Legislative Alert: Harvey Could Delay Background Checks

About 3 min

Legislative Alert: Harvey Could Delay Background Checks

Screening News

  • Harvey Could Delay Background Checks
  • Apartment Complex Sued by Murder Victim’s Family
  • Proposed Bill Could Slow Hiring in Ohio

Harvey Could Delay Background Checks

The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is unfathomable. While our hearts and prayers go out to everyone hurting in the wake of this horrific storm, it is important to note that the turn-around time for some background checks could be affected. At this point, 29 counties in Texas and 13 in Louisiana have been impacted. A majority of the counties do have automated databases, which means if your applicant lived or worked in these areas we should be able to access the records. If an applicant comes back as “clear,” the delay should be minimal. The interruption will be more obvious if additional investigation is required. Reporting an unconfirmed “hit” from an automated database is only part of the story. Without actually being able to go to the courthouse and confirm the record is accurate and belongs to the right person, the report is incomplete. There might also be delays in verifications that require contact with employers and schools. At this point, it is impossible to say how long these delays will go on.

Apartment Complex Sued by Murder Victim’s Family

Tiffany Thrasher didn’t feel safe in her Chicago apartment complex, so she moved to another one that advertised its “pro-active” approach to tenant safety. A month later she was raped and murdered by a neighbor. Now her family is suing the apartment management company for reportedly renting to a drywall company that rotated migrant workers through the apartment. These workers did not undergo criminal background checks like all of the other tenants. One of those workers is now in jail, accused of breaking in through an open window and attacking Thrasher. The management company will not comment on open cases.

Proposed Bill Could Slow Hiring in Ohio

The Ohio House has proposed a bill that bans employers from giving any applicant information to a third party background screener before a job offer has been made. The bill also prohibits employers from even asking for Social Security Numbers, dates of birth or driver’s license until there is an offer on the table. In addition to dramatically slowing the hiring process, the bill could leave employers unable to defend themselves from lawsuits. If it becomes law, the bill will require employers to destroy all information they collect on applicants after just two years - whether they are hired or not. The state’s discrimination law has a six year statute of limitation. That means if someone sues after four years, the company would have no documents available to defend itself. The bill is still in committee, we will keep you posted on its progress.


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