Employment Verification: What to Expect in 2015

Employment verification is serious business. According to Top Class Actions, a class action suit was recently filed against the craft supplier retailer, Michaels Stores Inc. The suit alleges that the company “neglected to properly inform job applicants that the company regularly performed background checks on potential employees during the application process.” The suit further alleges that Michael’s failure to inform applicants of their policy to perform background check violates state and federal consumer protection laws.

What is curious is that anyone is surprised that background checks are routinely carried out by a potential employer. After all, how many suits might be filed if an employee with a history of threatening co-workers was hired by a company and then went on to terrorize co-workers at his new company? Businesses must do whatever is within their power to protect their interests, and ultimately, the interests of their entire staff. While a business has little way of knowing what is going on in the personal lives of their employees and what problems they may bring into the workplace each day, they do have the power – and the responsibility – to learn as much about an employee’s background as possible.

What to Expect

Verification of employment in 2015 is going to be more specialized than ever before. A single, blanket check is longer enough to satisfy most employers. A home health care company is going to want to know about any complaints a potential employee has had lodged against them for theft or mistreatment of a patient, while a factory will likely care more that a potential employee is free of drugs and alcohol and thereby less likely to be injured on the job.

It is likely that as we move into 2015 companies will be more interested in an employment screening that literally, screens out potentially problematic employees. A preschool does not want a teacher with child abuse accusations hanging over her head, and a corporation does not want a CEO who has run his last three companies into the ground.

An employment verification that is geared specifically to the company it serves is quickly becoming the new normal. Background screening is actually all about looking forward. Businesses want to know that the past is not in any way going to mess with their corporate futures.

Ban the Box

As an employer one must know and understand the myriad of employment laws from state to state. One reason employment verification services are so valuable is because it is their business to know what each law requires in terms of background checks. For example, on January 1, 2015 the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act became effective in the state of Illinois. Also referred to as “Ban the Box” (BTB) this law requires employers to remove the question regarding an applicant’s criminal convictions. Named for the tiny box convicted criminals were once required to check upon applying for a new job. According to Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, this law is intended to offer a second chance to those who truly are rehabilitated. Although there are several qualifiers attached to the new law, it changes the way businesses located in Illinois – or with operations in Illinois – do business.

The point is, each state has it own set of laws regarding employment screening. As the Michael’s case shows, there are plenty of applicants who will be happy to file suit if your company is not doing what is are expected to do. If keeping up with ever-changing regulations is not an effective way for your company to spend time, an outside service like VerifyProtect.com is in a position to do it for you.

A Thorough Screening

Trusting the screening process to an outside company can feel a lot like blind faith, but in addition to being up-to-date on the laws governing each state, an employment verification company does thousands of background screenings each year and knows what to ask. There are a number of routine checks available, depending upon laws applicable in your area.

Criminal Check: Search for felonies and misdemeanors for a particular county or statewide. Examination of the multi-state criminal database and search for crimes prosecuted at the federal level.

Civil Check: Search through country and federal court records for evidence of civil suits.

Credit and Social Check: Validation of name and social security number, as well as a complete credit history specifically designed for employment evaluation.

Government and Spec: Looks for healthcare sanctions, professional and occupational state license verification, whether an applicant is on the government foreign national watch list, have filed bankruptcy, or have collected workers compensation.

Basic Verification: Contacts previous employers to verify last position, length of employment, salary, and eligibility for rehire, both in the U.S. and internationally. Verifies education and checks personal and professional references.

Drivers Record: Conducts a standard driver’s license search and checks whether an applicant possesses a commercial driver’s license.

Drug Testing and Physical Exam: Conducts Panel 5 and/or 10, alcohol test, and pre-employment physical examinations.

Perhaps the theme for employment verification should be: “Just as you begin you understand the rules, those rules change.” Go ahead and ask for help. It will free up time you can use to build your business. Verify Protect has been helping companies hire the right employees for over 25 years. If you have any questions or would like to know more about our services, contact us today at (888) 219-4945 or send an email to inforequest@verifyprotect.com

Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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