Employment Screening And Background Checks Explained
The logic of Trust But Verify seems to apply when it comes to employment screening.
All businesses and organizations of any size should screen prospective employees for criminal records. This is the only way businesses have to protect their employees and the public from hiring someone with a serious criminal record that may cause significant harm. When a negligent hiring lawsuit is filed, sometimes the best defense may be evidence that the company conducted a quality criminal record background check before they hired someone.
The extent a private employer may consider an applicant's criminal history in making hiring decisions can differ from state to state. Legislatures often try to enact legislation limiting the rights of employers to consider an applicant's criminal history if it does not directly apply to the position applied for. You should familiarize yourself and consult with professionals with regard to any governing laws in your state.
Credential verifications such college degrees, past employment or licenses held are often presented inaccurately on employment applications. This can be one of the most time consuming tasks in a Human Resources Department, and many HR departments have found it to be cost effective to have a professional employment screening service that does credential verifications complete this part of the employment screening process.
The following list contains the types of information that employers often rely on as part of an employment screening check, Some of the he laws governing access and use of records in making hiring decisions.
Businesses using an employment screening company must obtain an employee's written consent before seeking:
Note: Bankruptcies are a matter of public record and may appear on an individual's credit report. The Federal Bankruptcy Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants because they have filed for bankruptcy.
If you decide not to hire or promote someone based on information in the credit or criminal record report, you must provide a copy of the report and let the applicant know of his or her right to challenge the report under the FCRA.
Visit the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website for more information.
Under no circumstance can you discuss information contained in a consumer credit report with the applicant. Always refer them to the credit reporting agency for discussion or dispute.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers cannot discriminate based on a physical or mental impairment or request an employee's medical records. Businesses can, however, inquire about an applicant's ability to perform specific job duties. Some states also have stronger laws protecting the confidentiality of medical records.
For Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) checks, consult these resources:
FBI Services for Businesses
FBI Criminal History Checks for Employment and Licensing
FBI Checks on Employees of Banks and Related Entities