Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Know Your Rights

If an employer uses a background investigation company to conduct a background check on you, the employer must:

  • Notify you that a background check will be conducted
  • Obtain your written authorization to conduct a background check
  • Provide the name of the company that will conduct the background investigation
  • Provide a copy of "A Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA"

If you are denied employment, the employer must:

  • Notify you if you're denied a position based "in whole or in part" of a background check
  • Provide you a free copy of the background investigation report that was created on you
  • Provide an opportunity for you to dispute information that is incorrect or misleading
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Know Your Rights - Read More

You have certain rights by law during the background investigation process. 

Background investigations come under the auspices of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Like most people, you are probably wondering why any law that includes the words "Fair Credit Reporting" would have anything to do with the employment process.

The FCRA is an all-encompassing law that provides protection for individuals on whom investigations are conducted or information is obtained through third parties that could result in a negative impact on the individual. If an employer conducts the background investigation through a third-party, they must provide a copy of "A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA".

A copy of this document is available at the following link:http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0096-fair-credit-reporting-act.pdf

You may have additional rights under state or local law where you live.
If you view the "Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA" you will notice that it can be a little confusing at first. This document applies to multiple purposes including individuals who apply for credit and insurance in addition to applying for employment. We will provide helpful hints regarding terminology used in this Act. A "consumer" is a person who applies for employment, credit or insurance. A "consumer report" is the background investigation conducted on you. A "consumer reporting agency" is the background investigation company. Information contained in the "Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA" relating to credit scores and pre-screened offers of credit and insurance are not relevant to the employment application process. However, the basic rights outlined in this document apply to the employment background investigation process.

The employer must notify you if you are denied a position based in whole or in part due to information contained in a background investigation. The employer must provide written or verbal communication to you that you were denied a position and the employer must provide to you a copy of the background investigation that was conducted.

The employer must provide an opportunity for you dispute information contained in the background investigation that you believe is incorrect or misleading. The background investigation company is required by law to re-investigate without charge any aspect of the background investigation that you dispute. You must be given the opportunity to provide documentation that proves information contained in the report is inaccurate. The following is vitally important and is unknown to most applicants. If you believe the background investigation is inaccurate, you must notify the potential employer that you wish to dispute the information contained in the report and the employer must hold the position open while the information is disputed. The background investigation company must re-investigate any information that is disputed in the report and update the background investigation with any new information that is developed. The results of the reinvestigation must be reported to the potential employer.

The background investigation process is flawed in that it is subject to human error. The individual who is contacted to verify your past employment at your old job may provide incorrect information. Another common problem is that your former employer may not have the correct dates of employment or your correct title. The high school or college where you attended may not be able to find your records. Background investigations are often outsourced overseas and individuals conducting the research may have difficulty finding your employer or school. Criminal records at the county and state level on occasion will not include or have incorrect personal identifiers (date of birth or Social Security number). Applicants for employment are frequently associated with someone with the same name and similar date of birth as someone with a criminal record that will result in denial of an employment opportunity. A Google search of the phrase "background check errors" will provide the scope of the problem. If you do not understand the background investigation process and your rights, you may be the next victim.

This website was created to provide information to those looking for work so that you understand your rights, understand how errors can occur that will affect your ability to obtain employment and how you can take matters into your own hands and get the job you want. Throughout this site there will be numerous suggestions and procedures you can take so that the background investigation process does not affect your future. The process an employer must follow includes what is called a pre-adverse action letter. This letter notifies you that the background investigation developed information that the employer believes may result in the denial of an employment opportunity or the rescinding of a job offer. It is vitally important that if you receive a pre-adverse action letter, you review the background investigation that is included with the letter to determine if there are any errors in this report. The employer will provide a certain number of days, usually between five and ten days for you to respond if you disagree with the information contained in the background investigation. You must notify the employer in writing that you disagree with the findings in the background investigation and that you wish to dispute the information contained within. This letter must be returned to the employer within the time frame they have given or else you will lose your rights to dispute the information contained in the report. If the employer does not hear from you within the five to ten day period of time mandated by the employer. The employer will send what is called an adverse action letter stating that they are denying you an employment opportunity or rescinding a job offer. We cannot emphasize the importance of this process. You must be aware of the pre-adverse and adverse action letter process to protect your rights during the employment process.

