Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) has proposed HR 6220, the “Ban the Box” bill. This legislation would not allow employers to make any inquiries regarding an applicant’s criminal record until AFTER granting a conditional offer of employment. The bill lists only one exception relating to a safety risk to the public.
Similar legislation has been adopted by some local jurisdictions, but not at the federal level. Earlier this year, NCISS reported that the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) had issued an updated “guidance” for employers outlining limitations on employer use of background checks. At a recent public forum in Washington, DC, some witnesses urged the EEOC to make this issue a priority.
NCISS has met with EEOC officials to oppose the new guidelines and is working with industry coalitions in an attempt to roll back the guidance. The House of Representatives did take a shot across the EEOC bow by passing an amendment to an appropriations bill that would limit the EEOC’s ability to use any funds on the guidance. It has not yet been considered in the Senate.
Representative Clarke, the bill’s sponsor, is in a tough primary fight against another incumbent. A recent poll showed he was trailing his opponent by 17 points in the August primary.
The NCISS Legislative Committee will continue to work to preserve the right of employers to utilize criminal background reviews and monitor the daily introduction of bills which could adversely affect our profession.
Keeping the profession informed,
NCISS Legislative Chairman
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