10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm

background screening firmIt is very rare these days to have an organization say they are not interested in criminal background screening.  I am not saying it does not happen, it does, but that is a different article. However, once you have made the decision to implement a screening program, the biggest obstacle you will face is selecting a quality background screening firm.   Why?  Because historically the screening industry has promoted low quality products and services.

Yes, there are federal and a few state laws related to screening but they primarily address consumer protection and do not define a quality background check.  So they do not require screening companies to provide deep, comprehensive criminal record checks.  And many of this laws only apply to employment screening.

Have I ever mentioned that I resisted entering the background screening industry when several of our consulting clients asked me to in 2003?  What changed my mind?  When a large school district hired 2 sex offenders who had passed a state-mandated criminal background check.

How could that happen?  I discovered it could happen very easily.  I quickly learned how few screening firms provide quality background screening services.

And through the process of auditing the screening industry for more than 8 years,  I have compiled a list of 10 questions you should ask a background screening firm before hiring them:

  1. How do you define a comprehensive background check?  There is no standard definition.  It could be an instant database search or a single county criminal search limited to 7 years.
  2. Is the “national” background check instant?  If yes, then it is not a comprehensive screening program.  There does not exist a single database, including the FBI’s NCIC, that contains all criminal records.
  3. What is the cost of your background check?  A quality background check does not have to break the bank but it cannot be done for $10.
  4. How far back do your criminal searches go?  A 7 year search is the standard.  This is scary.  What if your candidate raped someone 10 years ago?
  5. How do you handle alias & other names?  As a rule, most screening firms will search only the name you enter (even if misspelled) or they will charge each name as an individual search.  A screening firm focused on safety and security will include alias/ other name searches.
  6. How many sources does your criminal database contain and how is it configured?  Not all databases are the same.  They can vary from a handful to hundreds of sources.  And a database should be configured to allow null DOB searches since the majority of sources do not provide a full DOB.
  7. How do you screen your employees that are handling our sensitive data?  It is not unusual for screening firms to apply their same low standards to their employees who are handling your sensitive information.  A quality screening firm should conduct deep criminal, civil, credit, reference and motor vehicle checks on an ongoing basis.
  8. How do you secure our sensitive data?  Quality screening firms will maintain an ongoing certification of their online system like CyberTrust, SAS 70 or SSAE 16 and be PCI compliant.  They should also have strong internal controls and a privacy policy.
  9. Do you assist with legal compliance?  Quality screening firms will provide education, templates and assistance with all forms of legal compliance, particularly with the very specific requirements of the FCRA.
  10. Who handles our questions?  Questions are a natural, normal and frequent part of the background screening process.  Many of the large screening firms have attempted to automate this process which leaves you frustrated and vulnerable to making a mistake.  A trusted screening partner will provide easy access via email, telephone or Twitter so you can find answers to your questions without slowing your process.

If a background screening firm cannot answer these questions, then I would suggest moving on in your selection process.  Do not place the safety and security of your organization in the hands of a firm that is cutting corners or providing low quality searches.

For more information, download  our whitepaper 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm.

Don’t Believe the Background Checks for Employment Hype…

background-checks-for-employmentHow many times are we going to blame the victims?  Oh, yes, I am sorry, alleged victims. Innocent until proven guilty.  Every time I publish an article on the importance of background checks for employment, I receive a flood of comments on the legal standard in the U.S.  Presumably by people with criminal records.

So the alleged offender is innocent until proven guilty, however, we can destroy the victim.  Discrediting alleged victims has always been a normal practice.

Why? Because it discourages them from testifying.  It encourages them to recant or disappear.

I have spent the past 20 years working inside the criminal justice system as a violent crime detective and outside as a consultant.  So I really do not want to hear any of the innocent-because-they-have-never-been-charged-with-a-crime stuff.  There are far more criminals walking free because of a criminal justice system that does not serve victims than innocent people serving time in prison.  Both are a tragedy.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are the two most committed and least reported crimes in the U.S.  How do I know?  Look at the research.  Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail (RAINN).  Yes, that means that 15 out of 16 rapists walk free (RAINN).

I also know that Roy Hazelwood, pioneer in FBI personality profiling of sex offenders, surveyed 41 sex offenders and found:

  • Each offender had committed between 10-78 crimes
  • Combined total of 837 known rapes
  • Combined total of 400 attempted rapes

Look at how many lives have been destroyed by this small pool of sex offenders.  Does that blow your socks off?  It better.

