Get it in writing, i.e. secure the candidate’s consent. Before obtaining a consumer report, an employer must: (1) clearly and conspicuously disclose its intent, and (2) obtain the individual’s authorization. This disclosure and authorization must be in a standalone document – it should not be part of an application, offer letter, or other document.
Note, employers can give additional disclosures, such as highlighting that an offer is contingent on a successful employment screen. However, elective enhanced notice does not replace the separate notice required by the FCRA. If a candidate refuses to authorize the background check, then the employer cannot obtain or receive the consumer report. This does not mean, however, that employers must employ an individual who refuses to authorize a consumer report.
Employers should also make sure that the specific consumer report sought is appropriate for the position in light of state law. A number of states, including California, Illinois, Washington and others, only permit employers to obtain a credit report under very specific circumstances. Similarly, drug testing can constitute a consumer report, and different states have different requirements of permissible use.
Sue Stott, a partner at Perkins Coie
Jonathan Longino, an associate at Perkins Coie
In 2014, 91 percent of college campuses reported zero incidents of rape in 2014, according to an American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. Lisa M. Maatz, vice president of government relations at AAUW, says that this data defies reality and common sense. “The abundance of zeros in the 2014 reports raises real concerns about how colleges are handling sexual assault incidents on campus,” she says.
Under the Clery Act, American colleges and universities must disclose reported crimes on their campuses, and the annual safety reports are required to include information about schools’ training and prevention efforts to improve campus safety. Because of new reporting requirements in the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), campuses must now also provide data on dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Yet, in each of these categories, on 9-11 percent of campuses disclosed at least one reported incident in 2014.
Previous studies and reports have shown that one in five women is sexually assaulted during college, and one in five college women experiences physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. According to Maatz, this absence of reporting in 2014 means that students do not feel comfortable with formally reporting such incidents at these schools, and thus are not getting necessary support.
In light of all the tragic “active shooter” incidents happening around the country, organizations need to train their personnel to be prepared in case of an active shooter situation in their place of business. Employees and management need to: a) identify a profile of an active shooter; b) know how to respond to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation; c) be trained for an active shooter situation and create an emergency action plan; and d) recognize the signs of potential workplace violence.