Are Criminal-Background Checks Discriminatory?

The story caught some employers off-guard: “Federal EEOC Warned Census Bureau of Likely Discrimination.” The article describes a lawsuit brought by the EEOC and others against the U.S. Census Bureau alleging the bureau’s system of criminal-background checks unlawfully discriminated against up to 100,000 Blacks and Latinos “who are more likely to have arrest records than whites.”

Although pre-employment checks are common, particularly for federal employees in a post-9/11 era, this practice is fast becoming an area of hot litigation. In 2003, the Society for Human Resource Management noted that 80 percent of its members conduct pre-employment criminal-background checks. Employers beware: The EEOC is leading the charge, but the plaintiffs’ bar is not far behind. Because background checking is usually a “systemic practice,” if it is found to be unlawful, the damage exposure could be huge.

Why Employers Conduct Criminal-Background Checks

Employers conduct criminal-background checks primarily to protect:

  • Their customers
  • Their employees
  • The general public
  • Their property
  • Their reputation and assets from legal liability

Some businesses, such as daycare centers, nursing homes, hospitals, nuclear power plants, educational institutions, transportation agencies, law enforcement, and security firms, must be more concerned than others with the safety of their customers. Even without a statutory mandate, the rise in “negligent hiring” claims with large potential damages, along with heightened sensitivity to workplace violence, post-9/11 security concerns, and increased liability of company officials, has enhanced corporate wariness of hiring high-risk applicants. Reliable criminal-background checks can assist employers’ efforts to reduce that risk.

Why Would Anyone Oppose Criminal-Background Checks?

Several reasons:

  1. Civil-liberties advocates and criminal-justice reformers oppose background checks because they often rely on inaccurate records and reduce opportunities for ex-offenders to make a full and productive return to society.
  2. According to the EEOC, it is unfair and a violation of Title VII to rely on arrest records only, where not supported by a conviction. Even where there is a conviction, the EEOC’s position is that the applicant should not be barred for offenses that do not “present an unacceptable risk.”
  3. Many state legislatures concerned with employability of ex-offenders are enacting or considering statutes limiting the use of criminal-background checks. For example, Hawaii limits employers’ background checks to convictions within the past 10 years that bear a direct relationship to the responsibilities of the position.

Do Criminal-Background Checks Disproportionately Screen Out People From Underrepresented Groups?

It is both conventional wisdom and the position of the EEOC that employers’ use of criminal-background checks may violate Title VII because non-whites are disproportionately represented among those with criminal records.

However, a 2006 study in the University of Chicago’s “Journal of Law and Economics” found otherwise. The study concluded that “employers who check criminal backgrounds are more likely to hire African-American workers, especially men. This effect is stronger among those employers who report an aversion to hiring those with criminal records than among those who do not.”

In theorizing why criminal-background checks lead to increased hiring of Blacks, the authors observe: “In the absence of criminal-background checks, some employers discriminate statistically against Black men and/or those with weak employment records.” As another University of Chicago professor suggested, “in the absence of accurate information about individuals’ criminal histories, employers who are interested in weeding out those with criminal records will rely instead on racial and gender proxies.” That is, they are more likely to assume the prejudicial view that non-whites have criminal records, absent the facts.

Is the EEOC Actively Seeking to Limit Criminal-Background Checks?

In 2005, the EEOC issued an informal discussion letter taking the position that an employer using a “blanket policy” of refusing to hire anyone with a history of arrest or convictions violates Title VII because the policy “disproportionately excludes members of certain racial or ethnic groups, unless the employer can demonstrate a business need for use of this criteria.”

In September 2009, the EEOC filed the lawsuit EEOC v. Freeman Companies (Federal District Court, Maryland), alleging that the company used criminal-background checks to “unlawfully deprive a class of Black, Hispanic and male job applicants of equal employment opportunities.” The case is in the discovery process. (The EEOC filed another case, EEOC v. PeopleMark [Federal District Court, Michigan], with similar allegations.) As further evidenced by its recent lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau, the EEOC is leading the effort to curtail employers’ use of criminal-background-check policies.

Do Criminal-Background Checks Violate Title VII?

This area of law is evolving. The cases recently filed by the EEOC will likely provide guidance to employers in formulating their policies and practices. Until then, one recent U.S. Court of Appeals (Third Circuit) case sheds some light on where the law is headed. In El v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the employer terminated a traditionally underrepresented employee who transported individuals with mental and physical disabilities when the employer’s post-hiring criminal-background check disclosed a 40-year-old conviction (with no subsequent criminal activity) for second-degree murder. The court held that the employer must demonstrate that the criminal-background check is “job related” and that the disqualification is required by “business necessity.” The court ruled that the employer adequately demonstrated the severity of the crime and the heightened vulnerability of its passengers with disabilities. The court implied that some criminal-background-check policies may violate Title VII, although the employer’s policy in this case did not.

How Can Employers Legally Conduct Criminal-Background Checks?

This has suddenly become a tricky area of the law, and until further case law is developed, employers conducting any type of routine criminal-background checks may be vulnerable to challenge. Here are several tips to assist employers:

  1. With the assistance of your legal advisers, know the statutes, regulations and case law in your jurisdiction. There are differences among the states, and between federal law and the states, that must be taken into account in considering workplace screening policies.
  2. Review current criminal-background-check policies for consistency with the “business necessity” requirement and the EEOC position. To the extent the EEOC’s position is upheld in the courts, employer policies that take into account the nature and severity of the offense, the length of time since conviction, and the relationship of the offense to the job sought are more likely to be upheld. If necessary, modify pertinent policies and applicant questionnaires to reflect these considerations.
  3. Routinely audit applicant/hire files to determine whether your criminal-background-check policy disparately impacts any group. If so, explore the reasons for the disparate impact, and if it is not justified by business necessity, amend the policy and its implementation.
  4. If this is an area of particular concern to your business, monitor your local and federal legislative developments, and examine whether your company should lobby on this issue. This area of the law is actively changing, and employers need to be vigilant in monitoring the latest developments and implementing best-practices compliance policies.

This is not and should not be relied upon as legal advice; as with any legal question, consult a qualified attorney.

Weldon Latham is a senior partner in the Washington, D.C., regional office of Jackson Lewis LLP, chair of the firm’s corporate diversity counseling group, and counsel to the PepsiCo Global Diversity and Inclusion Governance Council and the Omnicom Group Diversity Development Advisory Committee. He is also a professor teaching corporate diversity at the Georgetown University Law Center.

140 Comments

  • This is a very tricky area of the law that could potentially go to the supreme court in the next decade or so. In most cases, the past is the best indicator of the future, and the past is generally all an employer has in making a hiring decision (convictions, references, job length, etc). Employers, as mentioned, have a legal responsibility to protect their employees, and customers from forseeable harm, including felonous actions by employees. If businesses were forced to ignore past convictions, while still maintaining liability of employee actions, you would most likely see a drastic cutback in hiring, extreme forms of nepotism in what hiring remains, and a general distrust of businesses by american consumers (who after all, would want to give personal info, or entrust a child to a potential theif, or pedophile). Simplistic examples, I know, but the point is the same. People would become fearful of interaction, because they would have no idea if that person has a criminal record. Fair or not, a past conviction does say something about a person’s character. You do not get a felony for arriving at work late one day, missing the bus home, skipping church, etc. In the end, I don’t think businesses have much to fear, logical and rational hiring decisions based on a person’s past is the only way to employee individuals. Understandably, some minority groups are overrepresented in the legal dept, and that’s an issue that needs to be solved in the social stuructures of America, not by the Wendy’s or H&R Block down the street.

    • Jay Afpdams

      Why do you list convictions prior “references, job length, etc.”? As the federal government has recently stated you must take into account length of time since conviction, number, and relevance to the CURRENT position. In fact, with the ever increasing “ban the box” movement, now in over half the states and many major economic cities, you can not even ask about criminal history. If a 30 year old misdemeanor for a college shoplifting prank keeps you from hiring a qualified candidate, over a non-qualified candidate, than perhaps you should avoid “skipping church” as we’ll as re-evaluate your current business model.

    • I will have to disagree, Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe that person was going in the wrong direction in their life before they saw the light and decided to make a change for the better? It is inhumane to punish someone because they made a mistake. Let the check see how long its been since their last arrest and go from there. If its been 5+ years with no convictions, I feel it is safe to assume they’ve changed.

      • i agree with you when I was 18 in 2009 i got caught shoplifting and was convicted. I t is now 2014 and i still can’t get a job because of it. I havnt shoplifted since i got caught 5 years ago not even when it had been a week since i last ate. By nobody hiring people who are like me and have changed they are going to make us resort to criminal activity so we can stay alive.

        • I live in FL, got turned down for jobs asking for background checks because of 3 DUI’s….Age 18, 38, and 40. Have not drank since. Now cannot get hired to verify insurance? Seriously? No chance in bettering life? The law forgives you after you pay, but no hiring in medical field? I own my own house, also paid my dues…Why can people on Welfare win with not taking drug tests and background tests, get section.8 and free housing, government officials fought not to be tested and won, I have no problems, but out is legal for a company to turn me down over a background test? I’m white, guess I’m a minority now and do not get a chance in life…How pathetic!!

          • Regina Freeman

            U R so right its not fair people on drugs don’t have to be tested for warfare SSI food stamps section8 and living free but the government stopping people from working that’s sad when it comes to work no criminal check should be at all .

          • I live in Florida and I own my own home and I cannot find a good paying job because they are looking at felonies that I wasn’t even convicted of. They were dropped but I am being treated as if I was found guilty. How can they do this I feel as though I am in a box with no way out. Isn’t this against my constitutional right isn’t this defamation of character. I need to find a lawyer that will take my case. Also anyone can look up my name on the internet and see my mugshot and it says nothing about these charges being dropped.

        • jane noals

          I think its outrageous to hold a criminal record against someone. I am a registered nurse since 1984. because of a neighbor dispute with an ex city employee on undeserved disability my life turned into a living hell. this man attempted to assault me more than once, followed me, harassed me, videotaped me and detained me in the street sitting around the front tire of my car, daring me to run him over. he had connections with the corrupt city and police department and made me and my families life hell until I was able to move over 2 years later. left the state and can’t find a job now because of all the false misdemeanors I have on my record. there is no justice for many in this country. sometimes I wish he just shot me and maybe than at least he would be where he belongs, behind bars, instead of a free criminal with a clean record. this would never happen in Germany where I have relatives. they are floored. to think this is where ww2 started with hitler. what a crying shame.

