There is a lot going on out there that directly affects Employers.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Always on the top of the list is the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and the latest compliance issues related to that. One that we haven’t really hit upon in our newsletters but is covered on page 1 of our CIC Service Agreement is the issue of “Permissible Purpose.”
Before you even begin the background check, you must have a permissible purpose for using the background check reports. This is another FCRA requirement and without it, you are not in compliance and could be fined under Title 18 of the U.S. Code or imprisoned for not more than 2 years or both. When you signed the CIC Service Agreement, you certified that your orders for background checks and the resulting reports would be used for a specific Permissible Purpose. In most cases, the permissible purpose was either for Employment or for Tenant-related purposes. Notice I said, “either or.” If you certify that your permissible purpose is Employment-related, you cannot place any orders that are not directly related to employment at your company. Essentially that means that you cannot place any tenant-related orders on your Employment account nor can you place any employment-related orders for any other company on your company’s account. If you own another company and want to do background checks on prospective employees for that company, you must have a separate account for that company. It doesn’t cost anything more to create another account. It takes just a few minutes to complete the CIC Service Agreement and in the long run, it could save you a lot of time and money.
PII (Personal Identity Information)
A second area of concern is the safety of your Candidate’s PII or Personal Identity Information. We hear so much about phishing, ransomware and other types of malware, that it is imperative that you maintain tight control of your Users. The people to whom you grant access to the Screening portal should be carefully vetted and understand the importance of confidentiality. There are various types of access that can be set up for your Users, so limit their access based on what their role will be.
- Each person who you feel needs to access the Portal should have his/her own unique password.d
- Passwords should not be shared.
- Make sure you immediately disable User accounts for anyone who no longer needs access or has left the company.
- The default Password protocol set up for our Portal is: Expiration Interval – 180 days; Minimum PW Length – 12; Auto logout – 60 Minutes. If you have specific protocol requirements, please let us know and we will make changes on your account.
- If you are like many others working in multiple applications, you have a long list of passwords. Make sure to keep them protected and saved in a secure place.
Ban the Box
Another area that is changing rapidly is “Ban the Box.” The movement is still growing and has morphed into more than a checkbox on an application. While it started as a state initiative, more and more cities and municipalities have jumped on the bandwagon and added their own take on the criminal history question. Many have adopted fair chance legislation as part of their “Ban the Box” initiative and are requiring employers to justify their negative employment decisions on paper and allow the applicant to provide evidence of rehabilitation, etc. Keep an eye on the “Ban the Box” as many locations have included additional employment-related requirements. Just last year Toledo followed New York and California by banning Salary History questions.
It seems as though these issues are generated on the West and East coasts of the country and then start migrating towards the central US Keeping an eye on what California and New York are doing vis a vis employment law will give you a good idea of what we can expect in our part of the U.S. in the next few years.
As always, CIC is happy to answer questions and give direction, so don’t hesitate to contact us.