Bill Wiseacre’s last attempt at hiring a new employee didn’t go so smoothly. Having learned his lesson the hard way, he decided to seek the counsel of his lawyer this time to develop a suitable list of questions to ask during his interviews. With these new questions, Bill was confident that he would stick to the script going into each interview. He was right! He did a wonderful job and found three new employees that he wanted to hire.
However, there was one thing that Bill just needed to know before making a final decision. Using his attorney’s advice, Bill avoided the topic of criminal histories during the interviews, but he was still concerned about hiring employees that wouldn’t be able to maintain the image of Uh-Oh Enterprises, which he had worked so hard to create and preserve.
Before finalizing any employment agreements, Bill decided to bring his concerns to the Why Pay More Background Checks Inc. (“Why Pay More”) to perform simple, inexpensive background checks on his three soon-to-be employees. Bill didn’t realize that since he was using a third-party background check company, that he needed to obtain the candidates consent before he ordered the background checks. Why Pay More, to cut costs and improve their turn around time, did not reach out to these potential employees either to make sure that they consented to any background checks being performed.
Why Pay More’s background checks were thorough. Bill learned that one of the prospective employees had embezzled over $500,000 from their former employer. Wanting to avoid any issues, Bill decided to hire the two candidates that did not have anything negative appear on their background check. The two candidates were hired and began their work at Uh-Oh Enterprises. The third was not; Bill also didn’t provide any explanation about why he declined to make an offer to the third candidate.
After two weeks, Bill received a notice of a lawsuit for his failure to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines on accessing information on job candidates. Uh-Oh.
Bill failed to do his due diligence and now must face those consequences … again.
MOMENTUM LAW GROUP PERSPECTIVE
Background checks can be a vital step in ensuring that your company’s workplace remains safe, reputable, and staffed by qualified employees. However, it is important that employers be mindful about how prospective employee information is obtained. It’s critical that you comply with all applicable federal and state regulations when obtaining background checks from third parties, including obtaining the candidates consent prior to the third-party’s running the background search.
Please click here for FTC’s guidance on ensuring that you run your background check properly.
Blog Posts from Uh-Oh Enterprises are cautionary tales from Momentum Law Group. Bill Wiseacre and his family are fictional characters representing real life situations that keep entrepreneurs like Bill from reaching full potential. #donotbelikeBill