Is "normal" aply socio-economic studiesin USA?

Here (In México) is legal and normal the aplication of a socioecon´mic study to a worker befor hire him to know the "job references" and to know "where" he lives and how he lives, is legal and normal tu use this studies in USA and how is called?. Is something like this: ... show more Here (In México) is legal and normal the aplication of a socioecon´mic study to a worker befor hire him to know the "job references" and to know "where" he lives and how he lives, is legal and normal tu use this studies in USA and how is called?.

Is something like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gruposydal/...

Thanks
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