Criminal Records

Survey Results: Is a Criminal Record an Automatic Bar to Employment?

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For the sixth consecutive year, EmployeeScreenIQ surveyed U.S.-based employers regarding their use of employee background checks. As with our previous surveys, the 2015 survey was designed to provide a reliable snapshot of:

    How employers currently utilize background checks. How they respond to adverse findings on background checks. Their paramount screening-related concerns. And their practices concerning Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) responsibilities, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and evolving ban the box legislation.

Today, I’d like to share our findings as to how often candidates with criminal records are being denied employment based on the convictions found when and employment background check is conducted. Take a look at the information below:

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When Your Job Candidate Asks About the Background Check

Background Screening Questions

Most job candidates will have many questions for an employer throughout the hiring process—including questions about the employment background check. Do you have the answers?

Ultimately, knowing these answers benefits you, your company and candidates. Being transparent throughout the hiring process as a whole, and especially during the background screening process greatly affects your candidate experience. The following are questions that you should be prepared to answer about your background checks.

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2015 Annual Background Screening Trends Survey Webinar Q&A

EmployeeScreenIQ held a webinar on April 22 to discuss our Annual Background Screening Trends Survey. The survey unveils new insights into the minds of HR professionals and their experience with criminal background checks, resume lies, background screening compliance, social media background checks and more. Our webinar revealed how your peers and competitors are handling their employment screening process, their greatest screening challenges and how they stay compliant with “ban the box” legislation—or even what they’re failing to do.

Our webinar attendees asked so many great questions about background check compliance that we weren’t able to answer during the allotted hour. We wanted to make sure nothing went unanswered, so our Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel Angela Preston responded below to the questions we didn’t get a chance to discuss during the webinar.

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Government Study on Background Checks Addresses Incomplete FBI Criminal Records

Missing Data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been busy. At the request of Congress, it’s been looking into criminal background checks. Last week the GAO released a report of findings from a two year study titled “CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS: Additional Actions Could Enhance the Completeness of Records Used for Employment-Related Background Checks.” The report lives up to that lengthy title–it is the most comprehensive accounting of the current state of FBI background checks, criminal record databases, and practices since 2006. It reveals when and why states conduct FBI record checks, and looks at whether states have improved upon reporting complete records into the FBI database. It also looks at the practices of private companies that conduct criminal record checks.

Congress has good reason to be concerned. Every year, more state and federal agencies are turning to statewide databases and the FBI records to screen employees for safety and security reasons. The number one concern is this: incomplete records.

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3 Background Screening Practices to Prevent Casino Employee Theft

Casino employee theft

Is your business being sabotaged by its own employees?

For many employers in the gaming industry, the answer to this question may be a surprising one. Research shows that almost half of all losses in casinos is due to employee theft. In casinos, theft can happen in many different places, from the cashier cage to the vault rooms to the casino floor.

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8 Background Screening Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten


In one sense, your company’s hire strategy is complex and meticulous. You draft a comprehensive job description, thoroughly analyze resumes, and conduct in-depth interviews to ensure you hire the right person for the position. On the other hand, some aspects of the hiring process are so simple that a child could provide some insight. Surprisingly, you may have learned more in kindergarten than you knew that can be applicable to the employment background screening process. Take a look at how you can apply these eight lessons from kindergarten to your screening program. (more…)

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Criminal Records


The scenario may seem familiar, whether through a real life experience or something you saw on TV. You interview a candidate and it appears as if they would be perfect for a position with your company. But then, it’s revealed through their admission or a criminal background check that they had a past run-in with the law. In every other way, the interviewee absolutely shines and would be a credit to your organization. You might be tempted to brush the information aside and hire him or her anyway. However, there are several precautions you must consider when your candidate has a criminal record. (more…)

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Litigation Update: Home Depot Hit for Employment Background Checks

images47 Litigation Update

Home Depot has been hit with another class action lawsuit[1] alleging violations of federal law based on its employment background screening practices. The mega home improvement store is facing a second Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuit—this one filed in the Northern District of Georgia on February 11, 2015. The focus of the present case is, like many other cases we have seen in recent weeks, the portion of the FCRA that requires a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” about the background check that is made in writing “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.” (more…)

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Can You Deny Employment for Falsifying a Job Application?


Most job candidates know that falsifying a job application is grounds for being denied employment. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always stop them from doing it, however most understand the consequences if they get caught. Conversely, most employers are conditioned to believe they are well within their rights to deny employment on the basis that someone lied on the job application. In fact, I recently conducted a webinar on behalf of Newton Software and was asked if it is easier to deny employment based on an application omission or fabrication discovered on a background check rather than going through the adverse action process. Given this generally accepted principle and the current legal landscape concerning employment background checks, it might be time to question if employers truly have the legal right of way to take such action. (more…)

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There’s Only One Right Answer to This Stupid Poll Question


Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know I do my best writing when I am outraged. This also explains why I haven’t been writing as much over the last few months. I just haven’t had anything juicy to sink my teeth into. Until now!

PBS just posed the most ridiculous poll question to their viewers, listeners, and readers:

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