While it is extremely important to perform background screens on new hires, you must first have a company policy in place to fully utilize the results.  Forming a companywide background screening policy (preferably with legal counsel) is imperative for abiding by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as any state laws in place to remain in good standing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A screening policy should state what your hiring practice will be based on specific positions requiring background checks and the results of background checks.  Additionally, creating a background screening policy will also dictate what will be acceptable for hiring and what will negate a candidate from being hired.  When creating your policy it is a must to consider the three Green factors (Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad, 549 F.2d 1158 (8th Cir. 1977)) in relation to the results.  If you find criminal offenses, consider:
1. The applicants forthcoming of the offense prior to the background screen.
2. The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct.
3. Time passed since the offense, conduct or completion of sentence.
4. Nature of the job held or sought.  (ie:  If someone was charged with a DUI 6 years ago, has no record since, and will not be driving for you, this is someone you should still consider hiring.  Whereas, if this same person was going to be driving as their primary job function and there had been multiple occurrences of DUI’s over the past few years,  you could decide not to move forward with him/her).

After the plan is in place, all applicants must be aware of the background check policy. In addition, if a policy is put in place to check current employees, they must be made aware as well.  Please remember when making a decision based on background screening results, to always adhere to your company policy. If you have questions on any of the aforementioned information, call us today!