Court Closures During Covid-19

criminal records in ct

During the Covid-19 “Stay at Home” order and restrictions, a small percentage of background checks may experience delays, it’s no cause to abandon the process. Employee background checks are more important than ever as we adapt to remote operations.

Face to face meetings with employees may not be temporarily possible therefore, background checks are a means to thoroughly vet new team members. This is particularly important for employers that are legally or contractually obligated to conduct background checks, or for those who wish to mitigate the risk of negligent hiring claims.

This author suggests, you can continue to safely and effectively screen all job candidates and employees, even when working remotely during these challenging times.

Many employers are thinking about the many different ways they can perform background screening for both potential hires and existing personnel during COVID-19.

“Stay at Home” order across our country has changed the dynamics how many of us perform our daily job functions. Because meeting face to face is no longer an option during these challenging times; Human Resource Departments, Employment Recruiters, Department Managers are all figuring ways to both interview and perform background checks safely in order to successfully search for strong candidates for their companies and to maintain a stable and safe workforce.

However, we still need to gather the necessary documentation in order for us to make sound hiring decision.

  • Courts Closures. What to do if a screening cannot be completed due to a court closure? 

There are many options, some more favorable than others however, it also depends on your company situation, meaning the following:

  • Provisional – hiring prior to background check completed (more flexibility for company’s not regulated and or contractual)
  • Regulated or Contractual Industry – Background checks must be conducted legally (contact your legal department and regulatory agency for advice)

There are risk factors to consider when hiring “Provisionally”

  • Remember, eventually, business as normal will be here once again therefore, during Covid-19 have a best practice in place. Outline your provisional hiring policy and other changes to your screening practices in your employment screening policy to ensure consistent treatment of all employees. Be prepared to have a backup plan how you will handle cases where criminal convictions are revealed in a background check after the employee has already started working.

 What to do after Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted and, courts re-open and background check and screening results come back. However, you already made your hiring decisions provisionally. What to do?

  • Good es is that if you chose not to hire provisionally, then there is nothing to do. You won’t need to take any action on the delayed results because you would have already followed the adverse action process as outlined by the FCRA.
  • If you’ve already hired provisionally; but decide to terminate an employee based on the background check results, you’ll need to initiate the adverse action process. It is up to your HR leadership, and your legal counsel if you choose to have the employee continue working however, touchy subject therefore be very careful. You want to make sure not to violate any change in employment conditions that adversely affects the employee — such as being put on unpaid leave — this course of action may be considered to be an adverse action in itself, which could be interpreted as a violation of the five business day waiting period.
  • Once a background check is received and a criminal activity on their record was discovered, choosing which employees to keep and not to keep can be challenging. It could be difficult to defend your decision to disqualify a candidate hired prior to the pandemic if you didn’t do the same for an employee hired during the pandemic with the same or similar offense.

During Covid-19, you should update your employment screening policy?

  • During Covid-19 is the perfect time to update your employment screening policy.
  • Remember, to adjust your background screening policy once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted to adhere to a normal traditional employment screening process.

Here are a few ways to speed up the background check process during Covid-19?

 There are many automated systems to utilize:

  • Applicant tracking system (STS) integrations
  • Obtain employee’s digital consent for a background check
  • Adjudication and filtering to expedite the review of background check 

Therefore, while juggling through all of the requirements how to do business during Covid-19 and, If your business wishes to protect its branding and good name, financial matters and the safety of your employees than employment background screening is the correct decision and no time like the present to move forward and implement job screening practices immediately.

Now that you have chosen to move forward and run employee background checks for your hiring process, you can now feel more comfortable and safer when choosing to hire the employee applicant or not. The employee background check can serve as an effective human resource tool in choosing the right person for your company.

Protect your business and family by hiring a professional background check company like will provide a reliable and affordable pre-employment screening service to help build your top-quality team while creating a safe and result oriented work environment.

For more information and advice regarding our background screening process:

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