2018 年， 超过三分之一的美国工人 是零工经济的一部分。这部分人口不再微不足道。在十年内，大多数专业人士很有可能以自由职业者、合同或临时工作的方式工作。雇主需要调整他们的背景调查策略，以保持竞争力并防范雇用未经审查人员的风险。如果人员不被视为“员工”，则不再重要——重要的是他们代表的是企业或品牌。
我们已经看到多个实例，在这些实例中，彻底的承包商或供应商筛选可能已防止损害或声誉受损。优步和 Lyft 等拼车服务在其背景调查政策以及发生在其司机手中的袭击和其他犯罪数量方面面临着激烈的争议。 最近的一份报告 提出了一个令人信服的案例，即糟糕的背景调查政策可能导致佛罗里达州一家州选举供应商的数据遭到黑客攻击。报告认为，由于许多选举职能是由私人供应商执行的，因此政府必须了解供应商如何在没有适当监督的情况下受到外部影响者和其他因素的影响。
在纽约市，为承包商提供与雇员相同的权利和保护的努力已经升级到立法变革的程度。2019 年 9 月， 纽约市议会批准了一项 扩大纽约市人权法以适用于独立承包商和传统雇员的提案。对承包商进行犯罪背景调查的雇主现在必须遵循他们对任何员工都要遵循的相同协议。具体而言，如果潜在承包商 确实 有犯罪记录，则雇主必须通过八步程序来确定该定罪是否与手头的角色相关或构成真正的风险。
雇主必须取得平衡。运行 犯罪背景检查， 对所有的承包商，并且将这些背景检查的全面性，他们将是全职员工，模糊之间是什么构成了“员工”和自己无关的线条。雇主不需要开始考虑他们的每个承包商都是全职员工。相反，他们需要更加注意给予承包商（或潜在承包商）与任何全职员工相同的权利，而无需进行聘用前审查。
随着零工经济的发展，公司不能忽视承包商背景调查和供应商筛选的重要性，但他们也不能忽视适用于这些背景调查的法律或隐私权。如需帮助建立合规但有效的承包商和供应商背景调查，请 阅读我们关于该主题的白皮书 并访问 我们的学习中心。
As the gig economy grows, it is vital to acknowledge the state of the union for vendor and contractor background checks.
In 2018, more than a third of United States workers were a part of the gig economy. This section of the population is no longer insignificant. Within a decade, there is a very high chance that most professionals will be working on a freelance, contract, or contingent basis. Employers will need to adapt their background check strategies to stay competitive and protect against the risks of hiring unvetted personnel. It doesn’t matter anymore if personnel aren’t considered “employees”—what matters is that they are representing the business or brand.
Already, we have seen multiple instances in which thorough contractor or vendor screening may have prevented harm or reputational damage. Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have faced a firestorm of controversy over their background check policies and the number of assaults and other crimes that have occurred at the hands of their drivers. A recent report has made a compelling case that poor background check policies may have led to the hacking of a state election vendor’s data in Florida. Since many election functions are carried out by private vendors, the report argued, it is crucial for governments to understand how vendors might be compromised by external influencers and other factors without proper oversight.
In New York City, the push to give contractors the same rights and protections as employees has escalated to the point of legislative changes. In September 2019, the NYC City Council approved a proposal to expand the city’s Human Rights Law to apply to independent contractors as well as traditional employees. Employers running criminal background checks on contractors must now follow the same protocols that they would follow for any employee. Specifically, if a prospective contractor does have a criminal history, the employer must go through an eight-step process to determine if that conviction is relevant to the role at hand or poses a genuine risk.
Employers must strike a balance. Running criminal background checks on all contractors—and making those background checks as thorough as they would be for full-time employees—blurs the lines between what constitutes an “employee” and what doesn’t. Employers don’t need to start considering every one of their contractors a full-time worker. Rather, they need to be more conscious of giving contractors (or prospective contractors) the same rights as any full-time employee with less pre-employment scrutiny.
Companies can’t ignore the importance of contractor background checks and vendor screening as the gig economy grows, but they also can’t ignore the laws or privacy rights that apply to those background checks. For help establishing compliant but effective contractor and vendor background checks, read our white paper on the subject and visit our Learning Center.