At first, the drive towards occupation applicants that are fingerprinting appears to make sense. And needless to say, Uber should seek to improve customer security through sensible background check policies. Nevertheless, the extreme concentrate on fingerprinting is grounded in two flawed premises: First, that fingerprint-based background checks are orders of magnitude more precise than private ones (they’re not). And second, that signs of previous criminal history is almost always a powerful indicator a job applicant will participate in misconduct at work (it’s not). The discussion on which kind of background check is the “gold standard” redirects focus from a more pervasive issue in the workplace—namely, the indiscriminate (and possibly unlawful) use of criminal history info to refuse jobs to qualified workers.
Background checks often include misinformation?
It’s well known that private background checks often include misinformation. At the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, California, our Clean Slate Practice finds hundreds of customers each year who are seeking employment and have a criminal record. From a decade of expertise, we are aware that private background checks created by CRAs are riddled with an unacceptably large number of errors. For instance, private background checks typically link the incorrect man by the similarity of their names and a criminal violation. Other common errors include reporting a violation that is previous as having happened lately or mistaking the harshness of a violation—such as reporting a misdemeanor as a felony or neglecting to notice a conviction was dismissed. Frequently, private background checks contain advice that they’re lawfully prohibited from reporting, like arrests which didn’t result in a conviction.
Replacing criminal background check with fingerprint-based background checks might not even greatly reduce their frequency, and Won’t remove these same errors. Criminal record information passes through many hands in law enforcement, for example, court system together with the DOJ and FBI themselves. Before it ends up in state DOJ and FBI databases, errors could be introduced at any given period of transmission.