Compliance Failures in Background Screening

Failures in Background Screening – Background screenings are a fantastic way to protect your company. Both in terms of legal liability and the bottom line when considering applicants for a vacant position. These checks help give you an idea of what to expect from the applicant regarding potential risks and what they have to bring to the table as an asset.

These checks have proven time and again to be a valuable tool in the hiring process. However, they have also frequently been used as discrimination devices against applicants with a dark or even grey past who are otherwise very deserving of the position.

This is why most states have regulations to control the background screening process and what companies are allowed to do with the information they gather. To help you avoid being on the wrong side of these regulations. We will tell you some common compliance issues that companies have during the background check process.

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Compliance failures in the background screening process

Using outdated or inaccurate sources

Unfortunately, there are a lot of background check sources out there that are inaccurate and rarely updated. This could be the main reason for the failures in background screening. The FBI fingerprint database is an excellent example in this case, and it has led to a lot of unfair treatment of deserving applicants. Up to 50% of the information in the FBI Database can contain missing or redacted pertinent information.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the employer must ensure that their sources to verify applicant information during the vetting process are up-to-date and accurate.

Failure to inform applicant of the intent to perform and report on background check

When performing a background check on a potential employee, You are obligated to let them know. Let them know of your intentions to investigate them and report the findings. This is because the employee’s or applicant’s consent is required for the process to be considered above board.

Once you have explained your intent and gained authorization, make sure to document this to avoid future liability.

Lack of identity verification

While most of the compliance issues that arise from background screening stem from digging too deep or misusing information, some compliance pitfalls are about failure to do a thorough job. A great example is a failure to verify identity.

Most regulatory bodies and state regulations of background screening require that the employer confirm the applicant’s identity, including the name, social security details, and nationality.

Including unacceptable information in the report

There is some information that is considered unacceptable and irrelevant. When it comes to conducting background checks on employees and job applicants, this includes expunged criminal records and wrongful arrests.

What’s worse is making decisions that are unfavorable to the employee based on this information. This could be considered unlawful discrimination and may leave your company exposed to a lawsuit.

Inadequate education and employment history verification

Another case were not digging deep enough could result in non-compliance with background check regulations. Inadequate verification of education, licensing, and employment histories can cause compliance issues.

This could result in negligent hiring liability, especially if unqualified applicants get the job because it will physically or financially hurt customers or other stakeholders in the business.

Biased adverse action against applicants with a criminal record

Just because the applicant has a criminal record, it doesn’t mean that they are a criminal.

There are many cases of wrongful arrests and deleted records, which get bundled up with serious crimes when it comes to assessing a background check.

Suppose you fail to do further research to establish context. Whether or not guilty individuals are still a security risk, and you will be at risk of facing consequences of non-compliance with screening regulations.

Bottom line

After all, is said and done, your HR department must do its due diligence before hiring. However, it is also important to remember that applicants have the rights to be respected during this process.

With the understanding of the common compliance pitfalls during the background screening process. You should avoid the consequences of failure to follow regulations and ensure a fair hiring process.

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