December 22nd, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions
U.S. Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist
I want to start off by saying that background screening was not something that I gave any thought to until I started working at SterlingSM. Sure, I had heard of companies doing it, but thought of it more in relation to executives, the financial industry or classified government work and not for employees like me. But since working here, as I have learned more about the employee background screening industry, I have learned there is much more to it that just a simple background check. Background screening is one of the many components to make sure a company hires the best candidate for the job.
With all of the changes in state labor laws, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) rulings, it is highly important to have a concise background screening policy for your company. A background screening policy is a company’s first line of defense in cases of possible litigation. Having a process in place to request, receive and evaluate background checks will allow you to better defend your screening program.
There are many things to contemplate when putting together a background screening policy for your company from deciding the purpose to making sure your program is compliant to local, state and federal laws. Below are just a few of the items which you need to consider in an organization’s background screening program:
- What is your purpose and scope of the background screening program?
- Who in the company is responsible for running the background screening program?
- At what point in the hiring process the background check will be requested?
- Are all of your applicants signing a written consent authorizing the background check prior to any request?
- Is the organization compliant with FCRA and equal employment laws? Is this stated directly in the screening policy?
- Is there procedures created to factor in EEOC rulings in considering criminal conviction information in an employment decision?
- Is there an adverse action policy in place including a pre-adverse notice, copy of the background check and rights afforded to the applicant under federal and state law?
If you are able to answer the questions above, then you are well on the way to creating a compliant employee background screening policy for your organization. To find out more details on many steps to create this policy, download our U.S. Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist.
This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.