Human Resources Management
There are various federal and state level laws in place that govern as to how employers should acquire and use applicant’s and potential employee’s background information. Moreover, there are four necessary steps that an employer should follow in order to comply with these laws such as disclosure and authorization, certification, providing copies of reports, and notice after adverse action. Background check is conducted mainly for two reasons. In the first place, it serves to verify factual information presented by the employee and secondly it helps employer know about the motivation, character, reputation, and history of the applicant. It is recognized as an effective way that provides logical basis for the acceptance or rejection of the potential employee. Background check is a low-cost and effective way to extract the necessary information about the applicant and potential employee.
Equal opportunity employment laws do not allow for the use of personal information in employee screening. For instance, the ADA disallows employers from making pre-employment inquiries into the existence and severity of disability. Generally, it is unlawful to investigate the previous compensation of the employee before offering applicant a job.
The first step is disclosure and authorization. It refers to a declaration form or statement that provides the employer an opportunity to better know and understand the background and interests of the applicant. It is important for an employer because it helps the employer check the criminal record of the applicant. In terms of references, many employees tend to be very restrictive as to who should be trusted. Various firms rely on databases to accumulate employee’s history such as compensation, credit history and conviction and criminal records.
At the federal level, The Fair Reporting Act is considered to be the main directive. Moreover, as many as 21 states have put in place their own laws and requirements. Prior to the requests for reports from a consumer reporting agency, it is incumbent on the employer to inform the applicant or employee that a report has been requested and he or she may receive its copy too.(Gary, 2008)
The second step is of certification, this is to say, it is incumbent on employer to certify to the reporting agency that he or she will comply with the federal and state legal requirements. The reporting agency will produce a form for satisfying this requirement. The employer certifies that the employer made the disclosures that can be obtained as a written consent from the employee or applicant.
The third step involves providing copies of reports. Under the ambit of federal law, it is necessary for an employer to send copies of the report to the applicant or employee if any adverse action such as withdrawal an offer of employment is being considered. Under California Law, applicants or employees may opt to request a copy of the report irrespective of the action taken.
The fourth step entails notice after adverse action. Once the employee is given the copies of the consumer and investigative reports and with a reasonable period elapsed, the employer reserves the right to take severe or adverse action against the employee. Adverse action may involve withdrawing any offer, dismissal or demotion of the employee. However, for that matter, the employee must receive an adverse action notice in anticipation.(Gary, 2008)
Gary, Dessler (2008) “Human Resources Management” 11th Edition, Pearson