          • I agree 100%. I got arrested over 25 years ago as a young man. It was a nonviolent drug charge and DUI. I have never had a theft or violent charge against me and have never been a violent person. Was offered the First Offenders Act that was a guarantee
            that if I completed the terms of m conviction and did not re-offend , my record would be sealed and not come up on a background check and only use by the criminal justice system should I violate the law again. 20 years later after being laid off from the company I had worked for for 10 years because of the economy. In my desperate search for new employment to my astonishment one company informed me tht my background came back that i had a prior felony. This Was after I had not checked the box due to the aforementioned reason and believing I had no record ue to the First Offenders Act. I have been applying for a job with the University near me since 2010 and have been told on more only getting two interviews and being told by those department heads that I was the best candidate and then HR stepped in and denied me the job. After emailing that department and hr seeking advice on how I might improve in whatever area that caused me not be selected for the position. I did not even get a reply from the institution either time. I am not considered a minority and can only assume it was because of my background from 25 years ago.I must have been given a life sentence rather than a second chance as promised. So before people judge others based on a piece of paper that does not reflect anything about the character of a person but rather may just show they are human and made a mistake. Nothing about what I did 25 years ago and how I have been lied to by the courts and this government and the so called legal justice system ,shows me there is nothing truly just about this attitude or our system. True justice can only be served when tempered with compassion. Where is the compassion for me or any other individual who has fallen ,what I now prefer to call victim rather than criminal to and unjust and unfair system and the mind set of people who would say this is justice. I surely hope you never find yourself or any of your love ones fall victim to this unjust system.

        • yvette wood

          i agree employers shouldnt be able to run a back ground unless you work for a bank or with children or the handicap or elderly . They dont need to know your business.. not only that I think its a bunch of bul , people who break the law can never recover from it or change their lives for the better. they are forced to lead a life of crime . cant get a job , got to survive . And we as a socicity expect them to change? we call them losers when rhey dont? now that a double standard dont u think?

          • Greg Hoyt

            I’m on board with holding companies accountable for barring felons & for that matter, apartments who refuse to rent to us as well. I’m one of the more fortunate ones who despite their felonies and subsequent prison stint have been very successful in their post – conviction work endeavors. I’m a supervisor over a b2b marketing department and I’m in complete control over who I on board onto my department. Over 50% of my employees are composed of felons, not for the sake of only seeking out those with similar circumstances to mine, but because they were more determined, qualified and had a larger desire to be successful. Whenever I see lateral management turn someone else away due to a felony, I quickly interview with them myself and have often been able to offer them a position with more money than they were looking for in various other departments. My previous crimes don’t negate my ability to keep the company I work for profitable.

          • Good for you! People can change and if it were someone in your family or someone you know, would you dare give them a second chance? Of course, you would. I was given a second chance by some nursing homes and because of the DHS background check I was denied even though, the board of nursing, a judge who expunged my felony, and the nursing home were all ready to give me a chance. Why does the DHS get to take that away from me.. I’ve never hurt anyone, and I never will. I love old people. What I did was an act against myself when I tried to kill myself because I couldn’t find a job. Here I am again, wonder what I will do now.

        • I agree. Was hanging with wrong crowd 30 years ago.. person stole air mattress from our place of employment.. I stole nothing but was aware of her actions.. was arrested with her.. police had charges of burglary… wtf.. noone broke in.being young and dumb nieve never in trouble with the law… I should have fought this harder.. no job for me because of this record …30 years ago… unbelievable

          • Lelia Neely

            I am not the one who had the problem but searching for someway to help my nephew. Like many other young people seeking to find their place and acceptance was drinking with in a short period of time had two DUIs. After serving time for the second one he entered a 6 month in house rehab completed it and for over 8 years had no trouble or arrests though he was harassed constantly by police who stopped him and searched his truck repeatedly. He also drove with an interlock over two years with no lockups happening. He finally got a good job with benefits to support himself and his son . Going to work one morning he felt tired and pulled over in a parking lot to rest for a moment only to fall asleep. This was all the police needed to accuse him of drinking, arrested him and charged him with DUI even though the vehicle was not moving. He fought it in court and because of much false testimony by the arresting officer who has since been fired for falsifying police reports and an attorney who was suspended from practicing law for a period of 3 years for failure to represent his clients he was found guilty. I have copies of the court documents. He served 18 months never caused any problems during incarceration and was discharged without parole. Now he can not get a job (background check) and was told he could not enroll in school either. He can not get support from DHHR and he has an 8 year old son to support. I agree it looks like they want to force you to either live on the streets or go back to jail. Is there no way to straighten out this mess. He has gotten back his drivers license with an interlock which is extremely expensive but lost his CDL because officer said he was arrested in a commercial vehicle which was absolutely untrue it was his personal vehicle .What is a person to do police don’t lie(ha ha). Nota against police many are great caring people.

        • Hello ,
          just wanted to let you know that if it was a minor shop lifting charge,you can get your record expunged.The good part is you can do it yourself , for around 50 dollars.
          As long as you complied with the court obligations.you can download thepackett and file motion yourself

      • OK so this is coming from a person with a felony on my record and the harm it has cussed me. Maybe this will make the people on here see the light of another prospective.

        I was convicted of a felony of grand larceny in the amount of 3700 6 years ago.

        Now that is what it says on my background check, But you do not know what really happen. I was a working mother who was with a man who was very abusive, My home I lived in was decaying and I risked the loss of loosing my child because of it, I did not make enough money to fix the issues wrong with the home so I went out and wrote bad checks of my personal checking account knowing I did not have the money to cover it so that I could fix my home and not loose my daughter.

        I am goanna tell ya that was 6 years ago, I know what I did was wrong,

        My life is complete changed now and you no people don’t know I have a conviction on unless I tell him this has done nothing but hunt me, employers don’t look at how you got the felony the class of charges are vague the do not say what really happen, you are not going to tell me because I got a felony that is a judge of carter because it is not….. I am one of the most giving caring loving people I would never do something to harm or hurt any one or any thing intentionally.

        You know what I think is ridiculous is that places that hire some one who has a felony like me and than after about a month do the back ground checks of new hires and see they have felony’s and fire them suspend them or lay them off due to felony conviction reason only.. This is ridicules you hire some one they are working fine been getting paid and then pop here’s the back ground check sorry its police we have to let you go….. this has happen to me on more than one occasion this is absurd… I got hired as a photographer working with kids, I loved my job and my boss loved having me I got this job because he sought me out he found me I did not find him, and after about a month and a half in to the job he called me and said I hate to do this to you but your back ground check came in and we have to let you go it police…..

      • I agree with your comment, and people do change. My son got a felony 8 years ago, and was on meth. Ever since that conviction he not been able to get a job, and ever since then, he has cleaned himself, and has become a model citizen. He regrets his pass, and wishes he would of never had the pass he had once.

        He recently got a good working for Phillips Electronics, then 2 days later he was terminated because of his pass criminal conviction.

        My son already paid his debt to society, and has proven worthy of becoming a model citizen. Now he his getting a double punishment for what he did in the pass, and that’s cruel especially when he already paid his debt once to society.
        My son’s probation officer took him off probation five years early for proving that he made a mistake, and he is a good citizen. Now the only thing that is haunting him is his pass.

        • So sorry to hear that. It is things like that that make people turn back to drugs. Is he smart enough to start his own business? if he could work as an apprentice somewhere and learn the job the owners might see that he is worth keeping.
          Also, there are jobs that hire convicted criminals, mostly construction, but I know ACE hardware does as well. Your probation officer should have helped with this. He could also try to get that record expunged so nobody can see it. May need a lawyer or probation officer to help you. Good luck. I know it sucks, but one of these days they are going to have to give people a chance.

      • Amen sad to saysome people feel that once a person makes a wrong in their life they will continue to do so. I took a plea deal 10 years ago and i must say its been very hard trying to raise a family. Jobs look at the 2 convictions and start sending emails smh…That system is ment to continually punish a individual and its wrong.

      • yes, i agree with you.

      • Mike bailey

        Hello everyone my name is mike I did five years incarcerated.
        I did two years parole and made it off with no problemes I havent had any trouble with the law in seven years it hard when you want to do right by society and being financially stable but cant find or get employment do to the past Its pushes alot of pressure of some ppl but i just keep tryin when is going to be my turn ti prove to myself i can be that honest citizenship

    • We all know that Criminal Background checks are in fact are being used to ostrisize and exclude Black male from gaining employment. The process is being abused and the only way to make sure everyone is being treated equally and is being fairly considered for a job position is to make it illegal to ask this question. When put on the spot and asking Employers if they would hire an ex-felon 90 percent said they would but yet the statistics do not back that number up so one has to believe they are lying and not hiring eligible Black Males. Even a White Male with the same conviction is hired over a Black Male. What I do not understand is Politicians,EEOC, and all other affliated agencies are aware of these practices and do NOTHING to change it. The EEOC has tried ONE case and found in fact it was Discrimination and STILL done nothing to protect Black Males.

      • White Woman

        I’m a white woman who has felonies that are over 25 years old. I never went to jail. I had probation with a suspended sentence. Afterwards, I went to college. That got me nowhere. I studied business with a concentration in finance. The state or federal will NEVER allow me a license to work in the field I studied. I have had to get bar tending jobs through people I know or server jobs at restaurants. I worked for a large restaurant chain for quite a while. Applied for management and was basically laughed at due to my criminal record. Yes, this situation happens to all people, not just those of color. It’s ridiculous that I volunteered at my daughter’s school for 6 years and got an award from the state for my exceptional service. In 2014, I now have two granddaughters. I tried to volunteer again with them. But due to background checks, I’m no longer allowed. But I was before they knew of my background. It’s funny how I turn on the TV everyday and hear how some freak that had no criminal background has been charged with all kinds of things, child porn, sex with students, etc. History does NOT always repeat itself unless you leave the person without choices. Then what? It’s all a scam. Last time I checked, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who have gotten caught doing something wrong and those who have not. There are no perfect people! He/She who is without sin, cast the first stone. Ridiculous!

        • ronna helm

          Also judge not less yee be judged 20 years ago I became addicted to drugs I have a misdemeanors an felonies all drug related I went to a wonderful drug rehab an safe house for two years totally committed to changing my life I started caring for my 87. Year old mom an my mentally disabled son I volunteer at local charity for battered women weekly my family depends on me an stands behind me .I earned $ cleaning neighbors houses saved the $ for 12 years bought mobile homes for us. Due to land use change have to move trailers but my background check will not allow me to move our homes to any park This is a greater crime than any I ever committed to prevent me from succeeding in life again an cause myself my mom an son to be literally on the street .I cry myself to sleep every nite now waiting for the sheriff to take away every thing I had tried to rebuild in my family possessions an society I am now at the point I do not want to gone on any longer I’ve tried so hard I was so proud of myself an because of the background check both society an I loose more than most can realize

          • Ronna, I totally understand. Everywhere I go I expect a background check. They say they only go back 7 years but my 8 year old convictions come up all the time. You may want to move out of state.

      • your statement is not true they are not hiring any one of any color due to a conviction in my case it has been over 22 years ago so it is not just black and Hispanic men this also includes white or any color, there should be a 10 year cap on all background checks period.

      • has any one sent letters and emails to the EEOC Senators Congressmen and governors, also start petitions. they will never do anything if no one says anything,
        the key is to pressure them be a pain in there asses and make them reform the laws, people are power in numbers, also do not spend your money with any company who has discriminated against you based on a background over 10 years

    • Well they need to mention the insurance side of t he situation.

