Sharing Economy Boosting Need for Employee Background Checks

While certain jobs have always required background checks for security of employees as well as protection from lawsuits on the part of employers, a new generation of needs are cropping up thanks to the “sharing economy.”

The Internet has enabled a variety of new business models, and one of them involves enabling consumers and service providers to reach each other directly. The result has been companies like Airbnb, which allows private homeowners to put their unused rooms and apartments to use as rentals, or Lyft and Uber, which help vehicle owners earn money by providing affordable ridesharing services.

Security an Issue in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has its downsides, and one of them has proven to be security. Hotels and taxi companies, for example, are often regulated by federal, state or local authorities, but collaborative platforms frequently are not. Thanks to some high-profile stories in the news about a lack of security with some sharing services, consumers are understandably nervous about opening their homes to strangers or getting into a car with one.

Uber has been hit hard in recent years by high-profile security issues. Under guidance from a new CEO, the ridesharing company announced it will begin performing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire third-party service providers to continually monitor criminal arrests in an attempt to do a better job of keeping riders safe. A series of high-profile security problems and scandals led to the resignation of former CEO Travis Kalanick last year.

Providers Need to Build Trust

Peer-to-peer sharing, while a revolutionary idea that is cutting out extra expenses from “middlemen,” is a concept that doesn’t work without trust. For digital and app-based sharing businesses to grow in the current economy, they must create a sense of safety and trust for buyers.

“If you’re not working to build and demonstrate it, then the future might be about to leave you behind, as trust is quickly becoming the global — and most-valued — currency of modern time,” wrote TechCrunch’s Adriana Stan, who noted that the sharing economy needs a “codification of trust.”

Hire Professionals

Most companies aren’t equipped to ensure that all employees are deserving of positions of trust. (And do you really want to take the chance?) Professional third-party background investigation companies like DataCheck specialize in obtaining pertinent information through criminal background checks on a statewide and national level, past employment and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other aspects on individuals for employers nationwide.

Before you begin offering services to the public, ensure your customers can trust your employees.

Contact DataCheck today with your employment screening needs.

California Bars Employers from Asking Applicants about Salary History

Last year, the State of California passed a series of labor and employment bills that redefine the rules employers must follow when hiring workers in the state. The new laws, which went into effect at the beginning of 2018, address workers’ wages and hours, leaves of absence and benefits, hiring practices, health and safety issues and other workplace protections. Under the terms of one of the new rulings, employers in California are now barred from asking about an applicant’s salary history.

What Is AB 168?

California Assembly Bill (AB) 168 not only makes it illegal to ask about salary history, it prohibits an employer from relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer the applicant a job, or determining what salary to offer the applicant. In addition, employers must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant if he or she asks.

The legislation applies to all employers in the state, public and private, and covers not just salary, but other types of compensation and benefits. Employers need to be sure that all workers who may be involved in the hiring process understand what they can and cannot ask applicants.

Don’t Ask, But Applicants Can Tell

In most parts of the state, applicants could, however, choose to volunteer the information, according to the language of the new law. (San Francisco is the sole city to make it illegal to use volunteered salary information, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal.) It’s also permissible to ask about an applicants salary expectations.

“If an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information to a prospective employer, nothing in this section shall prohibit that employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for that applicant,” according to the legislation.

What’s the Goal?

The goal of AB 168 is to attempt to remove the perceived gap in negotiating power between an employer and employees who must disclose their prior salary. Mandating the disclosure of salary history is often viewed as a way of perpetuating a gender gap in which women, who often start job-hunting at lower salaries than men, continue to lag behind in pay for the same positions.

How Do You Ensure Compliance?

It helps to consult with third-party experts who understand California labor laws. Ontario, California-based DataCheck understands how to comply with the new rules in California as well as similar rules in other states and cities. While many employers engage in background checking applicants today, there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. Ensure you’re remaining within the margins of the law by seeking help from professionals.
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How to Make Sure Your Disclosure and Authorization Forms Comply with the FCRA

If your company is planning to hire one or more new employees, you probably want to conduct pre-employment background checks on applicants during the hiring process. This can help you hire people who are qualified for the job, are honest, and do not pose a risk to other employees or customers. Conducting thorough background checks is an important component of the hiring process that can help you make good decisions and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements

You need to be careful to follow the law, however. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets out guidelines for pre-employment background checks. It is designed to protect the rights of consumers and specifies certain procedures that employers need to follow when conducting background checks.

One area where many employers get into trouble is with disclosure and authorization forms. An employer is required to obtain a job applicant’s consent in writing before conducting a background check. This step cannot be skipped because it can expose you to a lawsuit if you conduct a background check without permission.

