Congressional Briefing on Consequences of Inaccurate Background Checks for Employment Scheduled for October 1

A Congressional Briefing entitled ‘The Consequences of Inaccurate Employment Background Checks’ that should feature a report from the National Law Employment Project (NELP) – ‘Wanted: Accurate FBI Background Checks for Employment’ – that examines the accuracy of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks will take place Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM in Room 121 of the Cannon House Office Building (CHOB) in Washington D.C. The report from NELP is available at http://www.nelp.org/accurateFBIrecords.

The briefing will be hosted by U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), who have both introduced legislation on this issue. Representative Scott introduced the Fairness and Accuracy in Criminal Background Checks Act of 2013 (H.R. 2865) to clean up incomplete FBI background checks for employment. Representative Ellison introduced the Accurate Background Check (ABC) Act (H.R. 2999) which would require the FBI to do everything in its power to find any missing information on past arrests for Americans applying for work for the federal government. Panelists will include Madeline Neighly, Staff Attorney from NELP, and Mark Haase, Vice President of the Council on Crime and Justice, among others. The full text of H.R. 2865 is available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2865/text while the full text of H.R. 2999 is available at while http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2999/text.

As reported previously on the ESR News blog, the report from NELP – a national advocacy organization for the employment rights of lower-wage and unemployed workers – estimated that 1.8 million workers a year are subjected to FBI background checks that contain “faulty or incomplete information” and that as many as 600,000 of those workers “may be prejudiced in their job search” because of inaccurate FBI records. The report spotlights the failure of the FBI “to ensure that its records are accurate and complete.” While arrests are recorded, the final disposition of cases often is not, which is a critical defect since NELP estimates that “one-third of felony arrests are ultimately dismissed and charges are frequently reduced.” Other key findings of the 51 page report include:

  • The use of FBI background checks for employment is rapidly increasing. Roughly 17 million FBI background checks were conducted for employment and licensing purposes in 2012, which is six times the number conducted a decade ago.
  • Despite clear federal mandates that require the background reports to be complete and accurate, 50 percent of the FBI’s records fail to include information on the final disposition of the case.
  • African Americans are especially disadvantaged by the faulty records because people of color are consistently arrested at rates greater than their representation in the general population, and large numbers of those arrests never lead to conviction.

Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), warned of the same issues regarding information in FBI databases back in 2004 in the first edition of his book ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ which was updated for a second edition published in October 2012. In his book, Rosen explains that the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – the formal name for the automated database of criminal justice records maintained by the FBI – is not nearly as complete as portrayed in the movies since many records of crime do not make it into the system, while the information the NCIC does have is predominantly arrest-related without dispositions that are important issue for employers.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). For more information about background checks, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474. For more information about ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by Attorney Lester Rosen, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/SafeHiringManual.php.

Sources: http://www.nelp.org/accurateFBIrecords

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2865/text

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2999/text

http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2013/08/08/report-finds-many-fbi-criminal-background-checks-for-employment-contain-inaccurate-information/

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. Founder and CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:  The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.