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就业前背景调查披露和授权的基础知识

1. 我们什么时候可以启动背景调查流程?

您可能听说过“禁止盒子”活动,但可能没有意识到它对招聘过程的真实(和复杂)影响。禁盒法基本上从工作申请中删除了定罪和逮捕历史问题,并规定您何时可以要求进行背景调查,以便有犯罪历史的候选人获得公平的就业机会。

截至 2019 年 7 月,美国 35 个州、哥伦比亚特区和 150 多个市县采取了禁止盒子或公平机会政策。政策可能会因各种因素而大相径庭,因此在开始背景调查之前,确定适用于您招聘地点的具体法律非常重要。

2. 我们应该如何开始背景调查过程?

一旦您明确了哪些禁令适用于您的组织,下一步就是了解您在整个过程中的责任以及您需要向潜在员工提供哪些披露。

FCRA 对消费者报告(例如背景调查)的最终用户(雇主)承担责任。作为雇主,您对所谓的“许可目的”负有责任,这意味着您获取消费者报告是出于 FCRA 允许的目的,并且您不会以任何方式滥用这些信息。

独立披露的重要性

FCRA 还要求从求职者那里获得背景调查的雇主必须“在仅包含披露的文件中”披露这一过程 。

简而言之,这意味着披露文件仅用于一个目的:使您对潜在员工或当前员工进行背景调查的信息透明。这可能适用于全职员工或承包商。为降低您遇到法律问题的风险,请考虑删除任何试图避免披露表格中的责任、免责声明或其他无关元素的豁免。

获得适当的状态披露

不同的州需要不同的披露,因此根据您的位置或招聘候选人的地区,可能需要以特定方式对披露和许可请求进行措辞或格式化。

根据最近的一项裁决,联邦和州的披露不能再合并。这意味着可能必须在此过程中添加特定于州的披露作为额外步骤,因此您需要适当地调整您的过程。  

3. 您是否获得了运行背景调查的适当权限?

如上所述,FCRA 赋予消费者(候选人)某些权利,同时对您(背景调查的用户)承担某些责任。这包括从候选人那里获得书面授权,可以运行背景报告。

许多雇主没有意识到他们需要正式许可,或者他们可能不知道这可能适用于全职员工和独立承包商。但是跳过这一步最终可能会使您的组织面临法律风险。这可以通过对候选人保持透明并向他们提供他们需要的所有信息来完全理解流程和被要求的内容来缓解。

作为其中的一部分,与候选人分享《公平信用报告法》下的权利摘要被认为是最佳实践。摘要可从消费者金融保护局获得。虽然不需要提供此大纲,但如果您想创造出色的候选人体验,这是一个聪明的主意。 

CareerBuilder 的一项研究 发现,38% 的雇主因为背景调查的负面经历而失去了候选人。因此,在就业筛选过程中提供良好的体验——包括对候选人在整个过程中的期望完全透明——也会使您作为雇主受益。  

不要担心背景调查

既然您对在进行背景调查之前应该采取的步骤有了更好的了解,那么您就可以对自己的就业背景调查充满信心了。这些问题不仅可以确保您了解情况,还可以为新员工提供积极的员工体验奠定基础。  

You’ve likely heard about the “Ban the Box” campaign, but may not realize its true (and complicated) impact on the hiring process. Ban the box laws essentially remove conviction and arrest history questions from job applications and dictate when you can request a background check, in order for candidates with criminal histories to get a fair chance at employment.

As of July 2019, 35 states, the District of Columbia and over 150 cities and counties have adopted a ban the box or fair-chance policy. Policies can vary widely based on a variety of factors, so it’s important that you determine the specific laws that apply to the location for which you’re hiring prior to initiating your background check.

2. How should we begin the background check process?

Once you’ve clarified which ban the box laws pertain to your organization, the next step is to understand what you’re accountable for throughout the process and what disclosures you’ll need to provide to potential employees.

The FCRA places responsibilities on the end user (employers) of consumer reports such as background checks. As the employer, you have the responsibility of what’s called “Permissible Purpose,” meaning you’re obtaining consumer reports for permissible purposes under the FCRA and you won’t misuse the information in any way.

The importance of a standalone disclosure

The FCRA also requires that employers obtaining background checks from job applicants must disclose this process “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.”

Simply put, this means the disclosure document is intended for one purpose only: To make it transparent to potential employees or current hires that you are running a background check on them. This likely applies to both full-time employees or contractors. To reduce your risk of legal issues, consider getting rid of any waivers that try to avoid liability, disclaimers or other extraneous elements in the disclosure form.

Getting the appropriate state disclosures

Different states require different disclosures, so based on your location or the locale you’re recruiting candidates from, there may be specific ways in which a disclosure and request for permission needs to be worded or formatted.

According to a recent ruling, federal and state disclosures can no longer be combined. This means that state-specific disclosures may have to be added as an extra step in this process, so you’ll want to adjust your process appropriately.  

3. Have you received proper permission to run the background check?

As mentioned above, the FCRA affords certain rights to the consumer (candidate), while placing certain responsibilities on you—the user of the background check. This includes getting written authorization from the candidate that it’s OK to run the background report.

Many employers don’t realize they need formal permission, or they may not know it likely applies to both full-time employees AND independent contractors. But skipping this step can end up putting your organization at legal risk. This can be mitigated by being transparent with the candidate and providing them with all the information they’ll need to fully understand the process and what is being asked of them.

As part of this, it’s considered a best practice to share a Summary of Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act with the candidate. This summary is available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While providing this outline isn’t required, it’s a smart idea if you want to create an excellent candidate experience. 

A CareerBuilder study found that 38 percent of employers have lost a candidate because they had a negative experience with their background check. So providing a good experience during employment screening—which includes being fully transparent about what the candidate should expect throughout the process—benefits you as the employer, too.  

Don’t sweat the background check

Now that you have a better understanding of the steps you should take prior to running a background check, you can feel confident moving forward with your employment background checks. Not only do these questions ensure you’re informed, you’re also setting the stage for the new hire to have a positive experience as an employee.  

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