- Are the responsibilities or duties of the promoted employee changing?
The majority of employers are under the impression that a background check is only appropriate upon initial hire; however, anytime a change in classification or overall job function is made then an employer should conduct a background check for suitability. Additionally, some states do have a salary exception meaning that if the employee will be making a certain amount yearly then the reporting period on the background check increases from 7 years to 10 years.
- Treat the promoted employee as if they are a new hire?
Employers still have to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting a background check on a current employee. First, they must disclose to the employee that a background check is being conducted pursuant to the company’s policy on promoting employees. This includes any additional searches that the company may perform due to the added duties and responsibilities of the new position (i.e. moving into an accounting executive role may warrant a credit check). If adverse information is reported than the employee must have an opportunity to dispute the information for accuracy.
- What additional searches should be done on the promoted employee?
If there are certain criteria or licenses needed in order to provide the new job functions, it would be wise to validate and verify that information. For example, when promoting a part-time shipping and receiving clerk to warehouse supervisor, his new duties may require operating a forklift which calls for additional training and licensing. If the new position is safety-related (food handling, nurses, etc.) then proper occupational tests should be done (TB testing and/or drug screening).
- Create a Part time- Full time hiring check list
Like any good policy or procedure, consistency and uniformity should be paramount. Therefore, a check list should be implemented each time an employer is converting a part-time employee to full-time. Items that should be on the check list include:
Was a background check done when originally hired?
What is the scope of the new background check?
Have all proper forms been completed for the transition?
Enrollment in any full-time benefit programs required?
Provided with latest version of employee handbook and signed?
Provided updated Employee record information (Emergency Contacts)?
- Be prepared if adverse action is reported
What if adverse information was reported on the background check for the new full time employee? Just like a completely new hire background check, an employer needs to allow the employee an opportunity to dispute the information if inaccurate or explain any circumstances surrounding the conviction. If it’s determined that the results of the background check violates the company’s policy on hiring, then the employee is disqualified from the promotion.