Tag Archives: criminal searches

EEOC Meeting April 25 to Vote on New Guidance for Criminal Records Used by Employers for Background Checks

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 to vote on proposed ‘Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’ to revise guidance on the use of criminal records by employers for employment screening background checks. The meeting will take place at 9:30 A.M. Eastern Time in the Commission Meeting Room on the First Floor of the EEOC Office Building at 131 “M” Street, NE in Washington, D.C.. For more information, visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-19-12.cfm. Continue reading

Inaccurate Criminal Background Checks from Data Brokers that Cost Job Seekers Employment Coming Under Fire

In recent weeks, inaccurate criminal background checks from data brokers containing errors that cost job seekers employment have come under fire on several fronts, including a final privacy protection report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommending regulations on data brokers, a letter sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asking for a strengthening of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) on inaccurate background check reports, and an article written by safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of accredited background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), that is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/articles/NCLC-Report-on-Criminal-Background-Checks-Inaccurate.php. Continue reading

Report Claiming Inaccurate Criminal Background Checks Cost Jobseekers Employment Contains Inaccuracies According to Safe Hiring Expert

A new report on background check companies from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) called ‘Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses’ that claims mistakes on criminal background screening reports conducted for employers prevents many job seekers from finding work “is itself fatally flawed with errors and inaccuracy,” according to a safe hiring expert. To address the “erroneous information and unfounded conclusions” contained in the report, Attorney Lester S. Rosen has written an article, ‘Consumer Group Report on Inaccurate Criminal Background Check Reports Loses Impact Due to Lack of Objectivity and Errors,’ that is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/articles/NCLC-Report-on-Criminal-Background-Checks-Inaccurate.php. Continue reading

Chamber of Commerce Urges OMB to Require EEOC to Allow Public Input on Background Check Guidance

In a recent letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the OMB to require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the nation’s leading enforcer of employment anti-discrimination laws, to allow a review by the OMB and public input as the EEOC prepares to issue new enforcement guidance on the use of criminal background checks and credit background checks by employers. The text of the letter from the Chamber regarding ‘Forthcoming Significant Guidance from EEOC on Employer Use of Credit and Criminal History’ is available at: http://op.bna.com/dlrcases.nsf/id/kmgn-8szk2j/$File/ChamberCrim.pdf. Continue reading

San Luis Obispo Court Responds to Criticism over Limiting Public Access to Criminal Records by Citing Privacy Concerns

After the recent closure of a public access computer that had allowed searches of criminal and traffic records led to criticism that public information was now less accessible, the San Luis Obispo (CA) Superior Court officials cited “privacy concerns over outdated criminal and victim information” that was “exposed to background checking contractors” as a reason why the Court removed the public computer terminal on March 19, according to a report in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Tribune, ‘SLO court closes public computer.’ Continue reading

San Luis Obispo County Impedes Access to Public Criminal Records for Background Checks

According to the Public Record Update Newsletter for March 2012, a Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN) Member reports that the San Luis Obispo (California) Superior Court has taken steps to impede criminal record searches for background checks in the county by putting the public record access terminals under lock and key and making them off limits to professional public record researchers and private background screening firms. One reason for impeding access to background screening firms and mandating rules that discourage background checks is that the Court Executive Officer believes employers should instead use background checks performed by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Continue reading

New EEOC Strategic Plan Combats Employment Discrimination through Strategic Law Enforcement

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the nation’s leading enforcer of employment anti-discrimination laws, recently approved its ‘Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016’ that establishes a framework for achieving the EEOC’s mission to “stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination.” The first of three strategic objectives in the EEOC Strategic Plan is to combat employment discrimination through strategic law enforcement with the goal of reducing employment discrimination, remedying discriminatory practices, and securing meaningful relief for victims. The new EEOC Strategic Plan is at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_12to16.cfm. Continue reading

Illinois Bill would Require Online Dating Sites to Disclose if They Conduct Criminal Background Checks

Legislation under consideration in Illinois – House Bill 4083 (HB 4083) ‘INTERNET DATING SAFETY ACT’ – would require online dating sites to clearly and conspicuously disclose to all Illinois members if they conduct criminal background checks. Introduced by State Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), HB 4083 would also require Internet dating services to provide a safety awareness notification to all Illinois members of safer dating practices. The full text of HB 4083 is available here. Continue reading

Some Studies Suggest Restricting Criminal Background Checks by Employers May Increase Unemployment Rates of Minorities

A letter from three members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggests a recent hearing held by the EEOC examining arrest and conviction records as a hiring barrier in which some panelists sought to limit – or in some cases eliminate – the ability of employers to perform criminal background checks on job applicants during the hiring process fails to consider recent studies that suggest the use of criminal background checks does not automatically lead to lower hiring rates of minorities, according to the article ‘Will restricting criminal background checks actually increase minority unemployment?’ from The Daily Caller. Continue reading

New York Raising Fees for Statewide Criminal History Record Searches Effective July 1

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA), which provides a New York Statewide Criminal History Record Search (CHRS), will raise fees for each CHRS to $65.00 from $55.00 effective July 1, 2010, according to information on NYCourts.gov.

As explained on NYCourts.gov, the OCA’s CHRS criteria “is strictly based on exact match of Name and DOB (variations of Name or DOB are not reported.) The search results are public records relating to open/pending and convictions of criminal cases originating from County/Supreme, City, Town and Village courts of all 62 counties. Sealed records are not disclosed. Town & Village criminal disposition data is limited.”

The NYCourts.gov website also provides a Criminal History Record Search FAQ page that answers many questions about the OCA’s CHRS including the following:

  • How many counties are included in the New York Statewide search? All of the State’s 62 counties. Individual electronic county searches are not provided.
  • What kind of information is included in the statewide search? The CHRS search process is based on locating an exact match of both the Name and DOB. The search results are public records relating to pending and disposed criminal cases originating from County/Supreme, City, Town and Village courts of all 62 counties. Sealed records are not disclosed. As of July 20, 2007, data relating to non-criminal offenses (e.g., violations, infractions) will no longer appear as part of the CHRS report.
  • Why does OCA not provide information on violations and infractions?
    As a result of a recent case filed in a New York court, the Unified Court System has reviewed its policy regarding the contents of criminal history summaries that it provides to individuals and businesses upon their request and for a fee. The review has resulted in a change of policy to the extent that the summaries provided will report only convictions on charges that New York State law regards as crimes. Crimes are defined by New York State law as including misdemeanors and felonies only. Convictions on offenses

For more information and FAQs about the OCA’s CHRS, visit http://www.nycourts.gov/apps/chrs/ and http://www.nycourts.gov/apps/chrs/faqs.shtml.

For more information about employment screening and background checks, as well as the latest updates on changes in fees for criminal records searches, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.esrcheck.com.