Employment Screening Services Guide
Pre-Employment Screening Background Check Guide
The value of pre-employment screening has been well established.
And, over the past 10 years or so it has become a highly automated process.
Almost all businesses, health care providers, churches and all other organizations have determined that the the basic building block of protecting their organization is a quality employment screening program.
Thanks to automation, the employer’s ability to complete an in depth employment screening background check, pre-employment drug screening and credential verifications has become much easier.
From the employer’s point of view, the employment screening ordering process is largely automated. This makes ordering pre-employment criminal records background checks, driving records, drug screening and other pre-employment screening services as easy as selecting from a menu of employment screening services.
This is not so simple from the employment screening company’s perspective. The employment screening service provider must comply with many Federal and state laws in researching and reporting the background check information requested in an employment screening program.
Moreover, the employment screening company must access county and state criminal records repositories that do not always share the employer’s sense of urgency in making hiring decisions.
And of course, while the ordering process is simple, an employer’s compliance with the numerous Federal and state laws governing the hiring process are not.
These ever changing laws describing what an employer may or may not do as part of the hiring process requires the utmost attention and professional monitoring to be sure compliance is maintained.
The costs associated with employment practices liability coverage are often a direct outgrowth of these talking points.
Certainly the prudent HR or hiring manager might want to review some of the items in this guide for their own employer’s compliance.
From an insured’s perspective, the best losses are the ones they never have because applicants that produce losses and litigation were never hired.
Employment screening law enforcement has been moved by the current administration from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Enforcement of of the laws surrounding employment screening have received heightened enforcement by this new Federal agency.
It is important to review the following aspects of a businesses employment screening program.
1. Are you currently getting a check of Federal criminal records as part of your pre-employment background checks?
Many employers think they do, but in fact Federal criminal records checks may not be a part of their current employment screening program.
Since about 10 percent of all criminal arrest records are now in the Federal system, many crimes such as embezzlement, credit card fraud etc., are prosecuted in the Federal court system and will not appear as part of a routine state or county criminal records check. This important records check should definitely be a part of any background check.
2. Develop a written policy describing in detail the types and levels of criminal records that will preclude employment in your organization. Guidance tip: Be sure you apply these restrictions consistently and fairly to avoid charges of discrimination.
3. Is your business or organization getting instant driving records on all applicants as the first part of the employment screening process?
Many times having the results of an instant driving record saves the client from incurring any further costs associated with the hiring process such as interviews and further background checks.
3. Are all of the the background screening program components FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant.
Beginning with the authorization/release form?
4. Is it a stand alone release as required by law? (soon a two page release will be required to be legally compliant)
5. Review compliance with the EEOC guidelines to make sure your hiring practices and criteria do not result in “Disparate Impact” on minorities.
6. Does the applicant release form disclose the nature and scope of the background check? * Cautionary guidance note: In light of recent lawsuits in 2016, if your business uses an online employment application you must be sure that the online release applicants are required to sign for an employment screening background check are a completely stand alone page. This means the release must be a completely separate page from the rest of the employment application and not have any other “distraction” language on the release form.
6. When a decision not to hire is made based on a background check result are the two part adverse action laws complied with?
7. Is the applicant provided a copy of the record if adverse or negative action is taken based on the report?
8. Is the applicant provided with a revised copy of the Summary of Rights as required by Federal law updated January 2013?
9. Guidance on database searches: Database criminal record background checks are not by themselves legally compliant for an employer to use in an employment decision.
Database searches are cheap because the miss 30 to 50 percent of criminal records.. And, they do not comply with the FCRA which requires up to date verification of criminal records when used in employment decisions.