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。
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。
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 。
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。
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.