Is it legal to do a background check on someone w/out their permission?
I found out that my supervisor at work did a background check on me without my permission or me signing anything. She was able to pull this off because she has \"connections\" at the Sheriff's office. I always thought that there is some type of privacy law or something that protects people against things like this. What can I do? The owners of the small business where I work don't know this (or at least I think they don't). I found this out because she was joking around with someone today and let it slip. I asked her what she meant because I never signed anything, and she played it off and said \"oh we had a crazy girl work here before\". If she is that scared for her safety, then why didn't she ask me to sign something?
As a job candidate or employee, your privacy rights are protected by several laws. According to
, these laws include:
1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
2. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
3. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
4. Different states have different legal frameworks, such as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act which exists in California.
Generally, employers always get written permission, especially if they do a credit check. The FCRA is very strict on this and can cause the employer a lot of trouble and fines if he does not have your permission for a credit check. However, information like criminal records is available to the public and he does not need your permission to check it.
If your employer does the check himself, and does not pay an outside company to do it, he is allowed to get almost all the information that he can get, without your permission.
Employers are always allowed to get information about you if it directly affects your job duties. For example, if you will be a delivery truck driver, then your employer can check your driving records. If you will be a cashier and handle money, he can do a credit check.
As a practical matter, it is very hard for you to know what information your boss got and how he got it.
In most states, you are entitled to review your own personnel file. So, you should ask to see it and find out if they made any notes about their background check.
As self defense, you could do your own background search on your boss.
You can see how to do a
free background search
But it is always difficult to fight your boss. The reason is that his boss promoted your boss. Since his boss does not want to look stupid for promoting the wrong person, he will almost always support your boss, no matter how bad your boss is. So, do some careful thinking before your pick a fight with your boss.
How valuable is your job to you?
How will it affect you and your family if you lose it.
How much time have you built up towards retirement with this company?
How easy is it to get another job that is just as good?
It sounds like you are young and have been there a short time, so it may be a good time to look for another job. It is always best to find another job while you are still working. Don't wait until you quit or are laid off.
Most bosses are jerks everywhere you go. They are just normal people, nothing special, and they have power over their employees. Like most people, they do what they want, what they can get away with, and look after themselves first. So, jumping to a new job is not always better. But if you can get in with a good company with good benefits, that is a really good thing. (Government jobs almost always have easy hours and great benefits.) If your company is not one of the good ones, keep working there, but keep on looking for something better.
Good luck with it all. Remember that it’s best to make your own luck, and with a little planning, you can.