In our 2015 leadership to-do list we talked about ban the box, and the need for senior leaders to understand its impact and the restrictions. Two years later, ban the box is still a growing movement (see HERE). And while the Trump administration may enact changes in this arena, employers must remain vigilant of and in compliance with the current rules.
Low unemployment rates, fast growth, as well as workers who prefer to work as freelancers, means that employers must review their screening practices to incorporate a workforce that focuses on “gigs,” temporary work, or specific assignments. In the past employers might not have considered screening this segment of their workforce, believing that contingent workers do not meet the definition of “employee,” but over the last few years this thinking has changed, as employers recognize that these individuals are in fact their representatives in the marketplace, and often have access to sensitive information as well as to the company’s employees and customers. To mitigate the risk of allegations of disparate treatment, employers will need to develop screening practices that treat all individuals in similar positions the same.
Much as employers in the past have conducted ongoing, random substance-abuse testing, more employers are recognizing the need to adopt similar practices with other background screenings, in order to maintain a safe and secure workplace, both in terms of security as well as workplace safety. For employers considering this approach, it is imperative that the disclosure and authorization that the candidate initially signed clearly states that their consent serves for future checks as well.
With easy access to social media, many employers–and particularly hiring managers–often do their own research on viable candidates via this source. Often the information found leads to a negative impact on the candidate, but the data found through these sources is not considered reliable, as these sources provide protected-class information that could challenge an employer’s non-discriminatory policies and practices.
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About the Author
Zuni Corkerton is the Founder and President of RefCheck® Information Services, Inc., a human resources-based firm that focuses on providing stellar employers with in-depth–not generic–background-screening services. She founded the company in 1986, when as director of employee relations for a regional bank she found that hiring blind was not a sound business option. She needed solid, objective, job-related background information on the bank’s candidates. RefCheck® helps employers to perform their due diligence in the selection process in order to protect their employees, and to protect their organizations from the risks inherent in the selection process: employee theft, violence in the workplace, and negligent-hiring and negligent-retention allegations. Adherence to federal and state laws is of paramount importance to the company.
Please call or email Zuni to schedule a free, confidential analysis of your current screening practices, and to determine how RefCheck® can help you to mitigate risk, protect your bottom line, and improve hiring.
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Notice: Nothing is the material provided is intended to be or should be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are strongly advised to seek legal counsel. The author is not an attorney, and the information provided is for informational purposes only. Neither the author nor RefCheck® is engaged in rendering legal advice.
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