    • Its a shame. I live in Ohio and was very fortunate to have an internet venture become very successful and it ultimately became my misfortune. I fell victim to drug addiction and it ultimately led me to a fourth degree felony. This was almost 7 years ago. I have had multiple IT jobs, ( Cisco Security, Networks, IT) with nothing but praise. However the “brand new” law in Ohio states you can have one misdemeanor and one felony yo have your record sealed. Well I have 3 misdemeanors, one from when I was 18, 22 and driving under suspension from 2010, I also have a felony as I said. I tried to get the felony sealed and I get denied repeatedly. I made some mistakes, I paid for them, and take full ownership. however the local muni court willl drop the misdemeanors from 16 and 20 years, therefore I cannot get mine sealed. I have lost out on multiple 100k+ positions. There needs to be a time limit in place for record sealings, I was kid and they will not let it go. It’s a shame. I am thinking to start a campaign on facebook and see if I can get some local law makers here to take notice. I could understand if they were violent crimes but they are not. The new EEOC “inidivualized assessment is nothing more than to cover their ass. It’s pathetic. And whoever made that comment about “the black man” and background checks…..listen I am as white as they get. It doesnt matter what color someone is it needs to change.

      • I also reside in Ohio, I am a black female who has two convictions one from 2003 and the other from 2007. I’m a registered phlebotomist and can not find work in my field or anything that pays a living wage. I own my home, have not even had so much as a traffic ticket. They say once you pay for your crimes it should end but it doesnt, Ohio needs to change the laws.

      • THOMAS LIPSCOMB

        There is some really great knowledge on this web site. I feel for you–all that have lost jobs before hiring, after hiring etc. due to these damn background checks. The media really needs to go after this issue, of background checks. I feel like leaving the country to a third world one.

        I often feel so bitter, ashamed and often suicidal (literally) when I think of the three mistameanors in Texas, got one sealed and the other two are still out there. Now my relatives, employers, and friends can see everything. Lawyers including my own that represented me the three times won’t even return my calls and some just laugh. I am about to lose my house, no job and no friends. I wonder how many actually checked my background. I had many many friends from work etc. They did a background check and I canned. Was in the airline industry for 20 years and can’t get a job.

        I paid my fines and did probation on the third. All of this cost thousands. I thought when u finished jail, tickets fines etc your “debt to society was finished”

        I hope you don’t live in a &)&(&7&(& state like Texas –that makes more money than any other business in Texas for revenue. It’s the number one contributor to the state budget! Go figure…I really feel like I live in Nazi Germany and the Gestapo is watching and monitoring everything we do, say, read our histories etc. It really really creeps me out!

        Someone mentioned that we should start a website for this abusive action.

        I read somewhere that 25% of all Americans have some type of crime on record.

        People is this scary or what ..Why do we have more prisonsoners than ANY COUNTRY in the world!!

      • J.K.Thompson

        Me too me too, 21 years ago I was arrested because…I let my boyfriend drive me to work, because I felt ill.
        We were pulled over. I did not know he had a suspended liscense. He ALSO had, illegal drugs in car. The police handed me the keys and said to take his car home. I said “its my car” bom bom bommmmmm…he said “i wish you didnt say that
        Because now I have to arrest you, lost the car my good job AND because of the law…pleading innocent was NOT an option, because it goes to trial if plead innoscent and if found guilty (because it was my car automatically made meguilty) it is MANDITORY MAXIMUM SENTENCE that would have been life in prision. So i pled guilty, which made my family disown me. Misdeminor if I finished terms early. Which i did. Because info was entered the 1st of next month..computer said OH NO SHE DIDNT she still owes a prob fee…so BAM FELONY.
        i married that man, had a baby, he was killed, now my son is 19 and HE PAYS BILLS because I cant find work. I am now waiting to find out that I did not get the $14 n hour job i qualifyf for prob. I am the most honest person and do nothing but help. What do YOU think Im gonna do when im hungry…???

    • i have been out of trouble for 20 years and still can’t get a good job ! it’s discrimination no one should be judged because of their past unless it’s mental sickness , stupidity should be over looked !

    • Samuel Williams

      What about misdemeanor offenses?
      I just lost a job after 3 weeks for a misdemeanor that happened back in the late 1990s…then
      to top it off, these bigots here in Arkansas tried to play holier than thou over it…whatever happened to the statue of limitations ? I was not only discriminated against because of race, but because of my age in which I am now 48 years old. Why should I be treated the same way as somebody who has a felony record? To top it off, these bigots did not even get my birthday right….I told them that my birthday was 2/28/1967, they lied and said that I told them 02/28/1974 when I gave them my drivers license and provided them with my high school transcripts which clearly has my date of birth on it. But these forum has the nerve to defend these crooked employers who pre-judge minorities before they even open their mouths and make stereotypical statements about minorities before they hire them and if they decide to hire them, make up some excuse to get rid of them on false grounds to make it difficult for them to obtain employment anywhere else in their future.
      I understand now why they have operation PUSH in Chicago to fight devils such as you people are. You want to give homosexuals equal rights , but still are practicing RACIAL UNDERCOVER SILENT BIGOTRY.

    • We must learn that money drives the market – not one soul gives a poo about our little problems as long as the money continues to roll in. This does not change , no matter what field a person is in , no matter what color a person is. This is not cynical , this is factual. The ONLY way to make changes is to group together and make the changes as one. If there are 25% of us out there sharing the same issue then just think about that percentage of people showing up on the doorstep of the White House or 12 million FB page likes and comments that advertisers will pay money to promote – make their money work for US. The flood of media alone would voice our issue to the multitude of tens of millions , most of which will more than likely agree with all of us and secretly admit their lives are not perfect either. To accomplish this goal would take a very simple first step – and I’m going to start that step immediately after posting this reply. Please look up a Facebook page titled ” My debt is paid ”
      Let’s make this happen and make a real difference TOGETHER !

    • I agree that past convictions may say something about a person’s character but, the rehabilitation from that conviction says a lot more. Past convictions should be weighed less year after year and should not prevent a person from getting a job. As a matter of opinion a person who has learned from his mistake should have more consideration than a person who has no conviction. He simply has not been caught yet.

    • Concerned

      Your opinion stems from the same blueprint employers and government agencies use to determine suitability. One size does not fit all when it comes to the past being a predictor of future behavior. As a matter of fact, In my situation, I think it is quite the contrary. I received a 1st offense DUI conviction 3 years ago. There is no way I want to go thru something like that again. I learned a valuable lesson that most other drivers haven’t learned. So in essence, I am now lower risk than drivers that still engage in risky driving behavior that they think is ok because they’ve been doing it the same way for years and years. The problem is employers, insurance companies etc ,etc.. don’t look at it this way. Therein lies where the system is flawed.

    • all good points, US hiring has become a background check frenzy-fest. Even Craigslist. I laugh when I see ‘We do Check’!
      So this is good faith or a wall to bar a person with a conviction from even bothering to reply?

      I also agree with my business my rules as long as its legal. So for me, with a business background its a conundrum, I understand.

      Some if not much of this is driven by Insurance, and their attorneys since that’s who will pay out in the even of a negligence suit. And there is a disconnect between underwriters using risk premiums to calculate interest rates, or premiums tied to probabilities as compared to persons convicted of a felony, Just view the want adds. ‘No Felonies’, etc…

      or if you have a drug or ‘moral terpitude’ conviction ( I have both), and you are in say, accounting. Many firms with outright bar you from consideration in their application.

      So question is, if time has an effect on risk for an interest rate, or auto insurance premiums, then why doesn’t it show in all positions, when it comes to hiring those with convictions?
      yes some companies and positions are progressive with ‘7 yrs back, 10 yrs back…’

      About half of those convicted, never go back to the behavior again. That’s a lot of potential employees being effected by chaotic, inconsistent hiring practices, and in some cases downright ‘bad faith hiring practices’

    • Please examine your statement carefully. For in truth, criminal background checks are ineffective in identifying the thieves and child molesters that don’t have one, or one that does not record such felonious conduct. Congressman, Clergy and teachers have been sexually exploiting kids for years before getting found out. All your government officials are thieves, as they take your paper money, which is not backed by anything of substance, and spend it on themselves… They tax under threat of violence, physical force, and deprivation of liberty. All unlawful acts as recognize d by any civilized society. It is not a touchy issue, but quite simple; better to earn your your living expenses than robbing people instead. The logic you use is circular. It protects nothing or no one. Neither corporations or other people can protect themselves against the liberty of wrongdoers, except The God who created them and all things pertaining to them….js

    • Criminal record do not defined a person, it
      Only tell his foolish choices he made as a young person. Only repetitive offender of same charges or sex offender should be judged by employers. No one should be suppressed for the rest of there life for foolish choices they made as a young man. And have not commit any crime for years. Criminal record is just a form of suppression.. racists people us it to
      suppress or oppress minorities rights from any form of power. All unjustly offender should all make a class action lawsuit and take this to the supreme court.

  • It depends upon the job, offense, when the offense was committed, if there was a conviction, age of defendent at the time of the arrest. Whether or not the record was sealed. Every applicant is different. Employers can’t judge every prospective employee the same.

    • well….i have been out over 19 years and still in the southern part of the Us, They are not trying to give anyone a chance. However since I have been out….. I have been on my job for ten years. I have seen how big companies operate. You are judged before you are spoken to. Companies do what they want , they only care about money ….not the people that help them make it.

    • That’s simply not material, relevant or applicable. No one is the offender of a crime subsequent to its completion. To say otherwise is merely to speculate. For many people have turned from past bad experiences to move on to more productive and meaningful ones. The problem is no one is truly interested in procuring a record in accuracy and in accordance with the Law. Remember that there is no discretion in recognizing and enforcing true Law. Statutes, if applicable at all, do absolute nothing to protect anyone or anything. They are rules and regulations prohibiting conduct; specifically, that conduct which they intend to define, while finding guilty all who subject themselves to them. These makers of such, simply give themselves immunity or discretion from their statutory construction. Nevertheless, no human record is truly accurate, no matter the process used. Just check your bank statements, or, better yet, check the criminal history of the state and federal government’s. Having the audacity to declare human beings as something other than such. An introduction to fiction and delusion, while calling such Law (Scott v. Sanford)…js

  • Anonymous

    i truly bellieve there are alot of drug convictions, in which a person has served his or her time, therefore, should not be convicted again thru back ground checks from an employer especially if this person is trying to change their life. some jobs find it obsolete if the crime is over 7 years. thats too much time to still hold a person accountabe. then society wonders why this person is in trouble again, its because we are not helping them.

  • Anonymous

    Background checks need to be limited to the scope of the job that the person is applying for. For example a person who is applying to work at a bank as a loan officer should be screened for convictions dealing with fraud, theft, etc. An old DUI, drug possesion, or other non-monetary misdemeanor conviction should not be considered or even revealed to the potential employer as they have no baring on that person’s risk related to that job. The same would be true for someone applying to work in a daycare center. Only convictions related to the care of children (i.e. child abuse, neglect, domestic abuse, etc.) should be screened. As running background checks on potential employees and obtaining their credit scores become cheaper and easier to do thanks to the internet, more and more companies are requiring them for an increasing number of positions. If this trend continues only those without a blemish on their criminal record (and a perfect credit score) will be able to get a good job.

