There is no such thing as optional when it comes to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance. When your company makes the choice to run employment background checks on potential hires, the FCRA regulations protect the rights of the applicant. To protect your company, know that compliance is not optional and be absolutely sure you follow FCRA guidelines.
Before considering running pre-employment background checks it’s important to understand the regulations that govern employment screening. Your company and anyone who will be utilizing background check services should be well versed in how HireSafe keeps your company FCRA compliant. You may also want to review procedures like the individual assessment and other guidelines provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
One of the best things you can do to remain compliant is to ensure that everyone knows the steps involved with starting the background check process and how to proceed if a background check report may cause you not to hire an applicant.
Whenever employers conduct an employment background check they must have applicants sign an approved “Release Authorization Form.” Luckily the HireSafe QuickApp and QuickApp PRO provide the release form and collect a digital signature from the applicant. If your company has opted for the manual format, you will need to upload a signed release authorization form before the background check can progress.
Once the release authorization is completed and received the background check can move forward. Depending on the selections you make this could take anywhere from a few days to a week to complete.
Should the report return information that makes you consider not hiring a candidate STOP! Don’t make any communications to the candidate, don’t make a final decision on whether or not to hire. When you may not hire a candidate based on background check information this is known as adverse action. To remain compliant, you must follow the FCRA rules and regulations.
There are two steps with adverse action and both can be completed online with just a few mouse clicks if you’re using the HireSafe online portal. When notifying your candidate of possible adverse action, it is important to make sure all notifications are FCRA and state complaint. For instance, you will need to have explicit reasoning for denying employment in the second adverse action step if you live in a county or state with “Ban the Box” laws.
During step one, a pre adverse action form is sent to the candidate and they are given time to respond or dispute the background check findings. Included with notification this but separate from the actual document should be the FCRA required summary of rights, any state notices and a copy of the background check report. When making this first step it is important to make sure the candidate has the consumer reporting agency’s (HireSafe) contact information. It’s also important they know that the background screening company does not make the final hiring decision.
Once the candidate has viewed the pre adverse action notice, they must be given time to contact the background check company and dispute the report. Generally, 5 business days should be enough time for the candidate to do so however, be sure they have received the document before waiting this amount of time. While you are waiting, you should limit communication with the candidate and direct them to the background check company to dispute findings. Do not make a final hiring decision until the applicant has been given adequate time to review the documentation and dispute any findings.
During step two and only after the applicant has been given adequate time to respond, a final decision is made. Should you decide not to hire the candidate there are two compliant documents HireSafe offers to notify the candidate of your decision. Through our online portal you can find the “final adverse action employment denial” or “rescinding offer” forms under “disclosures and forms.” While HireSafe does offer these forms, it is the employers responsibility to ensure their delivery.
Want to learn more? View, download or print our background check recommended do’s and don’ts and be sure to check out how the HireSafe request formats can help your company stay complaint!
Legal Disclaimer: HireSafe is not a law firm, and does not dispense legal advice. The information provided herein is general business information, and is not based on any particular facts or situations and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own legal counsel concerning matters covered in this publication.