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Pre-employment Background Screening

Pre-Employment Background Screening information - PeopleSmart

Pre-employment Background Screening

With the recent availability of rapid online background screening tools, many businesses are integrating pre-employment background screening into their hiring process. Whether you’re a business considering the practice or a job candidate, it’s important to be educated about this tightly regulated area of the background checking industry.

What is a court runner?

A court runner is a person who goes to the court house and transacts directly with the court clerk to obtain copies of official court records held by the court.

What do I need to know about pre-employment background checks?

Enacted in October 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary federal law that governs the preparation, dissemination, and use of background reports for employment purposes. It protects the privacy and accuracy of the information in background reports while delineating job applicant rights and employer responsibilities. Employers must use FCRA-compliant background screening companies to screen candidates.

What is a Consumer Reporting Agency?

Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) are companies that collect, assemble, evaluate, and sell consumer report information to and for third parties. Pre-employment background screening companies are CRAs that distinguish themselves from more general background screening companies, like PeopleSmart.

What are my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

In addition to other areas unrelated to pre-employment background screening, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives job applicants (1) the right to know what’s in their background reports (2) the right to obtain a copy of their background report (3) the right to know if the information in your background report has led to an adverse action (4) the obligation for employers to seek a candidate’s consent before obtaining a report (5) a process for addressing any adverse action taken as a result of information gained through a background report.

Is employee drug testing included in a background check?

An employer may elect to include a drug test as part of their pre-employment background check. A drug test is often a condition for employment in industries with a high injury risk or if the job includes access to sensitive populations or information. Many government jobs also make employment contingent on a negative drug test.

How does employee drug testing work?

Generally, drug tests are conducted at a 3rd-party collection site. An applicant will be asked to provide a urine sample for analysis, although hair and saliva may also be collected. Most employers test for a standard 5-part panel of street drugs, including Marijuana, Cocaine, PCP, opiates, and amphetamines. Some employers may require a broader test that includes detection of prescription medications with a high addiction risk. This test is especially common in the healthcare industry, where access to medication is probable.

How do pre-employment background checks benefit employees?

Pre-employment background checks benefit employees by creating a safe and secure workplace that protects organizations from criminal behavior. They also provide important historical context for hiring decisions, so that workplaces can benefit from effective and honest employees. As a regulatory and safety measure, pre-employment background checks ultimately preserve the integrity of a work environment.

What should I do if my employer doesn’t follow the law?

If your potential employer does a background check on you that doesn’t comply with the FCRA, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The law allows the federal government to sue companies that don’t comply with FCRA requirements. It also allows you to sue an employer for certain types of violations.

What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the United States Government agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC investigates, mediates, settles, and files discrimination suits against employers on behalf of employees, ultimately working to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

What is the Title VII law?

The Title VII law is the statue in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The Title VII law protects against harassment, retaliation, and discriminatory practices In employment decisions including job advertisements, recruiting, benefits, hiring and firing, compensation, training, and more. Employers are responsible for advising their employees of their rights under the Title VII law.