No Notice? No Background Check. It’s That Simple.

The latest big name company to find its name and reputation under fire for improperly using background checks probably should’ve known better.

The Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) it used to conduct its employee screening certainly should’ve known better.

Now, we’re all getting a lesson in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and adverse action infringement because of them.

Let’s examine the case.

Genesis Healthcare (who, by the way just completed a $2.8 billion merger with Skilled Healthcare Group) is accused of rescinding a job offer to an occupational therapist after her background check came back with red flags.

So, what’s wrong with this?

Two things.

One, the woman claims that Genesis never provided her a copy of the background check or a statement of her rights, as mandated by the FCRA.

Two, the woman claims the background check incorrectly stated she had a previous felony conviction. She was convicted of a misdemeanor.

And, yup, you guessed it. She’s firing a lawsuit at the CRA – General Information Systems, Inc. – who conducted the erroneous background check.

The woman is seeking class action status and unspecified damages, and considering how tough the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been on companies violating the FCRA, chances are she’s going to walk away with a pretty penny.

Heres what Genesis shouldve done.

1.) Asked for written consent from the woman to perform a background check, including information from her credit report. By law, this consent must happen on a form separate from any other document associated with the hiring process. We don’t know if this happened or not from the original story documenting this case, but it’s the law and we thought you should know about it.

2.) Reported their findings. The law is pretty clear, here. There are specific reporting requirements associated with any information gathered from background checks. Beyond written consent, Genesis is legally bound per FCRA guidelines to provide applicants with copies of their background checks AND notify them of their rights before making a decision about their employment. In this woman’s case, she should’ve been given a copy of background check and made aware of the item giving Genesis pause (the felony). Any company MUST follow these same procedures before taking any adverse action (like rescinding a job offer) because of their concern with a screening report.

3.) Told the woman her rights. This woman had a legal right to know what her background check results were and why they were affecting Genesis’ job offer. This is called pre-adverse action. They should’ve also given the woman a Summary of Rights Under the FCRA which would’ve disclosed what actions she legally could take:

  • You must be told if information has been used against you.
  • You have the right to know what’s in your file.
  • You have the right to ask for a credit score.
  • You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Consumer reporting agencies (background screening agencies are also called CRA’s) must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
  • Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.
  • Access to your file is limited.
  • You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.
  • You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report.
  • You may seek damages from violators.
  • Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights.

4.) Advised her of the adverse action and given her this basic information:

  • Names, address, telephone number and other contact information of the Consumer Reporting Agency (screening agency) who has issued the report.
  • Statement saying the CRA was not the decision maker in the employment offer and that the CRA can’t explain why the adverse action is being taken.
  • Statement explaining the candidate’s right to get a free copy of the report from the CRA if requested within 60 days of the notice of adverse action.
  • Statement verifying the candidate’s right to dispute the information with the CRA and ask for corrections.

There does seem to be some discrepancy, at least among the people who commented on the story’s original post, about Texas law as it pertains to background checks. Read this.

no notice, no background check

Our thoughts, however, are that federal law trumps all and that’s why we follow it. FCRA is handed down from our national lawmakers so why would a state law take precedence? What do you think about the Genesis case and how it was handled? Send us your comments below.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, General, Human Resources, News and tagged , , , , by RJ Frasca. Bookmark the permalink.

RJ Frasca – Director of Marketing & Communications

RJ Frasca joined Active Screening in 2013. Mr. Frasca has nearly 20 years of marketing experience and has worked with numerous high profile companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Time Warner, and Verizon on various marketing campaigns. Mr. Frasca has extensive experience in digital marketing, public relations and online community management, and is a well-known and respected social media strategist and thought leader. Mr. Frasca is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with Active Screening customers, and continually educating them on best practices within the industry.

 
        
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

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

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

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

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.