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Most recent Background Screening Questions

When running background checks, how do I stay compliant?

It’s important to have a clear and concise written policy, which remains consistent for all candidates who apply. Background checks must remain compliant with the regulations set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and in addition, must also comply with state laws as they vary by state. Before running a background check, the candidate must be notified and give written consent for the employer to proceed with the check. Not all background checks are the same and depending on the industry can vary on what is required. Standard background checks often include criminal history checks, employment and education verification, SSN validity, etc. Some positions require more, such as DOT testing history, state driving records, credit reports, sex offender searches, etc. Once a candidate is hired, employers are required to fulfill an I-9 and E-Verify, which verifies the identity and eligibility to work for all new employees. By following these steps you can help ensure your background process is as safe and effective as possible.

Category: Background Screening

What is Adverse Action and when is it required?

The adverse action process is required for any action taken that denies an individual employment, credit, insurance, etc. based on information obtained through a consumer report. This three-step process complies with federal laws to protect applicants from discrimination. Although it’s the law, many companies still fail to send adverse action notices, subjecting them to potential lawsuits. Employers must abide by the guidelines set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) which requires the employer to provide a standalone disclosure informing the applicant that a consumer report may be obtained with written consent. The employer must also provide a copy of the pre-adverse notice, background report, and summary of rights to the applicant prior to an adverse action decision. If any adverse information appears on their background check, then a pre-adverse notice is used to inform the employee that something has returned which may or may not affect their hiring decision. This gives the employee an opportunity to file a dispute prior to receiving a final adverse action notice. An adverse action notice must be sent only if the employer denies the applicant employment based on the information from the background check.

Category: Background Screening

What is the difference between comprehensive and instant background checks?

Instant background checks are more commonly known as “national criminal database searches” and provide general information pulled from a commercially available database. Although they have a quick return, the information is not corroborated against any official county court record and can provide inaccurate information as it’s not derived from a verified source. Comprehensive background checks are all-encompassing and compiled from a variety of sources, including local law enforcement, statewide criminal record repositories, departments of corrections, state parole and probation records, local public records sources, etc. This prevents mistaken identity matches that sometimes occur with instant checks when a person with the same name as the applicant has hits on their record. Employers must be cautious when choosing a background screening process because choosing an instant check over a comprehensive check could lead to fines and lawsuits if they don’t abide by the guidelines set forth under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Category: Background Screening

Is CBD oil considered acceptable, and can it cause a drug test to have a positive result?

CBD oil can be made from both marijuana and hemp. Hemp based CBD oils, when used in low doses, are unlikely to result in a positive test because they often don’t contain high enough levels of THC for detection. If an employee is using hemp-derived CBD oil, most individuals would have to consume a relatively large amount of the product, to test non-negative. Note: Taking that much CBD oil could result in the user’s impairment.

Category: Background Screening

If states overturn previous marijuana convictions, how does it impact background checks?

With the legalization of marijuana across many states, cities such as San Francisco have implemented conviction expunging policies (Proposition 64) which remove misdemeanors and non-violent charges related to marijuana. Policies like these aim to get previous convictions reduced or reclassified to lesser offenses, with some convictions being dismissed altogether. This means that charges that are expunged will not appear on background checks. Employers need to implement a comprehensive background screening process that will navigate individual state and city regulations. When employers use cheaper instant background checks, information can be incorrect or outdated, which could lead to potential lawsuits or liability in the workplace.

Category: Background Screening