By Kristen Wakulchuk


Covid-19 has changed just about everything when it comes to normal, everyday life, including the way employers need to protect themselves when hiring new people. With this in mind, many companies are implementing an honesty clause as part of their job offers. In essence, this clause allows organizations to terminate a person if any misinformation or omissions are discovered when full, standard screening procedures are resumed following the pandemic. 

Considerations to Keep in Mind

When you make a job offer with an honesty clause as a contingency, act with caution and be aware that: 

  • All information must be in compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements, and individual state guidelines on the use of criminal records for employment purposes. 
  • There may, in some cases, be a reasonable explanation of why a candidate omitted certain information. Trial court cases can be complicated, for instance, and honest mistakes may be made regarding details. Newly-discovered facts may not apply to your employee if there is an identification issue. 
  • You cannot simply assume that an information omission indicates dishonest or disqualifying behavior. Job applicants are still entitled to pre- and post-adverse action notice under FCRA. 
  • The 2012 EEOC Guidance on the Use of Criminal Records in Employment, as well as some state and local laws, entitle employees to an Individualized Assessment. This means they have the right to make their case and add any information they feel is mitigating about their offense and evidence of post-offense rehabilitation. 

It all boils down to a basic rule that criminal matters cannot be the sole basis for automatically rejecting job candidates. There must be as much further analysis as necessary to determine if there is a demonstrable risk to your business that justifies you denying them employment. 

An honesty clause can help an employer rest more easily when hiring, as these uncertain times continue. Nothing is more important than keeping your business and your people safe and free from possible litigation or more serious potential threats. But your honesty clause, as well as every step you take to ensure proper and successful hiring, must be developed and implemented correctly. Call on the experts at Chane Solutions to help ensure this happens, without exception. Contact us today to learn more. 

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