Automatic Scoring of Results
Service : Background Screening
Question: Can we have our consumer reporting agency (“CRA”) automatically attribute a score or grade to various components of a background check result?
Response & Analysis:
Yes, it is permissible to provide your CRA with well-defined scoring criteria to consistently apply to the individual components of a background check. However, such scoring criteria should be used only as a preliminary tool to determine which results require review and which ones are acceptable, or “clear,” and require no further review. Scoring criteria may not be used as a means of making an adverse employment decision without any further individualized analysis.
Certain results always require review. Any criminal result “hits,” in particular, require an individual assessment that should be conducted in conjunction with the April 2012 guidance set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”). By conducting an individualized review and considering the EEOC guidelines, you can both avoid running afoul of antidiscrimination laws and afford an applicant the opportunity to be properly considered.
Any scoring criteria that uses terms like “fail” or “stop” should be avoided as such criteria may be perceived as intended to be an absolute bar to employment or that an adverse employment decision has already been made. Scoring criteria should not be used as a means of making an adverse employment decision without any further individualized analysis. It is important that well-defined, consistently applied scoring criteria is used only as a means of expeditiously filtering forward “pass” or “clear” results while holding those results that should be reviewed and considered on an individual basis.
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