Compliance Issues Involving Criminal Records

There are many regulating the access and use of criminal records. These laws affect not only the use of criminal records by end-users (such as employers), but may also impose restrictions on the vendors who disseminate these records. Because regulation of criminal records can be the result of federal, state or local legislation, jurisdictional issuesand the complexity of the laws, themselves, can be daunting - placing employers in legal jeopardy.

Most users of records in the private sector are employers. Hence, much of this section is devoted to a discussion of how employers and the record vendors supplying records to employers are regulated by compliance laws.

The links to the left will take you to several helpful professional products and/or resource sites. The links below provide federal, state, and local criminal record regulations, and is provided by esteemed industry experts, Mr. Lester Rosen, Mr. Larry Henry, and Mr. Derek Hinton. While an in-depth discussion of Compliance Issues Involving Criminal Records would be beyond the scope of this free-view web page, the links provided should get you off to a good start.

Click for Details on Federal Regulations

The gold standard is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a very complex and convoluted law. There are four groups affected by this law. In addition, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has placed additional guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records by employers.

Click for Details on State Regulations

A number of states have placed additional restrictions on employers and vendors that go beyond the regulations associated with the FCRA. What happens if an employer from Ohio hires a person living in New York to work at an office in California? Which state’s regulation on the use of criminal records applies...and what are these regulations?

Click for Details on Local Ban-the-Box Regulations

Perhaps the most significant local regulation is that related to the ban-the box movement. This is a law essentially requires an employer to wait until a job offer is given (or perhaps at a different point in the application process) before asking the applicant if he or she has a criminal record. See the chart.