How to Ensure Best Practice in Background Screening Policy

While background screening can a beneficial part of the hiring process it has also been challenged as being discriminatory for excluding certain racial, ethnic, and gender groups under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. BMW was recently brought to court by the EEOC for this reason as their background screening policy terminated large amounts of employees, many of whom were black and had worked there for years with no issue. In order to avoid this type of lawsuit, there are certain steps that companies can take to ensure their background screening policy is non-discriminatory. First, it is important to reassure that the policy is tailored to examine if an offense would affect the applicant’s ability to perform specific job duties no matter the type of crime or length of time since it occurred. Next, review your policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is not excluding certain individuals disproportionally. It is also important that background checks are completed consistently on all applications and that all requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act are followed. Lastly, all background check information must be kept confidential, used for only selective reasons, and maintained by an appropriate human resources manager or similar appointed individual.

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