Can a potential employer require a background check that checks your credit rating, your email addresses and web sites you visit before even considering you for employment?

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Can a potential employer require a background check that checks your credit rating, your email addresses and web sites you visit before even considering you for employment?

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As long as the information that the employer is requesting does not violate federal or state laws regarding discrimination-- then, yes, they can require as extensive of background check as they deem necessary.  They should not be asking or looking for things which they cannot consider in employment like:  gender, race, pregnancy, or disability.  These are issues/criteria which an employer cannot use to exclude a person from employment.  However, just because an employer wants you to submit to the extensive background check, you always have the right to refuse the check and, unfortunately, the position. 


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