A background verification adverse finding found, now what to do?
Results in: A background verification adverse finding has been found, now what do I do?
Suddenly, without warning, someone is pulling all the wrong levers.
Stress, anxiety, and panic…
You just caught a glimpse of the new hire walking along the corridors, talking with other coworkers, or walking towards your office.
Their results are just in. The background verification findings are adverse, but your new hire is already a “now-on-the-job employee.”
What can you do now?
What are you supposed to do now?
Should you disqualify a hire and sever the employee relationship, or make a case for retaining/hiring the employee/candidate?
Are there any standard procedures to address this or have you reached the gateway to the long fabled, winding road to court (and every office meeting in between?)
There is no standard procedure for this but here is a two-step process that will allow you to regain control of all the levers.
Step #1 — Understand and Make the Case
With the proliferation of “ban the box” legislation and EEOC’s cautionary guidelines, the days when you could simply ask the applicant if they have “ever been convicted?” have been blown back to a distant past. Consequently, you must make a case whether the conviction warrants a separation.
Premature separation can wreak havoc with your business processes. Avoid it by considering two aspects of the conviction:
1. Is the conviction job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity?
2. When was the conviction made?
While some companies may be tempted to make a termination decision based on whether it will cause negative PR and affect their brand reputation, If the conviction is not job related, then there is no need to disqualify the candidate or sever the relationship. For example, a larceny conviction would be relevant if the employee was a financial officer but not as relevant for a secretarial position.
Additionally, check if the conviction warrants consideration per state legislation. States have varying limitations on the age and period after which the conviction may not be considered.
If you do find it is time to separate from the employee/candidate, you must issue a pre-Adverse Action notice and ensure compliance with the FCRA.
Step #2 — Issue Notices in Compliance with FCRA
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the employee/candidate whose background check has turned up negative information has the right to be notified through a pre-Adverse Action notice. It gives them the time to dispute the findings within five business working days.
If the employee/candidate is not able to refute the notice within that timeframe, you will issue a Final Adverse Notice, which clearly states that the candidate has not been hired, or the employee’s relationship has been severed because of the adverse findings.
Final Words — Timing is Everything
Organizations often avoid screening candidates in the early stages of the hiring process to prevent being in the position where the employee sues for discrimination. However, early screening gives you the time to make the case and file notices. Be sure to follow the screening laws in your state.
If creating pre- and final background verification Adverse Action notices are a difficulty, you can easily streamline the process with a reputable background check company. They can assure that you are using accurate forms to notify the employee/candidate.
For more on this topic, download our whitepaper,”8 Factors to Consider when Reviewing Prior Convictions” by clicking here.