Background Checks: Best Practices & Legal Compliance
Does your application or hiring process include background checks? Have you heard about the EEOC’s guidance on the use of criminal background checks, but you don't understand how they fit into your background-check process?
After years of debate, the EEOC published controversial new guidance on employers' use of background-check policies and practices in 2012. Then, it used those guidelines to file a pair of important lawsuits—against BMW and Dollar General—alleging violation of federal discrimination law.
Every employer needs to be in compliance.
Pepsi thought it was. The company believed it was using background checks in a nondiscriminatory way. But the EEOC saw things differently. The result: Pepsi paid $3.2 million to settle an EEOC race-bias charge. Kmart also thought it was in compliance, but it was hit this year with a class-action lawsuit alleging violations of background check laws including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The result: Kmart paid a $3 million settlement.
The list of well-respected companies continues to grow … will you be next?
Don't wait for a lawsuit or EEOC charge to make sure you're in compliance. It's vital—for your company and your career—to get in line now with the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrests and Conviction Records.
Background Checks: Best Practices & Legal Compliance covers:
The legal risks of background checks (both criminal and credit).
When, if ever, you can consider arrest records in hiring.
The elements of a valid, legally-compliant background check consent form (the subject of almost all new FCRA class-action lawsuits).
How to comply with the EEOC Guidance that you perform an "individualized assessment” on applicants screened out by background checks. (Understand the 7 key factors to consider!)
The most important, practical takeaways from the EEOC Guidance and FCRA class-action lawsuits
Bottom line: The EEOC says its new rules mean employers have no more excuses for making mistakes on criminal background checks … and the risks can be huge. Add to that the class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers alleging violations of the FCRA, and you have quite a problem. Get in compliance now!
Pat DiDomenico Editorial Director, Business Management Daily
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Hear a Free 90-Second Clip of Background Checks: Best Practices & Legal Compliance from Stephen Woods:
About Your Speakers:
Stephen Woods is a shareholder in the Greenville, S.C., office of Ogletree Deakins, where he focuses his practice on national employment-law litigation and counseling. He is the head of Ogletree's Background Check Advice and E-Signatures teams. Before becoming a lawyer, Stephen managed the HR function for a 500-employee newspaper publishing company. Stephen is a top-rated, asked-back speaker to groups and companies throughout the country on labor & employment topics. He can make even the driest legal topic (like the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the new EEOC Guidance) relatable and relevant to your current workplace and employment situations.
Gustavo ("Gus") Suárez is of counsel in the Greenville, S.C., office of Ogletree Deakins and is a member of the firm's national Background Check Advice Team. He regularly provides counsel to employers on practical ways to comply with state and federal background check law, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Title VII and the state mini-FCRA laws. Gus is a frequent speaker on background checks and other employment law issues, and utilizes his experience as an adjunct college professor to make his speaking engagements informational and engaging.
Who Should Listen:
Supervisors and managers
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