Complying with FCRA and EEOC

Jun 21, 2018

The process of vetting and hiring the most suitable employees for your organization, while simultaneously maintaining the safety and integrity of your business, can be complicated. New Ban-the-Box laws have both enhanced and further complicated the matter by compelling employers to not only carefully consider applicants with a less-than-perfect personal history, but to also prove that fair consideration was given. As a result, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines for adverse action, alone, are no longer sufficient to fully protect yourself from liability. In conjunction with your Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance, Diligent Screening Services is your solution to eliminate much of the guesswork when considering applicants with criminal backgrounds, thereby helping you protect your business and your peace of mind.

Diligent Screening background checks are typically available on the same day, and time is of the essence when new-hires are needed for positions that are vacant. No longer does considering a candidate based on a background check have to cost valuable time.

Diligent Screening Services provides accurate results for your search on County, State, National, and Federal levels, as well as your applicants’ Employment Verification information, and more. A variety of thorough screenings enables you to have valuable information about your applicant at your fingertips. Each search we perform for you is under strict compliance with FCRA, state, and municipal regulations.

In the event you find information that could have an adverse effect on your hiring decision, the FCRA requires, without exception, the following measures be taken:

  • Pre-adverse action (informs the applicant of items found in the background check that could affect your decision to hire them).
  • Waiting period (gives the applicant a set period of time to dispute or provide additional information about items found in the background check)
  • Final adverse action (informs the applicant of the your final decision)

It is important to remember that even upon completion of your required FCRA compliance, any adverse action must also include the fulfillment of EEOC, local, and state requirements. This is for your protection as an employer/business owner to avoid any potential lawsuits brought by applicants.

As of April 2018, the District of Columbia, 31 states, and over 150 counties and cities have implemented some form of fair chance and/or ban-the-box legislation. These laws determine the circumstances under which employers are allowed to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history. As a result, the EEOC is inclined to take legal action against employers who refuse to include applicants with criminal records in their new hires.

Because it has become more important than ever to give each applicant fair consideration, and include every kind of applicant in the hiring process, it only benefits employers to remember that negative items on a background check does not automatically deem an applicant a poor fit for your organization.

Some things to keep in mind when preparing to hire a personal with a criminal history are:

  • The amount of time that has passed since the offense was committed.
    The nature of the offense that was committed.
  • Repetition of criminal behavior (whether or not the applicant was a serial repeat offender, or if it was an isolated incident).
  • The degree to which this behavior/activity affects the position for which the applicant has applied.

In order to assess whether or not the applicant should be considered for hire in spite of a criminal background, individual assessments should be made and could include questions regarding:

  • The applicant’s complete criminal history.
  • Individual circumstances leading up to the crime committed.
  • Measures taken to receive rehabilitation and/or counseling.

Diligent Solutions Services is dedicated to helping our clients protect against bad hires, and yet, we also understand there are people who have made mistakes in their past that can be excellent assets to your organization when given the opportunity. We can help bridge the gap between piece of mind for our clients and a fresh start for someone with a checkered past by giving our clients the necessary information to make a sound decision for your organization.


NOTE: Diligent Screening Services does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational/informational purposes only. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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