Change seems to be constant with employment screening services and the rules that govern them. As you prepare for a new year, it would be a good idea to include looking at your compliance forms to make sure you are following proper legal procedure.
Are your forms up-to-date? Do they have the legally required wording? Do they contain language that isn’t allowed?
Here are some specifics to consider:
Background Check Disclosure Forms
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers who use background checks as part of their hiring process must provide a clear and conspicuous disclosure to applicants before ordering the check. The disclosure form should be a separate, stand-alone document that does not include any unrelated information, which means no extra wording or combining the form with any other document.
After providing a proper disclosure document, have your applicant sign a consent form, which authorizes you to obtain a background report. Once again, the consent form should be a separate document and not be embedded in an employment application.
These requirements are part of federal law, but there could be local laws that may necessitate additional disclosure requirements. That’s why it’s critical for you to have your attorney review your disclosure and consent forms to identify inaccurate information that could be violating the FCRA or local laws. This extra step could end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Any applicant who has been subjected to a background check and is not approved for employment must receive an adverse action notice. These letters must be sent out promptly to keep you FCRA compliant.
Time-Sensitive Notices to Be Aware Of
Pre-Adverse Action Notice
If an applicant’s background check indicates unfavorable past behaviors, you should send a pre-adverse action notification. This letter precedes any adverse action and informs the applicant that the application will be denied based on information in the report.
You must furnish the applicant with the following:
- A copy of the background report
- A copy of Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- A reasonable amount of time to dispute the accuracy of the report
Although the FCRA doesn’t state what a reasonable amount of time is, the Federal Trade Commission has suggested five days.
Adverse Action Notice
After a reasonable amount of time has passed without an appeal from the applicant, you must continue with the adverse action letter by sending the notice after the pre-adverse requirements have been met.
The notice is given in writing and must include the following:
- A statement that the adverse action is based on information contained in the background report.
- Name, address, and toll-free telephone number of the consumer reporting agency (CRA) you used.
- A statement that the CRA supplying the background report took no part in the decision to take adverse action and cannot give specific reasons for it.
- Notice of applicant’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the information.
- Notice of applicant’s right to another free consumer report.
Need to conduct employment background screening in Buffalo?
We are Metrodata Services Inc., one of the leading pre-employment screening firms in Buffalo. However, we are not attorneys. We are here only to provide insights on managing your forms in the coming year. Consult with your attorney to ensure that your forms are correct and your processes are legal. See us for help in finding the perfect candidate.