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Should we also do background checks when we rehire an employee?


Question: We’re not bound by any law requiring us to conduct background checks, but we choose to do them for all new hires. Should we also do them when we rehire an employee?


Answer from Wendy, PHR: It’s up to you. Conducting a background check when hiring a former employee would keep the process simple and straightforward. Every exception you add to a process gives you something else to remember—and potentially forget!


That said, you could instead establish a time limit between an employee’s termination date and rehire date—90 days, for example—and if they’re rehired within that time, you wouldn’t run a background check. If you opt for this practice, consistency is key. Skipping background checks outside of this timeframe for some employees but not others could open your organization to discrimination claims.


This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.


Wendy has over 20 years of experience in HR and talent acquisition. She has been writing and talking about HR for 5 years and was an HR podcast host for 4 years. Wendy has a BA from the University of South Dakota. In her spare time, she makes artisan ice cream and volunteers with her daughter's Girl Scout troops.


Legal Disclaimer: On-Time Payroll is not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this post should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. On-Time Payroll cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to its receipt.

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