    • they need to learn how to classify crimes as well because I have a conviction of grand larceny when you see this you think she stole money, that was not that case at all I wrote bad checks off my own account to keep a roof over mine and my daughters head at the time. people change you can not say she shouldn’t work with money because she steals no that is not the case at all…. I was a abused stupid kid young women who fell in the hands of controlling mind altering people

      know one is perfect we all make mistakes and last time I checked I am sure I can find something about every person in the us has broken the law at some point in there life…… just because I got arrested does not mean I am a bad person and should not have a job in a field that I am good at backgrounds checks need to disappear that should ot be able to run a background check you should hire base on a interview instinct and charter

    • I would like to point out that in the case of someone, handling loans or cash in an institution there are checks and balances, others reconcile that work. Audits look for the proof.
      .
      So if you are stealing or embezzling, in a bank, you will be caught in short order,

      the fraud/embezzlement happens usually in smaller companies with No or little control

      The Corsicana Fruit Cake maker company is a prime example.
      She simply lied at weekly meetings about needing more $ in the budget.

  • Anonymous

    More grist for the lawyers. If employer conducts a background check, the EEOC can sue! If employer does not, the customer, client, co-worker, etc. who gets raped, robbed, attacked,….. can sue (negligent hiring)! (This comment is on my behalf, not the university’s). EW

  • Anonymous

    If you say that a legally convicted felon has “paid his debt to society,” then the further punishment of that person by not EVER being able to escape their past and redeem their future with gainful employment IS criminal. In the long run, ultimately does a disservice to society as alienating and creating a large group of disenfranchised people who are forced to do something illegal to survive.

    Next, I’d like to see someone do the same thing regarding Credit Checks. The use of a Credit History to prove worthiness to do a job is worse and more widespread. Not to mention discriminatory and lacking in logic. White collar criminals (anyone remember Enron??) have excellent credit but no moral structure. What is more likely to cause severe damage to society??? Petty thievery or a major financial scam that costs thousands of people a cumulative amount of millions??? The credit reporting companies waged a campaign to boost their bottom line. Credit checks for employment of persons (mostly making less than $60,000 yearly) is the result. I doubt very seriously if an executive of a major corporation with 4 ex-wives, numerous mortgages and children, where the job he is being considered for is in the mid to high 6 figures EVER has to worry about an in-depth background OR credit history check!!

  • Anonymous

    There is some disgusting facts about criminal background checks. Is it to keep certain minorities, out of job related jobs. I found out recently that the municipality I lived in had certain misdimeanors on me that was blocking me from employment. These charges were seventeen, eighteen years old, and were not in their computer system. If not checking on them they would have still been on my record. I understand business have to protect themselves and their workers, but it is depriving people of a job.

  • some background checkare not fair. ever if you didnot commit a crime. they are people working in places who are secrey committed crime acts and keeping they jobs. so when people apply for jobs they gie a hard time. but people who alrady work thr committ crime. and hr promote them. you should come westchester,ny

  • Anonymous

    I think making sure the resources a company uses to conduct background checks are legitimate and correct makes sense but overall, I would rather see the energy put into putting an end to financial background checks as a pre-employment condition. I can’t imagine that doesn’t affect minority communities just as profoundly as criminal background checks. Many minorities don’t have “daddy’s money” to turn to when their financial situation gets tight. One lost job is much more drastic when finding the next job becomes more difficult or nearly impossible because you slipped down that slope of financial stability.

  • Anonymous

    You know how much can this world take of trying to pull people from the bottom to the top. Just when you think you made progress you take a step back. You weren’t pulling anyone up, you were just lowering yourself down.

    Today the background check, tomorrow the Bachelors Degree, and next the High School Diploma what ever happened to set and example, and trying to be the best and hire the best.

    Wake up America. China, India, Brazil are coming up and we keep trying to come down, its not about Race like it was 40-50 years ago. Its about those who want better and those who favor mediocrity and we are telling the better to help the mediocre.

    Ill get off my soap box. :)

  • Anonymous

    “Understandably, some minority groups are overrepresented in the legal dept,”????

    Subtle enough to get past the site’s monitor(s), but I can’t seem to figure out how this was intended in a way that isn’t Anti-semetic.

  • Anonymous

    We are a few steps away from being unable to convict a minority because they are disparately impacted by the judicial system.

  • Are some of the posters on here joking? Only convictions related to the care of children (child abuse, domestic abuse, etc.) should get in the way of someone working at a day care center? So the convicted bank robber should be able to work around children because he pulled a gun on adults rather than on children, and he only stole money, which has nothing to do with the care of children?

    I am amazed at how people “reason” things through. If I owned a business, I would not want to hire someone who has been convicted of drug crimes. That could very well impact every aspect of the job, employee safety, and customer satisfaction/safety. What’s ironic to me is that the first people who support this riculous notion would be the first ones to sue if they were ever impacted by an ex-con while on the job.

    • Your an UN educated ass. Thats why you don’t own your own business. And if you did it would go under because of people like you is why our country is going to hell. You might one day be convicted of a crime and loose everything. And then you will know what it’s like to be in our shoes. Walk the walk. If not keep your keep your comments to your self

  • Anonymous

    So, I get sued if I do and/or sued if I don’t.
    Anyone but me see a problem here? We have become sue happy and when things don’t go our way we SUE!

  • Anonymous

    I do agree that companys do not have a rights to violate one’s constitutional rights. Even if the applicant is an ex- felons or not. Does one wrong make it right, NO so why does it make it rights when the employer commit a wrong. Our Constitution must stand for justice for all. I know of a person (ex- felon) that had work on a job for 15 years with no problems. He quit to learn how to drive trucks. He had got hurt on the job and the company fired him. He did not sue the company but instead he reappllied at the company he had work for 15 years. At the pre-employment stage the company had run a background check and soley upon the background check the person was denied employment after working for this company 15 years. It was said that the company do not hire ex- felons or people with misdemeanors. The company do have an employee that is working for the company that has been convicted.
    This person been release since 1987. About 24 years. The court sentence he to an X amount of years and society do not have that right to continue to punish.

  • I do believe that the question upon the application about a person criminal history is a tool for companies to intentionally discriminate against people of questionable background. Some companies have voice not to hire ex- felon period because of past mistakes.
    Once an employer find out of a person criminal past the employer intentional retaliate against ex- felons in denying emploment over a conviction that may be over 10 years. The question on the application or background check is design for employers to intentionally DISCRIMINATE and retaliate to weed out the unwanted because of a person questionable past and that a crime against society. This unjust, unethical act to discrimination is to oppress ex- felons merely because of there past condition.

  • iwas hired to a company … on 02/07/2011. as of 02/17/2011 they called me out of work and told me they could not offer my employment with them any longer because of my background. now they did a sled check and they went back 19 years isnt that against the law . i feel like it was invasion of privacy. discrimination

    • Some states have a law stating 7yrs is the max for background checks but employers fail to follow the guidelines implemented by

    • Some states have a law stating 7yrs is the max for background checks but employers fail to follow the guidelines implemented by the States

  • Anonymous

    it’s like being punished for the same crime twice who’s to say that you are the same person you were 20 years ago

  • Anonymous

    I am married to a an ex-felon who was charged twelve years ago and served his time. He is a wonderful husband and father who would love a better job to provide more for his children so he would never have to worry about them doing anything illegal. Should he go back to being illegal since the legal ways of making money are no longer open to him because of what he did twelve years ago that did not physically hurt anybody?

  • Anonymous

    Background checks discriminate and therefore prevent many people from working.
    By preventing people from working, you prevent America from economic recovery.

    It is a fact, whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not, Blacks, Latinos and other minorities are both arrested and convicted at significantly higher rates than any other race. It is not a matter of these people doing more crime, but of them being singled out for disparate treatment.

    Have you never heard of the “crime” DRIVING WHILE BLACK?
    How about BLACK IN THE WRONG NEIGHBORHOOD?
    HISPANIC IN TOO NICE A CAR? — All are apparently “crimes” as police officers make arrests for such everyday.

    Another problem with Background Checks is there no standardization. Background checks include any number of things – not just criminal, but civil cases – have you been sued, have you sued someone else; Have you filed an EEOC complaint, have you filed bankruptcy, how’s your credit, any IRS liens, rental checks, schools checks, neighbor checks, MIB (Medical Information Bureau)- medical checks, family member checks, and so on and so on. But how much of that is really, truly relevant to whether you can do a job?

    Also, there is no requirement that what is reported about you is true – lots of incorrect information out there. In fact, The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports an estimated 11.7 million persons were victimized by Identity theft in 2008, so what happens to people whose identity was stolen when a background check comes up? They do not get the job.

    Finally, there is strong evidence that Back Ground Checks do not reduce work place crime. Nationally, embezzlement (stealing from an employer) cases increased by 39 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics. But, Background Checks have increased many times that amount.

    Another interesting statistic: only a very small percentage of embezzlers are hardened criminals. A forensic accountant doing post-employment investigations reports only one individual who intended to steal when he took the job, and that person’s theft was paying his restitution in another state.

    Think, if someone wants to work, they don’t want to rob you!

    Once all this negative stuff starts to circulate, it is out there and is treated like some sort of Bible truth.
    Good luck ever getting a job and you may never have committed crime at all.

    We need to stop being afraid of each other.
    We need to stop doing Background Checks and Start the American Economic Recovery.

    • I had the unfortunate event of getting a disorderly conduct misdemeanor. The issue had to do with a cheating husband. I am 45 years old, white lady, no other convictions, educated, hard working. I cannot agree that past history is a prediction of future behavior. Now, I have a ball and chain wrapped around my foot. Colleges will not allow in, employers will not hire me,,,am I really so horrible? It seems that the idea is, ” once a criminal, always a criminal”. Is once a pattern, is a dot a polka dot? If so, and colleges and employers apparently think so, then be warned my next criminal event will be when I turn 90, so watch out!

  • Anonymous

    It is easy for people to say AMEN. But are they willing to help a man or woman. Don’t look at what happened but where that person is going. IF you see someone trying to live a productive life instead of a destructive one, that’s a good thing. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover untill you have read the pages. If some one is asking for a hand up ,and not and hand out there is a difference. Some people do grow up and change. Ho long does some one have to pay for thier mistakes. This is a sad unforgiving society. MAY GOD HELP US ALL!

  • Anonymous

    BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE USED AS TOOL FOR RETALIATION over an applicant past conditions committed upon society. The employer would claim that this tool of background checks would be useful to see what might happen before it happen. Trying to weed out crime Or ex-felons is like tring to tell the future of what you think matter happen because you have hired an ex-felon. An employer can hire a person with no criminal histroy but history has shown use that criminal behavior start with ordinary people. The use of an background check to solely to deny employment discriminate for no justified reason other then that of retaliation.

    In denying emloyment to ex-felon is retaliation and discriminate against ex-felons.
    It maybe unprecedented in a court of law but it is truly an act of aggression and revenge for an act committed upon society to deny an ex- felon or anyone with a criminal past the equal opportunity for employment as all others of a free society.
    Companies has adopted such policy that would discriminate, persecute ex-felons unfairly in there hiring practice, and unlawfully punish.
    Companies claim to be an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER is not true. Companies advertises such policies as being an Equal Employment Opportunity Workplace or employer rings out it true meaning of equal treatment for all and not a select group. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY is to be part of an Anti Discrimination Policy, which should keep the employer neutral at his or her professional level and not discriminate.

  • Anonymous

    I did many silly immature things in my 20s by digging into alcohol, drugs, and petty theft. Today at 39, I have not stole anything decade and a half. I got out of drugs a good while back and no longer have to worry about a drug test. The biggie comes in 2005 when I was convicted of simple battery; Yes, a violent crime. I’m sorry for it all, did my time, paid my fines, and completed the work hours.

