This year, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) created an easy to use document titled “Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know.”  It was created for the sole purpose of providing employers a clear and concise description of what needed to be done when making personnel decisions based on, in part, the information contained in a background check.  The FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and as stated by the FTC, background check compliance, both with the FCRA and the EEOC, is mandatory or a company runs the risk of litigation.


What’s interesting is that this year alone, several large retailers have been busted for non-background check compliance.  Obviously, these are high profile businesses and are much more newsworthy for the FTC and the EEOC to pursue than the small business, but it still begs the question “why is background check compliance so difficult to attain?”

Just this week, another nationwide retailer has fallen into a lawsuit due to lack of background check compliance.  The lawsuit claims that, just like in several other high profile lawsuits this year, the company failed to provide a conspicuous, separate background check form as required by the FCRA.  This is an easy step to overcome in the employment screening process but seems to be a place that many companies are finding themselves out of background check compliance.

PeopleG2 provides its clients with all of the proper forms, updates according to FCRA policies and EEOC guidance regularly, and wants to ensure that all companies are in background check compliance.  Our job is to stay on top of these law changes, and assist our clients in understanding the expectations as they are updated.

While any good CRA would do this, these lawsuits are an important reminder to review and make sure a company is in background check compliance.  The EEOC does not care whether the company is large or small.  The big companies make the news, but the small companies can face the same type of litigation if not in compliance.

Check out the FTC/EEOC document above, and make sure that your company is meeting the guidelines.  Review FCRA policies and procedures for the use of background check information, as well as the proper way to provide documents to applicants.  Stay up to date on what the EEOC is expecting from employers.  If these things are done, as well as consulting with an employment attorney regarding background check compliance, a company can cover all its bases for matters of compliance and can move forward with hiring practices that meet or exceed the expectations of all entities.

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