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Reference Checking & Background Check Questions

What is the best way to check references on a jobseeker?

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Trusted personal networking done without the candidate's knowledge is risky. The best way to check references on a jobseeker or candidate seeking employment is to ask them for references before checking on any unauthorized references, and get them to sign an authorization of such.  There are some state laws that protect the privacy of a jobseeker from unauthorized reference checks.   Both California and federal law enable individuals to sue a prospective employer for such violation. 

Example regarding California:

In California you must give your authorization in writing before an employer can start the investigation process through a screening agency. Your written permission is required by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the state Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act. California Civil Code §1786. In addition, the ICRAA says that an employer must give you a "clear and conspicuous" notice in writing of the "nature and scope" of the report. California Civil Code §1786.16(2)(B)(v).  However this only applies when the employer is using a screening company.
  Added by:- Hornberger Management Company