Problems with employment background investigations

While internal data is a valuable input to measuring insider risk, it cannot be solely relied upon.

New Continuous Background Checks Will Take A Deeper Look At Your Personal Life

From the restaurant counter to the C-suite, the days of static, manual background checks are fading behind us as we usher in a new era of behavioral monitoring. But this is new territory for everyone, and it's likely that companies will overstep some boundaries in order to see what they can get away with. And Checkr is not alone. And there are a few more companies out there developing the technology. Up until recently, background checks were a one-time thing for most people.

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If a company is interested in hiring you, they pay to perform the check and then make a decision based on whatever internal policy they have. So, for example, while some companies will let a misdemeanor slide, others would rather have someone with a completely clean slate whatever that means in an era of checking 20, records to vet a person.

What is a background check?

Not anymore. In some cases, sure - your boss should know if you killed or sexually assaulted someone over the weekend. Should anyone with a domestic violence complaint have that kept in their employment records in the event that they become a threat to their co-workers? There have been multiple cases of collateral damage when violence follows a person into work, so one could make the case that it keeps employees safer.

But background checks are not just limited to criminal behavior.

Everything you need to know about pre-employment background checks

Your financial data can be handed over to your bosses as well. While companies like Endera are not allowed to look through credit bureau information thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA , instead they just work backward from bankruptcies to foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, garnishments, liens, large asset purchases, and payday loans to identify financial pressures that might seep into the workplace. What if they think that makes you more likely to commit theft, fraud, or makes you more susceptible to bribery? Where do we draw the lines?

Should they only know if you lose? Does keeping someone in middle management because of a DUI, year-old misdemeanor, or bankruptcy filing really make sense? There are certainly cases where employers will claim that it does, but are we really helping anyone by stalling their career advancement? In his book Three Felonies a Day , Harvey Silverglate argues that even honest citizens "cannot predict with any reasonable assurance whether a wide range of seemingly ordinary activities might be regarded by federal prosecutors as felonies. I reached out to Mr.

It is difficult to know how many people are affected by missing court dispositions, but one study examining 75 major US counties found that as many as one-third of all arrests with felony charges did not result in conviction. FBI background checks may also include records that trace back further than is permissible by law.

How To Fail A Background Check |

Criminal background checks conducted by commercial vendors also have significant flaws. Commercial vendors check name, date of birth, and social security number when provided and accurate against online public records, as well as data purchased from courts and state repositories, sometimes even checking local court records manually.

In , the FBI provided 30 million criminal history records for noncriminal justice purposes, like job applicant background checks— a 29 percent increase from One study found that for any given crime, there is a period after which people with a record pose no heightened risk to employers or public safety. Even for a violent crime like aggravated assault, after 4.

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But background checks let employers judge applicants for their past actions when they no longer pose a heightened risk. Collateral consequences, the hurdles people with criminal records encounter that go above and beyond the sentence they serve, include everything from restrictions on public housing to trouble qualifying for food stamps. Many collateral consequences take the form of local regulations restricting employment for justice-involved people.

A national repository lists 45, local regulations limiting where justice-involved people can work and what kinds of jobs they can hold. Forty-seven percent of employment regulations specifically restrict people with any felony from being hired, not even specifying that the felony be categorized as violent. The reports employers see now disqualify potentially desirable employees.

It is also in the public interest to increase employment opportunities for people with criminal records. Not only does it provide a source of income, it also offers structure, a safe way to spend time, and new and positive social networks. Studies show that risk of recidivism decreases if people can get jobs quickly after being released from prison.

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Background checks exist for a reason, but they do harm, too. Improving background check practices and decreasing barriers to employment for justice-involved people will help ensure the public is safe, employers are well informed, and people have access to the jobs they need. March 13,