Now, as I digest my 15 minutes of morning news, how should I react to these headlines:

  • Band teacher jailed on child seduction charges.  Band teacher had “inappropriate” and “ongoing” contact with two young girls 14 and 16.
  • Wrestling coach arrested for child molestation, child pornography.  Charged with 5 counts of child molesting and 10 counts of child pornography.
  • Syracuse Sex Scandal
  • Penn State Sex Scandal

Did I mention I was making breakfast and not really looking for news?

Do you see the similarities in these cases?  Every single one of these alleged perpetrators is in a position that grants them access to children.

Yes, I have read some of the discrediting comments in the news on some of the victims.  Yes, I understand some have been in trouble with the law themselves.

Let’s be honest, not all victims are Betty Crocker.  Does the law require victims to be squeaky clean?  No, but I do know from experience that if the victim is squeaky clean then it is more likely charges will be filed.

Do you think the Jerry Sandusky’s of the world understand this?  Hello, he founded The Second Mile to “help” troubled youth.  How convenient.

Kids are vulnerable to the grooming and manipulations of these predators.  And troubled youth are extremely vulnerable and present a great target because they often come from dysfunctional families that lack a support structure for uncovering the harm.  They are vulnerable because they are seeking approval and validation.  And these predators know how to exploit these vulnerabilities AND organizations.

We also know that children who witness violence or who are physically or sexually assaulted have a much higher likelihood of perpetrating crimes.  So are we shocked that victims that step forward years after the abuse might have a trail of addictions or a record?  We shouldn’t be.

What really scares me is so many organizations that work with children have no earthly idea how to do comprehensive background checks for employment that include reference checks.  They have no idea how many sex offenders want inside their organization and what it takes to keep them out.

Yesterday morning a very large school district said they have decided to stay with their current screening program even though ours is “more extensive” because their current process is “sufficient with minimal cost”.

Sufficient and minimal cost is what a sex offender views as the path of least resistance.

Are you an organization that places safety and security as a top priority?  If so, we want to partner with you and take your background screening program to the next level.  We only work with organizations that are committed to doing background screening correctly.

Contact us today to get started.

Don’t Let Volunteers Dictate Your Criminal Background Check Program

background check programEven after 20 years of violence prevention work, I am still occasionally surprised. This time it is not a criminal trying to slip through the cracks (I don’t think) but a management decision that has left me puzzled.  And a little worried. How would you handle a candidate for employment that did not like your background check program?  Is it up for debate?

I hope not.

So I was more than surprised last week when I learned of an organization that had made a decision to require comprehensive national criminal background checks of their volunteers reverse their decision after only 6 weeks.  So why did they reverse their decision so quickly?

Volunteer displeasure and resistance.  The potential volunteers did not like the policy change that required them to pay for the background check.

That is completely understandable.  Change is rarely popular and especially when it comes attached to a price tag.

However, cash-strapped organizations that serve children are making this same policy change every day.  It is becoming more the norm than the exception.

Yes, expect some push back from volunteer candidates.  But don’t anticipate your volunteer pool drying up.  It won’t.

Just be prepared for a little protest.

Also understand that if you articulate why you are making the change then the resistance will be disarmed.  Make it clear that the safety and security of children is your mission.

What volunteer believes the price of the safety and security of children is too high?  Very few.

And if they do, they will sound like the volunteer candidate who called our office several times last week complaining about our background screening process.  He was angry, arrogant and rude to our staff.

I regret that I was not here to take his calls (seriously).  He would not have found a shoulder to lean on nor would he have received an apology about our background screening program.

Mr. Angry Volunteer Candidate here is what I would have said to you:

“Didn’t your mother teach you anything?” (Okay, I probably would not have opened with that line.)

“Sir, if you want an overview of what we do and how we do it, no problem.  But I am not going to argue about whether you think this should be a policy or not.”

“Can I finish?”  Angry, arrogant and rude usually equals constant interruptions.  I-am-only-concerned-with –what-I -want mentality.

“Hey, have you ever held back tears while talking to a young child that has been raped?”

No response.

“I hope not.  It is awful.  I have a images of victimized children burned into my brain.  Kids who have been beaten, molested and even killed.  Their hollow eyes.  Eyes that scream why did this happen to me. Their fear.  I will carry these children…their names…their faces…I will carry them with me forever.”

