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Our Compliance Commitment to Clients

When it comes to keeping pace with the ever changing compliance landscape, you’d be amazed at just how many valuable resources we have in place to maintain our steadfast commitment to compliance and data accuracy. These valuable resources play a big role in helping keep your employment program compliant, in providing you with the highest quality background screening services available, and toward the ongoing protection and privacy of your data.

To achieve this level of service, our compliance framework includes processes designed to maximize reporting accuracy, limit disputes, and communicate updates to laws and regulations that govern the background screening process:

  1. Our Compliance Department consults with internal and external legal counsel for ongoing interpretation of law as well as regular analysis of federal and state requirements for consumer reporting.
  2. Our Compliance Department closely monitors regulation via legal blogs, case law, published opinion, and published information from our industry organization, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).
  3. Our Quality Control Department audits 100% of report information before it is delivered to clients to maximize accuracy. And, we maintain comprehensive policies and procedures to help ensure that work is done accurately, efficiently, and with clients’ business rules and program compliance in mind.

By focusing on things that matter to you like regulatory compliance, quality management, and data security, A-Check Global has maintained an audited accuracy rate of >99.9%. But you don’t have to just take our word for how committed we are to compliance. We proudly maintain NAPBS accreditation and hold ISO 9001:2015 Certification.

We love keeping you in the know. If you’d like to receive our monthly compliance email, we invite you to subscribe by sending your name, company, and email address to marketing@acheckglobal.com. We’ll be happy to present you our next issue.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how A-Check Global is here for you please feel free to contact us at 877-345-2021 or email questions@acheckglobal.com.

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The “Ban the Box” Trend Continues

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Background Screening continues to evolve as more jurisdictions pass legislation limiting the use of criminal record history during the employment process. Here’s the latest:

COLORADO:

On May 28, 2019, the Colorado Governor signed a new law prohibiting employers from asking about criminal history on an initial employment application. This restriction will begin applying to employers (with 11 or more employees) on September 1, 2019, and then to ALL employers as of September 1, 2021. This grace period gives employers additional time to update policies and practices. READ MORE

NEW MEXICO:

On April 3, 2019, the New Mexico Governor signed two bills into law. The first is a Ban the Box law (in effect June 14, 2019) prohibiting private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application. The second law (in effect January 1, 2020) will allow certain arrest/conviction records to petition the court for expungement. READ MORE

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Additionally, the New Hampshire House just passed a bill that—if signed into law—would restrict employers from asking about criminal history on a job application, as well as prohibit a company from conducting a criminal background check before an interview. READ MORE

The Importance of Maintaining a Compliant Pre-Employment Program

Consider this post as just a quick reminder that the compliance of your background screening program continues to be a target-rich environment for class action legal challenges from the Plaintiffs Bar. Without a careful focus on compliance, you may be subject to legal action from an applicant. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the content/presentation of your authorization forms and the timeliness of your adverse notifications. Let’s work together to help minimize your risk of class action lawsuits like these:

Starbucks: Two pending class action lawsuits alleging flawed background reports led to Starbucks declining 8,000+ job applicants may settle in coming months. READ MORE

Delta: The airline settles FCRA Class Action for $2.3 Million over allegedly giving inadequate disclosure documents when consenting to background checks. READ MORE

Working closely with a background screening company committed to compliance—like A-Check Global—can help you keep abreast of these evolving laws. If you have questions about your employment program, we welcome your call.

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FAIR CHANCE HIRING: What’s in a name?

Fair Chance Hiring—Ban the Box as it’s more commonly known—is legislation intended to help applicants with prior criminal histories make it past the first step of the hiring process. By design, it encourages employers to consider an applicant’s qualifications first, rather than immediately reject that person due to criminal history.

Prior to 2009, only Hawaii had Ban the Box legislation in place. Currently, 35 states and more than 150 cities/counties have enacted laws that limit what you can ask applicants. The newest is New York’s Westchester County effective March 4th.

In states or regions that have passed this legislation, you’re restricted from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record until at least the job interview—or, in some cases, after a conditional position has been initially offered to the applicant. You also may need to delay the background screening process until your offer.

These 23 states have Ban the Box laws that apply only to public employers:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

However, these twelve states restrict both public and private sector employers from asking about criminal records on job applications:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Washington

You also may be restricted from asking questions about certain types of convictions, non-conviction arrests or expunged records.

Even if your state isn’t on the list, you shouldn’t assume these laws don’t apply to you. 15 cities and counties have taken the lead in creating Ban the Box laws that extend to private employers: Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Columbia (MO), District of Columbia, Kansas City, Montgomery County (MD), New York City, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Prince George’s County (MD), Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, and Spokane.

So, how will Ban the Box laws impact your hiring?

Please keep in mind, you’re not required to hire someone with a criminal record. Ban the Box legislation isn’t intended to force employers to hire someone with a criminal background over other qualified candidates, but rather to create a fairer decision-making process. It shifts the criminal history inquiry from the initial application stage until later in the hiring process, during an interview or after you extend a conditional job offer.

Contracting with a background screening company committed to compliance—like A-Check Global—can help you keep abreast of these laws while making hiring decisions. For more information about this topic, feel free to contact us at support@acheckglobal.com.

Reference

https://www.hrdirectapps.com/blog/does-your-state-ban-the-box-with-job-applications/

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“In the Know” Part Three: Evaluation, Decision, and Compliance Checklists

This is the third and final in our three part series on responsible background screening. The first part covered End Users and Permissible Purpose; the second covered Disclosures and Authorizations and this final section covers Evaluation, Decision, and Compliance Checklists.

Evaluation: Using Criminal Records in the Hiring Process

On April 25, 2012, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Enforcement Guidance Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The purpose of the guidance was to shore up the Agency’s efforts against discrimination in the workplace based on disparate impact against persons with criminal records—potentially requiring employers to demonstrate business necessity before criminal searches are conducted.

(Read our blog – a Fair Chance for Applicants-the Rise of Ban the Box Legislation to learn more).

Decision: The Adverse Action 2-Step

FCRA § 603(k) defines the term “adverse action” to mean the denial, cancellation, increase of cost or any other “undesirable” outcome for a consumer when used in conjunction with an offer of insurance, credit, employment, licensure, or any other permissible purpose a consumer report can be used for. To comply with the requirements of FCRA § 604 and § 615, employers are required to deploy a two-step adverse action process prior to taking adverse action to provide the applicant an opportunity to review the consumer report and to dispute the accuracy of any content they feel is not accurate.

Your company or organization should regularly consult with your legal team to confirm your adverse process is current and compliant.

Compliance Checklist

A-Check highly recommends that our clients develop a Background Screening Policy, ensuring a consistent process is in place that can be audited and modified when necessary. A policy is not required but will go a long way in providing a defense to an organization that experiences a legal complaint from an applicant. An adequate background screening policy should contain a company-wide, streamlined process that includes standard operating procedures and current, compliant forms. Contact our Client Relations Department to receive a complimentary Policy Kit to help you get started.

Remember, if you ever have any questions about any of the material we have covered don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at support@acheckglobal.com.