    I took a good look at my past, decided to change my attitude, and made every effort plausible to do so. I give up on the bad influences, enrolled in classes in 2007, and still going to school with graduation plans for 2012. I am currently trying to find a summer job to help me out. In the job seeking process I have not found one employer outside of hard labor and roof construction that does not require a Background Check along with a Drug Screen. It is just the norm these days, I suppose. My biggest concern is that I will graduate school and not be able to find employment because of my past.
    I feel that a background check is a way to legally discriminate. It is no better for me as a white male to have a violent conviction than a Black or Latino. I just wonder if my past will haunt me in my search for a better and more productive life. I am about to be fingerprinted for a Background Check and just curious to know what the future is going to bring to a person trying to improve on the unchanging past.

  • Arrest records that lead to dismissal or not- guilty should NOT be accessible in a record check!! Last time I checked, a person is innocent until proven otherwise!! Why should that person be discriminated against in a potential job interview????

  • Anonymous

    I believe that background checks are retaliation and discriminatory. In my case I had work for this company for 15 yrs work the company ever know of my criminal back ground. I had quit to learn how to drive trucks. I had got injured on the other job and I decided to return to my old employer. On the application I had put that I had been convicted over 20 +yrs ago. I was promoted from driver to dispatcher and supervisor with in 2yrs of being with the company.
    When I reapplied ,the company ran a background check and I was deny employment.
    I feel the company retaliate when they ran a background check when the company knew as being a good and reliable worker. I gave then no reason over the years not to rehire me. So the use of the background check was clearly retaliatory because I have a criminal background over 20 +yrs ago which lead the company to discriminate against me in denying me employment. for reasons not related to the job.

  • Anonymous

    I believe that background checks are retaliation and a discriminatory tool for unethical business practice. In my case I had work for this company for 15 yrs . The company did not know of my criminal back ground at that time. Over the 15 yrs I had establish a relationship with in the company which also establish trust for a promotion from a driver to dispatcher and supervisor in about a 2 yr period. I decided to quit after 15yrs to learn how to drive trucks to make more money. After working nearly 2 yrs with another company I had an on the job injury. This cause me to reapply for my old job only to be denied employment because of a 20+ yrs old conviction.
    At this point I feel the company used the background check as a tool to retaliate for a crime against society. The company decision to discriminate was based solely upon prejudice because I gave the company no ill reason over the 15 yrs not to rehire me as they have rehired other in the past.

  • I was convicted of selling marijuana when I was barley 18. I must say that at 18 you do not realize how the decisions you make will affect you in the future. I am now 30 years old and have worked for my company for 10 years. I was up for a promotion at the location that I was working, when the company that we were contracted to started running background checks on contractors. They deamed me a high risk employee for my conviction even though my work history was impeccable and I have taken many random drug screens since my employment. I was banned from the premises. I am very fortunate to have a good history with my company and have been moved to another location maintaining employement. However, management postions don’t come available very often, and I may not have another opportunity for many years to progress within my company because of this. My immediate supervisor stands behind me as well as our regional management and HR team; however, it doesn’t matter because our customer has banned me from their premises for a 12 year old felony. People are discriminated against everyday for a mistake that may be very distant in their past. How can someone be expected to become a productive member of society if they cannot be reintegrated after they finish their punishment? At a minimum there should be a statue of limitations on any non-violent offender regaurding background screens along with age considerations as well. It would also make sense to break offenses down into categorys that would link the crime to the job in question(so pedophiles could not work around children, fraudulent behavior could not work in finance, etc.). But, people should still be given a chance to move forword and prove that they can be productive members of society rather than a permanent underclass citizen for a mistake they may have made in the past.

  • Anonymous

    Why are arrest(s) that never lead to conviction EVER considered or accessible for that matter? If if I remember correctly, we are innocent when accused until proven otherwise?

  • christine

    There are a great deal of comments on here that almost have me convinced that employers shouldn’t perform background checks. Let’s not forget that all individuals who comment misdemeanors and felonies had an idea prior to the conviction of the recourse for their actions. Fair is not always kind, period. If an individual chooses to commit a crime then the aftermath of living normal will always be sketchy. I have a bump in my record, I’d prefer not to discuss on here and have paid a price for acting foolish. Each time I apply for a job I know that I can be turned away because of my foolish actions. Think about the basics, “Crime does not pay” and there are several sensitive jobs that won’t hire if your record is flawed. The best lesson for the future generation, stay clean and away from deviant behavior, finish high school, go to college and stay focused.

  • Buttered Biscuit

    This is creeping liberalism. The new strategy is to create as many precedents as possible so it ‘just seems logical’ to overturn decisions like Richardson v. Ramirez because ‘times have changed.’

    • Luke Visconti

      “Creeping liberalism?” I haven’t listened to Limbaugh in a while—is that one of his phrases? What would “creeping conservatism” be? Foot tapping in the men’s room (maybe that’s creepy conservatism)? Talking about controlling a woman’s body after a rape pregnancy? Spending trillions of dollars you don’t have to invade counties? I’m not sure what “creeping liberalism” is, but count me in if it means advancing civil and human rights. In this case, can we get some people folded back into society after they’ve done wrong? I can’t source this quote, but I read that Mark Twain said, “Christianity is a great religion; we should try it some day.” Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Background checks do discriminate. There are sold studies that show a person who has a record from ten years ago is no more likely to get into trouble or break the law then anyone else. Not to mention a person with a record can be bonded by the government to give the company more peace of mind, because it limits there liability.

  • Kirt Coffin

    I am a white middle aged male. I personally believe that criminal background checks should be illegal. Once an individual has completed their debt to society the conviction should not be able to be used against them. the only institutions that should have access to that information is law enforcement agencies to be able to declare one as a habitual violator. It is no surprise that people with a conviction end up re-violating.

  • Anonymous

    Back ground checks hurt society because people who have made mistakes in their past are really never forgiven. They are refused decent employment for the rest of their lives.(condemned). Even minor crimes keep you out off the work force. This forces them to survive anyway they can by robbery, drug dealing, stealing or what ever it takes for a desperate person to survive. If you served the time it should be unlawful to keep them from working. There are more crimes with more devastating affects done by big business and Government officials that never suffer the consequences for their actions, yet the little guy that cannot afford some fancy Lawyer suffers for the rest of his life. IT IS DISCRIMINATION.

  • What I dont understand is our government lets everyone able to walk or run cross our borders but someone that has paid their debt to society and take care of their family is EXCLUDED for GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT. Now thats true America. Most people that bring violence into the work place have never been convicted of anything…most bank robbers have never been convicted so, to say thos is to screen for safety is some Racist cover up.

  • There really needs to be a timeline to how far back employers can go for background checks they are really not fair when you can’t get a job 15 yrs with a clean record cause of an err in judgement.

  • I have been working for the same company for 2 years, my boss asked me today to submit to a background check stating that the 7 year check wasn’t good enough. I told her I had been in trouble over 20yrs ago and she ask me for what? Mind you the company only requires a 7 year check. I do think I am being decriminated against because no other employee has had this happen to them, even employees who have worked for the company for over five years. I feel like im going to get fired for something I did over 20 years ago???

    • Luke Visconti

      Unless you’re working with the Ebola virus or plutonium, a 20-year background check is very, very suspicious. I’d be concerned it’s racially oriented. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • [yawn] Blacks commit vastly more crimes per capita than whites. It’s not employers, or anybody elses fault that blacks are vastly over represented in almost all criminal offender categories.

        • You don’t have your facts straight. Here’s a hint, you don’t know about IP addresses either.

          How much time did you spend posting almost TWENTY mean spirited comments? It was annoying having to delete them all. What’s next on your agenda? Poking a snared animal with a stick? Slamming the door in someone’s face? Stealing your Starbucks money from the poor box? Go away and don’t come back.

  • Anonymous

    I live in FL. I have NO felony convictions, but I do have several arrests, most of which ended up with charges being dropped. I have been working for 2 years at a company that did NOT do a background check. My work is impeccable, but I”m not making anywhere near what I should be. I have qualified for and been told I HAD THE JOB three times for better positions, but once they run my background check, I’m told that they are rescinding the job offer. This is ridiculous. This was years ago when I got in trouble and have had no incidents since. At what point does this access to personal information become a total invasion of privacy?? There was a time that you got a job based on your ability and competency to do that job. Not on what happened 6 or 7 years ago. It borders on the obscene. They tell you to change your life and do the right thing, but they don’t tell you that you will be crucified for the rest of your life for mistakes you made a decade or more ago. No wonder criminals revert to old behavior. And the future victims can in part blame the sanctimonious, self-righteous background checkers.

  • I dont understand this, im really trying to get a job and have some stability in my life for my kids. But my background holds me back. And these jobs i apply for are completely unrelated to my criminal history, that is why i dont believe it when ppl tell me it depends on my charges, cuz either way i get same answer. Im Hispanic female, i sincerely feel this background check crap was designed to keep ppl like me in a label. This is really depressing and i clean homes for extra cash and im going to school im just scared i will be stuck with a student loan and no way to pay it off!

  • I’m sick of hearing how society discriminates against the blacks and mexicans. I am white, and I have a felony and I am discriminated against in the workforce ALL the time. It is ridiculous that these “office managers” can control my life and paycheck. If they are going to invade my privacy they better make damn sure that my conviction has anything to do with my position or I am going to sue. Just because they are rich, doesn’t give them the right to treat people like dirt. I did the crime, and I did the time. These employers need to be prosecuted because the constitution says that “I can not be punished for the same crime twice”, and why do the employers think they have a right to punish me over and over and over. I wonder how they will feel when their sons or daughters get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I bet it will be a completely different story then, or they will pay their way out of it. Some of us don’t have that option.

    • Luke Visconti

      Oh, so you wipe your feet on “Blacks and Mexicans”? Maybe your problems extend a little further than your past felony. Just saying. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • I’m sorry, but why is it that if I’m white I can be discriminated against by employer for conviction that has nothing to do with job, but if I am black or mexican I would have a huge case against them. I would call this discrimination. I need a job just like everyone else. It’s not my fault they get caught more, maybe they need to stop hanging out in “gangs” and that wouldn’t be a problem.

    • i sued a company that discriminated against me because of my convictions.i am in wisconsin so the offense has to do with the job.it was for a kitchen worker at an assisted living place.i have dui’s and a disorderly conduct which you can get for being somewhere and raising your voice.they made the mistake of saying the dui’s which it wasnt a driving job.i filed a complaint with the state and got a cheap lawyer and won $10,000.they had to change their application and everything cause it was discriminatory.sometimes this is the only way they can learn.

  • Orville Grant

    I recently just got hired at FIS through an agency and after they saw that I have a record they decided that they wont continue with me. Mind you I am not a criminal,it was just a mistake that I have made. I am a good person, and I would never conform to the way they saw me. I have an obligation to be good for the rest of my life.

