As we approach the holidays, employers will start to ramp up seasonal and temporary hiring for the rush season. Due to constant changes in employment screening laws, employers that utilize a seasonal and/or temporary workforce should adhere to our three strategies for hiring the right seasonal employees:
1) Treating Seasonal Employees the Same as Regular Employees
A question typically asked by existing and prospective clients hiring both regular W-2 employees and 1099 contractors is how to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is because the FCRA only regulates W-2 employees and not contractors.
The simple answer is to handle the background screening process for both types of workers the same way.
This will not only help in transparency, but also reduce liability for the employer. The FCRA states that employers may conduct background checks for employment purposes, and require employers to comply with certain conditions which include:
- Signed consent and providing disclosures
- Ensuring maximum possible accuracy when reporting adverse information
- Providing adverse action notice when denying employment
Technically, employers do not have to provide contractors with the above mentioned protections; however, they can still be held liable for negligent hiring if they utilize inaccurate information when making a hiring decision.
2) Conducting Position Specific Searches
If employers are hiring seasonal or temporary employees for skilled positions or non-entry level work, employers should conduct additional searches outside of the criminal background to ensure suitability with the organization. For example, a business will hire a seasonal delivery driver to assist with deliveries for a flower organization.
Not only would a Criminal Background Check be warranted, but a Motor Vehicle Report should be ordered as well. Motor Vehicle Records conducted at the state where the license was issued will reveal moving violations, suspensions, revocations, failures to appear in court, and arrest warrants.
In addition to this, drug and alcohol related driving offenses such as convictions for driving under the influence and possession of illegal drugs will also be revealed. Additionally, if the seasonal hire is performing work where they need to either have a professional license or experience in a specific industry, the organization should implement verification of such employment, education, and professional license.
3) Training Seasonal Employees for Potential Full-Time Employment
You never know when hiring the right seasonal employees will bring you a “diamond in the rough” that exceeds the organization’s expectations for the work they are performing. Not all seasonal hires are looking for part-time hours or menial duties. Some really want to grow with the organization and transform their seasonal opportunity into a full-time career.
If career growth is an option, train your seasonal hires the same as your regular employees. Not only are you increasing the chances of finding high performing employees, but you are also creating competition, which is good for the workforce.
Compliance training must be done on all regular employees pursuant to certain state laws (CA, NY, CT, and Maine). Similar to how liability for not performing an adequate background was discussed, employers may also be held liable for seasonal hires not understanding workplace compliance. An example of this would be sexual harassment prevention awareness.