When it comes to background checks, you want to make sure your company is doing everything right. It’s important to have a consistent screening policy across all employment, internship, or volunteer opportunities—including when you hire minors. When conducting background checks on minors, make sure you have all the information to make the process as hassle-free and cost-effective as possible.
Who is a Minor?
As with most things, laws and regulations vary from state to state. However, in the United States, the law usually considers anyone under the age of 18 a minor. Companies might ask minors to submit to a background check for many of the same reasons they ask adults: employment, internship opportunities, or volunteer programs.
Can You Run Background Checks on Minors?
It is perfectly legal to run a background check on a minor. However, to do so, you need consent from the employee—this consent counts as a legally binding agreement. This is where complications arise. Due to their age, the law prevents minors from entering legally-binding agreements. Even if you gain a minor’s consent for a background check, it’s not enforceable by law. Instead, companies must gain legal consent from the minor’s parent or guardian.
How is it Different?
When conducting background checks on minors, the results are likely going to be similar to that of a background check on an adult. You’ll see verification of past employment and education, just like with an adult. You will also find criminal records and credit history. However, because they are a minor, this information will look a little different. Most minors don’t have credit until adulthood. Unless they have a loan or other account that a parent co-signed, you probably won’t find a credit history for a minor. Their criminal record will be different as well since juvenile courts seal the criminal records of minors. Unless the court convicted a minor as an adult, any criminal record won’t show up in the background check.
To ensure you properly run background checks, employ the help of a third-party employment verification company. They can help you obtain and safely store employee information, ensuring that your company follows all the right steps and regulations.