“So Mr. Angry Volunteer (I would not say this but would like to), I guess you have a couple options.  You pay for the background check and volunteer.  Or you don’t.  It is nothing to get angry about.  You have options.  Sign the authorization or don’t.”

Displeasure with a volunteer fee will fade when parents....yes parents who are volunteering...understand that you have the absolute best interest of their child at heart.

If the resistance does not disappear for a handful, so be it.  There are two camps of candidates that may continue to resist the process:

  1. Those who have something to hide; or
  2. Those who think they are above the process.  Guess what…

Okay maybe a third candidate:

  1. Those who do not need to be volunteering with kids because they are not a quality role model.

Protecting children is not a debatable issue.  Dig your feet in and make that clear.  Changing direction sends the wrong message.  It says there are limits to how far you will go to protect a child.

Allowing volunteers to dictate your screening process exposes your organization to risk of a lawsuit.  Can you imagine testifying in court after a child is harmed that you switched to a comprehensive background check because what you were doing was too limited. Then disclose to the judge or jury you switched back because your volunteers did not want to pay for it.

Are you are about to adopt a volunteer background check program that requires the candidate to pay?  Contact us.  We can connect you to hundreds of organizations that have implemented a volunteer-funded screening program successfully.

Remember. I did not say you won’t hear some grumbling.  Have kids? Do they ever grumble at your rules that are in their best interest?

How do you feel about charging volunteers for background checks?  Come on, tell me what you think.

5 Things to Avoid With Volunteer Background Checks

volunteer background checks Most days I feel like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day (if you just said who, here is a link Groundhog Day).  I feel like I am saying or emailing the same thing over and over again.  Especially when it is answering questions about volunteer background checks.

“How much does a volunteer background check cost?” is almost always how the conversation begins.  I take a deep breath and start the education process, hoping I have an eager student.  If the second question is still price, then I realize they are only after the cheapest product and safety and security is not their top concern.

I swallow hard but tell them our focus is on quality.  We are not going to lower our standards just to compete on a price that is just a few dollars cheaper.  Doing background screening correctly requires us to draw a line in the sand and allowing a few clients to walk away.  I will not place a child at risk to make a few bucks.

A couple times a month the conversation starts with a question about how far back our searches go.  Now I know I have an attentive student.  They have obviously been burned by a cheap background check.  This is always an eager student.

So I thought I would recap one of my daily conversations and give you the 5 things to avoid with volunteer background checks:

  1. Assuming volunteer background checks expose our organization to less risk.  A volunteer who only enters our organization periodically creates as much risk to our staff, children, and populations we serve as does an employee.  We know from years of research that a sex offender will take unbelievable risk to satisfy their sick desires.  Recent case law has displayed a growing trend of holding organizations accountable under Predatory in the Primary or Negligent Hiring Doctrine when a volunteer harms a child.  Yes, negligent hiring in a volunteer case.  Southport, Indiana Little League was successfully sued (Southport Little League V. Vaughan) under negligent hiring for allowing a convicted sex offender to coach and he molested 2 young boys.
  2. Cost should not be the most important factor.  I cannot say this enough (even though it feels like I do).  Cheap or free background checks are NEVER a safe option.  First, there is no such thing as free.     Sex offender registries are tools.  Just yesterday we found a convicted sex offender who was not on the registry.  Secondly, there is no such thing as a quality $10 background check.
  3. A “national criminal database” search is all we need.  Never!  These databases are tools.  Nothing more.  They work well within a larger screening package of checks and balances.   But this search cannot stand alone.
  4. Background screening industry giants will be our best partner.  Not necessarily.  Many of the big dogs in the background screening industry adhere to the same low quality volunteer background checks standards of peddling a database search or only requiring a county criminal search in states with limited data in the database.  Changing the way a large organization does business is like making a u-turn in an ocean liner.  These low quality screening standards are deeply entrenched.
  5. Not asking enough questions of your potential background screening partner.  We should conduct due diligence on potential background screening partners to determine if their quality standards, technology, security, and customer service are acceptable.

Truthfully, most volunteer organizations are at a disadvantage when selecting a background screening partner and screening program because:

  • The screening industry understands volunteer organizations are often cash-strapped.  Many firms prey upon this by offering cheap products even though they know they are not suitable for protecting organizations; and
  • Volunteer organizations have no idea what questions they should be asking potential screening partners.  Why would you?