  • Yes it is discrimination, but not because blacks and latinos are being ‘unfairly’ targeted! The fact is, if you break the law, you end up w/ a record; whether you’re black, brown, or white. And currently we have several thousand laws on the books that carry criminal penalties; so not so hard to end up w/ a record of some sort (U.S. leads the world in prison population). As we all know, not everyone is allowed the same representation or justice (200+ people exonerated from death row- via DNA). Right now, virtually every ‘respectable’ career requires some sort of government regulated occupational license. Even if you have turned your life around, got a degree- w/ honors, involved yourself w/ volunteerism, had a perfect driving record- w/ no history of accidents, never seriously harmed anyone in your whole life; doesn’t matter. An old misdemeanor record, or old minor felony, should NOT stop an employer from hiring someone. I would understand if an applicant was wanted for a heinous crime; but since when did it become constitutional in any way to deny employment to someone w/ an old minor record?! And when I say old minor record, I’m talking about old misdemeanors. But what most don’t realize is that more and more companies, local, state, federal gov. careers are discriminating against people w/ old misdemeanors; not just those w/ felonies. Yet there are more opportunities to get an old felony drug conviction expunged than an old Misdemeanor DUI (that didn’t result in an injury or accident). That makes no sense to me at all! 65 million Americans have a record of some kind; that’s a whole lot of people that we’re denying jobs, housing, occupational licenses to. And that’s a whole lot of pissed-off people.

    • Luke Visconti

      Blacks and Latinos are absolutely unfairly targeted. Look at the stop-and-frisk laws in New York City, look at the enforcement statistics and Ferguson, Mo., look at the convictions for using a firearm in a confrontation in a stand-your-ground state—there are thousands of these examples which have directly led to the gigantic racial and ethnic disparities in the prison population versus who commits crimes. It’s like punching someone in the nose and then saying that they cannot have a job because they’re unsanitary. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Ancora Imparo

        I was stopped and frisked, and I’m white. I was detained in a detox tank, even though I passed the field sobriety test- both physical tests and BAC meter. I was transported in the officers car, to the precinct, for another BAC test. I was unlawfully detained for 3 hours. I just didn’t kick up a fuss about it. The reason you don’t hear about more whites, is because we tend to ‘go along with’ what the cops say. On hindsight- not such a great idea! Black, white, brown, etc., doesn’t matter; it’s happening to everyone and we ALL need to speak up.

        • You make a good point, I agree with your observation that white people are more apt to “go along with it” and there’s a good reason: By any analysis of law enforcement statistics, we are far more likely to get a fair shake.

          Expectations shape behavior.

  • I have had troubles getting hired with misdemeanors on my record. One theft and one domestic violence. I had marital problems 3 years ago, I left an abusive women since then and I am fine now. I found a cellphone laying around for the theft charge and brought it home, I actually returned the phone when the police asked for it!
    Yet these convictions are keeping me from getting lowly jobs like customer service as the local grocery store, team member at target or even housekeeping at a resort. This is ridiculous! All these places offered me a job KNOWING my criminal history, I did not hide it at all. Disclosed on my application and during the interview. The hiring manager loved me regardless of my mistakes and wanted me on the team! The folks at the background checking institute didn’t feel the same way, probably because they haven’t seen me in person and are DISCRIMINATING against me due to undetailed records locked away in the past.
    I mean, if I had killed someone or raped someone I can understand why it would be hard for me to get a job. But I found a lost phone and had marital problems…
    I bet you would be banned from getting a job if you got a felony charge for opening someone else’s mail!

  • I have an 18 year old felony. Been haunting me every day, since. This country does not want people “rehabilitated”. They only want criminals to incarcerate and gov’t dependency. I was 22 at the time of my crime, gonna be 40 in a few weeks. Amnesty will only hurt us more…think about it.

  • Brian Winiarski

    In 2006, I had a decent job in a small town in southern Illinois. While at work one day, I received a call that my trailer was on fire. I lost everything. A friend of mine, who also sold marijuana, offered me a place to stay. I was a pot smoker at the time. This had nothing to do with my decision to accept his offer. He was a good person who wanted to help.I was not offered any help from any of the judges, cops, businessmen, or churchgoers in the community, just the pot dealer. A a month and a half after I moved in, the house was raided. My friend who helped me, his girlfriend, and myself were all charged with multiple marijuana related felonies. The states attorney admitted to me that he knew I was not guilty of selling pot, but because I lived there they could and would still charge me. My lawyer told me that if I plead guilty, I would be given 410 probation and not considered a felon, but if I plead not guilty, I would go to prison, be a felon, and probably never get a decent job. I chose the 410 probation, did what I was supposed to do, and am not a felon. I was and am still refused jobs because all of the H.R. people in charge of hiring say that I am a felon. They do not understand or care what 410 probation is. I even applied for and was granted a F.O.I.D.(firearm owners identification) card to prove that I am not a felon. These HR(human resources) people do not realize or care that felons cannot get a FOID card. I do not own a gun but only got the card to prove I am not a felon. I am however, a veteran who used to have pride in my service. The fact that veterans fought for this countries freedom used to mean something to me. The fact that these HR people are able to sit at their’ desks and stick their’ noses up at me and consider themselves superior to me and all honest worker bees in this country makes me realize that the freedom vets foght for was granted to the wrong citizens. These HR men and women would not be able to survive if the workers did not build houses, plant food, fix cars,and design and maintain everything that we have in society. They sit at their’ desks and decide who to hire for jobs that they themselves could never perform, yet consider themselves intellectually superior to those who build the technology they rely upon. They are lost without their’ computers. They deny me a job yet walk in front my vehicle with their’ arrogant little eyes glued to their’ smartphones. They do not care about my intelligence, education, veteran status, integrity,experience, or anything good I have ever done. They care only that I was charged with a felony ten years ago. I own a dumb phone and have no facebook friends. Does this make me unworthy to be a working member of society? I think that if I can ever afford to get there, I will move to Alaska. I can survive there without technology, without money, without fame, without political power. Mother nature does not care about my criminal background, only about how I treat her. America is supposed to be the land of the free, but freedom here is based soley on how much money one has.I am proud of the good intentions that the veterans have and had, but sickened by how our’ society has twisted the freedom granted by these vets. God bless America, even though he would probably starve if he were here.

    • If you knew that scumbag was a drug dealer you shoulnt have moved in with him. Although if your story is true it sounds like you were a victim of your scumbag friend the fact is you admit you knew he was dealing (i dont buy your story btw, if you werent part of it why did they charge you?)

      If your friend is so nice and you didnt do anything wrong why did he hang you out to dry? The police didnt screw you, your so called friend did.

      My parents were both addicts and stole from me to support their habbit so your friend dose not have my sympathy.

      Employers are just trying to protect their customers which you should understand and your unrepentent hxpocritical response is exactly why I wouldnt likely hire someone with such a record.

      Xou admitt you are willing to be friends with a dealerand that you do drugs so I dont blaim anyone for not hireing you.

      If your a vet you should have more integrity and respect for your branch and you shouldnt be dishonoring your country by hanging around dealers and insulting employers who are being responsible and doing backrounds beforehiring!

  • I’m tired of being discriminated against because of a weak record… I would like to know why I deserve to be punished forever?

  • Ancora Imparo

    This has gotten to the point of ridiculous; and the paranoia is rife in America. We have more than 5,000 laws on the books in this country. And in order that all Americans are ensured their basic civil liberties, we need to draw the line somewhere. We have more people in jails and prisons than any country on this planet (even notorious human rights violators). This is more than concerning. What’s even more concerning is that so many Americans are ignorant to the facts and complacent. Did you give up your freedom for safety?! Did you give away all your common sense as well?! Is it justice to allow the public hysteria to deny jobs/careers to people who have 10-20+ year old misdemeanor convictions?! Are you kidding?! Let us just ask this question: “who amongst the readers of this site, without a criminal record of any kind, have broken the law?” But yet would deny employment, under the guise that society wouldn’t be ‘safe’ if you hired a person w/ a record. Knowing that you, or many friends of yours, have done the same thing and didn’t get caught. What an incredible liar and hypocrite that would make you. Do you know that they offer hiring incentives for people w/ felonies but not w/ misdemeanors (does anyone see anything wrong w/ this picture)?! Do you know that some people are granted expungements, record sealing, found innocent when guilty, found guilty when innocent- a lot more than you think in this country, reduced, etc?! Do you know that some felonies are allowed to be expunged while some misdemeanors aren’t?! There is A LOT of inequity (injustice) in our ‘justice’ system; and yet so many of you want to re-enforce a hard line approach- though it’s easier than ever to be convicted of a crime today?! Think and research your topic before you form an opinion. Just because you have one doesn’t mean it’s actually right.

  • Carrie W.

    I made an alford plea in 1989 to bad checks, and I am still getting turned down for jobs because of it. Two months after moving to a new city with my husband and toddler, and also while pregnant, my husband threw me out one night and moved his girlfriend in the same night. It was in November and I had no place to go and no one to turn to. Me and my toddler were out in the cold for two weeks and kept getting turned away from nighttime shelters. I ended up going into my husband’s home and taking the money we had always kept in the kitchen cabinets, so I could get food and shelter for myself and son. My husband ended up calling the cops and I was arrested and eventually made an alford plea. Since the amount was $300, it was considered a felony. Anyway, I turned my life around and put myself through college and technical school, took care of my children, and bought a house working menial and very hard factory jobs and picking fruits and vegetables because that is the only places that didn’t do background checks. I haven’t had any problems with the law since; not even a traffic ticket. I lost my job in August of 2014 after a severe bout of stomach flu that put me out of work for 5 days. The factory I worked at did not accept a doctor’s note for missed time and did not offer sick or personal days either. I got 24 weeks of unemployment, but after that was expired I have been living off of the savings that I managed to sock away through the years. I would have had a bigger chunk to work from, but I helped my son with the first two years of college. The savings is gone now and for August’s bills I had to take an advance on a credit card which is luckily only 5.99% interest. Anyway, today I got another letter stating that a job offer that I got last week and already took the physical for had been rescinded because of my background check and charges from 26 years ago. In Virginia the background checks go all the way back to age 18 even when the application say “any convictions in the past so & so years.” I’m at my wit’s end trying to hold on to this little house that I only owe $30,000 on. I did my time, and I have proven that I have learned my lesson. When will the judging and persecution end? I’m 45 years old, the only factory work around requires 75lb minimum lifting. Life is just too hard anymore.

  • J. Williams

    Let me see if I understand this correctly?! Due Diligence laws pressure employers not to hire someone w/ a criminal record, but if they’re black or hispanic, then employers better not ban them from employment- or it’s racism! So that leaves everybody else that it’s o.k. to discriminate against. Is that right?! Because that’s all it really is- and anyone w/ sense would know that. This is ridiculous!!! Most of the shooters of late had no type of criminal record. People w/ an old spent misdemeanor record aren’t any more likely to break the law at work, than anybody else. I have an old friend who had a drug possession conviction, who was able to have it expunged, and now he’s a paramedic. I have another friend who has an old misdemeanor DUI and can’t hardly get a job- because they can’t be expunged. Oh, and they’re both white. There is not equity in the legal system; who gets an expungment, who doesn’t, who can afford representation and who can’t, an old spent misdemeanor(s) being used against someone for life- none of it is equitable, just, or makes any sense at all. We’ve turned this all into a ridiculous game!

