Background Screening Compliance: Don’t Set It and Forget It

S2Verify would like to take a moment to remind our clients and all employers that the background screening industry is consistently changing. Updates and new case law require increased awareness by employers.

Employers that utilize background check reports are called “end-users” in our industry. While S2Verify cannot provide legal advice, we highly encourage all end-users work closely to own legal counsel.

Additionally, the process of compliance is not a set it and forget it occurrence. At a minimum, end-users should conduct an annual check-up. End-users must ensure that their overall screening program complies with all applicable state and federal laws. Regardless of the size of your organization, compliance reviews regarding background screening process, documents, and procedures is essential!

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

Getting to Know S2Verify’s Customer Service Team

Since 2009, we have focused on service, innovative technology, and compliance. Our reporting is backed by an adjudication team proficient in FCRA compliance with criminal justice backgrounds. In 2014, we were accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). Governed by a strict and thorough set of professional standards of specified requirements and measurements set by the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC), the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) has become a widely recognized seal of approval bringing national recognition to an employment background screening-affiliated organization for its commitment to achieving excellence through: information security, legal and compliance, client education, researcher and data standards, verification services standards, and business practices.

Additionally, our customer service team has been named on LiveHelpNow’s Challenge List for exceptional service since 2016. We are proud that our customer service received recognition out of 10,000 companies. The scoring is based on LiveHelpNow’s 12-point grading system, including results of customer surveys, volume of customer chats, knowledge displayed by operators, and time of average chats.

To learn more about S2Verify, please visit us at www.S2Verify.com or give us a call at 770-649-8282.

S2Verify COVID-19 Response

OVERALL

As COVID-19 impacts us all nationwide, S2Verify is well prepared to manage this crisis with our proven business continuity plans and protocols. We have the ability for 100% of our employees to work remotely and seamlessly support our customers, all while keeping our employees safe.

We have business continuity plans in place, prioritizing providing the high-quality service you expect, while continuing to focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers, and partners.

VIRUS MANAGEMENT

We encourage each of you to refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines when developing your plans for dealing with this issue: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Below are the CDC’s everyday prevention recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

 Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

CONTACT S2VERIFY

S2Verify is committed to 100% normal operational support. If you have any questions or need more information, contact your S2Verify Representative or the S2Verify Customer Response Unit at CUSTOMERSERVICE@S2VERIFY.COM

New Summary of Rights & Security Freeze

Please be advised the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection issued a rule to update the Summary of Rights, which implement the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The new form provides the following update:

Consumers Have The Right To Obtain A Security Freeze.  You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization.

You may view the full security freeze updated section and obtain an updated version of the document here: http://s2verify2.com/FCRA-Summary_of_Rights.pdf

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

Disclosure and Authorization Forms and Recent Litigation

Disclosure and authorization forms are legally required to be provided by the employer to applicants during the pre-employment screening process.

The requirements for the authorization & disclosure are on page 13 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If both a disclosure & authorization are not obtained, an employer does not have a permissible purpose to obtain a report.

604 – 15 U.S.C. § 1681b

(2) Disclosure to Consumer.

(A) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person may not procure a consumer report, or cause a consumer report to be procured, for employment purposes with respect to any consumer, unless –

(i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes; and

(ii) the consumer has authorized in writing (which authorization may be made on the document referred to in clause (i)) the procurement of the report by that person.

Full text here: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/545a_fair-credit-reporting-act-0918.pdf

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling for Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores LLC stated that additional state law notices must be separate from the disclosure page. The presence of additional state notice son the disclosure page violates FCRA for extraneous information.

Maintaining up-to-date authorization and disclosure documents is essential to remain compliant under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

While S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post should not be considered as such, we would like to highlight this recent ruling and encourage employers to review their documents with their legal counsel or compliance officer. Consistent review of these documents is recommended.

To read the opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and view a copy of the document that this case is focused on, you may visit https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2019/01/29/17-16263.pdf.

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

Ban-the-Box & Fair Chance Laws and Policies by State

Employers must stay up-to-date on local laws, including “Ban the Box” and “Fair Chance” laws.

These laws not only restrict the use of criminal history inquiry on the application, but potentially restrict the timing a background check may be run during the hiring process.

A great resource to keep up with your particular city/state and any laws that may apply to your business is NELP.org. As of July 2019, the following link provides a comprehensive guide and we recommend reviewing the document here:

https://s27147.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Ban-the-Box-Fair-Chance-State-and-Local-Guide-July-2019.pdf

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

H.R. 3614 Possible Impact

In July 2019, the House Committee on Financial Services passed a bill prohibiting the use of credit reports during the pre-employment process. Additionally, the bill, H.R. 3614, prohibits questions on job applications and in interviews regarding an applicant’s financial history.

