Should I Perform Background Checks on Contractors & Freelancers?

man in overalls and a hard had holding a rolled up piece of paper in his fist and jumping into the air in front of a houseAs the traditional workforce continues to shift and make way for a thriving gig economy (a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements), you may find yourself in situations where your company needs to hire contingent workers like independent contractors, freelancers, consultants, temporary workers, and other non-full time employees.

But how do you maintain internal security and legal compliance when working with these professionals? After all, they’ll likely have access to private company and client information, work closely with your employees, and may even freely come and go from your office.

Much like with your official staff, background screenings can provide you with a wealth of information on freelance job candidates that’ll allow you to make hiring decisions that mitigate risk and give you peace of mind.

Performing background checks on independent contractors is not only wise from a liability standpoint, it may even be required by state or federal law depending on your industry and the type of work being performed. For example, positions where employees work with vulnerable populations (minors, the elderly, etc.), sensitive information (financial services, healthcare, government, etc.), or that require security clearance all call for mandatory background checks according to state and federal background screening laws.

These screenings can detail everything from an applicant’s work history to their education, criminal records to financial and medical histories, and even their use of social media. Just remember that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that background checks comply with laws that protect against discrimination.

Furthermore, the worker(s) being considered must sign a disclosure form giving your company permission to perform the background check, and if they are denied the job because of the outcome of the background screening, they must be properly notified under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

For more information on Background Checks, join our FREE Webinar!

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Background screening is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to select the right type of background screen for the job, and then you need to know what you can do with that information that’s uncovered. Rather than sifting through page after page after page of legal documentation,  partner with ARCpoint Labs. We’ll help you navigate the state and federal laws regarding background checks and help you determine the right screens for your company. Give us a call at 864.271.3210, or contact us online to start creating a safe, compliant work environment today.

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