be within your legal rights to decline to answer, because those questions are totally illegal under federal law. However, companies are increasing turning to background checks, and there they ask those very questions!

Companies may claim, in effect, a "Chinese wall" between themselves and the investigative agencies, but there's no way to know whether they're truthful. I have heard on good authority that this is simply a ploy to force applicants to divulge sensitive information for use in the hiring decision.

It's easy to say "I'd never submit to such an abuse" when you aren't looking for a job. The only counsel I can offer is to decline to fill out the paperwork unless and until the company makes you a provisional offer ("if you check out, we'll offer you a job"). Unfortunately, companies have the whip hand these days, and sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do.


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