The Green Factors

We have recently discussed the steps in taking adverse action in response to a background check. Some important factors to take into consideration while creating or revising your company policy on consumer reports:

  • Define and use the three green factors in your policy: nature & gravity of offense, time passed, and nature of job in question.
  • Be well versed on the FCRA adverse action requirements.
  • Include the policy of taking adverse action in your company EEOC guidance information.

Part of hiring and requesting background checks of present employees is a clearly stated policy of why and how the results of a background check can or will be used. Be sure to include clear statements regarding the green factors and adverse action. Also consider under what circumstances exceptions might be made to the policy, especially in relation to present employees.

This potential for exceptions falls under the category of individualized assessment. Some points to remember in this area of your policy are:

  • Inform the individual that he or she may be excluded based on past criminal conduct.
  • Give opportunities for the individual to provide information that can lead to an exception, or in some cases to demonstrate and prove worthiness of an exception.
  • Carefully verify the information in relation to the position in question and determine if the policy does or does not apply in that direct circumstance.

As always, be as thorough in your policy as possible. Keeping in line with the rules and regulations of the FCRA will benefit not only your company, but all of your current and future employees.

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