Let me help you out.  Download our whitepaper 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm and you will be well on your way to understanding the background screening industry.  You will also be armed with 10 questions that all quality screening firms will be able to answer.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Employee Background Checks

employee background checksWell, I did something this week I don’t normally do.  I ran 20 miles.  I wish, it has been a bad week on the running trails and only slipped on my Vibrams twice. I setup an exhibit booth at the Indiana SHRM conference.  I know, that is so cool.

All kidding aside, I am always reluctant to participate as an exhibitor at conferences.  Exhibit halls represent traditional marketing, or interrupted marketing, on steroids.

The exhibit hall was filled with hundreds of hungry marketers and each break would bring thousands of conference participants into the hall to navigate the sea of booths and seasoned marketers.

You can see the trepidation in the eyes and body language of the participants as they work their way through the aisles. Believe me, I felt the same trepidation and I was an exhibitor.  I was puzzled by the booth diagonally from us with men in tuxedos and bow ties taking your photo under their marketing banner?  Who cares?  Or the booth with freaky hats and Elvis sideburns.   I know some of you still hold on to the hope that Elvis lives.  Maybe he is a VP of marketing for a moving company.  Or the rubber duckies (I have to admit my two partners were eyeing them).

I get the drawing for a free iPad.  That is worth a few seconds at a booth.  Although, it still does not tell me you are good at what you do, but I would love an iPad (hint Honey).

The whole process is akin to running the gauntlet.  Trying to get through the exhibit hall unscathed while at the same time loading up on meaningless trinkets.

This is so not our style or culture.  My mother taught me it is not right to interrupt and certainly not right to mislead.  So I struggle with traditional marketing.

So you are wondering why I decided to participate?  One reason is we have a chance to chat with a large number of our clients.  Always worth the money.

And I always hope that I will get an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with a potential client who is interested in employee background checks.

I am a teacher.  I always have been.  I have traveled all over the world speaking at conferences because I know that information is power.  That is why I invest so heavily in speaking at conferences, blogging and hosting webinars.

So if you got caught up running the gauntlet and skipped past our booth, here is what I would have told you about employee background checks:

  1. There is no standard of care.  The background screening industry is highly unregulated and offers very low quality products and services.  Here is an example: A background screening exhibitor at the conference this week had recently sent marketing propaganda to a group of our clients offering them $5 volunteer background checks.  I explained to our partner how this cheap search would contain less than 25% of criminal records.  Yes, the price looks awesome but the background check is toilet paper.
  2. Industry standard is a 7 year search.  Yes, that means if your applicant has a criminal record 10 years ago, you don’t see it.  The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act does not restrict criminal convictions to 7 years so why do screening firms?  Could be state law but that is only a handful of states.
  3. Criminal Databases are NOT complete.  There does not exist a single criminal database (FBI, state, proprietary) that is comprehensive enough to use as a stand-alone employee background screening program.
  4. Alias, AKA’s & Other Names Not Searched.  If they are, you are charged double or triple for the background check.  Read the fine print.  Does it make sense to search a name that a person has recently changed and not search former married, maiden or other names?  Not if you are focused on safety.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  We met some great people at the conference and had some meaningful conversations.  These are people who sought us out because we don’t apply kidnapping techniques to our marketing.

Honestly, we are very selective in our clients.  We want the best-of-the-best organizations at the top of their industries.  Who are committed to the safety and security of their organizations.  Who truly care about their people and the people they serve.

Therefore we know not every conference participant that walks by fits into that category.  We are unique in the background screening industry and so are our 1800+ clients.

If you are looking for cheap employee background checks so you can say you have done something, we are not the right fit.

If you are an organization that strives to be the best you can be, then we want to talk to you.  Contact us.  We will make each other better.

The Secrets of How to Do a Background Check

how to do background checkI was scratching notes for an article yesterday when a telephone message took me in an entirely different direction.  A pastor of a large church called inquiring about how to do a background check. He was alarmed because they had selected a candidate for a new staff position.  Did a free background check and were about to make the offer.  Then someone told him their candidate was a convicted sex offender.

Sure enough.  

Free is enticing.  If I offered you a free car or a free trip you would be asking to read the fine print.  Why?  Because intrinsically we know nothing in life is really free.  

