Be Prepared For Background Screening In 2019​

January 08, 2019
Before hiring in Q1, make sure you’re aware of and prepared for new laws and best practices you should be following.
Backgrounds Online | January 08, 2019

Before hiring in Q1, make sure you’re aware of and prepared for new laws and best practices you should be following.

2019 Best Practices

It is imperative to keep up with current employment laws. Even if certain laws aren’t in place where you operate, they could be soon. It’s helpful to prepare in advance. Some best practices for 2019 include:

· Don’t ask about convictions on applications. While it’s essential to run comprehensive background checks to see if any candidates have serious criminal records, it’s best to wait until after an initial interview or conditional job offer.
· Consider convictions individually. If a background check shows a reportable conviction, consider how long ago it occurred, whether or not it is relevant to the position and if the person might actually pose a risk to your business.
· Don’t ask about salary history. In an effort to reduce discriminatory wage gaps, numerous states have banned the practice of asking how much a person makes and/or using a candidate’s salary history to determine what compensation to offer.
· Screen regularly. You wouldn’t hire someone without running a background check. It is equally important to start ongoing criminal monitoring so you know if an employee incurs a new conviction.

Don’t Forget The Basics

While ensuring you are compliant with new and upcoming laws, take a moment to refresh your memory about the basics. Noteworthy employment laws include:

· Start with a disclosure and authorization. Before running a background check, you must provide a standalone disclosure that informs the person of this intent. You must also have the person sign a written authorization form. Both documents are to be clear and concise. They may not contain any other content, such as liability waivers, job requirements or even administrative statements.
· Follow the adverse action process. If the results of a background check cause you to consider not hiring a person, you must follow the federally mandated procedure first.
· Do not discriminate. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission prohibits discrimination against consumers based on gender, ethnicity, age and other protected factors.
· Practice fairness. If you run a comprehensive background check on one person; run it on other applicants for the same position. Always start the background screening process at the same point for each candidate. Make sure your hiring policies are fair, transparent and consistent.

Document Your Policies

We suggest this frequently: document your hiring and background screening policies. Follow them consistently. These policies should explain how your process works, when you run background checks, what types of adverse information you are looking for and what you will do if any is found.

Having these policies - and making them available to everyone involved in the hiring process - can help protect you in the event of a lawsuit. You can use them to show you have fair, compliant policies that each person is expected to follow. Before finalizing this document, have it reviewed and approved by legal counsel.

On-Demand Workers

The on-demand market is booming. Millions of Americans are working full or part-time in the gig industry. If your organization hires on-demand workers, it is important to run background checks on every candidate you consider. While they may not technically be employees, they do represent your brand and they fall under the employment category recognized by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

On-demand workers often have direct access to consumers. This can be from offering rides, delivering products or performing tasks inside a customer’s home. It is crucial to background screen these candidates and to run ongoing criminal monitoring. This shows you are performing due diligence and taking steps to protect the public.

Watch For New State Laws

January typically comes with numerous new laws that affect employment. However, laws can be passed and implemented at any time. As you go through 2019, be aware of any upcoming bills that might impact you.

To help, Backgrounds Online maintains a State Laws section on our website. Visit it periodically to watch for new and upcoming laws of which you should be aware.

Contact Us For Assistance

At Backgrounds Online we think of ourselves as your partner. We provide educational resources, compliant forms and fully customizable background check packages to help your hiring and compliance efforts.

If you have questions about anything related to background screening, please contact us. Our team is highly trained and experienced. We are here to assist you via phone, chat or email Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT. Happy New Year!