A “Tiny” Hiring Technicality Can Cost You Big

A tweet from @FortuneMagazine caught our eye recently. Here’s what it proclaimed:


Well, paint me purple and call me Barney! We have been extolling the dangers of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) on ActiveCare since practically our first post and it’s sure nice to see a national magazine giving out the same pointers that we do on a daily basis. What’s amazing, though, is the list of big name companies who still fall prey to failing to comply with federal hiring law.
Beyond the three corporations listed in the headline, you can count Disney, Michaels Stores, and BMW among other giants in the game who have been felled by the FCRA. So what’s the deal?
They aren’t following compliance laws related to background checks.
The Fortune Magazine article outlines the ‘trap’ these companies are falling into:
  • They don’t know enough about the FCRA (“a little-known federal law that regulates how consumer reports—creditworthiness, criminal background reports, prior traffic reports—can be used,” writes the reporter.)
  • They’re failing to follow the details of the law
  • Attorneys and applicants are becoming increasingly savvy about the law and aren’t afraid to launch hefty class-action lawsuits
The super interesting fact that this article points out, though, is that retailers and restaurants are particularly susceptible to these violations because of the heavy turnover they incur. The more times you seek applicants and invite candidates into your hiring process, the greater chance you have of slipping up. The revolving door of talent coming into stores and restaurants makes them the perfect foils for keen employment lawyers and knowledgeable candidates.
Three recent cases highlight this scenario:
So, what can you do?
Aside from teaming with a smart Human Resources professional and hiring your own employment law attorney to help oversee your hiring policies and procedures, we strongly suggest reaching out to a nationally-accredited background screening agency like Active Screening to help guide you through the FCRA details you need to know about.
The experts at Active Screening are particularly adept at helping you navigate hiring in the retail and restaurant industries. With nearly a decade of experience serving the retail industry, Active Screening has a unique understanding of the hiring difficulties within these heavy-turnover industries. We have created a single sign-on background screening solution that helps you maintain strict compliance standards, mitigate risk, reduce shrinkage and ensure your customers’ safety.
You can customize your screening solution to fit any need, but we find most retailers need at least these services:
Identity & Credit
Establish your applicant’s identity, address history and personal responsibility.
Driver’s Records
Determine eligibility for driving a company or personal vehicle for business use.
Criminal Records
Identify criminal convictions or lack thereof so that you can hire with confidence.
References & Credentialing
Confirm the information provided on a resume and/or job application.
Substance Abuse Testing
Insulate your organization from workplace accidents, violence and rising health care costs.
We understand the complexities of FCRA compliance. In fact, we have our own compliance guru. So we urge you to contact us today and talk with one of our experts to find out how we can help you stay on the right side of the law… and not find yourself the unwelcome headline of a Tweet.

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, Clinical Services, Criminal Records, Driver’s Records, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, News, References & Credentialing, Seasonal 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.
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