U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
When making personnel decisions -- including hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment -- employers sometimes want to consider the backgrounds of applicants and employees. Except for certain restrictions related to medical and genetic information, it is not illegal for an employer to ask questions about an applicants or employees background, or to require a background check. But the employer cannot conduct background checks or use the information obtained in a manner that denies equal employment opportunity to anyone on a protected basis, by intent or by unlawful disparate impact.