A substitute teacher was fired for allegedly filming porn in a high school classroom. Let’s have a lesson on background checks.

Not watching porn; filming it.

Ew! We need bleach and a dumpster fire for the school supplies!

According to this report from Brhe Berry and Shelley Childers at ABC 13, a school official confirmed that a substitute teacher, whom the school had employed for three months, produced porn in a high school classroom and a workroom last month. The school says no students were involved.

The teacher not only lost her job at the school but also at a liquor store where she also worked.

Rather than play inappropriate music at the juncture, possibly Van Halen, how about a Simpsons video clip in Spanish? let’s transition into discussing background checks.

The school district used the state system to vet the employee. Those of you in the private sector will probably use a third party. If you do, you’ll need to comply with a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. (There may be applicable state laws that mimic FCRA or “ban the box.” But, we’re going to focus on the federal law here.)

The FTC has a nice resource for employers where it breaks down the background check process into three stages: (1) before you run the background check; (2) before you take adverse action; and (3) after you take adverse action.

Before you run a background check…

Here are some things you need to do:

  • Provide written notice to the applicant in a standalone document that you are running the background check.
  • Obtain written authorization from the applicant to run the background check. This authorization can be part of the written notice. But, either way, it needs to be clear and conspicuous.
  • Certify to the background check company that you completed the first two steps, will otherwise comply with FCRA, and won’t discriminate based on the results of the background check

Before you decide not to hire (or fire) someone…

You must provide the individual with:

The person should have the opportunity to review the report and tell you if it is correct.

After you take the adverse action…

You have to give the individual oral, written, or electronic notice. (I suggest written or electronic.) That notice informs the individual about his or her rights to see information reported about them and to correct inaccurate information. The notice must include:

  • the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that supplied the report;
  • a statement that the company that provided the report did not make the decision to take the unfavorable action and can’t give specific reasons for it; and
  • a notice of the person’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information the consumer reporting company furnished, and to get an additional free report from the company if the person asks for it within 60 days.

While the FCRA is silent about asking applicants whether they intend to use your office space as a makeshift porn set, I’d refrain from making that part of the interview process. And unless you work for one of these companies, consider an unwritten zero tolerance policy for such behavior.

 

 

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”