Most professional recruiters are familiar with the FCRA and follow the requirements of this law. However, many recruiters are either unfamiliar with the FCRA and they do not bother or do not have the time to follow the requirements. Applying for a job is a harrowing experience. You are anxious, hopeful, and you may feel as though the process is out of your control. Often, little time is spent by an employer explaining their employment process, your rights under the law and what will happen during the application process. We are here to help you understand what goes on behind the curtain that is the employment application process.

You have a right to a free copy of the background investigation conducted on you whether or not you were denied employment. The background investigation company must submit a copy of the report to you upon your written request. Obtain a copy of all documents that you sign during the employment application process including your authorization and the contact information of the background investigation company. You will need this information to obtain a copy of your background investigation.

While many professional Human Resources Professionals follow these guidelines, not every employer will. Incorrect information contained in a background investigation can cost you a job. Misinformation can be developed repeatedly and reported on you without your knowledge every time you apply for a job unless you know how to take matters into your own hands.

Know your rights, obtain a copy of your background investigation and dispute any information contained within that is inaccurate. It is up to you to understand the process, learn what goes on behind the scenes and protect your rights. Once you find inaccurate information you can contact the employer, school or court to correct the information.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Becoming an intrapreneur isn’t something people typically fall into. If you want it to happen, you’re going to have to get out there and make it happen. And to do that, you’ll need a plan.
Item number one on your list is to master your job. This is actually a two-parter.
First, become an expert in your current role. Second, you’ll need to hit certain milestones if you want to pull this off. The first one is being at your job long enough for you to learn your role and feel that you could teach everything you do to another person. You need to prove your worth and demonstrate that you can handle the responsibilities you were hired to do. You’ll also want to build in enough time on the job to make your boss look like a rock star and gain his trust before you venture outside your role. Otherwise, you’re going to have a really tough time getting him to buy into and support your ideas (and to support you in your desire to expand your role in the company). In my experience, it usually takes six months to get to this point. Of course, if you can do it in less time, great! But don’t rush things. It’s better to take a little more time than to try to make a move when you’re really not ready.
Throughout this process — and throughout your entire career — it’s important to think in terms of how you can best leverage your strengths and weaknesses to help your company succeed. What are some things your company does really well? What does it do less well? What should it be doing to improve? How can your strengths and intrapreneurship goals get your company where it needs to go? With that in the back of your mind, you’ll be better able to articulate to your manager how your intrapreneurial idea will benefit the company.
You’ll also need to be able to clearly define your objectives and metrics.
In other words, what does success look like and how can you measure it? Be absolutely sure that your project aligns with the corporation’s mission and values.
If you want your company to support your idea, you’ll need heavy hitters behind you. Start with your manager. Sit down with them and talk about the potential opportunity you see. They’ve worked at the company longer than you have and they know the path to making a project successful, including how to assemble a team and how to get decision makers to buy in. Have a presentation that describes the opportunity, how it benefits your company, and what resources you’ll need to execute (people, materials, funding). Once your manager is solidly backing you, ask for their help in lining up a senior executive or major decision-maker inside your company to put his or her name on the project. That will help you get the resources you’ll need to give you the greatest chance of succeeding.
Remember, this is your project, and you want to be the center of attention, right? But don’t try to do everything — you’re going to need help. In addition, trying to do it all makes you seem either like you can’t get others to work with you, you can’t delegate, or you’re trying to hog all the glory. Instead, surround yourself with people who have skills you don’t but who can make your idea even better. Look for people who are passionate about the idea you want to develop. Some will come from inside your organization, but others may come from outside.