Tag Archives: criminal searches

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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Ban the Box Movement Removing Question about Criminal Records from Job Applications Spreads Across United States

In December 2012, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware became the latest U.S. cities to join the growing “ban the box” movement when the City Council passed legislation that eliminated the check box asking about criminal history from job applications for the city. Pittsburgh joined other U.S. cities such as Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC in banning the box. Reports from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reveal more than 40 cities and counties and seven states have adopted “ban the box” policies that remove questions about criminal history from job application forms and delay them until later in the hiring process to ensure that qualified job applicants with arrest or conviction records are not unfairly shut out from employment opportunities. This growing trend is Number 3 of the 6th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. Continue reading

Safe Hiring Expert to Present Webinar on How Employers Can Comply with New EEOC Criminal Guidance

Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a webinar with Avant Resources to help employers maintain compliance with new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Guidance for the use of criminal records. The hour long webinar, ‘How Employers Can Comply with the New EEOC Criminal Guidance,’ will take place on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. PT, and more information is available at: http://www.avantresources.com/store/events/how-employers-can-comply-with-the-new-eeoc-criminal-guidance. Continue reading

Lack of Criminal Background Checks by National Youth Organization Led To Alleged Sexual Abuse of Youths

The refusal of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to conduct criminal background checks on all volunteers until 2008 allowed convicted child sex offenders to join the organization and led to a significant amount of alleged sexual abuse of youths, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of confidential BSA files. Full LA Times coverage of recently released BSA files from 1970 to 1991 that document hundreds of allegations of sexual misconduct is available at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/boyscouts. Continue reading

Statistical Analysis of Online Ads for Internet Data Broker Website Uncovers Possible Racial Profiling

A Harvard University professor who ran a statistical analysis of online ads used by an Internet data broker website that suggested certain names may have arrest records uncovered what she described as possible racial profiling when she found the company’s advertising “disproportionately” used the word “arrested” for black-identifying names even when a person had no arrest record, according to the Huffington Post. The story is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/25/racial-profiling-online-ads_n_2186409.html. Continue reading

EEOC Performance and Accountability Report Under New Strategic Plan Shows Record High Monetary Recoveries for Discrimination Victims

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced record high monetary recoveries for victims of discrimination for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 – more than $365 million – in its first Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) compiled under the standards of the EEOC’s new Strategic Plan. The PAR for FY 2012 is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/upload/2012par.pdf.  An EEOC press release detailing the PAR findings, which also include a significant decrease in the inventory of pending cases, is available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-19-12.cfm. Continue reading

Newark Bans the Box by Restricting Use of Criminal Background Checks by Employers Starting November 18

The City of Newark, New Jersey has passed Ordinance 12-1630 that takes effect Sunday, November 18, 2012 and will “ban the box” on job applications asking applicants about criminal records until they have been deemed qualified and eligible for employment and after a conditional job offer, thus restricting the ability of employers in the city with five or more employees to run criminal background checks. The text of Ordinance 12-1630 is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/NewarkOrdinance12-1630Text.pdf. Continue reading

Election 2012 Finds Nearly 6 Million Americans with Felony Convictions Unable To Vote

Most American adults are urged to vote on Election Day. However, many U.S. citizens are unable to vote. Approximately 5.8 million Americans have lost their right to vote in the 2012 Election due to a felony conviction and four states – Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia – permanently disenfranchise ex-felons, according to the civil rights organization Advancement Project. The full story is available at: http://www.advancementproject.org/news/entry/states-deny-millions-of-ex-felons-voting-rights. Continue reading