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Increasing Barriers to Employment Criminal Records, Credit Histories, and Unemployment

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Increasing Barriers to Employment Criminal Records, Credit Histories, and Unemployment May 15, 2011 EEOC Conference for Fair Employment Practice Agencies Judy Conti Federal Advocacy Coordinator (202) ,
Increasing Barriers to Employment Criminal Records, Credit Histories, and Unemployment May 15, 2011 EEOC Conference for Fair Employment Practice Agencies Judy Conti Federal Advocacy Coordinator (202) , ext. 354 Overview New and Growing Barriers to Employment Discrimination against the unemployed, and those who have bad credit histories or criminal records Recent federal laws regulating criminal background checks for employment Problem bills for workers pending in the 111 th and 112 th Congress Key priorities in the current Congress 2 Credit Checks 3 When bad credit stands in the way of a good job (USA Today, Feb. 12, 2009) TSA won t hire airport screeners or contractors who have $5,000 in overdue debt, any federal or state tax lien or any delinquent child-support payments. This ensures that employees are less susceptible to financial pressures that would make them more vulnerable to bribes, TSA spokesman Christopher White said. But the TSA itself may add to screeners problems. In a 2007 report by the Homeland Security Department Inspector General, several TSA officials said that the low pay (screeners) earn might be a reason why credit problems develop after hiring. 4 Bank teller job from New York 5 Sales job from San Antonio, Texas 6 Criminal Background Checks 7 The New Realities of Criminal Background Checks for Employment Nearly one in three (72 million) U.S. adults has a criminal record that will show up on a routine criminal background check. Proliferation of criminal background checks by private employers and new occupational screening laws adopted post-9/11. Serious limits on reliability of private background checks and federal and state rap sheets. Too few federal and state protections for workers subjected to criminal background checks for employment by private and public employers. 8 9 Staffing agency banking jobs in SF Bay Area 10 Electrician job from Atlanta, Georgia 11 Warehouse and driver jobs on SF Bay Area 12 Staffing agency forklift jobs from Atlanta, Georgia 13 Unemployed Workers 14 Staffing agency pharmaceutical sales job in San Francisco, California 15 Sales position from in Toledo, Ohio 16 Latest Federal Laws Regulating Employment Background Checks Long-Term Care Workers (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, P.L , Section 6201) Creates $160 million in HHS, Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) funding for states to conduct state, FBI, and registry background checks of prospective long-term care workers. States must have procedures in place for a workers to dispute the accuracy of the information and to consider the passage of time, extenuating circumstances, demonstration of rehabilitation, and relevancy of the particular disqualifying information with respect to the current employment of the individual. As of February 2011, 10 states (AK, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, MO, NM, RI) were awarded $22.4 million to set up criminal background checks procedures. In response to IG s report ( Nursing Facilities Employment of Individuals with Criminal Convictions, March 2011), CMS is developing a list of disqualifying convictions and timeframes for disqualifying offenses. 17 Recent Federal Laws (cont.) Mortgage Brokers (Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgaging Licensing Act of 2008, P.L , Section 1511) Authorizes FBI background checks of mortgage brokers where provided by state laws. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors is the channeling agent for the States. School Employees (Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, P.L , Section 153(b)(2)) Authorizes both public and private schools to access FBI records on current and prospective employees, including volunteer and contractors. No state legislation is required, but the authority must come from the state s Governor. The FBI rap sheet can be reported directly to the school, not through a government agency. To date, 16 states plus DC have taken up the authority. (AR, CT, GA, HI, IL, KS, ME, MA, MI, MO, MN, PA, SD, UT, VT, WI). 18 Worker Background Check Bills: 111 th and 112 th Congress Child Care Workers (112 th Congress Child Care Criminal Background Check Act of 2011, S. 581) Requires state and FBI criminal background checks for child care providers licensed by the state or receiving funds under Child Care and Development Block Grant of Employees & Volunteers Working with Children (111 th Congress The Child Protection and Improvements Act of 2009, S / H.R. 1469) Makes permanent the current pilot program that authorizes FBI checks of volunteers working with children, and extends it to all prospective and current employees. Head Start & School Workers (111 th Congress Amend the National School Lunch Act, H.R. 6469) Requires institutions receiving federal school lunch funds to conduct state and FBI background checks on all child care staff employees. Chemical Workers (111 th Congress Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act of 2009, H.R. 2868) Requires background checks for chemical workers, including waiver and appeal procedures but not authorizing FBI records. 19 Key Priority for the 112 th Congress FBI Employment Background Checks (112 th Congress Fairness and Accuracy in Employment Background Checks, H.R. 5300) Require FBI to locate and correct missing disposition information within 10 days before releasing rap sheet for employment (modeled on Brady gun checks). Arrests older than one year with no disposition no reported unless FBI can verify that the case is being actively prosecuted. Codify FBI regulations do not report non-serious juvenile & adult offenses. Key consumer protections found in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (copy of record, able to contest inaccurate or incorrect information). 20 Additional Priorities for the 112 th Congress Second Chance Act Reauthorization (P.L ) FY10 Funding - $100 million FY11 Funding Continuing Resolution at $100 million F National Criminal Justice Commission (112 th Congress National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011, S. 306) Establish a commission to review the criminal justice system and make reform recommendations at the federal, state and local levels. Make recommendations to prevent, deter and reduce crime and violence, reduce recidivism, improve cost effectiveness, and ensure the interests of justice at every step of the criminal justice system. 21
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