A National Law Review article is reminding employers that deciding to conduct background checks is a good first step, but there are many things to consider when implementing screening policies and procedures.
We’ve written a lot of good topical articles to support this. Here’s a few to click on:
- Compliance checklist
- A tiny hiring technicality can cost you big
- Ban the Box 101
- How to define your social media screening policy
Some of the information covered may seem basic but experts agree that points like these can never be emphasized enough, especially since plenty of government agencies are ready, willing and able to crack down on compliance issues.
The attorney who wrote the article has identified several key points to help employers minimize the risk of litigation. Here they are in full as originally posted as part of the article ‘Background Checks? That is the Question.’
Consider deleting any question about criminal convictions from your job application. While “ban the box” prohibitions are not universal, deleting the question at the initial stage of the application process may be the easiest course of action. You will admittedly be giving up receiving certain information you are used to reviewing, but again it may be easiest in light of continuing changes to these laws. You can ask later in the process, in accordance with applicable laws.
Check and double-check your FCRA disclosure and consent forms. Eliminate extraneous language from disclosure documents, such as to combine the disclosure with a release. That would be an automatic violation of the statute.
Develop clear guidance about how to use the results of a background check and whether to withdraw a job offer based on those results. Key issues include how to evaluate the particular duties and responsibilities for the job you are hiring for, and how, if at all, the specific criminal conviction or credit report information relates to those duties and responsibilities. Document the decision and thought process about why the background check information was important to the decision.
Perform due diligence about your background check vendor. For example, recent class action filings alleged that vendor background checks included information that is prohibited by the FCRA, including criminal activity that was more than seven years old, and that the hiring employer relied on it.
Give the applicant a reasonable period of time to review and challenge the background check results before you withdraw the offer. Provide pre-adverse action letters.
Active Screening understands the pressures employers feel to follow the complexities of screening law. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve assembled a comprehensive portfolio of resources like compliance documents, sample background checks, and glossaries of terms. We encourage you to check out our resources page as you conduct your research about assembling a background screening policy and investigating firms who can meet your screening needs. As always, though, feel free to reach out to us to ask questions, get information and learn more about the Active Screening method. The easiest way to reach us is through email but we’re available by phone (1-800-319-5580) and Twitter, too.
We look forward to connecting!