Companies that conduct criminal background searches for employers on job applicants and current employees often provide inaccurate or incomplete data that harms both workers and employers paying for such background screens, the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) said in a report released April 11.
In a report titled Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses, NCLC said it is “a matter of public debate” whether third-party criminal background checks should be used for employment screening.
“However, there is little debate that if these records are to be used, they must be accurate,” NCLC said in the report.
Although the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires background checking agencies to maintain procedures to ensure the accuracy of information reported about a consumer, the FCRA “as currently interpreted and enforced, fails to adequately protect consumers when it comes to employment screening,” NCLC said. “Even applicants who successfully remove errors from their background checks are frequently denied employment.”
NCLC issued its report at a time when more employers say they are conducting criminal background screens and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is considering an update to existing EEOC enforcement guidance on potential discrimination resulting from employers' use of arrest and conviction records (63 BTM 89, 3/20/12).
NCLC described several ways in which professional background screening companies err when sifting through criminal databases and in reporting results to employers.
NCLC said the most common mistakes include: mismatching the subject of the report with a different individual who has the same or similar name; revealing sealed or expunged information; omitting information on how a criminal charge was resolved; providing misleading information; and mischaracterizing a misdemeanor charge or conviction as a felony.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)