An EEOC/FTC Guide to Background Checks

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During the hiring process, keeping stride with current regulation and compliance can be difficult especially for smaller businesses. There are many considerations including: equality, authorization to release information, adverse action, and record maintenance. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission jointly published a quick guide for using background checks for pre-employment purposes. The concepts outlined are applicable to many uses of background screenings. I highly recommend comparing your business’ current policies and procedures against this outline.

The guide (“Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know”) breaks the process of using background checks into four main categories.

  • What needs to be done beforehand
  • How to use the information
  • How to respond to adverse information
  • How to appropriately maintain records

We address each of these categories with our clients.

  • We provide a release form for our clients to use that states the appropriate information and is up-to-date with compliance.
  • We can help you interpret language that comes back on reports and how it is applicable to the hiring process in your industry.
  • If you do not feel comfortable handling the Adverse Action process, we can either help you understand that or process Adverse Action for you.
  • We can help you maintain releases.

If you feel you are unclear on any particular area of this process, feel free to call and discuss it with us.