CLEVELAND, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's criminal records guidance was made stricter in 2012, employers reacted with concern and confusion. A survey released this year by EmployeeScreenIQ showed that while more employers are following the EEOC guidance, many still admit to being out of compliance — a situation that puts them at considerable legal risk.
A new EmployeeScreenIQ white paper provides clarity to employers about what they need to know to stay out of the commission's crosshairs. "The EEOC's Criminal Background Screening Guidance 3 Years Later: 5 Lessons Employers Need to Know" suggests best practices on issues ranging from "safe harbors" for state law conflicts to implementing "ban the box" as well as what to expect if the EEOC files a claim against a company.
"The EEOC has been extremely aggressive in its enforcement of the criminal records guidance," said Nick Fishman, EmployeeScreenIQ's chief marketing officer. "As a result, it's extremely important for employers to follow these best practices. Otherwise, they risk facing costly legal action and the potential for damaging negative publicity."
The white paper also includes a list of specific EEOC guidance compliance-related screening recommendations for all employers who conduct criminal background checks.
EmployeeScreenIQ's survey revealed progress in compliance, but many employers are failing to comply with some of its key elements.
Among the relevant findings:
- 53 percent of respondents said their organizations ask candidates to divulge criminal history on their job applications, indicating most employers are still not following the EEOC recommendation to refrain from asking for self-disclosure on job applications.
- 72 percent said their organizations perform individualized assessments for candidates with criminal convictions so they can explain the circumstances, a de facto requirement of the guidance.
- Compliance is a major concern for employers, with 51 percent of EmployeeScreenIQ's survey respondents citing it as their most significant background screening challenge.
A report detailing and analyzing the survey's results is available for complimentary download at http://content.employeescreen.com/2015-background-screening-trends-report.
"From a compliance perspective, the results of the survey are good news, but not great news," Fishman said. "Too many companies' practices still put them in danger of drawing EEOC scrutiny."
** EmployeeScreenIQ is not a law firm, and nothing contained in this publication should be construed as legal advice. Readers are encouraged to consult with an attorney for a legal opinion specific to their needs.
EmployeeScreenIQ helps employers make smart hiring decisions through a comprehensive suite of employment background screening services including the industry's most thorough and accurate criminal background checks, resume verification services and substance abuse screening. EmployeeScreenIQ is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction earned by less than two percent of all employment screening companies. For more information, visit http://www.EmployeeScreen.com
Nick Fishman, EmployeeScreenIQ
fisher VISTA for EmployeeScreenIQ