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Background Check Policy

Posted in News Articles on 02/16/2010

Background Check Policy

We have been asked by clients to help them create a background check policy for their company.  While we are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice to our clients, we can point them into the right direction and provide some questions to help create a background check policy.

What should a background check policy cover?  A basic policy should cover who will be checked and what types of checks should be done based on job classification or other criteria.  It should cover who is allowed to request a background check and who is allowed to view it.  It should cover what qualifies a person for a job and what may disqualify someone.

How should the policy be distributed?  Applicants / employees applying for jobs should be notified that a background check may be done, and if you are using a third party agency like BackTrack, this is a requirement.  Staff members who order background checks and who review them also need to be aware of the policies.

What types of background checks should we do?  That depends on the positions within your company.  Background checks should be consistent within departments / positions, but every person coming into your company does not necessarily need the same type of background check.  A company driver needs a different type of check than the Finance Manager.  Click here for more information on this topic.

What laws do we need to be aware of when creating a policy?  There are several laws that need to be taken into account when creating a background screening policy, but one of the major ones is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This provides rules and guidelines for employers on what notifications need to be provided to the applicant and what needs to be done if someone is not hired.  There are also other laws, including some state and position specific ones which need to be followed.  Consult with your legal counsel to review the ones that may apply to your company.

Creating a background screening policy is important and should be done after carefully considering the laws and rules that may apply to your company.  Meeting with your legal counsel is an important step in this process and should be done in order to protect your company.  For more information on this topic, contact BackTrack at 800-991-9694.

***This information contained here is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion.***