NAPBS Submits Comments to Los Angeles Mayor and City Council Regarding Ban the Box Legislation

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has submitted comments to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the LA City Council regarding proposed “ban the box” legislation noting that rule amendments would pose “severe compliance challenges” for employers in the city, especially Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) currently regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

In a letter dated September 26, 2016, NAPBS Executive Director Melissa Sorenson commended the Los Angeles City Council on its efforts to pass ban the box legislation to help ex-offenders re-enter society and reduce recidivism through gainful employment. She also wrote the “NAPBS believes that ban the box legislation in its purest form supports reintegration into the workforce as it is intended to do.”

However, the NAPBS also commented: We have seen in other jurisdictions where ban the box legislation goes beyond banning the box and has components which overlap with existing law, regulations, and guidance. We believe the proposed ordinance in Los Angeles presents the same logistical impossibilities for compliance as those other laws have which ultimately detracts from the intended benefits.

The NAPBS focused on the ban the box requirement that employers provide a written assessment and “any other information or documentation supporting the Employer’s proposed Adverse Action” to applicants before taking adverse action and wait five business days for a response. If applicants respond with information, employers must conduct a written re-assessment before taking a final adverse action.

However, the NAPBS noted that the FCRA requires employers conducting background screening using CRAs to follow a specific adverse action process when potentially making an adverse decision – such as denying employment or terminating an employee – based in whole or in part on information contained within a background check report which may or may not contain criminal history information.

According to the NAPBS, the ban the box ordinance “extends beyond the federal requirements which presents potential compliance challenges for employers that hire in multiple jurisdictions. Thus, we would strongly recommend either: 1) removing this provision or 2) requiring this step only for employers that are not currently regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its adverse action requirements.”

The NAPBS is a nonprofit organization consisting of more than 750 member companies engaged in the background screening profession that has been dedicated to providing the public with safe places to live and work since 2003. NAPBS members help employers, staffing agencies, and nonprofit organizations make more informed decisions regarding potential employees. To learn more, visit www.napbs.com.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a global background check firm that offers businesses a Ban the Box Page with links to news and information about the Ban the Box legislation in states as well as cities and counties in addition to resources to help employers better understand the Ban the Box movement. The ESR Ban the Box Page is available at www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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