Background Screening Firm Protects Employers While Promoting Ex-Offenders Re-Entering Workforce

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a background screening firm headquartered in the San Francisco, California area – “helps employers navigate the complex regulations around compliance and privacy laws, while providing resources and advocacy in helping ex-offenders find work,” according to a blog on BadCredit.org.

Dawn Standerwick – the Vice President of Strategic Growth at ESR who brings 26 years of experience in all facets of workforce screening solutions – was interviewed by BadCredit.org and told them about her company’s ongoing efforts to help ex-offenders rejoin the workforce and become contributors to society.

The blog posted by finance expert Mike Randall explained that while the population of the United States was a little more than 326 million as of May 2018 – around 4.4 percent of the individuals living on the planet – the U.S. is home to nearly 25 percent of the total prison population around the world.

As a result, a large number of ex-offenders who paid their debt have difficulty finding jobs that will allow them to earn an honest living. Without an opportunity for legitimate work, some ex-offenders turn back to crime and end up behind bars to continue a “vicious cycle of recidivism” that stigmatizes former convicts.

“There have been a lot of laws passed that are intended to help ex-offenders re-enter the workforce,” Standerwick said, adding that ESR helps ensure employers comply with the legal protections afforded ex-offenders while also providing comprehensive screening services that help keep workplaces safe.

“But employers are struggling with compliance because different jurisdictions have different requirements,” Standerwick told BadCredit.org. “We help them with compliant processes providing accurate background information about these individuals within the scope of the various laws.”

ESR ensures employers are compliant with state, local, and federal background screening laws – even with laws in direct conflict with each other. “We tell our clients the background checks that they run should be related to the risks associated with the job that the person is applying for,” Standerwick said.

ESR balances assuring a safe workplace with the rights of ex-offenders to work by complying with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the use of criminal records and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as state or local laws that may conflict with federal laws.

“There is a patchwork of laws that employers have to follow depending on where they are in the country,” said Standerwick. “We want to make sure that the spirit of what those laws were intended to do is followed and that the people who are just trying to get a job are protected.”

The award-winning ESR Assured Compliance® technology helps to ensure companies comply with all applicable laws, helps minimize the risk to an employer of potential legal action related to background screening, and also provides automated notices, disclosures, and consents required under the law.

In May, ESR won the 2018 TekTonic Award from HRO Today Magazine that recognizes innovation and disruption in the world of Human Resources (HR) and recruiting technology. ESR Assured Compliance® won the award for Disruptive Background Screening Technology that helps organizations mitigate risk.

“Assured Compliance ensures employers are following the laws and is intended to help individuals who have a criminal record get back into the workforce,” said Standerwick, who is responsible for business development and client success at ESR. “No one wants to create an entire segment of the population that can’t work.”

ESR also supports the fast growing “Ban the Box” movement that removes the question from job applications that asks if applicants whether they have been arrested or convicted of a crime. As of June 2018, more than 150 cities and counties as well as 32 states in the U.S. have passed Ban the Box laws.

Standerwick explained how more employers are supporting second-chance initiatives. “Among organizations that do give a chance to people with criminal records, it’s widely reported that these are some of the best and most reliable employees because they know they’ve been given a second chance in life,” she said.

In April, ESR News reported that United States President Donald J. Trump proclaimed April 2018 as Second Chance Month “to prevent crime on our streets, to respect the rule of law by prosecuting individuals who break the law, and to provide opportunities for people with criminal records to earn an honest second chance.”

The proclamation read in part: Affording those who have been held accountable for their crimes an opportunity to become contributing members of society is a critical element of criminal justice that can reduce our crime rates and prison populations, decrease burdens to the American taxpayer, and make America safer.

ESR Background Screening Resources for Ex-Offenders

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers job seekers an Applicant Support Center that includes information about ex-offender resources and a whitepaper on how ex-offenders can get back into the workforce. To learn more, please visit www.esrcheck.com/Applicant-Support-Center/Ex-Offender-Resources/.

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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