Contents
 
Feature Article
 
Compliance News
 
Compliance News
 
CS News
 
CS News
  
 
VerifyStudents Corner
 
Student Background Screening News

VerifyStudents News

VerifyStudents News
 
 

Client Alerts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Upcoming Events
Corporate Screening will be attending the following events in the next several months. If you are attending one of these events, we invite you to stop by our booth to learn more about our comprehensive suite of pre-employment and student background screening products and services.
 
 

Pharma SUG

May 14-17, 2017

Baltimore, MD

 

 

OHUG

June 6-9, 2017

Orlando, FL

 


 

Taking a Deeper Look at "Ban the Box" Laws
 
The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reported that in 2016 “ban the box” or “fair chance” laws and policies were adopted in seven states and 28 localities. By the end of 2016, 24 states and over 150 cities and counties had adopted this type of legislation, which is designed to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with criminal records.
 
According to NELP statistics, nearly two-thirds of the population in the United States lives in a jurisdiction with some type of a “ban the box” policy, covering public and/or private employers to delay asking about an applicant or employee’s criminal history until later in the hiring process.
 
For many years, Corporate Screening has shared information about the states and jurisdictions that have adopted fair chance policies. The laws can vary greatly, which can cause compliance concerns for employers. And emerging research indicates that fair chance policies may not be as beneficial to those it was designed to help. 
 
Do “Ban the Box Laws” Work?
Supporters of “ban the box” legislation want to reduce barriers to employment for people with a criminal history. Many people who have been through the system find it difficult to obtain employment, and as a result may struggle financially – in some cases even ending up back behind bars. Supporters such as NELP claim that fair chance policies reduce barriers to employment, especially for minorities, allowing them more opportunities to work, which in turn helps communities overall.

 

But some recent studies indicate that fair chance policies may actually not accomplish what they intend to. A 2016 study by Jennifer Doleac and Benjamin Hansen indicated that “ban the box” policies decreased the probability of being employed by 3.4 percentage points for young, low-skilled black men, and by 2.3 percentage points for young, low-skilled Hispanic men. This study was large, with a pool of over 855,000 subjects, and the results supported the authors' hypothesis that "when an applicant’s criminal history is unavailable, employers statistically discriminate against demographic groups that include more ex-offenders."

 

In another 2016 study, authors Amanda Agan and Sonja Starr found that “ban the box” policies may encourage “statistical discrimination: employers may make assumptions about criminality based on the applicant’s race.” The results from their study indicated a race gap in call backs, with whites receiving 7 percent more call backs before “ban the box” policies go into effect, and 45 percent more after such policies are implemented.

 
It's important to note that these are just two studies, and to draw a more complete conclusion on the subject of fair chance policies, more research needs to be done. But when states and communities are considering enacting such policies, it isn't a bad idea to also review research on the subject to ensure that the goals the state or community intends to achieve will be met by the legislation that is passed.

 

Compliance Concerns for Employers

"Ban the box" legislation is not generic, one-size-fits-all. The laws are complex and vary from one jurisdiction to another, which may create compliance issues for employers. The laws are complex, and vary from one jurisdiction to another. It can be confusing: some laws apply only to public employers, whereas others affect private employers. And private employers may or not be affected, depending on the size of the company. Additionally, some laws only speak to eliminating questions about criminal history to the initial application, whereas others go much further.

 

As an illustration of the number of laws in effect, the NELP website contains a toolkit that lists the states and communities that have enacted “ban the box” regulations, and provides details about each. The complete guide is 92 pages. Eight pages are devoted to states’ legislation. Explanation of local fair chance laws make up 64 pages of the guide.

  

Employer Considerations

So what should employers do? First, it is important to be aware of all “ban the box” regulations that may affect their business. If they do business in multiple communities, it’s important they remain informed and familiar with all state and local laws that affect them. In addition, they need to review and adjust hiring policies and procedures to remain in compliance.

 

If you have questions, Corporate Screening’s team of experts is here to assist. We encourage you to contact your account representative or our Compliance team if you need help with making sure your organization is in compliance.


"Ban the Box" Updates

Although it appears that “ban the box” legislation has slowed in recent months, there are still new regulations that employers should be aware of. Employers doing business in Connecticut, Los Angeles and Kentucky should note the following changes.
 
