If states overturn previous marijuana convictions, how does it impact background checks?
With the legalization of marijuana across many states, cities such as San Francisco have implemented conviction expunging policies (Proposition 64) which remove misdemeanors and non-violent charges related to marijuana. Policies like these aim to get previous convictions reduced or reclassified to lesser offenses, with some convictions being dismissed altogether. This means that charges that are expunged will not appear on background checks. Employers need to implement a comprehensive background check process that will navigate individual state and city regulations. When employers use cheaper instant background checks, information can be incorrect or outdated, which could lead to potential lawsuits or liability in the workplace.
In addition, employers should consider services, such as social security number validity, criminal history for federal, county, and state, employment verification, etc., to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.
What is the difference between comprehensive and instant background checks?
Instant background checks are more commonly known as “national criminal database searches” and provide general information pulled from a commercially available database. Although they have a quick return, the information is not corroborated against any official county court record and can provide inaccurate information as it’s not derived from a verified source. Comprehensive background checks are all-encompassing and compiled from a variety of sources, including local law enforcement, statewide criminal record repositories, departments of corrections, state parole and probation records, local public records sources, etc. This prevents mistaken identity matches that sometimes occur with instant checks when a person with the same name as the applicant has hits on their record. Employers must be cautious when choosing a background check process because choosing an instant check over a comprehensive check could lead to fines and lawsuits if they don’t abide by the guidelines set forth under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
What is a pre-employment background check?
A pre-employment background check is a background check that is ran prior to finalizing a new hire. Pre-employment checks will help verify if the hire is right for the job and a good fit for the workplace. By reducing turnover rates you’re not only lowering costs but improving the workplace morale with a long-term team member and someone that will work well with other employees.
Why are background checks important?
It’s important that employers maintain standards when making hiring decisions to keep their workplace safer while ensuring the quality of employee matches their requirements. If an applicant has anything to hide, they will most likely not want to apply to a position that requires a background check. When implementing employment screening procedures, such as a background check, employers will most likely see an improvement in the quality of the applicants that apply.