Tag Archives: Criminal records

Maryland Becomes Latest State to Ban the Box Asking Questions about Criminal History from Job Applications

With the signing Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) by Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland became the ninth U.S. state to “Ban the Box” and remove questions about criminal history from state job applications while also postponing questions about criminal records of applicants until later in the hiring process.  SB 4 removes the criminal history question from state applications and defers the background check to later in the hiring process. To read SB 4, visit http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/bills/sb/sb0004E.pdf. Continue reading

US Senate Confirms New Commissioner of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jenny Yang to serve in the post of Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Her term will expire on July 1, 2017.  A ‘Senate Floor Wrap Up’ for Thursday, April 25, 2013, the date of confirmation, is available at http://democrats.senate.gov/2013/04/25/senate-floor-wrap-up-for-thursday-april-25-2013/. Continue reading

National Database for Background Checks Shown in Movies and Television Crime Programs Just a Popular Myth

The idea that there exists one single “national database” for background checks with accurate and complete criminal record information for every person in America is a “popular myth” fueled by movies and television crime programs, according to a blog written by a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Board of Directors. The blog is available at http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/291939-national-database-for-background-checks-is-a-myth. Continue reading

Kansas City Passes Ban the Box Ordinance to Remove Questions about Criminal Histories on Job Applications

The Kansas City Council has passed Ordinance 130230 – known as the “Ban the Box” ordinance – that will require the City Manager to remove questions regarding disclosure of past criminal records from job applications for employment with the city, according to an article on the Kansas City Business Journal website. The full article is available at http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/04/05/kc-council-passes-ban-the-box.html. Continue reading

City of Richmond Passes Ban the Box Ordinance Removing Question about Criminal History from Job Applications

The City Council of Richmond, Virginia has unanimously passed a ‘Ban the Box’ ordinance that would to eliminate the question asking job applicants about prior felony convictions on application forms for many city jobs, according to an article on the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch website. Continue reading

EEOC Commission Meeting on March 20 Focuses on Improving and Measuring Quality of Investigations

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 to develop the Quality Control Plan (QCP) called for in the EEOC’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan to revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency charge investigations and conciliations. Three roundtables – made up of EEOC front line staff, private employer and employee representatives, and EEOC managers – presented their views to develop a draft plan for Commission approval. A press release from the EEOC about the meeting is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-21-13a.cfm. Continue reading

Access to Public Court Records in California Threatened by Proposed Search Fee in Trailer Bill

In a move that could significantly limit access to public court records, a trailer bill written by the California Administrative Office of the Courts proposes to charge a $10 fee on nearly every court file requested by members of the general public – including journalists and court researchers who review a large amount of files for news stories and background checks – according to an article on the Courthouse News Service website. The article is available at http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/03/13/55701.htm. Continue reading

Ban the Box Legislation Introduced in New Jersey to Restrict Criminal History Questions for Employment

Legislation recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate – Senate Bill No. 2586, ‘The Opportunity to Compete Act’ (OCA) – would “ban the box” asking about criminal histories on job applications and restrict questions by employers about criminal records of current employees or applicants. The OCA would also prohibit employers in New Jersey from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants until after a “conditional offer of employment” is made. The full text of Senate Bill No. 2586, ‘The Opportunity to Compete Act’ is available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/S3000/2586_I1.PDF. Continue reading

San Francisco Court Separates Misdemeanor and Felony Cases into Two Indexes for Public Records Research

The San Francisco Superior Court has made significant changes to the nature of the predominantly used pre-2013 index in paper form that was until recently a combined felony/misdemeanor index, according to an alert from a Public Records Research Provider. The court has separated misdemeanor and felony cases into separate indexes issued in multiple “books” separated by letters of the alphabet. In the past, the court had issued a new combined index roughly every month to update the existing index.

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Rhode Island Bill would Ban the Box Asking about Criminal Records on Job Applications

In an effort to limit bias against job applicants with criminal histories, legislation to ‘ban the box’ that employers use on preliminary job applications to ask about past criminal records has been introduced in the State of Rhode Island General Assembly by Representative Scott Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), according to a press release available at http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/News/pr1.asp?prid=8903. Continue reading