There are many types of background checks that a company can conduct on an individual. You can check their credit history, their criminal history, their employment history, their academic history, etc. You can also run drug screenings and check up on their references. However, you will need to keep the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in mind while doing your background checks. The basic idea behind this act is to make sure that employers don’t use background checks to discriminate against individuals. Here’s how you remain compliant with background checks:
Not Discriminating to Remain Compliant With Background Checks
When you run a background check, make sure that you don’t discriminate against an individual on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, race, country of origin, religion, disability, and whether or not they are pregnant. So, if your background check shows up any of this information, you can’t make it the basis of not hiring them.
Doing Background Checks on All Candidates
When you do background checks on individuals whom you are considering for a job, you need to make sure that you do them for all the candidates and not just some of them because that would be considered discriminatory.
Obtaining Signed Consent to Remain Compliant With Background Checks
You need to get a signed consent form from the candidate before you can do a background check on them. Keep in mind that the consent form has to be a separate document by itself and cannot be included in any other form. Additionally, you can’t have any language absolving you of liability in that form.
Adverse Action Protocol
If you find out anything in the background check, as a result of which you decide not to hire the candidate, then you have to give them notice in writing and wait for five days to see if they decide to refute it. If they don’t, then you need to send them a final notice withdrawing your offer.
Doing Drug Screenings
When it comes to drug screenings, keep in mind that many states have now legalized marijuana usage. Depending on which state you are located in, it may not be legal to do a marijuana screening for job candidates.
Using Credit History
Using an individual’s credit history to decide whether or not to hire them might also be against state or city laws although it is legal at the federal level. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t use the results of your credit history in a discriminatory manner. For example, if a person has a lot of student loans, that should not disqualify them from a job as an administrative assistant. The two don’t have anything to do with each other.
Learn More About Remaining Compliant With Background Checks
Contact us to learn more about recruiting compliance and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.