Background checks are a trending topic for employers because of the tidal wave of class action lawsuits alleging technical violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the proliferation of state and local background check laws (including those arising from the Ban the Box movement). Add to this the increasing number of Title VII discrimination claims being advanced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and employers have tough legal and compliance burdens—including keeping up with ever-changing, often inconsistent laws and requirements. Because one mistake can lead to significant penalties for every background check an employer conducts, the stakes are high.
The Background Checks Practice Group is a team of skilled, experienced lawyers who regularly assist (many daily) on federal, state, and local background check issues. Our lawyers provide practical, innovative, preventive advice and training on each aspect of the background check process and represent employers in single-plaintiff and class litigation. Our work frequently includes:
- design and implementation of a lawful, best-practices background check process (including review and implementation of policies, forms, letters, and other documents);
- assistance in understanding and applying federal, state, and local restrictions and requirements on employer consideration and use of background check information;
- assistance reviewing and negotiating contracts with background check providers (also known as consumer reporting agencies or CRAs);
- customized explanations of laws in employer-specific jurisdictions (including interactions and conflicts between the laws of different jurisdictions); and
- defense of single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits (ranging in size from a few to a few hundred thousand class members).
To assist with federal and multi-state compliance, Ogletree Deakins created O-D Comply: Background Checks, an innovative subscription service that keeps employers abreast of federal, state, and major locality background check laws. A subscription includes continually updated, compliant forms, letters, and documents (e.g., background disclosure and authorization forms/screens, pre-adverse action letters, and adverse action letters) and up-to-date federal, state, and locality summaries. For answers to frequently asked questions, samples, and other O-D Comply: Background Checks materials, please click here or on the link above.