Aamodt, Michael G. Ph. D. Society for Human Resource Management and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Background investigations are used by 86% of organizations in the U.S. to determine if applicants have previously engaged in behaviors that suggest they might engage in future counterproductive behaviors on the job or be a threat to the safety of others. A background investigation might consider some or all of the following: reference checks, credit history, criminal record, driving record, work history, military service, education and personal references. This paper will discuss legal considerations in using two of the most controversial components of the background check: criminal history and credit history.