Conducting background checks is necessary to garner information and validate data provided by an applicant. However, doing background checks also entails risks. When conducting background checks on employees or even potential renters, it is necessary to obtain an authorization form that gives you the liberty to peer into an individual’s sensitive and confidential information.
Most employers, businesses, or organizations want to freely peer into a potential candidates background to ensure that they are taking in a person who is clear of a criminal record or has no financial issues. However, certain cities and states have set up restrictions with regard to inquiries about a person’s criminal record or credit histories. In lieu of these facts, below are some suggested Do’s and Dont’s when doing background checks.
Sample Background & Credit Check Authorization Form
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Criminal Background Check Authorization Form
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Pre-Employment Background Check Authorization Form
Obtain Permission First
Background checks help protect employers from promoting or assigning employees into positions that require or involve the handling of personal or financial data. However, an employer must first gain permission to access information about a candidate for purposes of screening.
Get a Written Authorization
If conducting a background check is essentially necessary in order to transact business or weed out applicants, employers or organizations have to issue a written authorization letter that is separate from all other documents. Securing an Authorization Form will help protect you from any disputes that may arise in the future.
Don’t Be Biased
If you run a background check on one employee, then the same process has to be applied to all other applicants as well. Employers should never base their decision to hire (or not hire) an employee according to their race, color, national origin, religion, or disability.
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Obtain Information That is Permitted by Law
Generally, the law allows employers to confirm an applicant’s employment history and educational background. Other information such as driving records and drug tests may also be required to help assess an employee’s potential for the position.
The access of an individual’s criminal records and credit histories, however, vary according to jurisdiction and exceptions. Most laws allow employers to check on a person’s credit history when the company or the employer is a financial institution or if the applicant’s duties at work entails the handling of personal or financial information.
Don’t Withhold Information from an Applicant
If your hiring of an employee greatly depends on the results of their background check, you must first notify the employee or the applicant and provide them a copy of the report – give them ample time to review and explain any unfavorable information before coming up with a final decision pertaining to their employment. Some areas require additional procedures to be done if the rejection of an employee is based on a criminal conviction.
Secure Confidential Information
As a rule of thumb, sensitive and confidential data has to remain confidential. Be responsible enough to make sure that you properly dispose of any sensitive information after use in a way that is inaccessible to others, and make sure that the information obtained is used solely for the purpose of application or employment.
Related Links: Credit Card Authorization Forms
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