Should the bill become law, the impact will be great on the background screening industry.

Several states, including but not limited to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, the District of Columbia, and the cities of Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia have laws that restrict credit reports from being used during the pre-employment screening process.

This bill is another reminder to review your pre-employment screening processes regularly. While S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post should not be considered as such, we would like to highlight this recent ruling and encourage employers to review their hiring process with their legal counsel or compliance officer.

The following link will direct to the bill in its entirety:

https://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-116hr3614ih-creditempl.pdf

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

Form I-9 and E-Verify®

 

Completing Form I-9 is essential in the hiring process. It is a requirement that all employers have Form I-9 on file for all employees*.

Here’s a few tips regarding the regulated I-9 process.

  • Section 1 of Form I-9 must be completed by all employees no later than the first business day of employment for pay.
  • Section 2 must be completed by the employer no later than 3 business days after the employee begins the first day of work for pay.
  • Additionally, Section 2 requires examination of documents. An employer may not specify the document type and must provide the Lists of Acceptable Documents. The employee must provide one document from List A OR one document from List B AND one document from List C. All documents must be unexpired. More information regarding documents may be found here. The employer does not have to be a document expert. The employer must accept the document(s) presented by the employee if it reasonably appears to be genuine and it relates to the individual presenting it.
  • Form I-9 must be on file for all current employees for three years after the date of hire, or, 1 year after the date of employment terminates, whichever is later.

In addition to pre-employment background screening, S2Verify offers on-boarding services that include E-Verify®. E-Verify® is a web-based system that assists employers in confirming work eligibility of employees. The system allows employers to quickly compare completed Form I-9 information with records of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

If your business is interested in learning more about a seamless integration of Form I-9 and E-Verify® into your on-boarding process, please reach out to us at: 770-649-8282 or visit us at www.S2Verify.com.

*Please note the only exceptions regarding the requirement of Form I-9 are as follows:

  • In the case where an employee was hired on or before November 6, 1986.
  • The employee is an independent contractor for whom you do not set work hours, or provide tools to do the job, casual domestic service employees in a private household when work is sporadic, irregular, or intermittent.
  • Employees working outside the 50 United States, District of Colombia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

E-Verify® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

California Bans Salary History Inquires and Adopts Ban-The-Box for Job Applicants

Effective January 1, 2018, California will expand hiring laws:

  • A.B. 1008: “Ban-the-box” will outlaw requests for criminal conviction disclosure prior to a conditional job offer.
  • A.B. 168: This law will prohibit past salary inquires during a job application process.

Currently, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia have laws in place that ban salary history requests. Additionally, 10 states operate under “Ban-The-Box.”

As a hiring manager, it is necessary to monitor laws that dictate the interview and hiring process. Therefore, it is critical to check for updates on your state’s labor law website. The US Department of Labor lists each state’s site here.

http://www.S2Verify.com

 

S2Verify does not provide legal advice, and this post is only intended for educational purposes.

Work-Life Balance from a Millennial Standpoint

Many different aspects of business have changed since the millennial generation became the largest among active employees. One of the most prominent being the importance of work-life balance.

A majority of workers today strive for and understand the benefits of a career that places a high priority on that of their employees’ personal lives. Commonly referred to as a “lazy and entitled” generation by those older, millennials typically ask their employers for time off, remote work, and the flexibility to adjust their hours according to personal events. Why does this deem them careless if these are all features that every generation wants out of their jobs? Perhaps the generational gap is defined by the dated notion that graciousness for even having a job means you are in no position to make demands.

Completing a job successfully should not be contingent upon spending 40 hours at the office, but rather the amount of work that is done. Should that require less hours or working from home, so be it. Managers should understand that forcing employees to do their jobs in a way that management wants them done will only deter them from doing so, and possibly prevent future hires.

The entire concept of work-life balance seems to be dated. The idea of having to devote one half of your life to your career seems daunting when spelled out. Effectively blending the two, not so much as a compromise, but as a better means of production is what most employers today understand as necessary for both success, and employee retention.

Another way to look at this debate is that despite physically leaving the office to go home, many employees continue to think about their jobs, the tasks that lie ahead, and issues that may arise in the near future. There isn’t a set time in which people are able to simply forget about their day’s work and go about their lives disregarding it. Stress or worry can carry well beyond the walls of an office. Conversely, people often think about their personal lives regularly while at work, more so when they are experiencing a bigger life event.

More businesses today should rethink their approach to employees’ work-life balance if they haven’t already done so. Making the personal lives and well-being of one’s team a priority is an almost guaranteed way to promote production, and increase employee retention. With millennials at the forefront of modern business ideas, perhaps even more aspects will begin to change for the better.