GETTING TO THE HEART OF BEST PRACTICES FOR PROPER USE OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS IN HIRING
Earlier this summer, a group of consultants got together with representatives from the National H.I.R.E. Network, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Workrights Institute to publish their recommendations for staying within the lines of the 2012 EEOC guidance on the use of criminal history checks in the course of background screening. Their publication, called Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring, is gaining attention from the industry not so much for being original, but for their conscious effort to deliver the advice that many HR are looking for.
Yet with 15 points of instruction detailed across 30 pages of content, some are still struggling to find time to review this consolidated viewpoint, instead choosing to ring our office for advice. Because Barada is already addressing many of their recommendations in the services we’re delivering to our clients, we thought it prudent to weigh in with our opinion as well point out just how we’re addressing the issue.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be breaking down their publication into more manageable bites and dropping them into your inbox for quick and easy consumption.
Here’s point #1: CONSIDER ONLY CONVICTIONS AND PENDING PROSECUTIONS
Barada has made a practice for many years of reporting only convictions and pending prosecutions. This is not a new issue nor is it exclusively an EEOC issue. The fact that someone has been charged with a crime should not disqualify them for a job if they were not actually convicted.
If an applicant is being prosecuted for an offense that is relevant to a job for which they have applied, an employer may choose to consider it as part of the application but ultimately they should wait until a judgment is made in the case to determine their hire or no hire decision.
It is important to note that often when a background search is conducted and a primary source is not used for court records, the results may include only an arrest and not the ultimate disposition handed down. A qualified CRA at this point would go back to the source to determine the ultimate outcome of the charge.
The bottom line is that a person is not guilty just because they were arrested.