Some employers find themselves sued because of the way their disclosure and authorization forms are worded and organized. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that an employer must notify an applicant in writing that a consumer report will be obtained as part of the hiring process. This must be in a disclosure form that does contain any other information. Some companies that included other information alongside the disclosure and authorization information have found themselves the subjects of class-action lawsuits by job applicants.

How to Make Sure You Comply with the FCRA

You can avoid problems by making sure that you use a disclosure and authorization form that complies with the rules set out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It should make clear to an applicant that a consumer report will be obtained as part of the hiring process. The disclosure should not contain any other information that could be confusing or that could distract from the intent of the form.

DataCheck has helped businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help you obtain information on job applicants’ backgrounds so you can make the right hiring decisions. We can also help you make sure you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state and local laws. Contact DataCheck today to learn more about our background check services.

The Importance of Background Checks for Jobs in the Financial Industry

When they hire new workers, employers want to make sure they are choosing people who are well qualified. They also want to make sure their employees are honest and will not take advantage of their positions to commit crimes against the business or its customers. Hiring the right employees is especially important in the financial industry, where workers may have access to cash, bank accounts, credit card information, or retirement accounts that they could potentially use to steal and enrich themselves.

Why You Need to Conduct a Background Check on a Job Applicant

If you are a manager at a bank, credit union, financial planning firm, or credit card company and you are thinking about hiring a new employee, you should conduct a thorough background check first. That can allow you to uncover vital information that can let you know if an individual can be relied upon to act ethically or if the person could pose a threat to the business or to your customers.

Criminal Records and Jobs in the Financial Industry

You should conduct a thorough background check before you hire anyone for a new position. This should include a verification of the person’s identity, education, and past employment. You should conduct a check of criminal records to find out if the individual has been convicted of any crimes. You should be especially wary if a job applicant has been convicted of a crime involving theft, fraud, or embezzlement. These are red flags that could indicate that a person may not be trustworthy.

Some employers are willing to give applicants with criminal records a second chance, but federal law may prohibit that in the case of financial companies. The Federal Deposit Insurance Act prohibits federally-insured banks from hiring job applicants who have been convicted of theft, embezzlement, money laundering, or crimes involving dishonesty in order to protect customers and their money. Some financial companies also exclude applicants who have been convicted of other types of crimes.

Why You Should Conduct a Credit Check

You should also conduct a credit check before hiring someone to work with money. A job applicant who is buried in debt may be more inclined to steal than someone who is able to pay bills on time. That is not to say that all people who are in debt are dishonest, but you could be putting your company and your customers’ funds at risk if you hire someone with serious financial problems.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

DataCheck has helped many types of businesses all over the United States conduct background checks on job applicants. If you are planning to hire someone to handle money, you have a responsibility to your company and to your customers to conduct a thorough background check so you can make an informed hiring decision and choose the best candidate possible. Contact DataCheck today to learn more about our background check services.

Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks

Conducting background checks on job applicants is an essential part of the hiring process. Employers often rush through the process or fail to stay up to date on changing laws. This can lead them to make mistakes. These are some of the most common mistakes employers make when conducting background checks on prospective employees and how you can avoid them.

Not Getting a Job Applicant’s Consent First

An employer is legally required to obtain a job candidate’s written consent before conducting a background check. This must be obtained through a form that tells the candidate that the information from a background check will be used to make an employment decision. Conducting a background check without prior consent is a violation of the law that can have serious consequences.

Not Verifying Key Information

A background check company will be careful to obtain correct information, but sometimes mistakes happen. This is often because multiple people have the same name or there is a mistake in a Social Security number or date of birth. Take the time to verify an applicant’s information before conducting a background check so you can get accurate records.

Not Conducting a Complete Background Check

Some employers only check a national criminal history database. This may not include records from all parts of the country. You should also conduct state and local background checks to uncover potential crimes in an employee’s record.

Employers often check applicants’ criminal and work histories but fail to verify their educational backgrounds. Many job applicants include misleading or downright false information on their resumes, including degrees they did not earn and even degrees from institutions of higher learning that do not exist. A thorough background check should always verify a job candidate’s educational background.

Not Giving an Applicant Time to Respond Before Taking Adverse Action

Before you decide not to hire someone because of information uncovered in a background check, you must notify the candidate and give him or her a chance to respond. The information may be incorrect, or the candidate may wish to provide additional information that may affect your decision.

DataCheck Can Help You Conduct Thorough and Accurate Background Checks

Conducting a background check on a job applicant is necessary, but you need to do it carefully. Mistakes often happen because employers don’t understand the law or try to rush through the process.

DataCheck has helped many businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help your company comply with all federal, state, and local laws and obtain correct information so you can make the best hiring decisions possible. Contact us today to learn more.