The ban-the-box legislation passed and we are starting see how that affects us. Here are some Best Practices to keep in mind:
Compliance with background check requirements is more critical than ever. So what’s an employer to do? First, understand which laws apply and what they require. State and local laws have varying requirements. San Francisco’s, for example, will soon prohibit employers from considering convictions more than seven years old. The city offers exceptions for certain safety-sensitive jobs and certain offenses, but employers need to be in compliance by October.
In general, we encourage employers do what so many states and localities are requiring: evaluate candidates on an individualized basis. The EEOC recommends that employers consider the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; the amount of time passed since the offense, conduct or completion of sentence; and the nature of job held or sought.
Employers are allowed to conduct background checks on their own, but it is difficult and fraught with peril. States and cities are making it harder on employers to get a thorough background check. At the same time the need to protect themselves from negligent hiring. We recommend you find a reputable agency and are happy to provide a referral. In either event, be sure they’re in good standing with associations like the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and/or certified FCRA compliant.