online employment application

 What are the possible legal or other consequences of accepting online employment applications since they do not have the applicant's written signature authorizing background checks, drug screens, release of investigation liability and verification of the accuracy of information given on the application?  Do you have the person sign a printed copy if you invite them in for an interview?



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    There are more issues than you may think in order to arrive at an aswer to your question. Here is a link to an article that may help you to draw some conclusions. I would not perform any checks or investigations, drug test or any similar action without having met the person and having the proper authorization forms signed.

  • We have the applicant sign the application when/if they are brought in for an interview.
  • I have always been told by attorneys that you should have a seperate form for background checks that the person physically signs, rather than having it as part of the electronic signature with an application or even part of the a paper application.
  • Thanks to all who replied.  I'd like to share the information about online application signatures I received from BLR.

    With an online application, there are a few options for employers to obtain applicants’ signatures for these certifications. First, the employer can obtain the applicant’s signature at the time of the interview or when a conditional offer of employment has been made. Second, the employer can require applicants to mail in the portion of the applicant requiring their signatures. Finally, employers may obtain applicants’ signatures electronically. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act generally makes electronic signatures and electronic contracts just as legal and enforceable as paper contracts signed in ink for almost all transactions. The law does not specify a particular technology that must be used. States are required to enact laws that set out requirements for electronic signatures. Under this law, almost all private transactions, such as employment applications, may be accomplished electronically.

  • That's fine for application signatures, but for background investigation authorization the disclosure and signature must be on a stand alone document, not included in the application, per the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The info on Background Checks can also be found here on BLR.  We are in the process of going live with an online application system and have researched this extensively, with professional resources like BLR and with counsel.
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