You can determine if a candidate is qualified for the position by looking over their resume and application and conducting in-depth interviews, but these methods don’t always tell the whole story. The best way to make sure your candidate is really the best fit for the position is to run an Oregon background check.
This comprehensive guide to conducting background checks explains how to get the most accurate information possible about a potential employee as well as state laws and employer best practices.
Employment Background Check Laws in Oregon
There are specific guidelines that must be followed in order to be in compliance when an employer decides to conduct a pre-employment background check in Oregon.
Background checks are subject to specific laws in Oregon, including restrictions on who may conduct them and how the results may be applied to hiring decisions. Although anyone can ask for a background check in Oregon, employers are required to take particular measures to ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, “Ban the Box,” and the state’s pay equity law.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Employers in Oregon are required to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when conducting employment background checks. The FCRA mandates that employers must notify job candidates when they decide to conduct a background check on them.
Before the background screening procedure begins, the candidate must receive written notice of the intent to conduct a background check.
You must also give the candidate the background check company’s contact information in advance if you choose to partner with a background check business like iprospectcheck, backgroundchecks to save time and energy.
Ban the Box
As an employer, it’s critical to be aware of a potential employee’s criminal history, including whether it exists, when the offense was committed, and the charges levied.
Despite the fact that all of this information is helpful, the state of Oregon does have rules about when and how an employer can get access to it.
In Oregon, which is one of 35 “Ban the Box” states, employers are not permitted to inquire about a candidate’s criminal history when reviewing their application. In fact, before requesting this kind of information from a candidate in Oregon, an employer must wait until after the initial interview has begun or until after a conditional job offer has been made. Although not true in every state, the “Ban the Box” regulation is applicable to both the public and private sectors in Oregon.
Even though “Ban the Box” is in effect, employers in Oregon are still permitted to conduct a criminal background check on a prospective hire because background checks are typically conducted following an initial interview or conditional job offer.
Pay Equity Law
Similar to criminal history, past salary is another protected class that Oregon employers are not permitted to inquire about or take into account during the hiring process.
You have the choice to confirm a person’s employment history when you conduct a background investigation on a prospective employee. Employers do this to confirm the accuracy of the applicant’s resume and to make sure the applicant possesses the skills necessary to succeed in the open position.
Despite the fact that doing this is entirely legal in Oregon, due to the state’s Pay Equity Law, employers are not allowed to inquire about a potential worker’s prior earnings before making a job offer that specifies the intended salary.
And while a candidate can voluntarily disclose past salary information to the interviewer, an employer still cannot take this information into account when moving forward with the hiring process.
Expunged Criminal Records
Under Oregon state law, only juvenile records that have been expunged are exempt. Even sealed or dismissed arrests or convictions may still need to be disclosed to potential employers.
In general, Oregon prohibits employers from requesting credit reports or using the data they contain to make hiring decisions. However, there are some situations where the state allows the use of credit history, such as a job with a bank or a position involving the public’s safety. For particular job roles and situations, state law may provide for additional exemptions. Before ordering the report, applicants must be informed of the intention to check their credit.
The Background Check Unit (BCU)
The Background Check Unit (BCU) offers background check aid and assistance to all Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) divisions for employment purposes, to those who provide or attempt to provide services as a contractor, subcontractor, vendor, volunteer, or are employed by qualified entities that provide care and are licensed, certified, registered, or otherwise regulated by ODHS or OHA.
Background check submissions and fitness determination results can be obtained through a portal provided by the Oregon Criminal History and Abuse Records Data System (ORCHARDS).
The information discussed above can prove useful when it comes to performing an Oregon background check. Try to keep them in mind as you conduct your lookup.