The temperature’s been significantly warmer than usual so far but you don’t want to get too hot and by that I mean keeping your company far out of the long reach of the EEOC and the government.
We all hate more work don’t we? Especially when it comes to the difficult task of creating new policies and procedures. After all, it entails the time needed to create them and the time and patience it takes to enforce them. But what I’ve learnt is that working a bit harder now will save you a lot of time, money and anguish in the future.
While background screenings can provide valuable insight on your applicants, it’s vital that these investigations and subsequent hiring decisions are handled with great care to comply with applicable laws and EEOC guidelines. If mishandled, your business could face hefty penalties.
I certainly don’t need to lecture anyone in HR on the legal costs involved with a lawsuit that could have been easily avoided if sound company policies and procedures had been in place as a guiding tool for those involved in the hiring process. Given the current climate with almost monthly lawsuits it would best behoove any company to have a strict policy & procedure manual for their HR staff.
My recommendation, pretty simple, get together with a competent legal advisor to assist you in developing a sound policies and procedures policy now. The laws that regulate the use of criminal background checks in hiring processes are very specific, and often require critical analysis of individual situations in order to be adhered to properly.
For starters you need to understand a fundamental principle, to obey the law, your criminal history policy must be intelligently applied on a case-by-case basis. Keep away from blanket policies and the like. The EEOC has been cracking down on these types of policies. We all want to stay out of their line of sight. There are many more factors that go into creating your companies policy so make sure you do your homework when selecting the right legal advisor for this task.
In short, keep it cool by creating a sound screening policy when developing criteria for disqualifying candidates.