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Safety & Security

The Safe Hiring Manual
The Safe Hiring Manual
By Lester S. Rosen
BRB Publications, 2012
724 pages
List price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-889150-59-8

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Employers, recruiters and job seekers are all audiences for The Safe Hiring Manual, a guidebook to using background checks for employment screening and ensuring that those checks stay within the law.

Just getting the right information on a job applicant isn’t enough, author Lester S. Rosen says. That information must be “obtained, protected and used legally,” and many laws and regulations cover many aspects of background checks. This book lays out the economic problems that bad hires can bring, including the legal costs, replacement costs for fired workers, employee theft and fraud, financial regulation issues, and more.

Chapters guide readers through a host of laws and types of background checks and also describe a “Safe Hiring Program” that helps employers ensure that they’re within the law. Among the topics covered are these:

  • Due diligence and negligent hiring, including how to avoid a negligent hiring lawsuit.
  • Privacy and discrimination laws, and guidance on how to avoid discrimination claims.
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act and its impact on employment screening.
  • State laws on background checks and which state laws apply when an employer operates in multiple states.
  • Details of the “Safe Hiring Program,” including samples of policies and statements employers can use. The program provides detailed language to inform employees about background checks, as well as a checklist for employers to use when hiring.
  • The application process, including using application forms; reasons why employers should not rely on resumes; questions to avoid asking applicants; and issues about disclosing criminal records.
  • The interview and reference processes, from “red flag behavior” indicating potential problems, to verification checks for references, to tips for effective ways to check references via telephone. Employers learn about references and defamation, as well as how to avoid liability and how to deal with requests for references.
  • The background screening industry and how to choose and work with a screening company.
  • Ways to obtain criminal records and credit reports.
  • Risks in using social media in background checks—and solutions for employers who do check social media.
  • Verification of educational credentials; international background checks; drug tests and the law; screening tests for temporary and contract employees; issues employers face regarding identity theft and privacy; laws covering immigration status; and use of tools such as sexual offender databases, judgments and liens, and military records.

Tools include enforcement guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a list of forms mandated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and an employment reference worksheet that employers can use to document reference checks.