“Advocacy in Action” was the charge led by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) in its annual legislative hill day in Washington, D.C. More than 120 NAPBS members, including Lara MacLean, Desiree Adam, Nichole Cowell and myself representing HireRight, spent the day meeting with members of Congress to educate lawmakers on issues affecting the background screening industry.
Our agenda focused on two major topics:
- Enhancing Public Access Court Electronic Records (PACER) Identifiers
- Harmonization of Data Privacy & Security Legislation with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Federal criminal records are maintained within the PACER repository. Unlike most other criminal search databases at the state and local levels, PACER records are limited to name-only identifiers. As a result, consumer reporting agencies including HireRight may be unable to report federal criminal records unless other information can be located that conclusively matches the record to the candidate; this can cause potential delays in the hiring process. Our request to Congress is to enact legislation that requires that PACER records are completed with additional identifiers, such as date of birth, to help facilitate matching and reporting accuracy.
Data Privacy & Security Harmonization
In recent years, many states have passed data privacy and security measures requiring consumer reporting agencies and employers to comply with a patchwork of laws. NAPBS supports a federal approach to data privacy and security legislation that would establish a clear regulatory approach to protecting consumer data. We ask that as Congress considers a federal standard for data privacy and security and harmonize that legislation with the existing consumer protection measures in place with the FCRA. For example, the FCRA establishes a process by which a candidate must be presented with a disclosure that a background check will be requested, and must authorize that background check. Any new federal data privacy and security legislation should take these existing obligations under the FCRA into account, and ensure that new legislation does not conflict or overlap with existing laws.
HireRight is a strong believer in legislative advocacy. By actively participating in the legislative process, we hope to better understand issues affecting employers and our industry, and help shape a better candidate experience. Through advocacy, we as constituents can make a difference by working with lawmakers to help drive legislation that balances the rights of the candidate with the needs of employers and consumer reporting agencies.
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