The Law of Background Checks: What Clients May/May Not Check



  • Available Until 5/3/2022
  • Next Class Time 1:00 PM ET
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 05032019
  • Activity Code:   212894
  • MCLE Credits 1 hour(s)

Course Price: $75.00


Background checks are an exercise in risk management in hiring.  Companies want to align an applicant’s skills with the company’s job profile, reducing the likelihood the hire won’t work out or, worse yet, cause the company liability. This typically means that the employer wants as much information as possible on job candidates. But background checks themselves are fraught with potential liability. There are many categories of questions that employers may not ask applicants; and if they do ask those questions, employers open themselves to liability. There is a trend toward in legislation and common law to further limit background checks. This program will provide you with a real-world guide to what’s allowed and not allowed in background checks, and best practices for using that information and avoiding liability.


  • Framework of laws impacting background checks, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • What an employ may/may not ask – criminal arrest history, marital status, age, credit history, and other bases
  • Social media background checks
  • Potential liability (and measure of damages) for improper/discriminatory use of background checks
  • Counseling clients about best practices in conducting/using background checks




Felicia Davis is an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings, LLP where she represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, religious accommodation and wage and hour issues, in both single-plaintiff and class-action matters. She has also represented clients in disability access litigation under Title III. She has served as lead attorney on single and multi-plaintiff matters, successfully defending lawsuits alleging discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful discharge as well as collective bargaining agreement violations. She is a member of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Committee on Technology in the Practice and Workplace (Planning Committee). Ms. Davis received her B.A., cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College and her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.