Recently HireSafe made the change to entirely online background checks, our goal was to ensure safety from lawsuits for our clients, protection of basic rights for their potential hires and to protect and continue to offer the services we provide. Entirely online background check procedures greatly reduce the possibility of failing to be compliant with FCRA and state regulations, increase the quality of information provided by the applicant and protect the applicant’s rights.
Non-Compliance with FCRA and State regulations has consequences
We try to make it abundantly clear that lawsuits are a very real danger in the employment industry when using background checks. There is seemingly no end to the restrictions and regulations surrounding documentation, authorization and notices. Mistakes in providing required paperwork, procuring a legal authorization from the candidate, providing the correct resource and contact information to challenge a record, providing the correct documents for a pre-adverse action notice and following the federal guidelines for considering adverse action even the way the documents are ordered and presented are just some of the ways you, your company and HireSafe can be sued for thousands or more.
The news is full of companies surprised by lawsuits and ordered to make huge payouts for failing to be compliant with FCRA and State polices. Lawsuits against Swift were because they were non-compliant by not providing pre-adverse action notices and FCRA rights disclosures. Publix lost a suit and was ordered to pay $6.8 Million for being non-compliant and failing to provide correct notification of the background check.
The violations in these cases are not usually because a company is trying to do the wrong thing but because they were not aware of the correct procedures. Sometimes they were aware and did not follow the FCRA requirements to the letter. Such an instance resulted in a class action lawsuit being filed against Chipotle in California just last week. The plaintiff stated Chipotle included the text of the mandatory FCRA disclosure in the actual application! Chipotle gave the applicant the disclosure they just did not provide that disclosure separate from other documents. In addition, the applicant was not provided with the option to request a copy of their background check. Mistakes like these may be intended to help out, but can have a devastating effect.
FCRA Lawsuits are increasing!
A recent report noted that FCRA lawsuits are heavily increasing this is possibly due to attorneys getting better at marketing, more companies violating changing FCRA regulations or more candidates are becoming aware of their rights. Whichever it is you can expect FCRA lawsuits to continue the upward trend as they have for the past few years.
Despite recent supreme court decisions altered the understanding of what justifies concrete evidence of injury which was helpful to employers the onslaught of class action suits in California and beyond. If your company is not maintaining compliant background check procedures, then you could be next.
Smaller companies must be vigilant to maintain compliance with FCRA regulations and State regulations
No matter what the intent of the individuals on the company side in the lawsuits above, they can and will be found guilty and hit with massive fines. The issue here is even with the best of intentions employers can easily make an error such as consolidating the FCRA disclosure forms in an application. HireSafe’s QuickApp utilizes compliant documentation to ensure that your applicants get all the required documents, sign all the necessary forms and that all the verbiage meets FCRA and state regulations.
If large companies are falling into compliance traps on a regular basis you know that you must be more than vigilant to stay compliant and avoid FCRA lawsuits. HireSafe can help with our entirely online suite of background check services. You can review FCRA and State compliance information by clicking on the links or reviewing our compliance recommendations.