Background Checks on Independent Contractors

Q: We are about to hire an independent contractor but want to run a background check on him before we hire him. Can we run a background check on an independent contractor and make the contract contingent on the results?

A: Yes, if the contractor will have access to sensitive materials or the nature of his work requires a clean background check, yes, you can make the contract contingent on that. You should also include language in the contract around confidentiality of information and nonsolicitation. But the most important component of your contract should be that the contract does not constitute an employee-employer relationship. Of course, it’s important to make sure that you are classifying the worker correctly; many independent contractors would probably be considered employees if the Department of Labor (DOL) were to investigate the nature of the work relationship. To make sure your contractor is appropriately classified, click here for the DOL’s fact sheet on Independent Contractor classifications.

This article was shared in C&R with the permission of the Restoration Industry Association.

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