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Addressing Unfavorable MVR or Background Check Results

Posted: October 11, 2021

An essential part of hiring any driver is conducting a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check and a background check on applicants. This process can help identify suitable candidates and potentially prevent accidents before they can occur. Ideally, an MVR report will come back clean. However, if there is something unfavorable in a candidate's driving record, you are left in the tricky position of determining whether you should hire them and how to move forward if you don't.

Even if you find something unfavorable in a candidate's driving history or background check, you may decide to hire the candidate anyway. Since choosing not to hire someone based on a criminal record can, in some cases, be considered discrimination, it is imperative to have predetermined criteria to base hiring decisions on. Decisions should be based on a candidate's individual situation and prioritize how their background could affect their job performance or impact the company.

If you are considering not hiring someone because of information from an MVR report or a background check, there is a legal process you must follow under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It is essential to follow these steps:

1) Pre-Adverse Action Notice

This notice tells the candidate that their MVR report or background check contained information that may negatively affect your hiring decision. Some parts of this notice are required by law, such as including a formal statement of the candidate's rights under the FCRA. You must provide a copy of the report you based your decision on and the company you used to obtain the MVR or background check. Make sure you check to see if additional information is required by local law.

2) Waiting Period

Once you give a candidate a pre-adverse action notice, you must also provide them with time (usually seven calendar days—but longer may be required by local law) to dispute the report. It is also a good idea (especially in the case of criminal background checks) to allow the candidate to answer questions or provide context about the information obtained in the report—even if they are not disputing the report. Their answers may give you additional insight that could impact your decision.

3) Adverse Action Notice

After this waiting period, if you decide not to hire the candidate, you must send an adverse action notice. You may only send an adverse action notice after a pre-adverse action notice. This notice informs the candidate that you have decided not to hire them or have taken some other adverse action based on the MVR report or background check information. Generally, you must provide a copy of the report you based your decision on and the company you used to obtain the MVR or background check. Again, make sure to check for any additional requirements according to local law.

Screening is a necessary step to ensure you hire the most qualified and promising candidates. However, in the event of an unfavorable report, it is important to follow appropriate procedures to prevent legal problems down the line.