Background checks are a crucial part of the recruitment process. A thorough background check provides an employer with the assurance that he will not face unnecessary costs in the future, either in terms of additional recruitment and training costs or costs relating to an expensive lawsuit for criminal or negligent activity by an employee. The practice of conducting criminal background checks is threatened by complaints from individuals who are more concerned with individual rights to privacy and who are filing lawsuits against employers, consumer reporting agencies, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Congress enacted the Federal Credit and Regulatory Act over 40 years ago to control the consumer credit information that was made available to mortgage companies. The FCRA also regulates the consumer information that is available to employers such as criminal records and driving records. The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that background checks are important for employer and employee protection. Additionally, employers from certain sectors such as child care, health care, and finance, are required to conduct background. The following information can help employers to understand how they can safely protect themselves and conduct legal and fair background checks:
- Employers must demonstrate that their background check practices are lawful. They should ensure transparent practices and follow the FCRA guidelines and recommendations.
- A section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 2003 (FCRA), the Littler report, provides a legal argument for employers who may find themselves having to defend their background check investigations. The Littler Report can be viewed here.
- The Littler report allows that certain investigations or background checks are exempt from the majority of the FCRA requirements that are used for employment purposes.
The new amendment may provide a legal defense for an employer who faces an individual or class action lawsuit that alleges a failure to comply with the FCRA. However, any employer who faces legal action should consult a lawyer and seek professional advice.
Visit our website for business practice tips that can improve your recruitment practices. Our expert recruiters can advise you and assist you in your background checks or other staffing needs. Have additional questions? Contact us today for more information on how a partnership with Hire Standard can assist you in your job search today!