Employee Screening Disclosures – What Employers Need to Know
When companies hire a third-party background screening company to perform the background checks as part of their hiring process, both the employer and the background screening company must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA – the federal law that governs employee background checks).
Many people have heard about the FCRA as the federal consumer lending protection law – which it is. However, the part of the FCRA that deals with employee screening has nothing to do with consumer credit cards, car loans, or mortgages.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes very stringent disclosure requirements upon the employer when the employer obtains an employee background screening report. The first requirement is that companies cannot perform the background check without the applicant’s consent.
This employee consent cannot be part of the general employment application – it must be a separate and distinct disclosure form whose sole purpose is the employee authorization for the background check. Further the requisite disclosure, “FCRA Summary of Rights” as prescribed by the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) must also be given to the applicant at the time the employee consent is obtained.
Additional employer disclosures are needed if the employer takes an adverse action, based upon the results in the background screening report (referred to as the “consumer report” in the FCRA). Adverse actions under the FCRA include:
For New Hires: To not hire the applicant
For Existing Employees: To fire, demote, or not promote the employee
Should an Adverse Action be contemplated or taken, the employer has additional disclosure requirements. Click here to read about those requirements, or click on the magnifying glass below.
Rudy Troisi, President Reliable Background Screening
Hiring Seasonal Employees
It is almost the time of the year when companies hire seasonal employees. It is easy to assume that when hiring seasonal employees, we can let our guard down and relax our screening requirements.
Lowering our employee screening standards around the holidays, even for seasonal employees, could be a disaster for your organization, and here is why:
The same standards of screening must be applied equally to all applicants within the same job classification
It is very common for seasonal employees to stay employed beyond the holiday season
During the holiday season, employees handle more customers, more transactions, etc. – This makes the probability and devastation of theft, fraud, and other potentially damaging illegal activities much higher
As a business owner or manager, you do not want to have to spend time dealing with employees who were not vetted properly during the busy holiday season.
Reliable Background Screening has been the trusted source for all your employee, volunteer, and independent contractor background screening needs, with unparalleled quality control and live-agent verified reports. We make background screening easy and convenient.
They SHOULD Have Known!
THE PITFALLS OF SECRETIVE BACKGROUND CHECKS
Can a company be sued for denying an applicant a job based on their criminal history? Well of course they could, because this is America and we are an extremely litigious society… people sue for just about anything these days.
However, for the most part, the company is not in the wrong to deny someone a job based on the results of their background check, provided the company applies consistent standards within the same job classification. Yet, there are rules that need to be followed before an applicant can be rejected from a position due to their criminal history.
Waffle House, the restaurant chain that has over 2,000 locations across the country, recently made news for denying an applicant a job based on his criminal history. Now that applicant, William Jones, has brought a lawsuit against Waffle House because they did not disclose the fact that they were running a background check on him.
Typically, when you fill out an application for a job you will have to sign a separate and distinct authorization form that allows the company to run a background check on you. It is against the law to run a background check on somebody without his or her permission. Had the Waffle House been transparent with William Jones that they were going to run a background check on him, Mr. Jones would not have a case against them.
It is essential for companies to have the proper disclosure forms that contain the requisite language before running a background check on their applicants.
Reliable Background Screening takes care of this for you, and will provide all of the documents and disclosures that you need to perform background checks on your employees, thus minimizing the likelihood of your company being sued.
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 as a means for public safety
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