Ongoing Ban-The-Box Changes Will Force Employers to Further Review Pre-Employment Screening Policies, States CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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Continued legislative changes regarding the use of Criminal Records as part of a pre-employment screening process will force employers to revisit and review current hiring policies, states CriminalBackgroundRecords. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: "With the recent Department of Housing and Urban Development guidance regarding the fair and lawful use of criminal records as part of the tenant vetting process, now, more than ever, is the time for employers to review current hiring policies in order to remain in compliance with existing law governing the use of criminal records."

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

Jurisdictions where ban-the-box legislation exists varies greatly and with the heightened scrutiny on the use of criminal histories employers must ensure existing policies fall in compliance.

In early April 2016 the Department of Housing and Urban Development released a new guidance covering the fair and legal use of criminal background records as part of the tenant vetting process, affecting thousands of landlords and property managers working in a private property setting. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroungRecords.com states: "The change by HUD further highlights the use of a specific public record, criminal history, as part of the vetting process and explicitly highlights the urgent need for all employees to understand the fair and legal use of criminal records with pre-employment screening, especially with Ban-the-Box legislation gaining greater momentum."

Across the country cities and states are either enacting ban-the-box legislation or reviewing the opportunity to enact such laws. The use of criminal history records is under increasing scrutiny, especially in light of the recent guidance release from HUD.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: "Ban-the-box legislation takes away the box asking about criminal history on an application and dictates when and if a criminal history review can be conducted. But the jurisdictions of where such legislation exists varies greatly and with the heightened scrutiny on the use of criminal histories employers must ensure existing policies fall in compliance."

In Colorado the question of banning the box is currently working through state legislature. It has become a question of getting formerly incarcerated individuals back into the mainstream through employment and curtailing or eliminating the potential of recidivism.

From DenverPost.com (Apr. 04, 16) opinion piece by Claire Levy and Beth McCann:

Studies show the stigma of a criminal record often prevents individuals from re-entering the workforce and effectively condemns them and their families to a life of poverty — or worse, recidivism. In Colorado, which boasts the third-highest recidivism rate in the country, this is a serious concern.

By contrast, those who are fortunate enough to find work fare much better. (1)

Similar potential legislation is being reviewed in Connecticut.

From an opinion piece by Chris Powell on JournalInquirer.com (Apr. 04, 16):

The legislation's advocates, including Governor Malloy, who considers it among his initiatives for a "second-chance society," note that a felony conviction can impair people for life, especially with employment. (2)

Almeida comments: "Ban-the-box legislation forces employers to clearly understand their specific responsibility under law where and when criminal background checks can be performed. As highlighted by the recent HUD guidance over the use of criminal records in tenant screening it is critical that employers work with third-party employment screening companies in order to remain fully compliant within the law and avoid the potential for costly fines and penalties."

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company that provides critical information to employers and organizations large and small. With the ability to provide up-to-date information from County Courthouses to accessing the most accurate databases, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com has the information hiring managers demand in order to make an informed decision.

Notes:

(1)    denverpost.com/opinion/ci_29724226/why-colorado-should-ban-box-job-applications
(2)    journalinquirer.com/opinion/chris_powell/ban-the-box-bill-reflects-much-of-what-is-dragging/article_75c9218c-fa4a-11e5-9069-9ff6fc1d0482.html

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Dan Adams