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2 Innovations in Background Check Compliance That Will Catch On Soon

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

March 23 2016

Legal compliance is always a hot topic in the background screening industry. Protecting consumer rights and confidentiality is a top concern for employers, Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides guidelines for credit reporting and acceptable procedures. It describes permissible purposes for obtaining consumer information, how that information can be used, and informs CRAs and employers on how to make compliant employment decisions.

As an industry-leading provider of background screening services, InfoMart has always made legal compliance our top priority. From workflow to technology to training procedures, we have built-in policies that put the confidentiality at the forefront of all we do.

Our Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) accreditation, a distinction earned by few of the screening industry, proves our dedication. We strive to improve upon our standards whenever an opportunity presents itself.

 

Getting Ahead of the Law & Section 613

To protect our clients from potential threats, InfoMart updated our consumer notification procedures. This enhancement was the result of an expert analysis of employment law trends and will protect the applicants whose information we collect.

Section 613 of the FCRA requires that CRAs such as InfoMart either maintain strict procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy; or notify the applicant at the time we report public record information to our client that could have an adverse impact on the consumer’s ability to obtain employment.

InfoMart once opted to comply with FCRA §613(a)(2) by maintaining strict procedures that ensure the maximum possible accuracy of our reports. Though we have the option to comply with one or the other, InfoMart now opts to comply with both. Many CRAs continue to only comply with one, but at InfoMart, we take every chance we have to improve our service. 

We send an “at-the-time” notification directly to any consumer whose public record searches result in the reporting of any potentially adverse information (i.e. a criminal record or motor vehicle report violation). This notice is sent from our system at the same time that the report is sent to our client via their custom delivery protocol.

 

Emailed Pre-adverse and Adverse Action Notices

According to the FTC, a consumer reporting agency (CRA) like InfoMart may supply pre-adverse and/or adverse actions orally, in writing, or electronically. InfoMart improved our process by emailing pre-adverse and adverse action notices to applicants. 

Emailed communications allow consumers to receive notices quickly instead of waiting for them to arrive in traditional mail. This gives the consumer more time to evaluate and respond to the notice before action is taken by an employer. The emailed notices are also beneficial to our clients. Their background check turnaround time decreased as consumers as a direct result. Emailing notices is also a “green” initiative that used fewer material resources. Other CRAs are beginning to switch to email, but most still use snail mail. 

 

Choose the Screening Provider That Puts Compliance First

Improving our compliance procedures serves and protects both your company and your consumer. Just like the past 29 years, we will continue to do everything we can to improve upon our processes. With InfoMart, you can trust that you’re getting your applicant information from the experts.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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