As we approach the end of the year, and especially as we get closer to Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think how thankful I am for all the great things happening here at Reliable Background Screening.
This year, we had the opportunity to protect more businesses and organizations than ever before by conducting background checks on their employees, volunteers, contractors, potential franchisee owners, residents, tenants and members. It is very gratifying to know that thousands of organizations, their employees, and their customers are safer as result of the work we do.
There are more great things to come in the very near future. We are updating our website which will go live very soon. Our revamped website will allow you to navigate more effortlessly, so that you will be able to find the information you need. It will also be even easier to communicate with us, ask questions, and to sign up for accounts.
On behalf of the entire Reliable team, I would like to thank you for trusting us with your background screening needs, and we look forward to continue serving you in the future.
Happy holidays to you and yours!
Rudy Troisi, President Reliable Background Screening
Can You Deny Employment Based on a Criminal Conviction?
Here’s the scenario: Your company performs a pre-employment background check. It obtains the properly signed “separate and distinct” employee disclosure and authorization form that is required. The background screening report, i.e., the consumer report that is provided by the background screening company indicates that your employee applicant is a convicted murderer (or is convicted of some other egregious crime).
You tell the applicant that you cannot hire them due to their criminal conviction. Period. That’s all you do. Perhaps, you even send a letter (one letter) stating that fact.
Given this scenario, your company has just violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the federal law that regulates background checks.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes very detailed disclosure requirements, especially with employee screening, on the employer and also on the background screening company. Click here to read about those requirements, or click on the magnifying glass below.
They SHOULD Have Known!
If you are a landlord or property manager, and thought it would be quick, simple or cost efficient to avoid resident or tenant background checks, think again!
Last year, The Huffington Post published a story about a successful Washington D.C. property manager named Janet. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way about the importance of performing thorough background checks through a qualified third party company before renting. A few years ago, Janet had a property to rent. The owner was preparing to leave the country, and needed the property rented right away. So, Janet got to work finding a resident. She found a government contractor who was excited to find a home in the city.
Janet screened the applicant, but not thoroughly. She called her screening process, “express screening”. Unfortunately, that meant Janet did not run a credit report or a thorough background check through a qualified third party company. Instead, she used a credit report provided by the applicant, that he claimed to obtain from a free credit report website. She then contacted the person’s place of employment, and verified his employment and income. This is where Janet stopped checking. She “assumed” the applicant had a security clearance, and did not bother to check any further into his background. From there, she signed a lease, collected the first month’s rent, security deposit, and handed the keys to the resident. Huge mistake. She did not wait for the check to clear the bank nor did she hold off on distributing keys until the start of the lease. Due to her negligence, both checks bounced.
Janet contacted the resident, who then wrote two additional checks, from different accounts and banks. Of course, those checks bounced too. Janet discovered that she was conned. Janet and the owner sued the new resident and won the eviction judgement. Afterwards, they visited the home to find that the resident completely trashed the home, which now means the owner is out of even more money for repairs. The owner was furious, but decided to move forward without pressing legal charges against her. However, Janet lost her client and ruined her reputation.
Janet was fortunate. She could have been sued for significant monetary damages. If instead she had performed a background check, she would have quickly discovered the resident’s history of fraud and avoided a lawsuit. Janet could have received the resident’s screening results instantly, allowing her to meet the deadline. We can learn from Janet’s mistakes. Unfortunately, not everyone is as honest as we would hope. Never accept a printed credit report or a criminal background report from an applicant or “take their word” as proof of credit history or clean and clear criminal background history. It is critical to perform a thorough background check with a qualified, non-biased company before renting to anyone.
Reliable will ensure that potential residents and tenants are screened thoroughly and accurately. Whether you choose an instant screening report available in seconds, or a personally investigated, live-agent verified report, we have the resident and tenant screening products to serve your background checking needs.
Reliable Background Screening is widely viewed as the experts in the intricacies of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other background screening regulations. We take the time to explain those to our clients, in a simplified and practical manner, without charging extra for our expert advice. In a heavily-regulated area such as background screening, you want to partner with those who operate with the highest regard to the laws and regulations.
They SHOULD Have Known! is a monthly column written by Brett Troisi, Vice President, of Reliable Background Screening. Like everyone else at Reliable, Brett’s mission is to inform and educate the public of the importance of thorough background screening to protect your company and your brand.
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