We have one big country, but there are 50 states, over 3000 counties/parishes, and thousands and thousands of cities and towns. They all have their own laws and regulations on a variety of things, including the use of criminal records when making hiring decisions.
Federal law requires that the release/authorization an applicant signs to permit background checks must be on its own separate page…not a few sentences at the bottom of a job application.
Also, there cannot be any indemnification or hold harmless statements on the release/authorization. You can have those statements on a separate document, but they cannot appear on the release/authorization in any way.
When you use information in a background screening report to deny (or possibly deny) employment, you must follow Adverse Action Procedures (AAP) outlined within federal law in the Fair Credit Reporting Act sections §603(k)(1)(B)(ii) and FCRA §615. The AAP is in place so applicants who may be or will be denied employment because of details in the report have an opportunity to review the report and address any errors or discrepancies in the information.
Your CDL drivers are under growing government scrutiny these days. Now more than ever the feds are keeping tabs on them, and your company, to ensure that safe drivers and equipment are on the road. The bottom line is that safer roads benefit everyone in many ways.
But don’t forget your drivers who do not hold a CDL. After all, you have sales reps, technicians, even AR/AP team members who use a company or personal vehicle for business every day. Their driving records must meet the standards of your insurance carrier.
In some states, cities, and towns, an employer cannot include a question on a job application asking about criminal records. It is called “Ban the Box” and is a growing trend.
High-level corporate professionals are all too often exposed for lying on their resumes.
Usually, these lies and misrepresentations relate to falsified educational or professional accomplishments. For example, a person may claim a Master’s degree in a certain field, but it is discovered they didn’t earn it or obtained one from a phony mail order school. Or, perhaps the person claims to have been a VP of Sales for ten years, but it turns out it was a basic sales position that lasted only three years.
If you hire temporary workers for the holiday season (full- or part-time), be sure to complete background checks as if they were applying for permanent positions. After all, even someone working three hours a day can cause irreparable damage to your business through theft, drug sales, workplace violence, harassment, etc. Certainly, you deserve to know if even a part-time worker with limited hours poses a threat to your business.
Commercial drivers are not the only professionals who should need a valid and safe driving record to work for you. After all, think of those employees who drive business or personal cars for sales calls, errands, and meetings on your behalf. It’s imperative to make sure they meet your driving requirements or risk losing your insurance coverage.
At our offices we often look at each other in amazement when we see some of the job applications and resumes forwarded to us so we can conduct background checks. We see outright lies about previous employment and education. We see people who admit to a criminal record, but only give partial details.
The good old days of hiring only people you know are long gone. These days it would be rare for a business with a significant number of employees to have a workforce comprised only of friends and relatives.