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Do You Have Proper Authorization for Background Screening?

You’re ready to hire a great candidate, and you need to conduct pre-employment screening. How do you know you are following the proper procedures?

Whether you are running background checks in-house or through a pre-employment screening company, keep your organization in compliance by asking these five questions.

Did You Ask Permission?

If you are conducting a background check through a consumer reporting agency or third-party screening company, your organization must obtain written permission from the applicant or employee first. This regulation is part of the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) passed in 1970 to protect the accuracy, fairness and privacy of consumer information. Although the words, Fair Credit, are misleading, the law applies to all background checks not only those including credit reports.

Did You Include the Required Paperwork?

In addition, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires companies to provide written documentation explaining 1) they will be conducting a background check and 2) the results may impact eligibility for employment. This notice must be a standalone document. It cannot be part of or hidden in the application.

Is Your Screening Non-Discriminatory?

Certainly, some information on a background check may raise legitimate concerns. However, at the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prevents businesses from using background checks to discriminate when hiring or employing workers. Organizations must screen everyone equally. For example, an employer cannot check the criminal records of certain ethic groups but not others.

Are You Prepared to Follow Up?

Under federal law, if a business decides not to hire, continue to employ or promote someone because of a background report, they must provide a Pre-Adverse Action Letter and A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This allow individuals an opportunity to view their background report and to contest any possible mistakes. (Sometimes, background checks do contain incorrect information.) Also, your organization should be familiar with any state and local laws as these may be more rigorous. For instance, in California, employees have a right to request a copy of the background report regardless of the results.

If You Are Working with a Screening Company, Do They Know the Rules?

The right pre-employment background screening agency can help you to successfully navigate all the various regulations. How can you find a company at the top of their game? Look for agencies with The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) seal of approval. NAPBS accredited firms must go through a rigorous set of on-site audits every five years to demonstrate their high professional standards, accountability and continued institutional improvement.

Are You Looking for Top Pre-employment Screening Companies in Buffalo, NY?

Metrodata Services has been serving Western New York since 1997. We currently assist over 600 organizations nationwide. Let us put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today to learn more!

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