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Q&A

About Employer's InfoSource and Background Checking Services

Q. How long does it take to complete a background check?

A. That's sort of like asking how long does it take to paint a house or cook dinner. Are we painting a bungalow or an estate? Are we having microwave cuisine or Thanksgiving dinner? It largely depends on the breadth and depth of the background check. In general, with noted exceptions, a basic criminal record search can be completed in 2 business days. However, other components of a more extensive background check can take longer to complete. For instance, employment history and education verification can take longer due to the various employer and school record verification policies and their response time. A growing number of employers and schools now require a mailed request for verification, accompanied by the applicant's signed release. Also, in some instances, when a criminal record name match is found, some courts will occasionally take longer to produce the needed case information due to the particular court's policies, court clerical workload and archived record availability. If another Consumer Reporting Agency promises a 2 day turnaround time – regardless of the scope of work – ask how they plan to circumvent employer, school and various court policies - which they will no doubt encounter if they are in fact, performing services properly.

Q. Our company's employment application, as with most applications, already contains a release that authorizes us to verify the information our applicants have submitted. Will this notice suffice for the purposes of authorizing an outside agency to perform a background check?

A. Typically, no. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (Federal law) is quite specific with regards to required applicant authorization and release disclosures. The language must meet the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the release/disclosures must be presented on a separate form containing only the required disclosures. Generally, the FCRA applies whenever an employer will outsource any effort to verify an applicant's suitability for employment or credit worthiness.

Q. Will Employer's InfoSource provide the necessary release forms and FCRA compliance guidance?

A. You bet! We provide our clients with everything required for FCRA compliance. There is never a fee for materials or FCRA consultation.

Q. Are there specific procedures that must be followed when employment is denied based on information contained in a background report obtained from a background checking company?

A. Yes. The FCRA outlines the obligations of both providers and users of consumer reports. The required steps are basic and easy to comply with. Employer's InfoSource provides a free, step-by-step compliance package and consultation to every client. Additional information may be obtained by accessing the Federal Trade Commission's Web site a www.ftc.gov

Q. Some background companies require a term contract and charge an initial setup fee and or an annual subscriber fee just to use their service. Does Employer's InfoSource charge such a fee or require a term contract?

A. No! In fact, we've never understood why a client would actually pay an initial or recurring administrative fee to a service provider. No service provider in our industry can possibly warrant such a fee. With Employer's InfoSource, you pay only for what you order and the only thing that binds you to our service is your continued satisfaction.


Q. What if I hire someone before I receive the results of the background check, and then later learn that the applicant has falsified his or her application or has something in his or her past that disqualifies them for employment.

A. We recommend that the background check is completed and reviewed prior to making a formal employment offer. We also recognize that this is not always possible or practical. One option is to have your applicants sign a notice of a contingent offer of employment. Make it clear that the offer of employment may be withdrawn should adverse information arise from the results of a background check or (as may or may not be the case in your organization) other pre-employment tests or professional evaluations i.e. medical, drugs etc. Also, employers may want to establish job related disqualifying parameters for each employee classification as a standard from which to make adverse hiring decisions.

PLEASE CONSULT QUALIFIED LEGAL COUNSEL REGARDING THIS AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES.

Q. What happens if the background checking company reports erroneous information which adversely affects the applicant's employment prospects?

A. In such a case, that applicant would have already been provided with a copy of the background report as required by the FCRA. Any time the subject of a background check disputes information provided by a background checking company or Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), the CRA must automatically reinvestigate the disputed information free of charge. Once the information has been reinvestigated, the results of the reinvestigation will be forward to both you, the client, and the applicant. If the information originally reported was, in fact, incorrect, Employer's InfoSource will investigate the source and/or core cause of the error. For instance, the error might be a result of incomplete criminal court record information maintained by a county courthouse which is beyond our control. In such instances, court clerks have been known to generate a letter directly to the applicant explaining the court's error and make the appropriate corrections to their records. Regardless of the situation, disputed information will be fully reinvestigated by our managerial staff to a proper and fair conclusion.

Terms and definitions:

FCRA: Fair Credit Report Act (Public Law)

CRA: Consumer Reporting Agency as defined by the FCRA (Any company or individual (outside of your own company) who is compensated to provide information that will be used in whole or in part, to determine a person's eligibility for initial employment, retention as an employee or promotion is considered a Consumer Reporting Agency.)

Consumer Report: Any information obtained through a CRA that will be used in whole, or in part, to determine a person's eligibility for initial employment, promotion or retention as an employee.

Adverse Information: Information contained in a consumer report that tends to be detrimental to the candidate's prospects for initial employment, promotion or retention as an employee.

Adverse Action: A decision not to hire based in whole or in part on information received from a consumer reporting agency (CRA).

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in these pages IS NOT intended of offered as legal advice. We strongly recommend that employers consult with qualified legal counsel on matters pertaining to employment investigations and related topics.

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Background Solutions: Employment History Verification | Criminal Records Search | Motor Vehicle Report
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