Strongly Recommends Utilizing a Third-Party Background Screening Company in Light of Continued Confusion Over Use of Criminal Histories

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In light of continued confusion over the use of Criminal Histories as part of a pre-employment background screening process, strongly recommends and supports the use of a third-party background agency to remain compliant with Federal and State law, specifically in regards to the use of Criminal Histories.

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

Some stories, both on-line and in print, can lead to greater confusion and being confused over the use of criminal histories could lead to issues companies do not want to deal with.

A recent opinion piece by James Borvard, appearing on February 15, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal, has kept the use of criminal records history as part of pre-employment background screening in the headlines.

In April 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released their now infamous hiring guidelines as related to the use of Criminal History Reports during background screening and employment.

The issue over the use of Criminal History is complicated. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of suggests: "We strongly suggest working closely with your third-party background screening partner. This is the best way to ensure compliance within the framework of the EEOC guidelines."

However, exclamatory headlines, such as the one used for Bovard's op-ed piece, "Perform Criminal Background Checks at Your Own Peril," ensure continued confusion over the issue criminal history background checks.
Bovard's article opens with:

Should it be a federal crime for businesses to refuse to hire ex-convicts? Yes, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which recently released 20,000 convoluted words of regulatory "guidance" to direct businesses to hire more felons and other ex-offenders.

Confusion over federal regulations and recommendations are nothing new. The article continues to highlight challenges the author sees that may affect business. However, the EEOC quickly responded.

In 2012, the EEOC updated its guidance on using arrest and conviction records to reflect technological, legal and social developments in the intervening decades. Contrary to Mr. Bovard's inflammatory assertions, the 2012 guidance does not make it a "federal crime for businesses to refuse to hire ex-convicts." Like the guidance issued 25 years earlier, the updated guidance is based on the premise that employers can best manage the risk of crime in the workplace by screening applicants or employees in a targeted and fact-based way.

Taken in tandem, both articles highlight the need to work with a third-party background screening company when conducting pre-employment background checks.
Adam Almeida adds: "Some stories, both on-line and in print, can lead to greater confusion and being confused over the use of criminal histories could lead to issues companies do not want to deal with."

Third-party background screening companies, such as, work within the guidelines of both the EEOC as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Further, works under the auspices of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). As many companies continue to downsize Human Resources Departments, utilizing a third-party screener not only saves money but it greatly assists in remaining fully compliant in a rapidly changing world.

Criminal History records provide a critical component to pre-employment screening, but only if used in a safe, professional, and legal manner. The primary purpose of background screening is risk mitigation and it is incumbent upon hiring managers to create safe work environments, not only for the company but the employees as well.
"Criminal History reports have a place in background screening, but only if used correctly, and in a legal manner," Almeida said.

Almeida recommends: “Companies and organizations should contact a third-party screener, if only to ensure the compliance of their own background screening activities. Ultimately, outsourcing background screening is the easiest way to remain legal and in compliance with all Local, State, and Federal regulations.” is a third-party background screening company that provides a full range of services and reports to fulfill the needs of companies and organizations large and small. As a member of NAPBS, as well as fully compliant under FCRA, has the knowledge and experience to assist in any background screening need.

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