EEOC Guidance – Best Practices and why companies should be complying with the “guidance”

Here’s a question for you: Do you think that everyone should be given a fair shot at, and equal consideration for, landing a job?

That means everyone. Felons. Non-English speakers. People with disabilities. Elderly. Immigrants. Drug addicts. Muslims. Homosexuals. Sex offenders. Refugees. Women.

These sections of society are certainly not the same, nor should they be lumped, labeled or categorized together. But they are all protected classes when it comes to employment under United States law.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

What it comes down to is this:

  • You can’t be treated unfairly because of your race, sex, religion, genetic information, disability, color, national origin, or age
  • You can’t be harassed in your workplace because of these things
  • You can’t be denied reasonable workplace accommodation because of your religious beliefs or disability
  • You can’t be retaliated against if you complain about a violation of one of these things

Understandably, there is a lot of hulabaloo when it comes to following the letter of the law and doing due diligence in protecting your workplace. Specifically, businesses who rely on background checks to vet candidates can find themselves in precarious positions if they don’t understand or follow the guidance outlined by the EEOC.

Recently, the EEOC has worked hard to simplify this guidance and make it easily digestible to employers and employees. Collaborating with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these agencies provided two documents that spell out exactly what’s ok and what’s not ok when it comes to understanding and abiding background screening regulations.

We’re going to tackle things from an employers perspective later this week. But first, we want to outline what is considered fair game when screening candidates and employees.

It’s not illegal to require a background check or ask you questions about your background. An employer might want to know your education history, employment timeline, criminal record, or your use of online social media. You should expect questions like these. However, an employer isn’t allowed to treat you any differently because of your background. For example, it would be discriminatory to reject all female applicants over age 40 but not reject male applicants over age 40. Click here to read a post with several examples of discriminatory behavior.

Employers also have a right to request a credit report and background check on you. If they’re using a third-party screening company like Active Screening, they need your written permission to proceed. If you choose not to sign on the dotted line, it’s OK for an employer to reject your application. But if an employer chooses not to hire you based on something red flagged in your report, you have a right to know. In fact, Adverse Action laws state that you must be given a copy of the report and contact information for the agency providing it. If you find the reporting agency made a mistake, you can ask them to correct it and then re-send the corrected copy to where you applied. If the information is accurate be prepared to explain the negative situation and why it won’t or shouldn’t affect your ability to do the job.

Have you ever undergone a background check? What was the experience like? Did it affect the outcome of your job application? We’d love to hear from you and share your story. Send an email here.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, General, Human Resources and tagged , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia’s clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter – give her a shout @pattycfreelance.

 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

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Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

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Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.