Posts

Should I screen my furloughed or laid off employees if they come back?

Furlough. Layoffs. Remote employees. The arrival of COVID-19 created a tidal wave of change for businesses of all sizes. As retail and office spaces begin to reopen, HR departments and leadership will be working together to establish return-to-work plans focused on safety, operational efficiency, and government-mandated protocols. Depending on whether employees were furloughed, laid off or able to work from home, businesses will need to take a close look at their new employee processes. Businesses need to determine whether it is necessary for them to be screening furloughed employees. 

Were your employees furloughed or laid off?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to implement the hiring process for furloughed employees. Legally, they remained an employee. So while you may not need to go through an application process,  reviewing contracts, salary, and benefits may be necessary. This could also be a good time to conduct a new screening of furloughed employees.

Lay-offs terminate existing contracts. If a business would like to re-employ an individual, it’s in their best interest to treat it as a new hire. It may be possible to relax some procedures, but weigh the risks before you change anything. Consider each layer of your process and carefully determine why or why not it’s necessary to follow each step. This should include everything from application forms to background checks. Furthermore, be prepared to explain to your re-hires that these screenings are in the best interest of the company moving forward.

Is this a good time to review state and local laws?

As leaders discuss plans for reopening, in addition to reviewing policies and employee handbooks, it is just as important to review current federal, state and local laws. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if a former employee is rehired within three years of the origination date of the original Form I-9, employers have the option to either use the same form or complete a new one. Electing to utilize the previously completed form could help streamline the hiring and onboarding processes. This will allow you time to screen re-hires.

Businesses considering bringing employees back can also consider a solution that isn’t simply keeping all processes or eliminating others. When it comes to background screening, our team can work with yours to build a customized background screening program. We can help minimizes risk and supports your hiring process and goals. You may not yet know if you’ll re-screen returning members, but our services can give you confidence in your decision.

Protesting and background screenings: Is your business prepared?

Over 10,000 arrests in the last three weeks are from protests. These arrests vary widely and can be tricky for HR departments. When it comes to business policy, protesting and background screenings: What impact could an arrest due to protesting have on a prospective or current employee?

How arrests can impact a person’s record

Some arrests made this month are due to violent behavior. However, most are less serious crimes or petty infractions. These arrests include things like obstructing traffic and being out past curfew. A majority of protest-related arrests will be released without charges. But if an applicant is charged with a crime, then the arrest could rise to the surface during a pre-employment background check. One Source does not report arrest records—they cannot be considered in the hiring process. Other credit reporting agencies may report arrest records, but you will be unable to use them in hiring.

Each state handles cases like these differently. So people might now know whether their arrest will be removed from their record. Complex court systems and tedious administrative processes just add to the challenge. All of these challenges encourage businesses of all sizes and industries to take a closer look at their policies. 

Creating policies regarding criminal records

One Source tailors the pre-employment screening to the specific needs and concerns of your business. Flexibility is especially useful in the instance of protesting. For arrests made for non-violent infractions, businesses can emit these records from the screening. One Source offers these arrest reports, but they cannot be used for hiring purposes. Sharing your business’s policies with our team and discussing any additional requirements you have allows us to develop an appropriate, and thorough, screening to support your policies.

Consider your approach to social media checks, too

In addition to criminal records as they relate to protesting, it may be necessary to discuss your approach to any social media screening your business does as part of its hiring process. Outline your expectations and policies specific to social media can save your internal team time. This also helps inform potential (and existing) employees. One Source offers Fair Credit Reporting Act compliant social media checks, should you choose to screen social media.

As our world continues to evolve, take time to review and create policies to reflect what’s currently happening. This can help your business plan and prepare for what’s next. Develop policies to guide your HR processes and minimize hiring bias, improve screenings and enhance communications with prospective and current employees. Rely on the specialized expertise of your business partners, like us, to offer recommendations and opportunities that support your needs.

If you currently don’t have a policy in place regarding arrests due to protesting—for applicants and employees—this could be the right time to start an internal conversation.