Background Checks When Hiring – Do Your Background Check Policies Check Out?

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Stay Compliant When Using Background Checks When Hiring

Background checks have long been used to qualify potential candidates before hiring them as employees. However, employers who choose to run background checks when hiring and making personnel decisions are now finding themselves in a web of compliance concerns.

If you rely on background checks when hiring, be sure you are not violating any law or regulations to avoid harsh legal repercussions to your business. Contact Employer Support Services by calling 225-364-3000 for hiring and onboarding solutions that keep you compliant and help you hire the right candidate.

 

What Employers Need to Know About Background Checks When Hiring

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs how employers obtain and handle consumer reports, which include background checks. Failure to comply with the FCRA’s requirements could result in steep penalties and legal complications.

Employers must receive written authorization to obtain a background check for each individual (and provide other disclosures based on jurisdiction). If you use any information in the background check to deny employment, you must inform the candidate and provide the agency’s information that provided the background check.

[Related: Separation Practices: How to Avoid Common Mistakes]

 

Man with magnifying glass looking at a background check of an employee EEOC Guidelines

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that “When making personnel decisions – including hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment… you must comply with federal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination.” While its legal for an employer to ask questions about an employee’s background, you cannot use it to discriminate against them based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Age (40 or older)

Failure to follow EEOC guidelines for background checks when hiring can result in potentially steep penalties from non-compliance. If you need help hiring qualified candidates and complying with all regulations in the United States and your state, call Employer Support Services today at 225-364-3000. We can help qualify and screen candidates with background checks when hiring and keep you compliant with all laws and regulations.

 

manager looking at background check while female candidate is being interviewed Ban-the-Box Laws

As of 2021, 37 states and more than 150 cities and counties have enacted what is knows as the “ban the box” policy. This policy pushes employers to consider a candidate’s qualifications first, delaying background checks when hiring until further into the hiring process. This policy has been embraced by the federal government and seen as an effort to stop the cycle of poverty and provide candidates with a fair chance at employment.

If you are hiring within the states, cities, or counties that have this policy enacted, you need to ensure you are asking for background checks at appropriate times during the hiring process. A candidate’s qualifications for the job should be considered first to ensure you are offering fair opportunity at employment.

Talk to Employer Support Services today for more information about background checks when hiring in a ban-the-box state or locality.

[Related: 8 Steps for Attracting & Hiring the Best Candidates]

 

Quality Background Checks When Hiring

Not every background check when hiring is created equal. Many agencies that provide background checks do not provide a comprehensive review. If you are looking for a quality background check when hiring or making a personnel decision, ensure the background check includes:

  • A national criminal background check.
  • A Social Security trace.
  • A background check of counties where the individual has lived for the last seven years.

Inadequate practices by background screening firms can lead to negligent hiring.

Don’t leave your hiring and personnel decision up to chance. Contact ESS for background checks when hiring and to stay compliant with all laws and regulations. Call today at 225-364-3000 for more information or to discuss HR services for your business.

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