Thursday, March 23 2023
Background checks are a key component of the hiring process. Here in Texas, employers perform them to verify a candidate’s resume, check their criminal record, and make sure they’re qualified.
There’s another reason companies pre-screen their new hires: employers who fail to perform thorough background checks may face legal problems. This is where compliance comes in.
Here are six strategies to keep in mind for compliant pre-employment screening:
Conducting a background check? You need to comply with state, local, and federal laws. Whether you live in San Antonio or Corpus Christi, you need to understand the regulations in your area. Texas employers must also consider the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which outlines requirements for seeking and using consumer reports like background checks.
It may seem like a given, but employers must obtain written consent before performing a background check. This is done by giving applicants a disclosure stating that the company will be completing the check. From there, the candidate can sign and date the form, and the employer can move forward. Hiring managers should provide a copy of the FCRA summary of rights at this time as well.
This is an essential consideration. If an employer decides not to hire a candidate based on the results of a background check, they need to follow adverse action procedures. In these cases, employers should offer candidates a copy of the background check report and inform them of their right to dispute it. Employers must also give candidates what is known as a notice of adverse action.
The candidate may have consented to a background check, but they didn’t give you permission to share their confidential information. To protect a candidate’s private report, employers must keep all background check documents in a safe place—away from team members who have no reason to consult them. These documents should be disposed of in a secure manner as well (for instance, via shredding).
Employers need to make sure their background check policies don’t discriminate against protected groups. In other words, your company cannot use background checks to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, parental status, or anything else. To avoid a potential lawsuit (and showcase strong values), your background check policies and processes should apply consistently to all candidates.
The truth is that employers who conduct background checks in-house are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to legal trouble. To ensure compliance with the law, many Texas hiring managers have a third-party provider conduct their background checks for them. Companies like Redstar Backgrounds are experienced in pre-employment screening and will make sure you stay compliant.
By following these best practices, you can minimize legal liabilities, preserve your reputation, and hire the best candidates for your organization. Compliance is simply an added bonus.
Texas Pre-Employment Screening: Work with Us in San Antonio
Whether you are in San Antonio or Austin, Corpus Christi or El Paso, pre-employment screening should be a key part of your hiring process.
At Redstar Backgrounds and DrugScreenKits.com, our team will help you through every step. No matter your industry, we’ll craft the exact screening solution you need to vet your job candidates. Compliance is our top priority—and our team will incorporate it into your custom screening solution.
Friday, March 17 2023
One thing is certain for Texas companies: employment screening law is always evolving.
It can be difficult to keep up with the latest regulations—but it’s important for employers to stay on top of them. Staying aware of the current law will help you avoid costly fines and potential lawsuits.
With that, here are some strategies for staying up-to-date:
You need to have a solid understanding of general employment screening regulations. These regulations include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In addition, you should take note of any laws that apply to your industry or location. Under Texas law, for example, most employers are limited to a seven-year criminal background check for roles paying less than $75,000. For higher-paying positions, employers may be able to access the candidate’s criminal background dating back to age 18. Some Texas cities have ban-the-box laws as well.
Employment screening laws can change quickly. Texas employers should follow industry, regional, and national news to determine whether their hiring processes are affected by any changes that take place. If you don’t know where to start, you can consult legal blogs, government websites, and industry associations.
Experienced pre-employment screening providers can be wonderful resources too.
When in doubt, talk to a lawyer to make sure your screening practices are compliant with the law. A skilled attorney will walk you through complex legal issues and give you expert guidance on background check compliance.
Legal counsel is always worth the investment in these cases. To avoid hefty fines and lawsuits, your company must comply with federal, state, and local laws.
Training for human resources (HR) staff is an essential part of compliance. You’ll want to confirm your HR team and hiring managers understand the importance of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance in hiring. Make sure they know how to conduct employment background checks—and how to interpret the results correctly.
Texas companies should review their policies and processes at least every year to make sure they comply with the current screening regulations. Employers may want to conduct the occasional internal audit to pinpoint areas of noncompliance and make critical updates. Like we mentioned above, a lawyer can help your company navigate this if needed.
Detailed recordkeeping will help you comply with employment screening laws and regulations. Be sure to maintain accurate records of all your employment background checks—including consent forms, each applicant’s results, and any adverse actions you have taken in response to the screening process. A reminder that these records should stay confidential and secure.
Interested in having a trusted partner help you navigate changing regulations? A third-party provider like Redstar Backgrounds can help you stay thorough, current, and compliant in your pre-employment screening. Background check providers are extremely knowledgeable about the latest screening laws.
Pre-Employment Screening for Texas Employers
Whether you are in San Antonio or Austin, Corpus Christi or El Paso, pre-employment screening should be a key part of your approach to hiring.
At Redstar Backgrounds and DrugScreenKits.com, our team will help you through every step of the background check process. No matter your industry, we’ll craft the exact screening solution you need to vet your staff—in line with the latest regulations.