To Our Clients & Partners:
In keeping with our dedication to compliance, and due to the recent increase in litigation against employers and CRAs, we will be enacting a new Compliance Initiative which requires some changes to our reporting.
Effective December 1, 2015, we will no longer be reporting cases with a disposition of dismissed, retired, nolle prosequi, or any disposition equivalent to a non-conviction and therefore unable to be considered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This protects you from being exposed to information that is disallowed when forming an opinion on your candidate and using this information to make an adverse action decision.
This will not change any of your existing packages or services, and you may not even notice any difference going forward. We will continue reporting misdemeanor and felony convictions, including pending cases, to the extent allowed by state and federal law. Our standard reporting period is 7 years per jurisdiction, but we can customize a package for a longer period if you have contract or industry requirements that need to be met. Please contact us so we may discuss your needs.
In addition, please be aware that many states, cities, counties, and provinces are adopting “Ban the Box” legislation which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal background before a conditional job offer is made. New York City is the latest, passing the Fair Chance Act which went into effect this week. It prohibits inquiring about criminal history, searching for adverse information, procuring a consumer report or investigative consumer report before a job offer is made, and it requires employers to provide specific information in writing when adverse action is taken. If you have employees in New York City, please visit Fair Chance NYC to see how your company may be affected. Even if you don’t have a business presence there, it’s worth reviewing.
It is our belief, and that of our counsel, that more and more states will adopt similar laws going forward. Therefore, we recommend compliance with the Fair Chance Act in all jurisdictions as a means of maintaining the strictest possible hiring procedures.
At some point in the near future, we are planning to use email to send important notices directly to applicants. For compliance purposes this will satisfy section 613 of the FCRA. If you do not already have a method in place, please consider obtaining an email address from your applicants prior to running a background check. This is a small step to take for the amount of risk reduction it provides. We understand that not everyone has access to email, and we will have solutions in place for those instances, but having an email address on file will allow us to maintain our high standards of compliance and efficiency. We also recommend obtaining middle names for background screening to speed up the process.
We expect that the Compliance Initiative will become an ongoing process dedicated to maintaining compliance under constantly changing laws and best practices. As always, we will do our best to keep you well-informed of changes that affect your business.
This and future alerts will be available on our website, so please bookmark and check periodically as we will be using this space to discuss compliance and legal issues related to background screening:
We greatly appreciate your business and will continue to dedicate ourselves to the goal of providing you with the best, most accurate reports so you can make informed hiring decisions.
Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season.