So why do we think we can conduct background checks for free?  I think we rely so heavily on the internet and see a steady ticker of headlines of people in trouble that we assume this is a cheap and reliable method of conducing background checks.

That is great if you happen to be doing a background check on Charlie Sheen.  However, how valid is information that is found online?  Can it be verified?

Last Friday, Zackery Tims, pastor of megachurch New Destiny Christian Center, was found dead in a hotel room in New York with a white substance in his pocket.  

What do we know?  Pastor Tims testimony reveals he had a criminal record for drug related crimes and was a recovering drug addict.  We also know that he was divorced in 2009 after a year long affair with a stripper.

However, what do we really know?  Not much. We have no toxicology reports to confirm cause of death.  We do not have an accurate criminal background check beyond what Pastor Tims has shared as part of his testimony.

Sure, we can talk about character issues when a pastor, husband, father of four admits to a year long affair with a stripper.  If I were a tabloid reporter, then Google provides a great expanse for gathering information.  But it does not provide a quality platform for criminal background screening.

If it is this difficult to get specifics on a high profile person, then how likely is it that you will be able to use the internet as your stand-alone background screening program?

You simply can’t.  The good news is quality and comprehensive criminal background checks do not have to break the bank.  You cannot do them for free or even $10 but you can do a quality background check for less than what you will pay them for their first couple hours they work for your organization.  

So what are the secrets of how to do a background check?

  1. Free background checks are a mirage.
  2. Background checks require multiple checks and balances.  
  3. Instant background checks do not exist.
  4. Alias and other names must be searched..
  5. Don’t settle for 7yr criminal searches (unless state law requires)
  6. Select a screening partner who provides legal guidance.

The most important step you will take is selecting a background screening partner.  This is no easy task.  The background screening industry is highly unregulated and over-populated with companies that offer low quality products and services.

Now, I do have something to offer for FREE.  Download our white paper the 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm to help your navigate the process of selecting the right background screening firm.

8 Keys to a Successful Pre Employment Screen

pre employment screenI am sure Pacers owner Herb Simon and his wife Bui could have benefited from understanding the keys to a successful pre employment screen.  Why?  Because their ex-nanny, Claudia Liete, has sued them claiming she was wrongfully dismissed.  And a CA judge has sided with the ex-nanny. The ex-nanny claims she was wrongfully dismissed after becoming pregnant.  Certainly pregnancy is not grounds for dismissing an employee.  However, it was the post employment screen or better yet, the post-lawsuit-employment screen that revealed a criminal history with the ex-nanny.

Why not before she started working with the Simon’s kids?

During the trial it was revealed during testimony that the ex-nanny had been the aggressor in a past dating relationship.  The ex-nanny had also applied to volunteer at school with the Simon’s children but a criminal background check prevented her from being able to volunteer.  The ex-nanny explained to the Simon’s it was related to an immigration issue and that satisfied the employer’s curiosity.

It is human nature to want to believe people at face value.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to look at somebody or listen to somebody and determine whether they pose a risk of harm.  If only it were that easy.

So I thought it was important to look at 8 keys to a successful pre employment screen:

  1. You MUST be Conducting Pre Employment Background Checks.
  2. Understand the Background Screening Industry is Highly Unregulated.  The most important decision is selecting a quality background screening firm.  You need to understand language such as “7 year felony & misdemeanor search”.  A limited 7 year search is the industry norm.  Quality background screening companies will not limit their searches to 7 years (unless required by law in some jurisdictions).
  3. Pre Employment Screening is not a Commodity.  If you are diagnosed with a cancer, you would not spend hours on Google looking for the cheapest cancer doctor.  That makes no sense.  You want the best.  The highest quality treatment.  The same holds true for background checks.  The background screening industry and the internet has tried to turn this critical service into a commodity.  Lowest bid wins.  The truth is shopping by lowest price will eventually come back to haunt you.  It might not be today, tomorrow or next week.  However, in time, somebody will be harmed because a cheap background check does not work.
  4. Conduct Due Diligence on Background Screening Firms.  Since the industry is highly unregulated that has resulted in very low quality products and services.  You need to conduct your own due diligence when selecting the right firm to work with.  Download our 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm and use the questions as a guide.
  5. Avoid the Allure of Instant Background Checks.  There is no such thing as an instant background check.  Instant criminal database searches are a tool that should be included in a larger screening package.  They also are not FCRA compliant for employment background screening purposes.
  6. Understand Legal Compliance.   It is critical to partner with a firm that is committed to keeping you informed of changes in laws or policies that could impact your risk exposure.  There are a myriad of legal concerns with pre employment screens:
    1. FCRA Compliance.  Navigating the FCRA can be a daunting and intimidating task.  A quality background screening firm will provide assistance and sample forms.
    2. EEOC.  Well, how do I explain this in a few sentences?  The bottom line is the EEOC is moving in a direction to further restrict the use of criminal records checks
    3. State Law Restrictions.  States are constantly implementing changes in the use of criminal records, credit reports, etc.
    4. A Pre Employment Screen is More Than a Criminal Record Check.  Quality applications, reference checks, employment verifications, driving records, credit checks, education verifications, E-Verify, and OIG/GSA or financial sanction lists can be important solutions.
    5. Demand Great Customer Service.  You deserve it. Companies that value their clients provide great service.

