You need to have each Candidate sign an Authorization because that is
the Federal law. You should also have the Authorization serve as a
Release of Liability, for both you AND your suppliers, because the
sources -- courts, DMVs, employers, credit bureaus -- do make errors.
In fact, some courts now REQUIRE that they be included in the Authorization
and Release of Liability Form, to protect them from the human errors of
You need to realize that this Form should NOT have a time out clause,
because it is as important after you hire someone, as it is when you
are trying to gather the information to hire them in the first place. If
a crime related to your organization occurs, you may need the authorization
to do an investigation. And, in the most recent amendments of the FCRA, the
government specifically spells out that you MUST have a signed Authorization
to investigate a current employee -- for WHATEVER reason.
The initial critical elements of an Authorization and Release of Liability Form are:
The Candidate's FULL name.
The Candidate's Date of Birth.
The Candidate's Social Security Number.
In addition, the Form, while not necessarily being limited to the following
list, should spell out the kinds of things that you may check, such as:
Social Security Number.
Civil Litigation History.
Criminal Conviction History.
Driver's License Record.
Personal Credit History.
Worker's Compensation Claim History (after offer is made)
Professional License History.
General Reputation for Character and Honesty.
And, except for gross negligence on the part of the suppliers of any
information, the Candidate must release, indemnify, and forever hold
harmless both your company and all suppliers, their agents and assigns
from any and all claims and/or liabilities that may arise as a result
of any investigations into the Candidate's background.
Finally, the original Authorization and Release of Liability must state
that a copy of it has the same force and effect as the original. And,
when the Candidate signs the Form, you should have a company employee
Witness their signature including the date of the signing.