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FTC looking at background check processes

Aug 21, 2013 Quinn Thomas

Employers rely on background checks to assure they are hiring trustworthy and responsible individuals. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it will be taking a second look at these employment tools to ensure they aren't discriminating against certain applicants.

According to The New York Times, many of the criminal background checks used by companies are unfairly removing applicants from the job pool who have been arrested but not charged, had their cases dismissed or their files expunged.

Furthermore, the newspaper adds that companies using some of these employment screening tools could actually by overlooking a federal law that requires background reports to be accurate, and according to the source, one of the biggest offenders may be the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

"FBI background checks are widely viewed as the gold standard but are in fact woefully flawed," The New York Times explained. "Those agencies do a good job of transmitting arrest and fingerprint data but a terrible job of including information on the cases' outcome."

According to the National Employment Law Project, approximately 1.8 million workers' FBI background checks contain incorrect or incomplete information, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.