EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND CHECKS
All employment screening services including pre-employment drug screening and pre-employment criminal record background checks are available in Alaska.
Recent ruling concerning release forms by ninth circuit.
Single combined state and Federal release forms no longer adequate.
Employers conducting background checks in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana Nevada, Oregon and Washington State should be aware of this ruling and take steps to comply with this ruling.
In Gilberg v. Cal. Check Cashing Stores, LLC, No. 17-16263, 2019 WL 347027 (Ninth Cir. Jan. 29, 2019), the Ninth Circuit held a single form combining nearly identical federal and state disclosures violates both federal and state laws.
Employers who conduct pre-employment background checks must now provide applicants with two separate standalone forms: (1) disclosure and consent under Fair Credit Reporting Act; and (2) disclosure and consent under California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (or other applicable state law).
CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS LANGUAGE
By including release/authorization language related to the required state form, or any other required disclosure or release, the court also ruled that the combination form violated the FCRA because it contained “extraneous information and was as likely to confuse as it was to inform.”
The court also found that the CheckSmart Financial LLC, release form also contained language that a reasonable person would not understand.
Specifically, the court cited this sentence: “The scope of this notice and authorization is all-encompassing; however, allowing CheckSmart Financial, LLC to obtain from any outside organization all manner of consumer reports and investigative consumer reports now and, if you are hired, throughout the course of your employment to the extent permitted by law.”
First, the court found that this sentence did not explain how the notice was all-encompassing.
Moreover, it did not disclose the impact that authorization would have on a prospective employee’s rights.
In addition, the court cited the portion of the sentence after the semicolon.
It found that it was incomplete, lacked a subject and that the drafting may have caused confusion as to the possible limits of the authorization
What should employers do?
1. Obviously, Avoid Combining Any Other Release Or Disclosure Forms
2. Use Standalone Easy To Read and Understand documents only
3. Use Large Font, at least 12 point
4. Separate Subjects In The disclosure Language With Bold Title Headers
5. Use Plain Language And Avoid Legal Terminology
Our criminal records Smart Search Plus® has become the industry standard for a quality criminal records background check.
It includes an unlimited check of the Federal criminal records repositories in the states where the applicant has lived for the past 7 years.
It also includes a check of any needed state and county criminal records checks as well as a social security number address history trace, a multi-state criminal records database search and a check of of the sex offender registry in all 50 states.
It is the criminal records background check now chosen by most of our clients. For a brief overview of all of our employment screening services, please Click Here
State Laws and Their Impact on Use of Criminal Records for Employment Purposes
While the FCRA and EEOC provide a legal framework under which consumer reporting agencies and employers report and use criminal records, there are a number of state laws that limit the use of arrest and conviction records by prospective employers.
These range from laws and rules prohibiting the employer from asking
the applicant any questions about arrest records, to those restricting the employers use of conviction data in making an employment decisions.
In some states, while there is little or no restrictions placed on the employer, there are protections provided to the applicant with regard to what information they are required to report or use information regarding convictions.
A current Alaska county criminal records background check is recommended for the most up to date and complete employment screening background check information.
Alaska Admin Office of Courts
This database contains current and historical felony and misdemeanor records of individuals who are or have been under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Court system. Quarterly updates of the most current data available are provided.
Alaska Sex Offender
Alaska Sex Offender Registry records. Data includes name, address, photograph, place of employment, date of birth, crime for which convicted, date of conviction and place and court of conviction. Updated monthly.
Home State Criminal Records Site map
National Employment Screening provides professional employment screening and employment background check services to Alaskan employers to help you protect your employees and clients from the costly effects of making a “Bad Hire.”
We provide employment screening services for hospitals, nursing homes, franchised auto dealers, staffing companies, employee leasing companies, PEO’s, trucking and transportation companies, banks, high tech companies, insurance companies and all other employers in all Alaskan cities.
We serve Nome, Sitka, Fairbanks and all other Alaskan cities.
Alaska employment screening law: Giving Employment References
If reference is presented in good faith, the employer is not liable for the disclosure regarding job references, provided they are not reckless, malicious, false or deliberately misleading. (Alaska Stat §09.65.160)
Alaska employment screening: At Will employment Law
Alaska is an employment-at-will state but an employer still must act in good faith and fair dealing. This means that an employer made no misrepresentations, that the employment relationship is entered into in good faith and that the employer will treat the employee fairly.
Please note that Federal employment screening law mandates background checks for employees who are engaged in particular industries.
The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services maintains a list of individuals who are excluded from participation in any of its federally-funded healthcare programs. Exclusions are due to convictions for program-related fraud and patient abuse, licensing board actions and default on health education assistance loans.
Therefore, employers in affected industries should check the OIG Exclusion list before hiring employees who might work in such programs. The FACIS program is also very important when screening medical personnel. Click Here for more information on FACIS.
Alaska Drug Free Workplace Screening
Cristy Allyn Willer
Prevention and Early Intervention
Department of Health and Social Services
3601 C Street, Suite 878
Juneau, AK 99503
All of our reports are FCRA compliant.
Our Automated Employment Screening provides an applicant controlled process that allows FCRA compliant background check forms, including Electronic Chain-Of-custody forms and releases to be completed online by the applicant.
We provide several short videos to easily acquaint you with the system.
This really does make the background check process fast and easy.
Please Click or call for more information.
Call us now at 800-459-3034 and begin ordering instant driving records and background checks within minutes or:
A price list will be promptly e-mailed to you.
None of the information contained in this web site should be construed as legal advice.
All forms, policies, information and procedures should be reviewed by your legal counsel before being used in any way.