When Good Background Screening Plans Go Bad

No one ever plans to fail.

But even the best intentions can crater sometimes.

What makes the difference in screening? Keeping compliance at the top of your to-do list. It’s a challenge, though. Statistics say FCRA violations are the fourth most reported employment abuses.

Consider these factors when evaluating your company screening plan.

Prepare for what’s at stake
Since 2011, more than 40 major companies have paid millions to settle FCRA violations. One of the largest cases? Wells Fargo paid $12 million to applicants for bumbled background checks. Plenty of other companies stumbled into similar violations.

A collection of court records show that in recent years companies have paid over $170 million in class action suits connected with screening violations. They’ve also handed over $152 million in direct lawsuits.

The moral of this story: no one’s too big to make a mistake.

Don’t skip any steps
We can’t promise screening rules will be easy or simple. And some wonder if we need more rules to fix the issue.

But in the bulk of these cases, companies failed in similar ways.  They launched the background check before getting it OK’d by the applicant. Or they didn’t provide a written copy of a completed background check.

FCRA rules are pretty specific. Employment screening can’t happen without prior written consent from the applicant. Applicants must be provided a written disclosure when screened for employment purposes. Applicants also have a right to dispute screening results. That means any adverse action taken as a result of a background check must follow the steps outlined in the law.

Pick a partner you trust
Don’t work with a screening company willing to settle for half-hearted search results. Background checks aren’t just a collection of data. They represent a piece of personal history. Screeners should cultivate strong sources and make compliance a priority, too. Choose screeners who treat your candidates and your company fairly and respectfully.

Does your company need a professional partner to depend on? Contact ClearStar today.

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