  • I think it’s a load of crap to say it’s discrimination or anything else when companies use background checks when hiring someone. As a small business owner when having to choose between two people and one has a record I’m hiring the other person. When the owner of a business is the one that has to pay out liability insurance, and be bonded in order to get certain jobs, all that cost is part of overhead cost. The business owner is the one who’s neck is on the line if something happens. If and when the government butt in and deems that background checks can no longer be used. It will lead to a person with an bad history getting hired, and something happens that leads to an injury or damages it will be all on the owner. Companies will be getting sued which will lead to bankruptcy in some cases because insurance will not cover all the damages. Then the owner is out of business, lose their home and life’s savings. But that’s ok as long as people who have criminal records don’t get their feelings hurt.

    • then dont complain if someone with some misedemeanors from 10 years ago cant get a job and reoffends again.we are setting people up to fail because they cant support themselves or their families. some people get caught like a dui or disorderly conduct and most people havent got caught.thats the only difference.i know a lot of people who have went out multiple times and drank after work or going out to eat.they never got caught.i have a couple dui’s and a disorderly conduct.i was discriminated against and pointed out the laws to this company and also filed a complaint with the state and won $10,000.i bet they never make that mistake again.

    • And you’re not very educated about what’s going on- w/ all your ‘load of crap’ sentiments! Do you even know what’s going on- or just popping off?! Something you SHOULD educate yourself about before you end up looking stupid: A) before the late 1990’s, a good many minor records (misdemeanors mostly) were over-looked; a good many have not been ‘dug up’ (as they are now- because of increased transparency and criminal data laws). A good # of people, who have records, are working as your school bus drivers, paramedics, school teachers, etc. And you don’t even know it! Arrests/convictions occurring at, after, 1998 became public. So, unfortunately, those arrested after 1998 are being held accountable- while a good # of those arrested before 1998 aren’t being held accountable. Is that fair and equitable?! Who gets to choose who gets a job and who doesn’t- when a good # of those arrested before 1998 don’t have their criminal records as accessible?! B) This country is increasingly using entrapment to secure arrests/convictions- so an ^ # of people are being arrested. YOU may say “That’s great- get those monsters off the road”; BUT it’s not just alcohol any more, driving under the influence of any medication, tired, etc. can get you a DUI these days- you don’t even have to be DRIVING (don’t know how someone gets a ‘driving under the influence’ when they’re not driving- but I digress). C) The criminal justice system has traded due process for plea deals today (and everyone has a constitutional right to ‘due process’ in this country). This is resulting in a # of people being ‘intimidated’ into plea deals- when they should fight the charge…because the accusations aren’t altogether true. That’s why we have the whole ‘jury of our peers’ thing. Sadly, too many Americans are idiots! And that’s why we incarcerate/jail/arrest more people than any country in the world. And that’s just prison. That’s NOT misdemeanors (which out # felonies 9 to 1). And misdemeanors DO prevent people from getting jobs today- EVEN 30 year old misdemeanors. At the rate that they arrest people in this country, because they’ve made it a thriving business in this country, that is just NOT sustainable or even smart. So- is this sinking in at all?! Or are you just some bitter boob who would rather stay uninformed and ignorant?!

  • I applied for a job at *******. Took the drug test and passed. I did 2 interviews, all the paperwork and was honest about my charges ( all are misdemeanors one from 2001, 2 from 2012) but everytime i called and asked about my background i was told it hadnt come back yet. After a month i just guessed that i was denied for employment. I applied for a job at macys and again was denied employment due to my background but work for them through a temp service the yr prior which i don’t understand how i can work for your company through a temp service but not by applying through the company. I dont see why the mistakes i made should keep me from getting a job. I dont want to live on assistance but when employers do background checks and deny emplyment its like they have a thing with the government so people on assistance cant better themselves, and then the ones who have committed crimes cant get out of that lifestyle so they keep getting in trouble so that cops continue to have jobs, co’s still have jobs cuz they will end up back in jail and lawyers and judges will still have jobs. Its sad that people who have made mistakes dont get a second chance. I would like to start a petition to have background checks removed as a process of employment. Im pretty sure after that the crime rate would drop, unemployment would drop, welfare assistance would drop and everything else that is affected by people being pushed back to reliving the criminal lifestyle. I think employers should have to give everyone a chance to prove that they are no longer the same person that they was when they committed the crimes. Then if they dont or cant work and show that they have changed then by all means fire them. But people are human and we all have made mistakes and how does anyone expect them to learn from the mistakes if they are never given a chance to do the right thing. Its like if you had a charge for dealing but nobody will give you a chance to work at a job to make money the honest way then the only way for them to privide for their family is to continue dealing. I mean would anyone let their family go without or do whatever you have to to prove for your family.( just an example).

  • Natureboy

    It is very frustrating to me that I now find myself back in the “job market” after 20 yrs. of self-employment, and everyone is still holding my non-violent, non- sex offender criminal record against me. A criminal record that is over 25 yrs. old. NO criminal activity since. I have simply found a better way. Now, after selling my company and spending hundreds of thousand of $ to keep my beloved wife alive….. now I am forced to re-enter the workforce. But…… even as a 1099 contract employee, who is not even carrying company money……. no go. So much for that “paying your debt to society BS………

  • Mark Lindsay

    I was convicted of a violent crime in 1991. Did 12 years on parole and completed that in 2010. I served my time and worked various jobs. Nevertheless, I’ve been out of work for some time and applied with an agency who did a background check on me. They said because of my 1991 conviction they could not hire me. I replied it’s been more than ten (10)years since that. They still explain i could not be hired.
    My question is, “is that discrimination “? I paid for the crime and served the time. Can my criminal record be held against me like that after all these years?

  • I feel I have the right to know if a service person or contractor has been convicted of a crime if they are to be entering my house as an electrician, contractor, ect. I worked 27 years in a prison where inmates have committed child molestations, rapes, and burglaries and assaults of the elderly while or after the inmates worked in the victims homes as service people. I myself had a large roll of aluminum disappear and discovered that the contractor I hired was getting his helper every morning from work release at the county jail. I find it absolutely disgusting that people should not be permitted to know if a sex offender or any violent offender is coming in to our homes for plumbing , heating, ect. I always ask if their company policy is to hire ex convicts. So we shouldn’t be allowed to protect our children from preditors? Some of you are portraying yourselves as the victims. You made the choices. I’m not talking about a DUI as a youth or working in a place without access to a persons home or children. But people need to have the right to say who enters their homes and who has access to their children .

  • Keisha Louallen

    I understand why people may feel like the Length of a crime should matter, but I also feel like when people have made mistakes it doesn’t take them long to want to do what’s right. They still have a family to feed, and who is to say that, the crime they have committed wasn’t based on them having a prior record from years back, and because of that, they couldn’t find employment, so what is left? I feel in my opinion, that this is and will always be the problem. Because so many companies have did these background checks, and seen they have criminal backgrounds, it becomes a set back for the individual. A lot of time those who have had criminal backgrounds once they have experienced the hardship of having to be a part of society, or have paid their dues, trying to live a clean and straight life, finds themselves being more determine to do what’s right!. I find it messed up that people still have to find themselves in a system that is do Godly! be so devilish when it comes to someone who have made mistakes! I would rather put my trust that a person who might not be willing to do anything stupid because they know what they can and will lose, than to employ someone down the line who may have never did any openly or got caught doing a crime. Its so many people who embezzled money, theft, etc and still at the work place. But we look at those who have gotten caught and continue to convict them.

  • Jeremy S.

    You know I think that some companies use background checks to discriminate on people. Being that I have a criminal background I am disqualified from jobs due to my drug charges. Its been 6 years since I’ve gotten into any trouble and I feel like when someone does the time for their crime then that crime should go away. Unless it involves crimes against children or any type of sex crime. I feel that once someone does their time is should go away like they say you do the crime you do the time. Once you do your time you should be able to be reaccepted it into society and not have your past forever lingering over your head. I mean I can’t vote I can never own a gun I can’t ever go into the military you know there are so many things that I cannot do because of my past and I feel that you know that needs to change I feel people need to get together and change this….

  • Jeremy S.

    You know I think that some companies use background checks to discriminate on people. Being that I have a criminal background I am disqualified from jobs due to my drug charges. Its been 6 years since I’ve gotten into any trouble and I feel like when someone does the time for their crime then that crime should go away. Unless it involves crimes against children or any type of sex crime. I feel that once someone does their time is should go away like they say you do the crime you do the time. Once you do your time you should be able to be reaccepted it into society and not have your past forever lingering over your head. I mean I can’t vote I can never own a gun I can’t ever go into the military you know there are so many things that I cannot do because of my past and I feel that you know that needs to change I feel people need to get together and change this. It use to be a saying but now it’s the truth once in the system always in the system….

  • I knew when there was this huge outcry for “background checks” that there was an ulterior motive. Since then, the population least likely to commit a crime has been unfairly targeted. It’s an easy way to deny minorities jobs and all done under the radar. The population already discriminated against for job opportunities, is done even worst with this unfair system. I was victimized with this system as well. Online applications is another way they are discriminating (i.e. IP Address). Employers eagerly direct you to “apply online” which frees them from the responsibility of physical interaction with potential employees, In fact, I have never got a positive response from an online application until I applied on a friends computer who was Caucasian. Online applications should be the next thing to be investigated.

  • I am a 37 year old white woman, I was charged back in 2012 for a felony bad checks I was sentenced to 3 years on probation I paid off all the checks worth 4,000 plus court charges, then I violated my probation due to drinking. I got put in DUI Drug Court I been in this program since 2013 I drug test once a month. I went for a job with dollar general my background check came back passed, well I applied for a job at Murphys USA in MS done a drug test passed that, they did a background check failed that cause of the felony bad check so I didn’t get the job, I have a job interview with Home Depot do you think my background will come back failed or passed? Is this discrimination, can I get a lawyer. I need help I don’t know what to do I have two children I am a single mother. I paid everything off but can’t get a job though

    • I feel real bad for you because you are going to fail and you are going to be discriminated against. These background checks need to stop.

  • These background checks need to stop.
    The EEOC needs to put a limitation on your criminal background check – like 5 years – if you haven’t convicted another crime in 5 years – then the answer is NO.

    Those who have made a mistake in their lives and went to jail – have paid for their punishment.
    Allowing society to continue to punish is discrimination of the worst kind. When is a criminal, allowed to re-start his life and become a good citizen again, if he/she is constantly being stoned to death.

    Actually, no one should be sent to jail ever, just give him a criminal record and they will be punished forever by society. No job, no future, no hope, geez what does that leave a person to with.

    I committed embezzlement – was sent to jail – took me a year to land a job at a donation center (won’t mention names) started at the bottom and worked my way up ass’t mgr (4 yrs), but I can not go any further, because every time I apply for a higher position I have to answer that question every time I applied internally. I have been given a lame excuse as to why I can not be a manager, but I know deep in my heart, it’s because of that YES. I have no recourse. I am stuck at a job .

    Let’s count how many different ways I can be discriminated on job interview:

    Criminal background
    Woman
    57 years old
    Heavy size but fit
    Latin

    I just might give up totally and because one of those BURDEN ON SOCIETY PEOPLE and let uncle Sam feed me.

