Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign up for Vereda's services? Are there any startup fees or minimum usage requirements?
Call toll free 1-877-358-2551 or in the Atlanta area 678-990-1605 and one of our knowledgeable account representatives will assist you. There are no startup fees, no long-term contracts to sign and no minimum usage requirements.
What precautions does Vereda take to ensure the integrity and availability of PathScape On-Time-Track?
The PathScape On-Time-Track 24/7 applicant/employee tracking system is our operating platform and is housed in a secure off-site data facility with multiple redundancies. All information is encrypted and 2 firewalls are used to ensure privacy. The database server is also on a private sub-network that uses addresses that are not Internet routable. In the event of a disaster, Vereda will be able to access data and resume operations immediately.
What information do I need to obtain from applicants in order to conduct a background investigation?
You will need a signed consent form from the applicant prior to conducting any background investigations.This consent will contain certain rights as outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition you will need to obtain in a separate form pertinent information (date of birth, former addresses, driver's license number, etc.) necessary for conducting due diligence searches.
What is the FCRA?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to protect consumers, including job applicants, by promoting accurate reporting policies and upholding privacy of information in the files of every Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). The FCRA encompasses all consumer reports, not just credit reports. Companies that perform pre-employment background screening are considered Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) and as such, are governed by this federal mandate, as are the employers that use this information. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversees FCRA Compliance.
What do employers need to do to ensure compliance with the FCRA?
Generally speaking employers must first obtain written consent from the applicant prior to conducting the background check. That consent should be a separate authorization and not part of any other document. In addition, prior to denying employment to an applicant based in whole or in part on information obtained from a background check, the employer must notify the applicant in writing of their findings, provide a copy of the report, the agency (CRA) that provided the data, and provide a summary of rights as indicated in the FCRA and by the CFPB. The employer must then give the applicant reasonable time to dispute the information in the report. If there is no dispute and after a reasonable period of time the employer should then send a final letter informing the applicant of their decision. This is a broad description of the employer's responsibility and every employer should consult with legal counsel to insure compliance with all federal and state laws in the screening process and prior to making any adverse hiring decisions.
Will conducting a background check on job applicants protect my company from negligent hiring issues?
The judicial system and employment law consider the effort an employer has made and the care given in the selection process when making decisions in negligent hiring suits. While they are not foolproof, conducting background investigations help identify possible problems before hiring decisions are made. Just as important, the efforts of an investigation assist in avoiding issues resulting from absenteeism, poor job performance, theft, violence, or other misconduct.
How current is the information that I will receive?
Vereda conducts all investigations at the point-of-request. This allows all information to be as up to date and accurate as possible. Criminal histories are searched in the appropriate county, state or federal jurisdiction Driving histories are obtained from the state Department of Motor Vehicles and credit histories are retrieved from one of the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Only at the client's request do we use private databases to conduct criminal background checks. And should criminal information be obtained thru one of these databases, it will always be verified using a conventional county criminal search.
What is the turnaround time for a completed report?
Vereda strives to have all "clear" criminal record reports within a 48-72 hour period. However there are a few counties in the US that have a process for obtaining records that slows us down. Court closures on holidays and weekends will also adversely affect turnaround time. Regardless, clients are notified immediately of any delays and are given an estimated date of completion.
What is a statewide criminal records search? Does every state offer a statewide search?
Each state's criminal repository collects and disseminates information from local police agencies and the county court systems. These records usually contain arrest and disposition information for felony and misdemeanor cases. . However, Vereda does not recommend using certain state’s repositories because of several factors including fingerprint requirements, length of processing time, cost, and quality of data. In these cases the county criminal search remains the best alternative. Please contact your customer representative for information about available statewide searches.
Will I encounter any additional fees or charges on services conducted?
In some cases, yes. A handful of court systems - about 20 percent - impose mandatory access fees ranging from about $3 to $15. At times, employers and educational institutions that utilize verification services will result in an additional fee. Many states have a motor vehicle records fee in addition to the basic access fee. These fees are passed thru to our clients with no additional markup. Note also that "non-affiliated" urine collection sites for use in drug screening may charge an additional fee. These impact a very small percentage of tests. Should drug screen test results require validation by a Medical Review Officer (MRO), additional fees will be applicable. These fees vary by report classifications and by state. Please contact your Vereda customer representative for more details.
What are the benefits of screening an applicant for drugs?
Workers that abuse drugs are absent from work 16 times more often and are one third less productive than those that do not. In addition, substance abuse can affect a person's judgment, behavior and reaction to situations. For this reason, many companies have opted to screen for illegal drug use, especially when employees will be responsible for the safety and security of other people or property. Employees that will be operating company vehicles or heavy equipment on the job should be drug tested as well. The military, the federal government and the transportation and aviation industries routinely use drug testing for both pre-employment screening and as a condition of continued employment. Be sure to check with your legal counsel for the regulations on employment drug testing in your state.
Which substances can be detected by a drug screen?
The substances that most employers are concerned with are illegal and include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, PCP and opiates (including heroin and Demerol). These substances can remain in a person's system from 2 to 30 days and are tested for in our basic 5-panel urine drug screen. Illegal use of many other prescription drugs will be detected in our 9 and 10 panel tests.
Does a positive result always mean my applicant is using or has used drugs?
Not necessarily. "False positives" can sometimes occur due to testing errors or after the ingestion of some prescription and over the counter medications, herbal remedies, and weight loss products. All positive results are reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to ensure accuracy.
How do I send an applicant or employee for a drug test?
A Chain of Custody (COC) form is required by the collection facility. These will be issued to you by Vereda and their drug testing partners, Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics. We can also provide a process utilizing electronic COC forms for added convenience. Contact your customer service representative for a list of approved collection sites in your area.