By Kristen Wakulchuk

Posted

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have far-reaching and ever-changing effects on virtually every business in the worldAs these implications relate to hiring new employees, they depend on such factors as location, industry, and the specific positions being filled. 

To say it’s complicated is putting it mildly. And what stands true today may change tomorrow, as states, regions, and companies across the nation and globally prepare for the possibility of reopening in the near future. 

 

The Impact of Court Closures on Background Checks 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, you often cannot meet candidates face to face, which makes background checks even more critical as you arrive at a final hiring decision. At the same time, widespread court closures may impede the availability of necessary documents, records and information to complete those checks. The situation is fluid, but in general: 

  • Many county court databases are digitalized, but some still require human interaction. Regardless, there may be delays as phone, mail, fax, or online sources are utilized. And, some courts are closed all together. 
  • Motor vehicle records (MVRs) are not experiencing delays, with one notable exception: Pennsylvania. PennDOT has been closed and MVR orders require an access code. Most recent updates indicate that some driver’s license centers in certain counties may soon reopen, but it remains to be seen whether this is the start of a more widespread return to normalcy. 
  • Most, but not all, labs are still open for drug testing purposes. However, shelter-in-place restrictions may prevent candidates from visiting them. 
  • Most processes for education and employment verification are not experiencing delays. Exceptions may be institutions that are closed and not part of the National Student Clearinghouse database. For employment information, many checks can be completed online or through digital sources. 

Provisional Hiring Considerations

Provisional hiring – bringing a new employee on board pending the results of their background check – may be a solution; however, it is not possible for all industries.  

  • There are different rules for different situations. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) has issued a temporary waiver that permits CDL drivers whose licenses expire after March 1, 2020, to continue to drive commercial vehicles in most, but not all, instances. 
  • If you have contractual provisions with your customers that require screening before an employee begins work, review those contacts carefully. Determine if you have any flexibility in hiring provisionally. 

Stay FCRA Compliant

Regardless of what you decide at this time, make sure you treat all candidates consistently, fairly, and equitably. The federal adverse action process still applies, as outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  

Chane Solutions is here to help you sort out the details and ensure that you stay compliant in all your hiring actions, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Rest assured that you can continue to safely and effectively screen candidates, even during these unprecedented times. In fact, this may be the ideal time to reassess and possibly update your background screening and drug testing procedures. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more. 

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