Part of my duties is helping companies screen computer professionals for trusted
positions in large corporations, and
I have developed a method for weeding out people with
personal integrity. The stakes are high, and the screening is
super-selective for DBA's in trusted positions (dealing with money
and confidential information):
One of the hottest tickets for an Oracle DBA is
to have an active
clearance because it saves employers a huge amount of effort
when screening a job applicant.
Management Tips for using bad credit
A history of slow payments has been positively
correlated to immoral behavior and it is an excellent predictor of
people who do not honor their obligations and who are unsuitable to
work in a position of trust.
While there are rare cases where bad credit
does not indicate moral turpitude, a manager who fails to take
adverse actions against an employee who later steals may have violated
their due diligence.
When an employee steals, a through
investigation is conducted and if it is found that you did not do a
credit check, or you ignored a bad credit report, you might be held
partially responsible for bad management practices.
Robert Papaj list other acts of
moral turpitude in his great book
Computer Professional, and he also lists unobtrusive ways to
evaluate the honestly of a computer systems professional. Also
sample questionnaire to screen employees for immoral histories.
I have heard every excuse in the
book as people rationalize why they stiffed a creditor, and they
paint them to make them look innocent.
One job candidate says that a catastrophic
illness forced him into bankruptcy, while an honorable candidate
says that he is paying on a huge medical debt for decades.
One candidate says that they were "forced"
to walk away from a mortgage because the home had lost value,
while an honest candidate pays double mortgages until they are
free of their bad investment.
A history of late payments may indicate
somebody of questionable character and I've yet to meet an honest
man who has truly been unable to meet their contractual obligations.
Even if they have to sell their plasma, pawn granny's jewels or take out a second mortgage, honest people
will always work hard to honor their obligations.
The only exception I've seen was
a case where an employer asked a employee to travel overseas for an
extended engagement, racking up a $30,000 AMEX bill and not
reimbursing them for 120 days.
Giver that we live in a free country where employers have
the right to hold bad credit against a potential employee (or an
existing employee), there are some Federal Guidelines titled
Using Consumer Reports: what Employers need to know.
It appears to be legal to reject any potential employee (job
candidate) who refuses to submit to a credit check. For
existing employees who might refuse a credit check, employers will
often find other valid reason for terminating the employee.
This document has these important tips for
using bad credit to reject a job applicant:
Employers right to reject people with bad
credit: As an employer, you may use consumer reports
when you hire new employees and when you evaluate employees for
promotion, reassignment, and retention — as long as you comply with
the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Sections 604, 606, and 615 of
the FCRA spell out your responsibilities when using consumer reports
for employment purposes.
Get Permission First: Before
you can get a consumer report for employment purposes, you must
notify the individual in writing — in a document consisting solely
of this notice — that a report may be used. You also must get the
person's written authorization before you ask a Credit Reporting
Agency for the report.
Notification is Required: "1)
that individuals are aware that consumer reports may be used for
employment purposes and agree to such use, and (2) that individuals
are notified promptly if information in a consumer report may result
in a negative employment decision."
Adverse Action Disclosure: When
firing an employee or denying a job based on bad credit, "You must
give the individual a pre-adverse action disclosure that includes a
copy of the individual's consumer report and a copy of "A Summary of
Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act".
Noncompliance is costly:
Acting on a bad credit report without getting permission first or
filing the adverse action paperwork with the employee (or job
candidate) opens you up to punitive damages: "There are legal
consequences for employers who fail to get an applicant’s permission
before requesting a consumer report or who fail to provide
pre-adverse action disclosures and adverse action notices to
unsuccessful job applicants. The FCRA allows individuals to sue
employers for damages in federal court. A person who successfully
sues is entitled to recover court costs and reasonable legal fees.
The law also allows individuals to seek punitive damages for