In The News
For you employers out there, here is what not to do! I don’t think this case has been decided but I would find it hard to believe that Domino’s Pizza was following FCRA guidelines. From personal experience I talk to many employers each month that are not doing what they should be doing.
Article Taken from dispatch.com
Justin D’Heilly never saw it coming.
He was working as a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in St. Paul, Minn., in 2009 when he pulled over to take a call from his manager, who told D’Heilly he could no longer drive for the company.
A background check had found some problems with his driving record, but D’Heilly wasn’t told exactly what the trouble was, nor was he given a copy of the damning report.
When he checked with police to see whether his license had been revoked, D’Heilly learned that it was valid and that he had only a couple of speeding tickets. He was fired the following month.
“They never officially told me why,” D’Heilly said. “I just kind of faded away from them, I guess. … I’ve always been a good employee there. I’ve never had any kind of disciplinary problems whatsoever, so to get that call out of the blue like that, you know, it just threw me off.”
If you keep up with the latest news in the background screening industry, it’s easy to see the single biggest obstacle facing employers today: COMPLIANCE. In this economy, potential employees are especially anxious to be hired, and in the case that they are not, many may take drastic action if they find any way that they were slighted in their rights. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires providers of consumer background checks to ensure the complete accuracy of reports and to provide adequate notice of adverse action, and laws vary from state to state on how long an offense may be reported, as well the types of offenses that may be reported, information that must be disclosed to applicants, reporting of certain personal identifiers … It seems daunting to comply with every rule and regulation associated with your pre-employment screenings in order to avoid the worst: a lawsuit. On the other hand, it’s absolutely necessary to screen your applicants to ensure the safety of your business. Victig is absolutely dedicated to ensuring that you have the level of compliance you need to feel secure, both in the people you hire and the method in which it’s done.
When running pre-employment background checks with Victig, you might not be aware of the variety of options available to you in the handling of your reports. You may prefer to manage your own printing of FCRA-compliant Adverse Action and Consumer Copy disclosures from each report; you also have the option of asking for letters to be queued, printed, and mailed for you as a service. Criminal background searches can be set to search a maximum of seven years, the clear option for residents or employees of California, for example. Name matching in criminal database searches can use a “wildcard” option to expand the net for possible aliases, or restricted to exact-name-only matching to avoid potential false positives. DOB and SSN may be masked on reports to avoid issues of compliance with anti-discrimination laws. Using InstaScreen’s QuickApp feature, personal identifiers can in fact be collected directly from the applicant without ever touching your hands, completely sidestepping these sensitive issues. You may want to look into taking any and all of these steps to ensure that you are compliant and secure in your pre-employment screening.
To read the blog post about QuickApp, click here.
If you are a landlord with a high turnover rate in tenant screening applications, you are likely more familiar with the credit report than most other people in this country; however, that doesn’t make it any less time-consuming to review and interpret credit data for each and every applicant that comes through. If you’re a landlord that only accepts applicants occasionally, it can be even more difficult to refresh your memory when poring over tradelines, bankruptcies, revolving payments, collection accounts, identity alerts, and simply taking the time to determine what makes an applicant credit-worthy.
The Tenant Scorecard is a simple tool that can do all of the credit analyzation on your behalf. By providing your standard credit criteria, the Scorecard will automatically calculate whether or not an applicant meets your standards, and provide you with a simple Pass, Fail, or Conditional recommendation. This includes calculating income-to-rent and income-to-debt ratios, configuring results based on type and date of certain credit elements, and factoring credit score, tradeline payment history, and a number of other configurable variables. Whatever your standards are, the Tenant Scorecard can judge if your applicants are up to snuff.
The one and only QuickApp
Screening applicants can be a hassle, whether you’re an employer looking to expand your business or a landlord seeking to fill a vacancy. Recruiting applicants, reviewing applications, completing interviews to find the perfect fit – all of this can be stressful, and the added difficulty of keeping compliant with the FCRA can be too much to handle. There are numerous examples of class action lawsuits with settlements in the millions of dollars against pizza chains, major banks, and other employers, for simple technical FCRA violations like including a release of liability in the same document as the FCRA Summary of Rights. Compliance with the FCRA also applies to collection of personal identifiers, ensuring that the information reported is complete and accurate (no room for data entry errors), and even organizing secure storage of authorizations. To avoid these issues entirely, the QuickApp is available for you to use directly from InstaScreen.
Once the applicant receives the e-mail invitation to the QuickApp, they will be able to click on a link to electronically sign and authorize the background check. Default disclosures for employment, tenant, and volunteer screening are built into the application, including the Summary of Rights under the FCRA, notices for residents of California and New York, and the ability for the applicant to request a copy of the report. Authorizations are stamped with the date, time, and IP address of the applicant, and stored in a dropdown for access on the report results page at any time. Applicants then proceed to completing the data entry for their own personal identifiers, residence and employment history, and any other data entry needed to submit the order. If you’d prefer to avoid the any sensitive discrimination issues related to reporting of the applicant’s SSN or DOB, these identifiers can be completely masked. With the minimal amount of effort, you can avoid tedious data entry, find your perfect applicant, remain compliant, and keep the rest of your valuable focus on the business that truly needs it.
Here is a short video tutorial on the QuickApp
As the Internet expands and the world becomes more reliant on technology, it is inevitable that the thieves of the world will migrate online as well. The media is overflowing with reports of identity theft, firewall hacking, stolen passwords; the list goes on and on. If keeping applicants’ information secure on top of that seems totally overwhelming (and it probably does), the software we offer for your background checks is more tightly-secured than a locked file cabinet in your own office. With password-controlled access, IP restrictions, SSL encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection, filtering routers, and a physical server protected by biometric scans, it seems silly to think about writing an SSN down on a piece of paper and putting it in a file. Your background checks and applicant files are protected, indexed, and can be accessed at any time; the great age of information certainly does have its advantages.
Of course, we can’t cover all of your bases for you. Just as keeping an SSN in a paper file should seem silly, so does keeping your password on a Post-It! Educate your employees on choosing passwords that won’t be guessed easily. Our password requirements dictate at least eight characters, one letter and one number; you’d be surprised how often “password1” shows up. Be original! Use symbols, random capitalized letters, switch digits for letters, mix it up! You are required to change your password every three months, so you may want to make it something you can remember fairly easily, but changing “password1” to “password2” is not in your best interest. Help us keep you safe by keeping it unique and keeping your users educated on the importance, and the sensitivity, of the information we are guarding on your behalf. Don’t forget to log out of the system when finished, and if you must keep a paper or electronic copy of a report stored locally, please guard it as carefully as you can to avoid unauthorized distribution or disclosure of applicants’ personal identifiers. As your background check provider, we care about keeping you in the clear.