Employer background checks offer a wide range of benefits to employers. This special service can help you screen out unfavorable candidates who provide inaccurate information or hide a criminal conviction. Though there are many benefits from background checks, it is important that you conduct them properly and legally.
A recent case filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against BMW Manufacturing Co. LLC (BMW) claims that BMW’s criminal background check policy is discriminatory because it resulted in the firing of many employees who had a criminal background, even if it was years before and had no effect on the employee’s current position. The EEOC alleges that BMW’s criminal conviction policy also makes no distinction between misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions.
As a result of this case, many prudent employers are considering how to best implement background checks to avoid discrimination or other issues. There are several steps you can take to improve your background check policy to ensure you do not discriminate, including:
- Remove background check policies that exclude employment based on any criminal record, no matter what the crime was or how long ago it occurred. Instead, consider specific offenses that could impact the employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job or threaten other employees, and narrow your search to look for those.
- If you conduct a background check on one employee for a specific position, be sure to conduct a check on all employees in that type of position.
- Regularly review the company’s background check policy and process to ensure you are effectively screening.
- Most importantly, be sure you satisfy all requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Keep in mind that the results of background checks should be kept confidential and should only be used for the intended purpose of screening a candidate for a specific position. You should only distribute background checks to the proper human resources manager or other employee who maintains such records.
If you want to ensure you are conducting accurate yet legal background checks, always turn to the professionals at CheckPoint Screening. Our background screening services can be adapted to suit your specific need. Whether you simply want a criminal background screening or want a more in depth check that includes a credit report, we can provide it. We operate under all requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and will ensure your background check is thorough and legal.