WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) today presented testimony at a briefing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the impact of criminal background checks and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) conviction records policy on the employment of black and Hispanic workers. The briefing specifically focused on whether the revised EEOC Guidance or other limitations on the use of background checks encourage or discourage re-entry by ex-offenders into the job market.
“Background screening is not conducted to keep individuals out of the workplace or to impair reintegration of ex-offenders into the workplace”
This issue is a priority for NAPBS members who are committed to providing accurate information on job seekers while protecting their civil rights and protections under the law. In its testimony, the NAPBS acknowledged the importance of reintegrating ex-offenders into society, but also noted the important role screening plays as a risk mitigation tool for employers seeking to make informed hiring decisions with safety as a paramount concern.
“Background screening is an effective tool used by employers to protect employees, customers and assets from risks such as theft in the workplace, employee on employee violence, as well as ensuring that only appropriately-screened individuals deliver goods or provide services in our homes,” said Montserrat Miller, NAPBS Washington Counsel, in oral remarks to Commissioners.
“Background screening is not conducted to keep individuals out of the workplace or to impair reintegration of ex-offenders into the workplace,” Miller continued. “Rather, background screens are conducted to facilitate the right person for the right job, providing employers with information to make informed hiring decisions.”
Ms. Miller noted that professional screening firms, which provide background reports for employment purposes are required to follow strict requirements pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other state and local laws that limit how information is reported. Miller also reminded Commissioners that there is a significant difference between the use of a professional screening company and the use of an online instant web site or search engine, the latter offering none of the consumer protections afforded under the FCRA and other applicable laws.
She reiterated that as the use of background screening increases, it is critical that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and individuals being screened or requesting a screening understand the strict legal and regulatory framework that governs its use.
The NAPBS testimony made clear that the fair and appropriate use of criminal histories is one of the most important tools organizations have to protect themselves, their employees, customers and assets from financial or physical harm, and that the problems facing ex-offenders go beyond employers’ use of background checks. NAPBS urged the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to focus on programs designed to help support ex-offenders.
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is the leading national resource for issues related to the background screening industry. NAPBS promotes and advocates for ethical business practices and fosters awareness of privacy rights and consumer protection issues. NAPBS is the foremost leader in the movement toward establishing generally accepted and reliable standards for background screening professionals and organizations. For more information on background screening, visit our website at www.napbs.com.