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/
- The nature and gravity of the offense or offenses;
- The time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence; and
- The nature of the job held or sought.
- Employers face significant risk if they hire a person that is dangerous, unfit, unqualified or dishonest is hired.
- A professional background screening firm – also known as a Consumer Reporting Agency or CRA – operating under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is an entirely different industry than the cheap and instant online database searches that can result in inaccurate data. A CRA preforms screenings under the strict standards of the FCRA based upon the applicant’s written consent, as opposed to data aggregators that sell data to anyone with a credit card.
- Background screening firms are NOT the employment police, but professionals that gather relevant information so employers can make intelligent decisions. Background check reports provided by a Consumer Reporting Agency protects both employers and job applicants by providing employers with reports with much greater accuracy that filter out information that cannot be used, and providing job applicants with an immediate avenue to contest any information in the report.
- The background screening industry as a whole has been the primary reason why employers have become aware of the EEOC position on the overly board or automatic use of criminal records, since background screening firms deal with a high percentage of U.S. employers and typically include client education on how to properly consider the use of criminal records.
- The issue of inaccurate records comes primarily from the data aggregator firms. A simple solution is to require any employer to only utilize information that has been confirmed as accurate and up to date from a primary source, such as a courthouse search.
- Over 150 background screening firms have joined an industry group called Concerned CRAs that opposes the use of databases provided by data aggregators for employment purposes, without first reconfirming that the information is currently complete, accurate and up-to-date. More information is available at http://www.concernedcras.com/.