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New Mexico

"It grows as it goes"

New Mexico

Informative Report: New Mexico Employer and Tenant Background Check Laws**

*Executive Summary:*

This report provides an overview of the background check laws applicable to employers and landlords in the state of New Mexico. Understanding these regulations is crucial for both employers and property owners to ensure compliance and protect the rights of employees and tenants. The report covers the key aspects of background checks, including permissible information, restrictions, and potential penalties for non-compliance.

1. Introduction:

Background checks are essential tools used by employers and landlords to make informed decisions about potential employees and tenants. In New Mexico, these processes are governed by various federal and state laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the New Mexico Human Rights Act, among others.

2. Employer Background Check Laws:

Employers in New Mexico must be aware of the following regulations when conducting background checks:

**2.1 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):** The FCRA is a federal law that applies nationwide and regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including background checks. Employers must comply with FCRA requirements when obtaining consumer reports from third-party agencies.

**2.2 New Mexico Human Rights Act:** This state law prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics. Employers must avoid using background check information to discriminate against applicants based on these protected categories.

**2.3 Criminal History Records Information Act (CHRRI):** The CHRRI governs the use of criminal history records in New Mexico. Employers can only consider criminal history information relevant to the job duties and responsibilities. Additionally, the "Ban the Box" law restricts inquiries into an applicant's criminal history until after the initial application process.

**2.4 Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations:** New Mexico has specific laws concerning drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Employers must comply with these regulations when conducting pre-employment or random drug testing.

3. Tenant Background Check Laws:

Landlords in New Mexico must adhere to certain laws when conducting background checks on potential tenants:

**3.1 Fair Housing Act (FHA):** The FHA is a federal law that prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. Landlords must ensure that their tenant screening process does not violate these protected categories.

**3.2 New Mexico Human Rights Act:** As with employer background checks, landlords must also comply with the New Mexico Human Rights Act, ensuring they do not discriminate against potential tenants based on protected characteristics.

**3.3 Rental Application Fees:** Landlords are allowed to charge applicants a reasonable fee to cover the cost of conducting background checks. However, this fee should not be used as a discriminatory tool.

4. Penalties for Non-Compliance:

Failure to comply with background check laws in New Mexico can result in severe consequences, including:

- Lawsuits and legal liabilities

- Civil penalties and fines

- Reputation damage

- Loss of business opportunities

*5. Conclusion:*

Understanding and adhering to New Mexico's employer and tenant background check laws are essential for maintaining a fair and compliant hiring and rental process. Employers and landlords must stay updated with the latest regulations to protect the rights of individuals and avoid legal repercussions. Seeking legal counsel or consulting with background check professionals can be beneficial to ensure full compliance with these laws.

The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website, and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues and jurisdictions.
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