September 16, 2021 | CRA Advice

[Podcast] Background screening compliance update with Scott Paler



In this episode, we are joined by Scott Paler, partner and attorney at DeWitt LLP. Scott serves as Chair of the Firm’s Background Screening Practice Group and Past-Chair of the Firm’s Employment Practice Group. Over his career, Scott has advised more than 100 background screening companies on compliance and business issues. He has also defended multiple background screening companies in litigation.

We discuss compliance updates that impact CRAs in the background screening industry:

Amendment to NYC Fair Chance Act  

New York is at the forefront of creating new laws related to background checks. The amendment formalizes the requirement that the criminal history part of the background check be reserved for the very last step in the pre-hire process rather than using it as a first-level discriminant. This is causing some waves, especially if it becomes precedent for other states. Scott gets into the nuances of this requirement, why it’s causing waves, what this means to the industry, and how CRAs can protect themselves. 

New Ban the Box Law in Louisiana.  

Many states already have Ban the Box Laws. We discuss the new Louisiana Ban the Box Law coming from a Southern, conservative state, how a potential shift in the interest in reintegrating ex-offenders is taking priority, and whether we may see these laws spreading to other jurisdictions. Is it time for a national ban the box law?

DOB Redactions by Courthouses in California and Michigan. 

Date of birth is one of the critical pieces of information used to match records in the criminal history space. Michigan got to the precipice with this redaction change in court practice, blinked and extended the deadline. California is working on its own version of this same type of law. We discuss how these laws impact the ability of the CRAs to accurately report background screening information and the unintended consequences of the DOB redaction.

Arbitration Clauses

Arbitration clauses are becoming a more regular occurrence in contracts between background screening companies and their end-user clients. We discuss why this is happening, the pros and cons, and whether every CRA should be adding arbitration clauses to their contracts.

Increasing Federal Government Attention On Tenant Screening. 

Tenant Screening is so hot right now. Scott will be leading a discussion at the PBSA Conference about it. Scott gives a preview of the topics he will be covering and discusses some of the risks emerging for tenant screeners.

Listen on your podcast platform of choice, or stream this episode at the top of the page.

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