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雇主需要了解的背景调查

等就业机会 (EEOC) 和联邦贸易委员会 (FTC) 联合发布了题为“ 背景调查,雇主需要知道什么”的联合出版物。 该出版物在考虑申请人和雇员的背景以做出与就业相关的决定时,为雇主提供了两个机构的指导。 EEOC 执行联邦法律,反对基于个人的种族、肤色、宗教、性别(包括怀孕)、国籍、年龄(40 岁或以上)、残疾或遗传信息的就业歧视。FTC 执行公平信用报告法 (FCRA),该法保护信用报告中信息的隐私和准确性。

本次更新重点介绍了这些机构在出版物中讨论的三个主要领域。

在您获取背景信息之前
EEOC 在获取申请人或雇员的背景信息之前向雇主提供以下指导:

  • 一视同仁。重要的是,如果您对申请人和雇员进行背景调查,那么您对所有申请人和雇员的审查都是一样的。

  • 除非在极少数情况下,不要试图获取个人的遗传信息,包括家族病史。

FTC 要求雇主在出于就业目的获取个人背景信息之前遵循这些特定程序:

  • 告诉申请人或雇员,您在决定其就业时可能会使用这些信息;

  • 如果您要求“调查报告”,即基于个人面谈的关于一个人的性格、一般声誉、个人特征和生活方式的报告,您必须告诉申请人或雇员他或她有权描述调查的性质和范围;

  • 获得个人的书面许可进行背景调查;

  • 向第三方背调或您收到报告的其他公司证明您已遵守 FCRA 要求,并且您不会歧视申请人或员工,或滥用信息违反联邦或州平等就业法律或法规。

使用背景信息
使用背景信息时,EEOC 规定您应该: 

  • 对每个人应用相同的标准;

  • 在根据背景问题做出就业决定时要特别小心,这些背景问题在具有某些受保护特征的人中可能更为常见。EEOC 强调只有在与工作相关且符合业务需要的情况下才应使用背景信息;

  • 在考虑背景信息时要灵活。雇主应准备好对由残疾引起的问题做出例外处理,并在背景调查中发现这些问题。

FTC 对使用背景信息的要求有两个方面,即采取不利行动之前和之后。在采取不利行动之前,雇主必须:

  • 向申请人或员工发出通知,其中包括您做出决定所依赖的消费者报告的副本;

  • 向个人提供一份“公平信用报告法下您的权利摘要”的副本,该副本来自 backgroundchecks.com 或向您出售该报告的其他公司。这使该人有机会查看报告并解释任何负面历史。

采取不利行动后,雇主必须告知申请人或雇员(口头、书面或电子方式)以下内容:

  • 他或她因为报告中的信息而被拒绝;

  • 出售报告的公司的名称、地址和电话号码;

  • 销售报告的公司没有做出聘用决定,也不能说明具体原因;

  • 他或她有权对报告的准确性或完整性提出异议,并有权在 60 天内从报告公司获得额外的免费报告。

背景信息的处理
关于记录,EEOC 希望雇主将所有人事或就业记录保存一年或采取人事行动后,以较晚者为准。对于拥有至少 150 名员工和至少 150,000 美元政府合同的教育机构、州和地方政府以及联邦承包商,这一要求延长至两年。

FCRA 要求以安全的方式处置报告和从报告中收集的所有信息。记录应被烧毁、粉碎或粉碎,并销毁电子信息,使其无法读取或重建。

The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued a joint publication entitled, Background Checks, What Employers Need to KnowThe publication offers guidance from both agencies to employers when considering the background of applicants and employees in making employment-related decisions. The EEOC enforces federal laws against employment discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. The FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the law that protects the privacy and accuracy of the information in credit reports.

This update highlights the three main areas that these agencies discussed in the publication.

Before You Get Background Information
The EEOC offers the following guidance to employers before getting background information on an applicant or employee:

  • Treat everyone the same. It is important that if you conduct background checks on applicants and employees, that you conduct the checks on all applicants and employees the same.

  • Except in rare circumstances, do not try to get an individual’s genetic information, which includes family medical history.

The FTC requires the employer to follow these specific procedures before background information is obtained on an individual for employment purposes.:

  • Tell the applicant or employee that you might use the information when making a decision about his or her employment;

  • If you are asking for an “investigative report”, that is a report based on personal interviews about a person’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and lifestyle, you must tell the applicant or employee of his or her right to a description of the nature and scope of the investigation;

  • Get the individual’s written permission to conduct the background check; and

  • Certify to backgroundchecks.com or another company from which you are getting the report that you complied with the FCRA requirements and that you will not discriminate against the applicant or employee, or misuse the information in violation of federal or state equal employment laws or regulations.

Using Background Information
When using background information, the EEOC states you should: 

  • Apply the same standards to everyone;

  • Take special care when making employment decisions based on background problems that may be more common among people of certain protected characteristics. The EEOC stresses that background information should only be used if it is job related and consistent with business necessity; and

  • Be flexible when considering background information. Employers should be prepared to make exceptions for problems caused by a disability and revealed during a background check.

The FTC requirements related to the use of background information are two-fold, that is before and after taking adverse action. Before taking adverse action, the employer must:

  • Give the applicant or employee a notice that includes a copy of the consumer report you relied on to make your decision; and

  • Give the individual a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”, received from backgroundchecks.com or another company that sold you the report. This allows the person an opportunity to review the report and explain any negative history.

After taking adverse action, the employer must tell the applicant or employee (orally, in writing, or electronically) the following:

  • That he or she was rejected because of the information in the report;

  • The name, address, and phone number of the company that sold the report;

  • That the company selling the report did not make the hiring decision, and cannot give specific reasons for it; and

  • That he or she has a right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the report, and to get an additional free report from the reporting company within 60 days.

Disposing of Background Information
With regard to records, the EEOC wants employers to keep all personnel or employment records made for one year or after a personnel action is taken, whichever comes later. This requirement is extended to two years for education institutions, state and local governments, and federal contractors that have at least 150 employees and a government contract of at least $150,000.

The FCRA requires that disposal of the reports and all information gathered from them be disposed of in a secure manner. Records should be burned, pulverized, or shredded, and electronic information destroyed so that it cannot be read or reconstructed.


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