As employers, landlords and volunteer groups seek to make informed decisions related to hiring and ensuring safety in our workplaces and communities there continues to be a focus on background screening. Workplace violence, fraud, embezzlement, and theft are a multi-billion dollar drain on our economy— a cost that can easily be mitigated. Background screening is an effective tool to prevent this drain, in addition to providing a variety of different uses that benefit public well-being. The terms “background screening” or “background check” can mean different things when used in different contexts, however, and it is important to understand the distinctions.
“A background check” when conducted by a third party known as a Consumer Reporting Agency is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as state and local laws. It is the process of researching and compiling data from both private and public sources for purposes including: employment screening, tenant screening and volunteer screening.
Employers routinely request background checks for potential new hires, contractors and existing employees, particularly for positions where employees may work with vulnerable populations or have access to consumers’ financial information. Tenant screening is a process used primarily by residential landlords and property managers to evaluate prospective tenants. Volunteer screening is also performed by CRAs to screen the backgrounds of individuals who volunteer with groups and organizations that typically involve vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly.
Background checks conducted by CRAs require an individual’s consent. These checks can contain information from a variety of resources and may include:
- Criminal and civil record checks at county courthouses, state repositories, federal courts and/or international courts;
- Driving records checks;
- Drug testing;
- Verification of employment, education, professional licensure;
- Reference checks;
- Registry checks; such as sex offender and child and elder abuse lists;
- Office of Inspector General (OIG) Search and other healthcare sanction lists;
If you are interested in learning more about background checks, call one of our experiences consultants today.
Source: The Facts About Background Screening by NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners)