Can an Active Warrant Keep You from Getting a Job?

If you have an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor or felony, that means you could be arrested for the crime at any time. A warrant can complicate your life in countless ways. If you are searching for a job, it may or may not cause an employer to decide not to hire you.

How an Employer Might Look at an Outstanding Warrant

Many, but not all, employers conduct pre-employment background checks. If an employer conducts a thorough background check, a warrant will most likely come to light. Depending on the nature of the charged offense, the type of job you applied for, the company’s policy, and the supervisor’s discretion, you may or may not be hired.

For many employers, the type of crime you are charged with will be key to the decision on whether to offer you a job. If the job would require driving and you have an outstanding warrant for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an employer would almost certainly not hire you. If a supervisor knew about the warrant and offered you the job, and then you caused an accident that damaged one or more vehicles or injured other people, the company could face a wrongful hiring lawsuit.

If you applied for a job working with vulnerable populations, such as children, senior citizens, or disabled individuals, and you have an outstanding warrant for assault or domestic violence, an employer most likely wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring you. The company’s or organization’s primary concern would be the safety of the people in their care. If you were hired and abused someone on the job, the employer could be sued.

If you have an outstanding warrant for a minor crime, such as petty theft, and the job you are seeking would not give you access to money or credit cards, an employer might be willing to give you a chance. A supervisor might take the view that you are innocent until proven guilty or might think that you would be unable to commit such a crime in the position you applied for and would not pose a risk to the company.

How to Handle a Warrant

If you have an active warrant out for your arrest, hire a lawyer and post bail if required. When you fill out a job application or go for an interview, answer all questions honestly. An employer may be willing to hire you with an outstanding warrant, but you will automatically be rejected for a job if you get caught in a lie.

Check Applicants’ Backgrounds

If you are an employer, you need to make informed decisions to protect the safety and interests of your business and customers. Depending on the nature of the alleged crime, a warrant may or may not be a reason not to hire a job applicant.

DataCheck can conduct thorough background checks to provide you with all the relevant facts you need to make hiring decisions with confidence. Contact us today to learn more.

A Closer Look at “Ban the Box” Rules

Many businesses haven’t changed their hiring procedures much in recent years. “If it works, why mess with it?” is an oft-heard refrain. While there is a convenience in doing the old-fashioned way, new rules have come into play that may limit how companies can conduct background checks on prospective employees.

What is “Ban the Box?”

As of 2019, 35 states, the District of Columbia and over 150 cities and counties have adopted what’s called “ban the box” rules that ensure employers must consider a job candidate’s qualifications first before they can consider the candidate’s conviction or arrest record. The goal is to help people who may have criminal convictions in their past gain employment by giving them a fair chance for a job. In practice, “Ban the Box” removes the conviction history question from job applications and delays background checks until later in the hiring process.

While many of the rules are broad and in some cases apply only to federal employees or contractors, 12 states—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—have also required the removal of conviction history questions from job applications for private employers. Aside from the most local of companies who do business entirely outside of these states, this means the rules could affect a majority of companies doing business in the U.S. In fact, if you add up the population of the states and localities that have adopted “Ban the Box” policies, there are now over 258 million people in the U.S. —which represents more than three-quarters of the U.S. population— who live in a jurisdiction with some form of fair-chance hiring policy.

Updated Hiring Policies

In addition to “Ban the Box,” most of these states and municipalities are adopting the best practices created in the 2012 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on using arrest and conviction records in employment decisions, which can further complicate the rules of recruiting and hiring.

For this reason, if your hiring procedures haven’t been updated recently, you could be in violation of the law. Hiring is a complex process today, particularly for organizations that hire across state or county lines. To ensure you’re not violating the rights of prospective employees, it’s a good idea to rely on background checks by a professional agency.

Ensure You’re Doing Background Checks Properly

Criminal history background checks are an integral part of the hiring process and help protect companies and their employees. It’s essential, however, that employers ensure they’re following all the rules, including fair employment mandates.

Get Professional Help

With the services of a professional pre-employment background screening company like DataCheck, you can protect your workers and your business and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits while still complying with “ban the box” laws. Contact DataCheck at 949-339-2305 or visit our website.

Background Checking Employment Candidates for a Safer Workplace

It’s the job of every employer to keep their workers safe. It’s not only a responsibility toward workers, but it’s also about reducing liability, keeping productivity high and turnover low.

While no one can see into the future to predict how effective a candidate will be as an employee, background checks can go a long way toward ensuring that employers are doing their best to keep their workplaces safe.

Substance Abuse Checks

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 15 percent of Americans are living with a substance abuse problem. This statistic is alarming for several reasons. For employers, it means that it’s more challenging than ever to keep a drug-free workplace. Many employers perceive the problem is worsening with the advent of legal marijuana in many states.

Drug use by employees or in the workplace can lead to an unsafe environment, a less productive environment and more employee absenteeism and turnover. You have a responsibility to keep all your employees safe, so it’s in your organization’s best interest to hire drug-free candidates.