 
Connecticut
On January 1, 2017, a new "ban the box" law went into effect that applies to private employers in Connecticut. The new law prohibits Connecticut employers from including on an initial employment application questions about a prospective employee’s arrests, criminal charges, or convictions. Exceptions include positions where a criminal background check is required by state or federal law, or if the position is bonded. For more information, visit https://www.govdocs.com/connecticuts-new-ban-box-law/
 

 

Los Angeles, California

“Ban the Box” legislation in Los Angeles, CA went into effect on January 2, 2017, although penalties and fines do not become effective until July 1, 2017. The legislation prohibits employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment.

 

The new ordinance affects private employers with 10 or more employees (employees must work at least two hours per week on average) within the geographic boundaries of Los Angeles, as well as all city contractors. The law states that:

  • Employers can only ask about an applicant’s criminal history after a conditional offer of employment has been made;
  • If an employer decides to take adverse action based on the applicant’s criminal history, they must consider the EEOC factors, “create a written assessment that effectively links the specific aspects of the Applicant’s Criminal History with risks inherent in the duties of the Employment position sought,” and provide the applicant with the evaluation.

Penalties for violating the law include fines up to $500 per violation and employers may also be subject to private lawsuits. To read the ordinance in its entirety, click here.

 

 

Kentucky

People applying for state jobs in Kentucky’s executive branch will no longer be required to answer questions about their criminal past on initial applications. In February, Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin, signed an executive order that removes questions about criminal history from the initial application for state jobs in the executive branch.

 

Under the Fair Chance Employment Initiative, executive branch agencies will still be allowed to inquire about criminal records before interviewing an applicant. The order also permits agencies to consider criminal history when making hiring decisions. You can read the executive order here.

 

New California FEHC Regulations Impact Use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions
 
The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) recently finalized and approved new regulations that will impact employers’ use of criminal history when making employment decisions. The regulations track closely with the 2012 EEOC Enforcement Guidance for Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions, and are expected to become effective on July 1, 2017.
 
Summary of Regulations
As shared on Lexology.comJDSupra.com and Littler.com, the following is an overview of the regulations. The regulations address “adverse (or disparate) impact” on protected groups, and prohibit employers from using criminal history information unless it is job-related and in line with business necessity.
 
  • Like the EEOC Guidance, Employers should maintain policies and procedures that allow for an “individualized assessment” when considering the criminal history of an applicant. The so called “Green Factors” are also outlined by the EEOC.
    •  Employers should consider:
      • the nature and gravity of the offense
      • the amount of time that has elapsed since the offense
      • the nature of the job held or sought.
  • Employers should be prepared to justify their policies and adverse decisions related to the criminal history of an applicant. Convictions that lead to an adverse hiring decision should have a “direct and specific negative bearing on the person’s ability to perform the duties of the position.”
 
  • Employers are also required to provide the applicant or employee with a notice that they have been screened out due to a criminal conviction, and also provide them the opportunity to demonstrate that the information is inaccurate (This requirement is in line with Adverse Actions requirements under the FCRA)  or that exclusion should not apply to their specific case.
 
    • If the applicant disputes the conviction and the result of the dispute proves the conviction information was inaccurate, employers can no longer consider that information in their hiring decision.
    • If the applicant provides additional information as to why their conviction should not exclude them from the position, employers must take that information into consideration before making a final decision.
    • Note: If you obtain the conviction information on your own (without the assistance of background screening company), you must still provide applicants with this notice.
  • The regulation also expands the type of convictions related to possession of marijuana that employers are prohibited from seeking information related to or considering in the hiring process. Previously the list included certain misdemeanors for marijuana older than 2 years (for small amounts of marijuana).  The list now includes ANY non-felony misdemeanor conviction related to marijuana possession older than 2 years.
 

Affected employers should familiarize themselves with these regulations, and should review their policies, employment applications, job descriptions and hiring practices are compliant. If you have questions, please contact your Corporate Screening representative or our Compliance team.


2017 Webinar Series - Join CS for a Free Educational Webinar

In January, Corporate Screening announced our new 2017 monthly webinar series, which kicked off in February with a compliance webinar, Taking Adverse Action, How to Stay in Compliance.
 
The free webinars are scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern and we invite you to join us to find out more about important background screening issues that affect users of background screening reports. Look for information about industry best practices, how-to’s, compliance topics and more.

