Background Checks / Application Screening Review

Gray Plant Mooty is pleased to offer an affordable proactive approach to managing employer risk. Our approach to compliance reviews combines our legal expertise and perspective with a practical business viewpoint. We candidly review the strengths and weaknesses of your current practices and policies, identify any risk areas, and provide constructive recommendations.  Each compliance review in our series is offered at a customized flat rate with a comprehensive evaluation of your company’s policies, practices, and procedures.

Criminal background checks have become relatively quick and inexpensive. Consequently, their use by employers in screening applicants continues to proliferate.  Reports estimate that over 90% of employers rely on criminal background checks in making at least some of their hiring decisions.  This has resulted in a growing group of ex-offenders who are unable to obtain employment.  Because of this growing social epidemic, which statistically has an adverse impact upon minority groups, applicant screening and hiring practices are receiving greater scrutiny.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued guidance on discrimination arising out of the use of background investigations.  Lawsuits by ex-offenders who were denied employment are also on the rise.  While background checks are an excellent source of information when making important hiring decisions, employers need to make certain their practices comply with anti-discrimination, consumer reporting, privacy and other legal obligations.  A standard compliance review will typically include the following:

  • A review of notice and consent forms for compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state legal requirements
  • A review of pre-adverse action and adverse action notification forms for FCRA and state legal compliance
  • A review of user agreements with background search firms to ensure the employer’s interests are protected and the reporting agency complies with its legal obligations
  • A review of hiring practices surrounding background investigations for compliance with EEOC guidelines and other anti-discrimination laws.

To learn more about this program, contact any Employment Law Practice Group member.