by Jacqueline McClure, Genesis Background Screening Services
If your company is performing background checks on all new hires, good for you! Obviously you care about your business, your employees and your customers’ safety. However, if your Human Resources Department has been processing them the same way for years, it’s probably time to check and make sure that your system is up-to-date and compliant.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that companies must obtain an applicant’s authorization and consent before running a background check. This cannot be buried deep in the small print in your paperwork – it must be a clearly defined, stand-alone document and needs to include:
- The applicant’s Summary of Rights under the FCRA (some individual States may have separate summary of rights that are required to be provided, check with your background screening provider for specific laws in the States you screen hire in)
- What type of background screens you will perform
- Information on how the results may affect the employment outcome
Proper authorization can be obtained from an applicant by using online forms with e-signature capability or paper forms as long as they are clear and easily understood by your applicant. There are several advantages to online forms – one is that is easy to keep them consistent throughout your organization. Anyone who works in an office knows how easy it is to have several versions of forms floating around and the odds of something being used that is no longer compliant is higher than you think. Online forms also make it easier to automate and access. But whatever method you choose, for the safety of your company, keep a copy of the signed authorization in case it is ever needed to prove that FCRA regulations were followed.
In addition to authorization and consent compliance, remember to follow any Ban-the-Box regulations in your state for the appropriate timing of your background checks. Laws vary – by state and county or even city ordinances. Some areas may only affect public government positions and in other areas apply to both private and public employers. If you operate nationwide, you may want to adopt the most stringent regulations to use throughout the company for consistency. If you have any doubts or concerns about whether your company is currently compliant with recent regulations, call Genesis Background Screening Services and schedule a free consultation.*
Stay on top of your company’s HR processes to be sure you are staying compliant with changing regulations. If you have any questions or would like a consultation on HR processes, best hiring practices or background screening, you can call 866 944-0041 ext 101, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com
* Genesis Background Screening Services is a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), not a law firm and does not take the place of legal counsel. If you need legal help, please consult an experienced Employment Attorney.