News & Resources

Seattle background check legislation draws opposition, support

Sep 13, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Seattle, Washington, could soon see a change in its policies regarding background checks for businesses located in the city. One council member has introduced a proposal which would forbid employers from conducting screenings on candidates until later in the hiring process. According to Employment Screening Resources, Seattle city councilman Bruce Harrell is asking fellow council members to consider potential regulations that would force hiring managers to check the criminal histories of job applicants only after interviewing them for positions. Harrell states that he developed the proposal to help individuals with criminal backgrounds get jobs based on their qualifications and not their pasts. However, there has been some opposition to the possible new rules, reports Several business owners in Seattle argue that it would ultimately allow the city government to enforce policies on companies and tell managers how to run operations. There are several firms in the city that are in support of the regulations as well, according to the source. In any case, it is beneficial for businesses, such as short term lenders, to conduct background screenings on candidates, as past criminal activities could compromise companies and employees. Microbilt's Pre-employment Screening tools can be used by managers to help them make informed hiring decisions.