When you are considering an offer for a new candidate, it is extremely important to understand all of the legal implications of conducting pre-employment screenings. What are the parameters surrounding certain checks? What are the best ones to perform to get the most accurate information? If you’re considering any type of background checking as a condition of employment, this is the most important information you can have at your fingertips. Here are four things you need to know about new background check laws and how they impact your business.
- How to handle credit reports.
Credit checks are still a hot button issue for many companies and potential employees. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers are required to get written consent from candidates before they check this information. Also, if you do decide not to hire a candidate based on these criteria, you are required to provide a copy of the credit check to them and inform them of their right to challenge the report. It is best to discuss your decision with a legal professional to create a set of parameters for each check.
- How to handle criminal background checks.
The laws that govern the use of this information vary from state to state so the best possible advice is to consult with a lawyer to find out what is appropriate. You can work with the legal advisor to determine what criteria are important for your company and create across the board policies that are in compliance with your state laws. Depending on the nature of the individual job, this may be different for each department or facility.
- How to handle school transcripts.
A potential employee’s education record is not considered public information. In order to use this information for a hiring decision you must first get the consent of the employee. When you contact a school, they will not be able to provide this information without written permission from the individual. In today’s market, many companies are relying less on degrees and more on practical and transferable experience. It may no longer be necessary to access this information unless the job requires specific licensing.
- How to handle medical records.
Companies cannot base hiring criteria on the medical information of potential employees. This is an express violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A doctor would also be in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) if they were to provide sensitive medical information to a third party. You are only able to ask the employee if they can perform the duties of the job with reasonable accommodation.
Are you looking for more professional employment information on pre-screening candidates for your open positions? Contact Anserteam to learn about the requirements and procedures that are best for your company.