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Close to 90% of employers conduct background checks on some segment of their employees/job applicants. Conducting background checks is a normal part of business especially if you want to have a safe work environment and hire quality employees. Additionally, employers have the added pressure to ensure they avoid negligent hiring claims. Employers need to balance their concerns for hiring quality employees with compliance of fair hiring practices. The "Ban the Box" campaign has spread far and wide. It is not easy to navigate this landmine and stay within regulations.
The "Ban the Box" initiative was started by a group of formally incarcerated individuals and their families in 2004. However, the first state to follow a "Ban the Box" concept was Hawaii in 1998. " Ban the Box" defined is a ban or removal of the check box in an application for employment where a candidate is asked, if they have ever been convicted of a crime at the onset of the application process.
The goal of this campaign is to have applicant/candidates assessed based on the ability to do the job and not based on any prior criminal history to level the playing field for the formerly incarcerated who have served their time. There are many economic reasons to promote this initiative. There are 70 million US adults with arrests or conviction, many who are turned away from applying due to employers asking about previous criminal records. The cost of these adults on the economy is estimated at $78K-$87K in losses in one year. Employing the formerly incarcerated has a positive impact in the economy. Increases tax contributions and saves money by keeping people out of the penal system.
Prior to "Ban the Box" Initiatives (also called Fair Chance), effective 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated the "Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964". In this guidance, it was clear the position taken by the EEOC was to reduce discrimination against people who were convicted of crimes and served their time. The EEOC encourages employers to judge candidates not by their arrest or conviction record but by their qualification and ability to perform the job. One of the goals of the EEOC's guidance was to help people in demographic groups with higher incarceration rates (identified as Black and Latinos as per the EEOC) get jobs and not be excluded from the candidate pool due to a criminal history.
Employers need to be concerned about "not" considering candidates with criminal records in their employment pool as more states and employers "Ban the Box". It is critical for employers to be aware of which states have established laws eliminating this initiative which can impact them and have them at risk of violating the Title VII. Yes, employers can be sued! The objective of this course is to prepare employers in navigating the "Ban the Box" initiative by balancing the needs of the business with compliance of the regulations. The course will identify the process in selecting candidates based on the employee's experience and qualification instead of prejudging them based on their conviction. In addition, employers will have the opportunity to see what states require employers to adhere to the guidelines.
Margie Faulk, PHR, SHRM-CP is a senior-level human resource professional with over 14 years of HR management and compliance experience. A former compliance officer for a defense contracting technologies firm, Margie has worked as an HR and Compliance advisor for major corporations and small businesses in the small, large, private, public, and non-profit sectors. She is bilingual (Spanish) fluent and Bi-cultural. Her focus is on multi-state, national, state, and local workplace compliance.
Additionally, she is working on international compliance initiatives like international privacy issues, drafting & implementing policies, reviewing and amending global employment policies, cross-border reductions in force and restructurings, multi-jurisdictional employee investigations, immigration, global diversity programs, expatriate legal issues, and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). She has created and presented seminars/webinars for many compliance institutes. These national training providers offer compliance training to professionals, business owners, and companies interested in having their company compliant with workplace and industry regulations. Margie holds Professional Human Resources certification (PHR) from the HR Certification Institution (HRCI) and SHRM-CP certification from the Society for Human Resources Management. She has completed the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional training and is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE).