Why Background Check Companies Should Have a QA Process

From time to time, some of our clients question why SELECTiON.COM® follows a QA process for our electronic database searches. Our SEARCH AMERICA® Reports come back showing “hits” about an Applicant.  This QA process takes some extra time to complete, but we believe that taking this extra QA step is important for two reasons:

  1. The final report that we send to the client is more trustworthy; we verify that any conviction record showing on the original SEARCH AMERICA® Report is indeed valid according to the latest state and county records on file with the courts.
  1. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (FCRA) actually requires a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) to take steps to verify the accuracy of information listed in a Consumer Report (CR).  Two sections of the FCRA, in particular, address this issue. They are FCRA § 607(b) and FCRA § 613(a):

FCRA § 607.  Compliance procedures [15 U.S.C. § 1681e]

(a)           . . .

(b)            (b)     Accuracy of report.  Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.

FCRA § 613.  Public record information for employment purposes [15 U.S.C. § 1681k]

(a)    In general. A consumer reporting agency which furnishes a consumer report for employment purposes and which for that purpose compiles and reports items of information on consumers which are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment shall

(1)  at the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported; or

(2)  maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported it is complete and up to date. For purposes of this paragraph, items of public record relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported. (emphasis added)

 

Both of the FCRA sections listed above have been the subject of litigation during the past few years. Such litigation is very costly and time consuming.

In light of cases such as Smith v. Hireright and Dalton v. Capital Associated Industries, and based upon its own industry experience, SELECTiON.COM® has adopted its QA process for any SEARCH AMERICA® database search report that contains negative information as its best practice to verify search records are as up-to-date and accurate as possible before reporting them to SELECTiON.COM® clients.

In both of the cases cited above, the parties spent thousands of dollars in litigation expenses. If the CRAs involved in these cases had used a QA process to verify their electronic database search results, they could have avoided the time and expense of the federal court lawsuits that cost them so much time and money to defend.

SELECTiON.COM® is committed to a very thorough QA process for all of our SEARCH AMERICA® reports. By choosing SELECTiON.COM®, you will get the most accurate and up-to-date background check reports possible.

Contact us today to see how SELECTiON.COM® can take your employment background check process to the next level.

NOTE: The contents of this article are not legal advice for your particular situation. You should neither act nor rely upon anything stated in this article without first consulting your own legal counsel.