vast majority of
employers run background checks on prospective employees that include
information about arrest records. The problem with criminal background
is that some of them may contain incomplete or inaccurate information
could hurt the chances of a person with no arrest record from getting a
are two federal laws
that were enacted to protect people from becoming the victim of
erroneous information in criminal background checks and checks of
records. The statutes are the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII
1964 Civil Rights Act.
Fair Credit Reporting
Act holds reporting agencies accountable
used to be that credit
reporting agencies focused exclusively on providing credit reports to
lenders and other parties interested in an individual's credit history.
same agencies now provide criminal
and arrest records searches when requested by the person or
ordering a report. An employer ordering a criminal background check
the written consent of the job applicant.
Credit Reporting Act permits consumer reporting agencies to
information about criminal convictions without any restrictions on how
in time they can go. Different rules apply to arrest records. If an
requests an arrest records search on a prospective employee for a
paying an annual salary of $75,000 or less, the report may not disclose
records older than seven years. There is no time restriction if the
the position is more than $75,000 annually.
applicants must be
given a copy of any criminal background check obtained by a prospective
employer. If there is inaccurate information in a report on a consumer,
person who is the subject of the report has the right to dispute it by
notifying the reporting agency. Once notified of a dispute, the agency
conduct an investigation into the matter and correct information found
an agency fails to
correct errors in a report, the person who is the subject of the report
file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection. Another
filing a formal complaint is to start a lawsuit against the agency that
prepared the erroneous report.
Civil Rights Act of
1964 protects people from discrimination in employment
practices may violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if prospective
excluded solely on the basis of the existence of a criminal conviction.
hiring practices could lead to charges of disparate treatment
disparate impact discrimination.
discrimination occurs when an employer does not run criminal background
arrest records searches on all of its job applicants. Singling out one
nationality for background searches is a violation of the law because
applicants differently based solely on race and nationality.
employer's policy regarding arrest records
and criminal conviction searches has the effect of having a negative
one race more than others, this is disparate impact discrimination. The
individuals affected by discriminatory treatment under the law might
right to compensation from the employer.
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