When someone mentions the FTC, the EEOC, and the FCRA in the same sentence, it may sound like a ladle of alphabet soup. What’s really being served up is a new joint publication by the Federal Trade Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that talks about how the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws intersect when employers use background checks in personnel decisions.
The new brochure, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, offers nuts-and-bolts guidance from the two agencies when employers consider the background of applicants and employees in hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment. From the FTC’s perspective, if you run background checks through a company in the business of compiling background info, compliance with the FCRA is key. And as the EEOC reminds employers, any time you use an applicant's or employee's background information to make an employment decision — regardless of how you got that information — you must comply with federal laws that protect people from discrimination.
Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know is a to-the-point read with links to free resources to streamline your compliance efforts. Read it online or print the .pdf for your HR staff and others involved in personnel decisions. While you’re there, bookmark the FTC’s Credit Reporting page and special portal for Human Resources professionals.
The FTC and EEOC also have teamed up to issue a new brochure, Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know, for people on the other side of the desk.