Should You Regularly Screen Employees?
A pre-employment background check provides important details to make informed decisions about your new hire, but is a one-time screening enough? For extra reassurance, GoodHire offers regular post-employment screening services so you can be alerted to relevant changes in your employees’ records and stay informed.
Conducted at regular intervals during an employee’s tenure, routine background check reviews help you maintain long-term safety in your workplace. In certain industries, being alerted to employees’ criminal behavior post-hire may help to mitigate risk and protect your company from liability claims.
In this blog, I’ll share best practices for setting up a compliant re-screening policy at your company, provide information about GoodHire’s Ongoing Alerts, and explain how you can add Ongoing Alerts to your company’s employment screening program.
When using Ongoing Alerts, it’s important to implement a continuous screening policy that’s fair, transparent, and encouraging:
Fair: Create an Ongoing Alerts policy that extends company-wide. The policy can be permanent or temporary, but should apply the same standards equally to all employees. A fair policy does not discriminate between employees.
Transparent: Clearly explain the policy to employees, detailing exactly what will be reviewed through the monthly background checks (for example, their criminal records). Tell your team that regular background check reviews are a company policy applied to all employees.
Encouraging: Extend your new policy to include processes and protections that encourage employees to proactively inform you if they have run-ins with the law.
FCRA and the Importance of “Evergreen” Consent
Businesses are held accountable to the same employment screening laws post-hire as they are pre-hire. That means, per the FCRA, you’re required to obtain an employee’s consent before running his or her background check, regardless of whether it takes place before or after hiring. Make sure your background check consent form includes an evergreen clause to allow for post-hire screening, if your state allows these clauses.
If you’re a GoodHire customer and used the GoodHire consent form for the original background check, your candidate already consented to regular background check reviews. And if you used your own consent form for the original check, don’t worry, our Ongoing Alerts process automatically asks each employee you enroll to provide their consent electronically.
Ongoing Alerts is compliant with FCRA and EEOC guidelines.
Specific laws in California and Vermont suggest consent for regular background check reviews is not allowed, which means employers must re-obtain consent from employees for each monthly update. The good news is GoodHire helps you easily manage the process for these two states.
What to Consider When an Alert Returns a Criminal Record
Before you make a final decision about whether to dismiss a candidate due to a recent criminal offense, you should consider:
- Your company’s employment screening policy to ensure consistency and fairness.
- Guidelines put forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to conduct individualized assessments. Use the “Green Factors” to consider whether the offense is relevant to the employee’s position.
- The adverse action steps you must follow to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Adverse action applies for pre-employment and post-employment background checks. Don’t overlook this important process.
Learn more about what you need to consider when an employee, or a candidate, has a criminal record in our guide.
How GoodHire’s Ongoing Alerts Works
GoodHire offers Ongoing Alerts as an add-on to two types of background check searches:
- National Criminal Database Search
- Healthcare Sanctions Check (OIG Exclusion List & SAM.gov)
What It Does
Each month, GoodHire automatically runs the National Criminal Database Search, and/or the OIG Exclusion List check, on your employees. GoodHire sends an alert if a new criminal record is found, or an employee’s name appears on the OIG Exclusion List.
What It Doesn’t Do
Since criminal court records still need to go through the court system and be digitized before they show up in the National Criminal Database Search, Ongoing Alerts does not provide “real time” updates. In addition, not all court records are digitized, so this search may not find every record associated with your employee.
When an employee leaves your company, it’s important to turn off Ongoing Alerts for that individual in order to meet your legal obligations. Ongoing Alerts can be turned on or off at any time.
Post-Hire Peace of Mind
Post-employment screening with ongoing, monthly alerts gives you insight into relevant changes in your team's background checks, and can help to minimize risk over the long term.
Contact our support team or your account manager to add FCRA-compliant Ongoing Alerts to your employment screening program.
Disclaimer: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.