Blog

 
     

Can Background Checks Be Shared?

By Michael Klazema on 3/12/2019

In most cases, an employer has no reason to share or disclose the results of employee background checks. However, there are situations in which an employee is working with, for, or on the premises owned by a customer or client. Staffing agencies, for instance, send their employees to work for outside organizations. Building companies hire sub-contractors to work on their job sites. Businesses and homeowners welcome technicians onto their property to handle repairs, maintenance, and installation work. In these cases, the employer that hired the employee is just one of several entities with a legitimate interest in that person’s background.

Is it appropriate, in situations such as these, for an employer to share an employee’s background check results with a customer or client?

To discuss this question in detail, let’s go back to the staffing agency example. When a temp agency makes a hire, it conducts thorough background checks to make sure that person trustworthy, safe, and qualified for the job. Say an outside company approaches the temp agency wanting to hire a temporary employee for a few months of data entry or something similar. The company will be welcoming the temp worker into its offices to work among its other employees and wants to make sure that the person doesn’t have any red flags in his or her background. The company asks the staffing agency to share the results of the employee’s original background check.

In this case, the staffing agency’s client does have a legitimate reason to want to know about the background of the employee--but this legitimate interest only takes the client so far. No employer can share an employee’s background check information with a third party unless it has written consent from that employee.

Employees have numerous rights that are protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including a right to privacy. As a result, employers are not allowed to share personnel background check details, even with clients or customers.

There are two options for the client in this kind of situation. Option 1 is that the company hiring the temp worker for a short-term staffing engagement can require the employee to go through another background check. Companies with especially thorough background check policies may wish to carry out their own screenings, anyway, to fill in any gaps that may have been present in the staffing agency’s checks.

Option 2 is that the staffing agency can obtain written authorization from its employees to share background check information with clients. Employers are at their liberty to require that employees authorize the sharing of this information to be placed by the agency.

Generally, the most crucial component of background checks for employers is compliance. FCRA rules are concrete and need to be respected and followed to the letter. Respecting employee rights and privacy will not only protect your business from costly lawsuits but also boosts employee morale and protect your company’s reputation as an excellent place to work.


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • April 23 A property management company hired a maintenance worker last fall because her background check came back clean. In reality, she had convictions for identity theft, drug possession, forgery, and more.
  • April 18 Riding the wave of ban the box rules passed in many states and cities, the Senate and House of Representatives will consider permanent rules for federal employment. 
  • April 16 A recent audit of Ottawa’s leasing office found that the department isn’t properly managing the leasing process. Among the issues was a lack of background checks for new lessees.
  • April 16 Uber is redefining the way we get around, especially in urban areas. What are the company’s policies for driver background checks?
  • April 12 Staffing agencies need a dependable way to vet their candidates, find red flags, and weed out hires who might pose a threat to the businesses that the agency serves. Many staffing companies rely on backgroundchecks.com to fill this critical employee screening need. Here are just a few that have discovered the quality and reliability of backgroundchecks.com screening services.
  • April 11

    The employment world is a constantly-evolving organism driven by everything from technological leaps forward to shifts in culture. Read our ten enterprise-focused trends that SMBs should expect to encounter and contend with in 2019.

  • April 11 Seeking to expand housing availability in a region characterized by shortages, Portland’s City Council will consider new rules concerning how landlords screen and reject potential tenants.
  • April 09 San Joaquin County in California has recorded four sexual misconduct cases involving local youth sports programs in the past month alone. The cases highlight the importance of background checks in youth sporting organizations.
  • April 09 Which background checks are required for teachers? There are differing state and school policies for teacher background checks.
  • April 04 Seeking a way to hold the Catholic Church responsible for alleged abuse, West Virginia has taken a unique approach: suing using a law meant for consumer protection.