So the big question you must answer is do you want a cheap pre employment screen or a quality pre employment screening program?  There are two distinct approaches to background screening:

  1. Commodity Focused; or
  2. Quality Focused

If you are a quality focused organization, contact us today and let’s take your background screening program to the next level.

7 Keys to Understanding Employee Background Checks & the FCRA

employee background checksThe federal Fair Credit Reporting Act is a terribly confusing law that can have serious legal implications for non-compliance.    A recent lawsuit (Hunter, et al v. First Transit Inc.) illustrates how serious FCRA non-compliance can be. First Transit, or First Student bus transportation as many of you may be familiar, recently settled a class action lawsuit for $5.9 million for willful non-compliance of the FCRA by not obtaining authorizations before performing criminal background checks and also for firing or not hiring applicants because of a criminal background check and failing tp provide the required FCRA notices.

Compliance with the FCRA has produced a growing number of lawsuits in recent years so I thought it was important to take a few minutes and look at the 7 keys to understanding employee background checks and the FCRA:

1.       When Does the FCRA Apply?  The simple answer is if you use a 3rd party background screening firm for employee background checks then the FCRA applies.  FCRA compliance is not required of volunteers.

2.       Step One:  All Applicants.  All applicants for employment MUST receive a Disclosure Statement. 

3.       Step Two:  All Applicants:  All applicants for employment MUST provide a written or electronic authorization for the background check.  The disclosure statement and authorization can be one document.

The final two steps only apply if you are taking adverse action that is based “in whole” or “part” on the background screening report.  What does that mean? 

Well, an example of “in whole” would be a report contains a criminal record for rape.  The criminal record is the basis for the adverse action. 

An example of “in part” would be a report contains a criminal conviction for underage drinking.  You determine the record itself does not exclude the applicant.  However, on the application they indicated they did NOT have any criminal convictions.  So the adverse action is based on the dishonestly.  However, this is partly based on the report because you would not know about the dishonestly without the background screening report.  Make sense? 

So what does the FCRA require of adverse action?  It mandates a 2 step process:

4.       Pre-Adverse Action.  The first step in the process is a Pre-Adverse Action Letter which includes a copy of the background screening report and a Summary of Rights Under the FCRA.  Basically an applicant has a right to see what is going to be used against them and has the right to challenge the report if they feel the information is incorrect. 

5.       Adverse Action.  After waiting a “reasonable amount of time” which has been interpreted as 5 business days you are required to issue an Adverse Action Letter which denies the position.  There is no requirement to hold the position during the waiting period.

2 final keys to understanding the FCRA:

6.       Disputes.  A background screening firm is required to re-investigate if an applicant initiates a legitimate challenge to the background screening report.  These challenges are handled by the screening firm and if there was an error then a corrected report is issued after the re-investigation.

7.       Limit on Non-Convictions.  The FCRA limits the reporting of non-convictions (arrests, pre-trial diversions, etc.) to 7 years UNLESS the salary of the positions is $75K or greater.

The key takeaway is non-compliance of the FCRA can result in serious legal consequences.  

Safe Hiring Solutions is committed to helping you comply with the FCRA.  We provide sample forms and guidance.  You can view a recent recorded webinar:  Understanding the FCRA.

Do you have any questions about the FCRA?  You are not alone if you do.  This law is quirky and confusing.