Criminal Background Checks

When you’re making hiring decisions, it’s critical you have all the information relevant to the position you’re trying to fill. Quality background screening can identify criminal histories that applicants may not be revealing. These screenings help companies to hire the right candidates for their organization and ensure that the candidate won’t put other employees or the company’s assets in jeopardy.

Consider Drug Testing and Background Checks for a Safer Workplace

Drug testing has shown to improve workplace safety and productivity and reduce employer liability. Criminal background checks yield similar results, helping companies ensure that new employees haven’t been convicted of crimes that may be relevant to their job description.

Be Sure to Stay within the Law

Job candidates do have rights, and they may vary from state to state. When you conduct background and drug tests, ensure they’re properly structured and that you’re staying within the boundaries of both federal law and any laws your state may have to prevent you from using certain data against candidates. A professional background check organization can help you with this.

Seek Professional Services

DataCheck, a provider of pre-employment background checks, drug tests and screening services, offers a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms to gain insight into a candidate’s online behavior and appropriateness based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values. The service can help uncover evidence of criminal behavior, unprofessional conduct or lies, and misrepresentation about experience and education. The goal is to prevent the hiring of candidates who aren’t a good fit or who could even be a danger to the company’s existing employees and reputation.

Contact us for more information on the ways DataCheck can help with screening candidates via social media and other means

Expanding the Labor Pool by Considering Rehabilitated Offenders

It’s an economic cycle: when labor is plentiful, employers can afford to be choosy about who they hire. When labor pools shrink, employers often need to remove some of their restrictions and consider hiring people with less formal education or fewer years of work experience. One place employers can look for workers to fill labor shortages includes a pool of applicants they might be accustomed to rejecting: ex-offenders.

Thinking Differently About Hiring Ex-Offenders

It’s been conventional wisdom for years that former offenders are riskier to hire: they may present a threat to other workers or steal money or stock from a business, so the thinking goes. But a new study has shown this may not be true, and that there may be benefits to hiring ex-offenders. The real question for employers willing to take the chance is how to evaluate and select these candidates, according to EHS Today, which highlights research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) which a demonstrated consistent work history is a better marker of a good worker than a clean record.

“It’s time to put an end to the stigma that holds back inclusive hiring and retire outdated employment practices,” said SHRM’s president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “With unemployment falling below four percent, employers must think differently about both jobs and the people who can fill them. A criminal record should never be viewed as an automatic disqualification for employment.”

In addition to a consistent work history, employers should look for references, job training, and a certification of rehabilitation. They should also be sure to conduct a thorough background check to validate the truth of claims on an application. It is, however, important to do so within the law. California already has restrictions on how criminal background check information may be used.

FIRST STEP Act

Another factor that may make relaxing rules on hiring ex-offenders more appealing is criminal reform legislation at the federal level in the form of the FIRST STEP Act, which cleared the House in May. Among other things, the legislation would provide $250 million over five years for new inmate education and rehabilitation programs, which include job training.

Call the Professionals

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees. As a full-service background investigation company, we specialize in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.

Criminal History Check Update: A Look at Current Laws

More states, cities, and municipalities are opting to “ban the box” and bar public employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal histories on initial applications and paperwork. (It’s permissible to do so after the job has been offered if it’s relevant to the applicants’ position.) It’s a way to ensure that ex-offenders are given a fair shake in the job market. Since California put their own nation-leading “ban the box” ruling into place last year, many other states and regions have followed.

Here’s a look at the most recent states and what they are doing to further protect applicants:

  • In June 2018, St. Louis County officials announced the county will no longer ask job applicants for criminal histories in their initial employment applications,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • With an executive order signed in May, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer “banned the box” for people who apply for executive branch jobs with the state. “It provides applicants with the opportunity to explain their unique facts and circumstances and what has happened to them and how their lives have changed,” said Governor Colyer.
  • On March 13, 2018, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed the Washington “Fair Chance Act,” which prohibits employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for the position sought. With both California and Oregon on board with “ban the box,” this means the practice is law on the entire U.S. West Coast.
  • Also in June, Johnson County, Iowa passed a ban the box ordinance that removes the requirement for applicants to initially disclose any criminal history.
  • Massachusetts already has ban the box rules in place, but on October 13, 2018, further restrictions on employers’ ability to consider a job applicant’s criminal history information in the hiring process will take effect. Among other rules is a decreased time period for disclosure of misdemeanor convictions by applicants from five to three years.

Private Employers Step Up Background Checks

At the same time, states and municipalities are making rules to protect applicants, some private employers like Uber are stiffening the requirements for background checks for applicants. Private companies (like Uber) have settled legal cases alleging faulty practices and a lack of thorough checking for sex offenders, in particular.

Hire a Professional Background Check Company

As an employer, how do you ensure you’re not running afoul of the increasingly complex rules and regulations, but also protecting your business and your existing employees? Third party agencies such as DataCheck help employers navigate the complex rules and regulations around compliance and privacy laws such as “Ban the Box,” while protecting both applicants’ rights and employers’ best interests.

Contact DataCheck today for professional pre-employment services such as criminal background checks that protect your workers and your business from identity theft, fraud and negligence.