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Compliant Background Screening and your Employment Program

If it’s worth saying, it’s worth repeating . . .
and then backing that up with a link to a great article we found!

Performing compliant, accurate background screening helps minimize risk to your company and your employees by confirming candidates are who they say they are, while at the same time maximizing your ability to hire and retain strong, capable employees for the long run.

But keep in mind that above all, when you perform background screening through a company that is in the business of gathering and reporting background records and verification information (like A-Check Global), you as the employer must ALSO do your part to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Why such focus on the compliance of background screening?

We can’t make it any clearer than to say failure to comply with FCRA requirements will surely expose you to the risk of expensive and ongoing litigation. It’s important to regularly review your program for:

  • Adherence to FCRA requirements for Disclosure and Authorization forms
  • Compliance with permissible purpose and to what extent information can be used
  • Non-discriminatory consideration for all candidates
  • And confirmation that the Consumer Reporting Agency you use (like A-Check Global) also maintains compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Got a minute? Here’s a great read:

We found an excellent article detailing compliance requirements and the utilization of background checks by employers.

READ MORE

We are here to help!
If you have questions about your current screening program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact A-Check Global here to get started.

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Keeping a Close Eye on Compliance:

FCRA Disclosure and Authorization Forms

No doubt, you already know the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has strict regulations in place to govern your pre-employment background screening process—and that failure to meet these regulations when screening your candidates can quickly get you into some pretty expensive legal trouble. It’s no secret that class action attorneys, year after year, continue to pursue employers and Consumer Reporting Agencies that are not in strict compliance with FCRA requirements.

Before we get too much further, let’s take a quick look at why these regulations are in place to begin with.

The FCRA was enacted to help ensure consumer protection

Short and simple. It’s about the privacy of consumer information—knowing what information is collected, and how that information can be used by lenders, credit issuers, and yes, even employers. During background screening, this protection also extends to information like criminal/arrest records.

In short, if you’re a U.S.-based business, of any size, public or private, your pre-employment background screening program is subject to FCRA regulation compliance.

Two important requirements: FCRA Disclosure and Authorization

Employers must begin all candidate background screening with two critical steps:

  • Disclosure: You must properly inform candidates that you will be performing a background screen
  • Authorization: And, you much obtain the candidate’s permission for this background screen

Let’s take a closer look at what is required for both.

Disclosure: Clearly notifying candidates that you intend to perform background screening as part of a wholly informed hiring decision. This disclosure must be clear (direct language, easy to understand), conspicuous (prominent, not deeply embedded in other forms or fine print), and presented as a stand-alone document.

Authorization: Also as a self-contained document, a clear candidate acknowledgement that background screening will be conducted as a pre-employment requirement. This can be presented jointly with the Disclosure, but must be on two separate and printable pages. As part of the authorization, the client will also acknowledge that the company is an equal-opportunity employer and follows all fair hiring practices.

That said, what can go wrong? Well . . . without close attention, a lot!

At most risk, improperly worded presented background check disclosure and authorization forms that do not follow FCRA requirements to the letter are magnets for class action litigation. Like we mentioned above, the FCRA requires clear, conspicuous disclosure as well as candidate written authorization prior to performing a background screen employment. Furthermore—and this is detail attorneys are embracing—FCRA requires the disclosure and authorization forms exist as stand-alone documents. (FCRA section 604(b)(2)).

It is the End User’s responsibility to manage the forms they provide to candidates. Disclosure and authorization forms can typically be signed physically or electronically. However, your company or organization should always consult with your legal team to confirm you are utilizing the appropriate forms, as FCRA regulations evolves over time, as does state-by-state legislation.

A-Check Global has consistently communicated the importance of disclosure and authorization form compliance to our clients. While U.S. employers are ultimately responsible for ensuring their hiring practices comply with federal and state requirements, we’re here to help.

Ask us about our FCRA Form Tool Kit

We offer a convenient Authorization for Background Investigation Form Kit which helps make it easier to comply with FCRA and applicable state-by-state requirements. Our document includes all the components necessary to customize your Forms.

For more information and access to this Tool Kit, please contact us at clientsupport@acheckglobal.com or 1-877-345-2021.

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A-Check Global Partners with Cornerstone—Background Screening Integration Now Available in Cornerstone’s EDGE Marketplace

Riverside, CA, October 8, 2019 — Today, A-Check Global announced the availability of its background screening solutions within Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD), a global leader in the cloud-based learning, talent management and emerging talent experience market. Now integrated as a partner within Cornerstone’s EDGE marketplace, A-Check Global’s background screening integration provides an enhanced resource to help organizations make well-informed hiring decisions, with quicker turnaround, and within the convenience of Cornerstone’s talent management system.

