Volume 7, Edition 2, February 2011

This Month’s Challenge is sponsored by:



Answer: C or D. This is a bit of a trick question in the way it is written. The most risk averse response is not to apply any hiring criteria of a client's. But, many CRAs feel that they can add value to their clients by assisting them with this process. If you are going to grade or adjudicate reports, we recommend that you be cautious about giving input into an employer's hiring criteria. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been targeting CRAs alleging that they are "joint employers" under Title VII and are making employment decisions by applying such criteria, or are "agents" or are "aiding and abetting" their clients in violating Title VII if the hiring criteria has a disparate impact on certain minority groups. We have seen a huge up rise in these types of administrative charges and investigations by State Attorney Generals as well. The more input or guidance that you provide, often the more the argument can be made that you assisted in the hiring decisions. But, there is a fine line of applying a criteria that is not legally compliant as well. It is a good idea to remember the old adage, "no good deed goes unpunished", when thinking of applying hiring criteria.

If an employer asks a CRA to "grade" its consumer reports, the CRA's most risk-averse response should be:

a) "Absolutely, we will handle everything and will apply our standard hiring criteria for you."

b) "Absolutely, we will be happy to apply your hiring criteria once we have it approved by our legal counsel and given you feedback."

c) "No way, that is way too risky."

d) "Absolutely, we will be happy to apply your hiring criteria as long as you sign an agreement absolving us from liability and indemnifying us from claims relating to that process.


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