Some aspects of the new joint guidance are fairly obvious and have been a part of background screening policies, but the new guidance codifies the use of background checks with greater specificity.
Waltham, MA (PRWEB) April 16, 2014
In an effort to clarify previous Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, released on April 25, 2012, (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm) the EEOC and FTC have jointly released guidance over the use of background checks.
From the Hunton Employment and Labor Perspectives Blog (APR. 02,14):
On March 10, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued joint guidance regarding the use of background checks. The FTC, which enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, monitors compliance with how background checks are conducted. The EEOC, which enforces federal laws against discrimination, seeks to ensure that the use of background checks does not disparately impact protected groups. http://www.huntonlaborblog.com/2014/04/articles/eeoc-and-government-litigation/eeoc-and-ftc-issue-joint-guidance-on-background-checks/
Only a short time has passed since this new guidance has been released, but some thoughts have been presented.
Lexology.com (MAR. 31, 14) offers some thoughts on what may occur with these new guidance’:
- Employers must treat all applicants and employees the same when conducting background checks like criminal background checks.
- Employers should provide applicants and employees an opportunity to explain information in a background check.
- Employers must utilize the same disqualification criteria for everyone.
- Employers should treat background material with care and abide by all retention and destruction requirements. http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=3bc16151-f282-4fa7-bb26-e69ccf01061e
Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “Some aspects of the new joint guidance are fairly obvious and have been a part of background screening policies, but the new guidance codifies the use of background checks with greater specificity.”
From the EEOC Press Release dated March 10, 2014:
The agencies emphasize that employers need written permission from job applicants before getting background reports about them from companies in the business of compiling background information. Furthermore, they reaffirm that it is illegal to discriminate based on a person's race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information, including family medical history, when requesting or using background information for employment, regardless of where the information was obtained. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-10-14.cfm
Essentially the EEOC and FTC are working together in an effort to ensure fair and equal use of background screening in a pre-employment environment. It also signals a greater oversight by the federal government over the use of pre-employment background checks.
From http://www.BizJournals.com (MAR 18, 14):
Patricia Smith, an employment law expert and partner with the Ballard Spahr LLP law firm, said federal investigators are giving greater scrutiny to whether business hiring practices include background checks and whether they result in less hiring of minorities or other protected classes. http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2014/03/18/obama-administration-warns-employers-about.html?page=all
“Ultimately there will be greater scrutiny over the use of background checks in pre-employment screening and companies that fail to follow the guidance presented by the EEOC and FTC could face a significant penalty,” Almeida states. “Working with a third party background screening company is the smart move to remain compliant within an ever changing legal environment of background checks.”
CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company. With an experienced staff and the ability to help companies stay current with laws and regulations governing the background screening industry CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a solid partner for human resource managers.