Required Disclosures and Authorizations for Background Checks

November 1, 2016

Hand pointing to resumeClass-action lawsuits against employers are becoming more common because plaintiffs (job applicants and current employees) are claiming that violations of the Fair Credit Reports Act have occurred.

The fact is that an incorrect or misplaced word or sentence on a job application or a disclosure and/or authorization to get a background check done, and unlawful interview questions can result in damaging legal action that can end up costing millions of dollars.

It is vital that you evaluate your employment paperwork, hard copies and online versions, to ensure legal compliance. This is especially important if you operate in multiple states since not all states share identical laws.  Also, review your procedures to ensure everyone is on the same page at all locations.

Remember these three things:

  1. You must disclose to the applicant that you are going to do a background check.
  2. The applicant must authorize the background checks with his/her signature.
  3. These forms need to be stand-alone documents.

Contributed by Steven J. Austin of LABORCHEX.

Through the Michigan Chamber partnership with LABORCHEX, members get discounted pricing to employment background screening services. To learn more, please email Kym Lewis or call him at 1-800-880-0366.