Does your company have a practice of running background checks on applicants even before the applicant comes in for an interview? If so, you could be violating the background check laws in a number of states. Many states require that an employer make a conditional offer of employment (i.e., offering the applicant the job) prior to running any background checks. This ensures that companies are giving those who may have a criminal history a chance to compete on a level playing field with other candidates. If you find that the candidate you choose has a criminal history after making the offer of employment, you then have to decide whether that history disqualifies the candidate for that position. myHRcounsel urges employers not to take a hard line as to what crimes are considered automatically disqualifying. States like California require that you only deny jobs to those whose criminal histories are directly related the particular position for which the applicant is applying. If you have questions about your practices or would like assistance drafting a compliant background check policy, please contact one of the attorneys here at myHRcounsel.