If your company is planning to hire one or more new employees, you probably want to conduct pre-employment background checks on applicants during the hiring process. This can help you hire people who are qualified for the job, are honest, and do not pose a risk to other employees or customers. Conducting thorough background checks is an important component of the hiring process that can help you make good decisions and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits.
Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements
You need to be careful to follow the law, however. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets out guidelines for pre-employment background checks. It is designed to protect the rights of consumers and specifies certain procedures that employers need to follow when conducting background checks.
One area where many employers get into trouble is with disclosure and authorization forms. An employer is required to obtain a job applicant’s consent in writing before conducting a background check. This step cannot be skipped because it can expose you to a lawsuit if you conduct a background check without permission.
Some employers find themselves sued because of the way their disclosure and authorization forms are worded and organized. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that an employer must notify an applicant in writing that a consumer report will be obtained as part of the hiring process. This must be in a disclosure form that does contain any other information. Some companies that included other information alongside the disclosure and authorization information have found themselves the subjects of class-action lawsuits by job applicants.
How to Make Sure You Comply with the FCRA
You can avoid problems by making sure that you use a disclosure and authorization form that complies with the rules set out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It should make clear to an applicant that a consumer report will be obtained as part of the hiring process. The disclosure should not contain any other information that could be confusing or that could distract from the intent of the form.
DataCheck has helped businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help you obtain information on job applicants’ backgrounds so you can make the right hiring decisions. We can also help you make sure you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state and local laws. Contact DataCheck today to learn more about our background check services.