Background checks are rapidly becoming a very important part of today's world, especially for a job with many responsibilities or one that requires high security or clearance. In Mississippi, an employer has the right to require a background check before hiring an applicant, but certain restrictions apply before he may request a check. A criminal background check typically consists of any criminal charges, the date, and the context of the crime(s).
Occupations Requiring a Check
In Mississippi, there are several occupations that require a background check because of the nature of the occupation. Since 2003, anyone wishing to work or volunteer in the Mississippi Department of Health--including any health care or child care facility--must submit to a background check. Other occupations requiring a check include child care or other educational positions, employment by the DMV, jobs in the railroad industry, any job that involves handling money, and law enforcement.
Restrictions on Employers
Even though the background check is used primarily by employers in determining an applicant's eligibility, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission places certain restrictions on when it is allowable to perform a check. The EEOC prevents Mississippi employers from conducting any background check based on an applicant's race, gender, religion, or age. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to inform the applicant that a background check may be administered, and there are other laws that protect the applicant from any bias that may be motive for a check.
Mississippi House Bill 1107
According to this bill, no person is allowed to provide direct patient care in Mississippi unless they have passed a criminal background check. No employee who has plead guilty to the possession or sale of drugs, murder, rape, armed robbery, sexual battery, child abuse, arson, grand larceny, burglary, aggravated assault, or any similar felonies is granted the right to work directly with patients in the state of Mississippi.