Top 3 Background Check Compliance Tips for 2018
Background check compliance continues to be a hot topic moving through 2018. From increased class-action lawsuits to data breaches affecting millions, it’s critical that employers exercise their proper due diligence to safeguard their organization and the reputation they must uphold.
This month, Roy Maurer, Talent Acquisition Editor at SHRM, published a two-part series article outlining today’s employment screening trends. Vu T. Do, Vice President of Compliance at PreCheck, provides insight in the article and shares additional commentary on these issues currently affecting HR and hiring managers.
Here are three areas in background check compliance Do suggests you pay attention to in 2018.
1. No Decline in FCRA Class Action Litigation
Class-action lawsuits filed against employers alleging violation of their background screening practices increased in 2017. Employers need to pay attention because we’re not just talking about outright violations where the applicant (or consumer) has suffered harm like losing a job offer. When an employer fails to provide a disclosure form as a stand-alone document, it could be named in a federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuit, even if the applicant filing the complaint got the job!
Further, the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to re-hear the case of Spokeo v. Robins means these “no harm” cases aren’t going away. The increase in the FCRA cases alleging technical violations are a result of unpredictable district court decisions and a split in the circuit courts in deciding what constitutes as “concrete” harm, as stated in Spokeo v. Robins. Some courts have reasoned that “informational injuries,” “privacy” violations, or prospective injuries are “concrete and particularized” and thus, satisfy standing requirement.
The impact these type of decisions, post Spokeo, is the encouragement of FCRA, data breach, and other privacy-related class action litigation where no evident harm is yet suffered by plaintiffs. As a result, employers must fully understand their legal obligations under the FCRA and continuously work with counsel to review their forms and processes.
2. Data Breach Prevention and Risk Management
One of the largest credit reporting agencies Equifax fell victim to a chain of massive data breaches this past year. Not only did it reinforce the need for employers to do their part in safeguarding applicants’ and employees’ personal information, but it also reminded us as consumers that no entity can truly guarantee the security of our information. Instead of accepting that this is the price of modern life in the digital world, we can become more vigilant consumers with an increased awareness of how others, including our employer and their business partners, use and secure information about us.
Even when applying the most effective security measures, employers should be proactive about employee education around information security. Many employers are themselves companies that handle sensitive consumer information, so employees themselves must undergo thorough training and follow proper protocol to protect consumer information. This collective raising of awareness and increased consumer vigilance is a positive outcome.
3. Viewing the Candidate Experience Under a Compliance Lens
Integrating screening technology with HR systems to streamline hiring processes is an effective way to improve the candidate experience. However, though system integrations and streamlined processes are important to more efficiently onboard employees and complete their background checks, it’s critical that any efforts toward improved applicant experience also takes into account employer compliance obligations. Usually, these obligations are specific and intended to protect consumers. Therefore, an improved applicant experience should not come at the cost of unintended consumer harm or employer non-compliance.
Because employers are placed under increased scrutiny, HR and hiring managers are advised to work closely with compliance-minded partners and with qualified counsel on their quest for improved candidate experience. Navigating through this minefield of varying requirements is no easy feat for HR alone.
When was the last time you reviewed your employment background screening policy? Contact us today to learn how PreCheck can help you implement an effective background screening program tailored for your healthcare organization.