  • Dennis Vinson

    I received a felony in 1994 I did no jail time was place on probation and completed it in 1999. I’ve been to school twice one for carpentry and the other for HVAC but know one will give me chance but lower paying jobs that you can’t feed your family. Cleveland ohio will not let me forget my past and I havent been in trouble since 94 not even a traffic ticket its just sad. Then they wonder why the crime rate is high they not give people a chance from there mistakes.

  • I shared your grief. I am also a felon. Pleaded no contest to fraud charges last 2014 as advised by my lawyer. I felt ashamed of what I did. I made a mistake. I blamed nobody but me.I was always aiming to be a perfect person back then. A former law enforcer and health care worker. All I was thinking was to be able to help people. But now we should realize, nobody is perfect nor can be perfect. Eventually we will make mistakes.
    With regards to background checks. I am okay with this. But with limitations. Employers should only be able to see those violent offense records like murder, arson, armed robbery, crime against our country including illegal entry to a country. There should be a law making it a crime against employer who will not hire an applicant due to his/her non violent felony or misdemeanor convictions. Maybe apply the 3 strikes and your out. We should be given our second chances. America is supposed to be the land of EQUALITY AND OPPORTUNITY. As what we are showing the rest of the world and making them believed that we are the place of refuge accepting refugees from countries with violent histories. I am not against them because I am also from a different country. But people here in the US with felony conviction, stereotyped as felons should also be given chances to redeem themselves..We need to change this culture of stereotyping and racial profiling. Give us equal opportunity. We are human beings too. Just like those drug addicts abusing our system. Does not want to work. Receiving financial assistance using it for their addiction. How many chances have we given them? Are we testing them for drugs before they should get their money from the government? Common law makers, These might be small issues but could help our society. Give everybody a chance to be productive. Let United States be the model country.

    • You want a second chance, but you don’t want to give a first chance to someone who came here “illegally” to work and care for their family? And you lump them in with armed robbers, arsonists and murderers? You’re no better than that orange-wig wearing, little rich boy, Hitler-lover trump.

      To quote trump: “loser.”

  • NotPerfect

    I don’t have a problem with background checks. I have a problem that after years without having any other criminal issues people still can’t find a job. Let’s be realistic, 20 somethings, and 30’s are different people. I also know for a fact of numerous individuals who have not one conviction, and have done things that are illegal numerous times. I made one criminal mistake. Whatever, I guess it will haunt me till I die.

  • Ronnie Andersen

    I agree with background checks but there needs to be a limit of time on how far back they go. I was offered a job at Walmart few weeks ago. Within a week my background came back and couldn’t start work. The reasoning was a simple assault charge 15 years ago. I didn’t even do jail time. It was a $200 fine. For defending my self. I haven’t done anything wrong since. I’m now facing another similar situation with a real good job. I’m a single father of two and a homeowner. I don’t qualify for unemployment or state assistance. How am I to raise my children and pay bills? This is in the state of iowa. The last job I had I lost due to major depression and suicidal thoughts. I’m seeking help but won’t do no good if I lose everything.

  • This is becoming ridiculous. It’s even becoming hard for people with just one misdemeanor to gain employment depending on the state. I will always say and know in my heart I am innocent but went with my lawyers advice and took a plea to avoid jail time to keep my job. Well, turns out he was wrong. The justice system and background checks need serious reform.

  • Domingo Baez

    I was recently shot down for a job by Food Services of America.
    I was told that a drug screen and criminal background check were required and asked by the person conducting the interview if there was something that she should know. Being honest I admitted that I am currently in a halfway house having just been released from prison.
    The woman conducting the interview immediately claimed “I can’t even look at you, had you been out for a while and already successful, it would have been a different story.” If I was successful I wouldn’t be applying for a position that paid between $12.00-14.00 with your company.

    Society is always complaining about ex-cons and recidivism yet no one is willing to give us a chance to prove ourselves beyond the information contained in a background check.

    It’s a lose, lose situation, if you don’t disclose the information and it is uncovered you are labeled a liar and denied employment for falsifying a document, and if you’re honest, like I was you’re immediately shot down.

    I am currently facing a similar situation with Walmart.

    My criminal background should not overshadow my ability to competently do a job and do it well if just given the opportunity.

  • In pa if you don’t have receipts for your fines no matter how long ago You will paying again I have to repay a summary offense fine from 1996 Files thrown out in courthouse after 10 years Lawyers want thousands of dollars to do anything No proof You pay If ya get a warrant in the mail It’s legal New way to make more money off the poor people In my city You can get a job with a record to Let’s not forget the economy is still bad also

  • Bill Fermano

    Background checks are BS, Like really mines has one from 4 years ago simple tresspass taking junk steel n iron out of dumpster.

    Was working 6 months for company dining in who is partner of grub hub …. well Grub hub took over BOOM back ground check causing adverse reaction i’m out of job.
    LIKE really wtf danger am i to grub hub everything is credit card orders we dont even need signatures or get any information about the price of the order …only see tip amount.

    Also like i’m supposed to be an independent contractor NOT an Employee like wtf!

    SO Friday when it happened i go batty driving around asking some places i did deliveries for if they needed a driver. Finally after couple hours local restaurant 43 blocks from home had sign on door driver wanted BOOM hired and worked Fri from 3 -1 10 hours made 21 deliveries went home with $135.

    Really the firing was a blessing in disguise because i recieve Supplemental social security and that would go away if they saw i was making huge money. YES at grub hub your making like $15 per hour so a 5 day week just 7 hours per day can net you over $1000 a week.

    So i’m happy now working for local old restaurnt pizza and full menu 4 days a week I just did fri sat. n sun

    made $375 Saturday was givin to me due to other driver having virus flu.

    I’m hoping to drop 1 day like sunday just do wed thurs fri i’m fine with 3 days

    Another thing about background check copmapanies one being Checkr real nice they did with uber driver who shot n killed 6 people huh?

    UBER uses Checkr so does lyft and others .

    Other instances of UBER drivers breaking the law i heard about so wheres that background check helping huh?

    BEFOIRE you take a JOB with UBER beware your insurance company will not pay out if in accident while working for uber or other such company.

    YOUR really an illegal Taxi.

  • Admittedly, there are those who discriminate against minorities. However, there are also those who discriminate against those with a criminal background. All discrimination is wrong.

    My situation is this… I plead guilty to domestic assault in 2010. I did it. I’m not a victim. Even though my wife, at the time, had assaulted me on numerous occasions, and the police failed to arrest her, I eventually took matters into my own hands and hit her back. I got arrested. I did it. Her wrongs don’t make my wrong a right. There’s a gross double standard in the legal system against men and domestic violence. Nonetheless, I should have done something else. After I was arrested, I plead guilty immediately. I hold myself accountable, and thought it was the right thing to do.

    I ran my own business for years. My background never was an issue then. Eventually, I divorced my wife, moved back to my home state, voluntarily went to rehab for alcoholism, found a therapist, and got a job at a really great company. All was well. Then, my company shut down our office. They offered to relocate me to another office, but I didn’t want to leave my home and my support network. So, I started looking for work. I’m a highly skilled IT professional with about 20 years of experience. Outside of my domestic assault conviction from 2010, I have nothing on my record. Not even parking tickets.

    I have applied to over 1200 jobs in the last 5 months. I’ve been on countless interviews. I’ve received 6 job offers for positions that pay in the 6 figures….. All of the offers get rescinded due to my one conviction from 2010. There is a law against these employers using my conviction against me, but they still do. They find other ways to deny me a position, after they find my conviction.

    It’s horrible. I’m broke. I can’t pay child support. I can’t afford to visit my children now. When will M debt be repaid?

    Oh, and in regards to my ex wife… After calling the police on her 11 times over the years, video and taping her while she assaulted me, having witnesses, and countless other assaults… She has a disturbing the peace charge on her record. And she has my kids, doesn’t work, and lives off of my child support payments.

    Our society is screwed up, folks.

    No matter! I’m not giving up, but it does make me sad at just how unjust our country is.

  • In 2014 I worked for a hotel as a steward I worked there for 6 myths. I got a call from the temp agency. Saying my assignment ended I asked that day if there. Is other work she told me I can’t place you anywhere because of my background I asked her what about this company. She says no she says I can’t help you ok temporary agency refuse me for job then I get in the mail a copy of my background and a letter can’t hire due to background I had high ratings from my boss didn’t do anything wrong for 6 mths. Then I just found out that the temp agency put someone who is on state parole for hitting cops and distroying their car place him at the company I asked to put me need help can I Sue either company

  • My husband has been on the end of several inaccurate background checks. He has a common first and last name. Unfortunately he shares those common names AND a birth-date with a career criminal. Most recently, we were denied housing because his criminal background check came back with several offenses….all of which belong to this other gentleman. Luckily, we were able to dispute and correct this information but not without spending a few dollars and several days of our time, all the while being stared at as if we were both criminals. When we went over the past 3 years, we realized he has missed several job opportunities due to this inaccurate information. I called the software company and they said they provide more then enough information and that it is the courts that do not match all of this information correctly. I don’t care either way….this effects our lives, our futures, our livelihoods, our home. This should not happen to anyone in this day and age with the technology and personal identifying information. They do not have the same SSN….but I was told this number is not used at the first level of a background check, just name and birth-date. I was assured this will happen again and that there is very little we can do about it.

  • I would have to say from experience that people with criminal backgrounds are denied a lot of opportunities. Makes it harder on the individual to obtain sustainable career. Sad for X criminals but you have to look at it from the employers stand point. The hiring manager is in charge of hiring someone fit for the job. You have 5 or 6 applicants behind you with no arrest records. You having a criminal record would be a risk. Why take a risk when you don’t have to? Best thing to do is attempt to get all records expunged. Yes cost a lot of money but this is punishment for making a mistake. Mistakes with no consequence= more mistakes. Suck it up, learn from your mistake and move on.. Better than the oppo. Which is keep making them and check the view from behind bars. Should make us work harder to prove that this was a mistake we did it intentionally but we are regretful humans born to rebel and make mistakes. No excuse, I was wrong. Already knew I was before I did it. Bulid your character back up and be thankful. Work harder every day to be a better person. Prove yourself…… God can help!!!!

    • Rusty Shackelford

      This is punishment for making a mistake jason?????? News flash!! We already paid for that mistake by giving years of our life we will never get back!!! Plus how are we to pay lots of money for something, when we arnt aloud to make money? This isnt rocket science. Ex offenders stand no chance with the current set up and to come up with excuses of why its right infuriates me!! Change it or expect crime rates to INEVITABLY rise….because everyone has to eat!

  • Background checks aren’t used fairly. A hot check 12 years ago still prevents me from being considered for jobs I am qualified for. Heartbreaking and frustrating. To add hurt to injury? I didn’t even write the check. Someone else did. I was charged with a crime because I didn’t destroy the temporary checks. I was given a $1 and a day. I did not even participate in the crime but I was punished for it and now I am still punished for it. Everytime I fill out a job app. It’s been 12 years. It even states on the background check 7 years, but that doesn’t matter. Forever. It means forever.

  • I have a misdemeanor dui from 24 years ago and a minor possession charge for marijuana 18 years ago can’t get a job anywhere have no criminal record since 18 years the only thing keeping me from a job is the past criminal record I pass the drug test but when background check comes back they say I am not able to be hired

Leave a Reply