Ban the Box Follow up

  • By Brittany Guyton
  • 18 Apr, 2016

The Controversity

“Ban the Box” is an international campaign advocating on behalf of ex-offenders, seeking employment. Their goal is to persuade employers to remove the “check box” from hiring records that asks if applicants have a criminal record. Followers of the campaign advocate that this change will allow employers to consider a candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record.

 

New York City and Austin Texas are among some of the cities who have recently proposed amendments and ordinances regarding this issues.

 

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) recently issued proposed rule amendments regarding the Fair Chance Act. Although this may be a step toward compromise regarding the “Ban the Box” issue, the amendments pose severe compliance challenges for employers. Some potential violations include; 1) Requesting permission to conduct a background check and 2) Using any standard form across multiple jurisdictions that includes a criminal history question regardless of if the form specifies NYC applicants should not respond.

 

Requiring employers to use a different employment application or form for hiring in NYC creates a significant compliance hurdle that could cost employers thousands of dollars in penalties.

These proposed amendments also prohibit employers from conducting their own search with terms such as “arrest,” “mugshot,” “warrant,” “criminal,” “conviction,” etc. It is unclear if these provisions prohibiting employers from searching for the specified terms or websites are barred from doing so at any point in the hiring process or just prior to extending a conditional offer of employment. These requirements would leave employers without adequate resources to conduct a criminal history search when needed.

 

 

A ban the box ordinance was also proposed in Austin, Texas. Although this ordinance is mostly straight forward, there are major concerns regarding a listed requirement to notify applicants in writing if the adverse action decision is based on criminal history.

 

Employers that conduct background screenings via Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires a specific process to be followed any time an employer is potentially making an adverse decision (i.e., denying employment, terminating an employee, deciding not to promote an individual) based on information contained within a background report – which may or may not contain criminal history information.

 

Requiring employers to specifically state that the individual’s criminal history is the basis for an adverse decision, extends beyond the federal requirements which presents potential compliance challenges for employers that hire in multiple jurisdictions

 

Learn more about the Ban the Box campaign and the concerns surrounding it at http://napbs.com/

 

Call Courthouse Concepts for detailed, and thorough background screenings!


 

The CHC Blog

By Mark Ridgeway 19 Jul, 2017
As a business owner or HR professional you've been there: you’re at the tail end of a particularly difficult hiring process and you’ve finally found the right candidate for the job. It’s easy to say, “Phew! Glad that’s over,” and move forward with finalizing the details.

But before you do, you should really consider ordering a background check on your candidate of choice. Integrating a background check policy can really benefit and protect your company. Here are 5 reasons you should always run a background check:

1. Stronger hires = Saving Money

Don’t just rely on your “gut feeling.” The more you know about the candidate, the better you will be able to assess if he/she is a fit for the position and for your company. Talent acquisition is a struggle in nearly every industry, so make sure that you’re not cheating yourself out of any of the available information before extending an offer.

It’s important to point out that better hires often means less turnover. We know that turnover is typically the number one cost to employers. Save yourself from investing in the wrong employee for the job.

Aside from turnover costs, as was stated in a previous blog post Who Is Stealing From You , we know that upwards of $50 billion annually in cash and inventory is stolen by employees. Does your job candidate have a history of taking extra "perks" from previous employers?

2. Safer Work Evironment
Running a background check on potential employees before officially hiring them can aide in reducing workplace violence. As an employer, you’ve made a commitment to your current employees to operate a safe work environment. Don’t skip this important step in ensuring that safety.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4,679 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2014, 403 were workplace homicides. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a major concern for employers and employees nationwide.

3.  Better Compliance in State & Federal Regulatory Requirements
A third-party background screening provider with in-house compliance expertise, can help your company properly create a screening solution. This not only satisfies your industry standards, but also state and federal regulatory requirements, which vary from state-to-state and by type of position you are staffing. Utilizing a partner that is a true expert in this field is important for the success of your company.

4.  Decrease the risk of being sued
Making a bad hiring decision can leave you and your company vulnerable to liability. Ordering a background check can help you find patterns in a person’s history. For example, if a potential employee has had multiple discrimination suits against them, you as an employer may be liable should the employee discriminate within your workplace. Being able to sort out candidates with these issues will help decrease the chances of a lawsuit.

5. Verifying Resumes
Does your candidate have the experience they claim? Do they really have the education and the professional licenses that are listed on their resume? A survey from CareerBuilder  of more than 2,500 hiring managers found that 56% have caught job candidates lying on their resumes.

Background checks can help you weed out the people that do not have the skills for the job. It also can help you verify that the candidate’s resume is valid.  Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to these discrepancies.

Requesting a background check for a prospective employee is perfectly within your rights as an employer. These background check reports can hold vital information that is relevant to your hiring decision. You wouldn’t choose to not gather all of the relevant information when making a different business decision, so don’t skimp here either. Take the time to do your homework and you’ll see the results!

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