Background Checks On Independent Contractors

Employment Screening And Background Checks On Independent Contractors

Updated 03/2019
Health care providers often have a particular requirement when it comes to screening independent contractors.

The screening of independent contractors is an often overlooked screening issue.
Most companies recognize the liability arising from independent contractors when it comes to workers' comp and other insurance issues, but businesses must also consider that allowing independent contractors access to company personnel, records and property can produce the same liabilities to the company as any other employee might.

Therefore, a background check on all independent contractors is a major risk management consideration.
As to releases, please see the FTC staff opinion letter reproduced below.


A client who requested a background search on a new bookkeeper they were hiring.The bookkeeper would be treated as an independent contractor.
Other than modifying the authorization form from employee to independent contractor, do you take any other steps for screening contractors who will NOT be employees.

FTC Opinion Letters on point regarding independent contractors:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra/allison.shtm

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra/solomon.shtm

Barring, duress or coercion, it seems to me that the authorization was legally obtained and is legally valid (assuming it was a separate document and contained all the requisite language).  That said, if the consumer attempts to revoke the authorization during the background check process it would be reasonable to cease the background.  However, anything already processed/completed would seem to have been legally obtained and anything already provided to the client would also seem to have been legally provided.

Vincent J. Pascarella, Esq., SPHR

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