You heard it all your life: Play fair.

[Phone rings]

Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”

Customer: “I have an applicant that gives me the creeps. I want you to run a deeper search on them, you know, sex offenders, the nationwide database, federals, all that.”

Ann: “We shouldn’t do that.”

Customer: “I’ll pay for it.”

Well yes, you bet you will. But that’s not the issue.

The importance of consistency in background check procedures cannot be overstated.

But I’ll try.

The type of background check identified for a job position must be applied uniformly to all applicants. Establishing a defensible job-related justification for the relevancy and need for the information of each job position is critical to defending against future discrimination claims.

It’s simple. We live in a litigious society and let’s not hand anyone a reason to sue us. Be sure you have a justifiable reason for the background checks you run, then apply them evenly.

Check out the next installment of the Background Chronicles when we discuss the third leading cause of death on the job, and how to avoid juries and headlines.