 

Mark your calendar now for the second Wednesday of the month and don’t miss Corporate Screening’s educational webinars! Upcoming topics and dates include:


  • Building an Effective Screening Program on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2 p.m. EDT
  • Background Ordering Options & Integrations on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 2 p.m. EDT
  • Public Records: What Are They? A Primer on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2 p.m. EDT
  • Business Background Screening on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 2 p.m. EDT


To register for one of these upcoming webinars, please contact Client Support at 800-229-8606, option 4. Additional webinar topics will be publicized regularly throughout the year, so stay tuned for further announcements.


Corporate Screening Receives 2017 Cleveland Technology Award

Corporate Screening was recently honored at the 2017 Cleveland Technology Awards in the Implementers/Users category. Presented by Smart Business magazine, the Cleveland Technology Awards recognize organizations in Northeast Ohio that develop and/or implement impactful technology.
 
Corporate Screening’s president, Greg Dubecky remarked, “We are greatly honored to have Smart Business magazine recognize our technology achievements by selecting Corporate Screening as a 2017 Cleveland Tech Award winner. Since our organization began, we have been at the forefront of technology designed for the background screening industry.”

 

Corporate Screening continually reviews and updates our technology, and we strive to produce innovative technological solutions that streamline the background screening process for our clients.

 

Honorees were recognized at a The 2017 Cleveland Tech Awards Luncheon that was held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the Silver Grille at The Higbee Building. We congratulate all of the award winners!


VerifyStudents Corner
Proposed Maryland Bill Would "Ban the Box" on Initial College Admissions Forms

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter reports that a bill proposed in the Maryland General Assembly in February would prohibit universities from asking new students about their criminal background on initial applications. The bill, titled the Maryland Fair Access to Education Act of 2017, would apply to any school that receives state funding. If the bill is passed, Maryland would be the first state to enact “ban the box” legislation on initial college applications.
 
The proposed legislation could create some issues for some schools, though. For example, colleges in a number of states are required to ask prospective students if they have a criminal background. And many colleges use the Common Application, an undergraduate college admission application that prospective students can use to apply to nearly 700 colleges and universities in 48 states (as well as schools in Canada, China and many European countries), which asks applicants about their criminal background. Schools would either need to stop using the Common Application or hide the answer from consideration if such regulations are passed.

 

The supporters of the bill want persons with criminal backgrounds to have an equal opportunity to obtain higher education, and many academic institutions support such goals. It is also important to note that the bill would not prohibit colleges from conducting background checks. Instead it just requires them not to disregard an applicant solely on the basis of having a criminal record.

 
Corporate Screening will continue to monitor this bill and other similar types of legislation and will provide updates as we learn more.

 

Redesigned VerifyStudents Website

 

Corporate Screening is pleased to announce the release of our redesigned VerifyStudents website. With a fresh new look and updated graphics, the new website is even faster and more responsive.

 

In addition to its new design, the site also offers new functionality. Program administrators will appreciate the ability to log into Corporate Screening’s EASE case management system directly from the VerifyStudents website.

 

Additionally, the website is now completely mobile responsive. Whether it is accessed by a computer or other mobile device, users will be able to access information in the format that best suits the device they are using.

 

We’re excited about the new website and invite you to visit www.VerifyStudents.com and take a look around!


Corporate Screening Has a New Clinical Integration Partner: Trajecsys Corporation

 

Corporate Screening Services, Inc. has partnered with Trajecsys Corporation, a leading student clinical management and tracking system provider. The partnership integrates its VerifyStudents screening and compliance products directly into the Trajecsys Report System, allowing for a single source for viewing student background, drug screening and immunization tracking results.

 

Founded in 2005, Trajecsys Corporation features an online clinical management and tracking system for students and is used by hundreds of health education programs nationwide. It offers cloud-based solutions that include time records, activity reports, checkoffs and forms, as well as scheduling. Its flexibility allows it to be used for recordkeeping solutions across dozens of different allied health and nursing modalities.

 

VerifyStudents by Corporate Screening is a fully integrated web-based solution that provides reliable and secure student background checks, immunization tracking and paperless self-scheduled drug screening. Adding these features to Trajecsys’ solution makes it even easier for everyone involved to determine a student’s progress in meeting clinical requirements.