A-Check Global background screening integration with Cornerstone improves the efficiency of the hiring process by offering easy and secure online transfer of employment candidate information and reporting between A-Check Global’s background screening integration and the Cornerstone system platform.

“In today’s world of ever-expanding, technology driven recruitment solutions, we are honored to partner with Cornerstone, and we look forward to providing an enhanced workflow experience to employers and candidates,” said Donald Shimizu, Executive Vice President at A-Check Global. “A-Check shares Cornerstone’s focus on customer care through innovation, and we are excited to serve our mutual customers now and in the future.”

About A-Check Global
A-Check Global is the nation’s most successful woman-minority owned employment screening company, providing superior customer care and support, customized background screening solutions, and advanced, online interface technology to meet the unique requirements of employers and employment candidates worldwide. A-Check is an authorized E-Verify Third Party Agent, holds ISO 9001:2015 Certification, and is accredited with the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). The company’s global headquarters is in Riverside, California. For more information, visit www.acheckglobal.com or phone toll free, 877-345-2021.

About Cornerstone OnDemand
Cornerstone was founded with a passion for empowering people through learning and a conviction that people should be your organization’s greatest competitive advantage. Cornerstone is a global human capital management leader with a core belief that companies thrive when they help their employees to realize their potential. Putting this belief into practice, Cornerstone offers solutions to help companies strategically manage and continuously develop their talent throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Featuring comprehensive recruiting, personalized learning, development-driven performance management, and holistic HR planning, Cornerstone’s human capital management platform is successfully used by more than 3,600 global clients of all sizes, spanning more than 40 million users across 190+ countries and 40+ languages. Learn more at www.cornerstoneondemand.com.

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A-Check Global Offers Background Screening Services for Your Interns & Volunteers

While organizations often host additional “non-staff” personnel—interns, volunteers, students, independent contractors, and others—many may think performing background screening on these groups is either too complex or too expensive. Well, let’s just say we’re here to help by offering a screening program tailored to meet this exact need.

• Take advantage of comprehensive, budget-conscious screening options
• Shift data submission/payment responsibility from your HR team to the “candidate”
• Options available for securely accessing final reports

We can work with you to build and implement a package that works for your needs. For example, here’s a quick look at a “standardized” package of services many of our clients use currently:

Sample Screening Package: Additional Services:
• Social Security Trace • Education Verification
• National Criminal Locator (NATCRIM) • Employment Verification
• County Criminal Record • Motor Vehicle Report
• Federal District Record • Substance Abuse Screening
• Global Direct Search  

It’s all about finding what works best for you, then efficiently implementing these additional services into your existing employment program to make life just a little easier. We welcome your call or email to learn more about our intern program: 1-877-345-2021 or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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In Compliance News:

Upcoming changes to Illinois law will prohibit salary history inquiries & require review of employer drug policies

Salary History Inquiry Ban – Effective September 29, 2019
Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) become effective September 29, 2019. Included is a ban prohibiting inquiry into and the use of a candidate’s pay history when making employment decisions. Illinois employers will be prohibited from a) screening candidates based on current/prior wages, benefits, and other compensation, b) requiring that salary history meets minimum/maximum criteria for a particular position, and c) requesting salary history as a condition of being considered for employment. Illinois joins with 13 states that have imposed such a ban. For full details on this amendment, we welcome you to READ MORE.

Employment Aspects of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – Effective January 1, 2020
The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA)—“Recreational Marijuana Law”—takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Please keep in mind, there are provisions that may require employers to modify drug use policies:

  • Employers must have good faith belief that an employee was impaired or under the influence in the workplace, defined by identifying specific, articulable symptoms of impairment.
  • If the employee is disciplined or discharged for being impaired by marijuana, there must be reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the employer’s determination.
  • And, because marijuana use will be legal outside the workplace, employers will likely not be able to rely on the results of testing alone to satisfy the good faith belief requirement, even in post-accident situations, if there is no reasonable suspicion that the employee was impaired by or under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident.

For full details on all upcoming provisions to the Illinois CRTA, please READ MORE and be prepared for further review or revision of your current drug testing and disciplinary polices where necessary to comply with CRTA.

Questions? We’re here to help. Please feel free to give us a call at 877-345-2021.