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New York Times Editorial: Far Too Many Americans Miss Job Chance Because of Incomplete or Wrong FBI Background Check Info

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By The New York Times
Editorial

These days it is hard enough to find a job. Far too many Americans miss a chance to get hired because the F.B.I. background checks employers commonly use to screen applicants have incomplete or inaccurate information.

A bill introduced by Representative Bobby Scott, a Democrat of Virginia, would fix this problem by requiring the F.B.I. to verify and correct criminal data before issuing the background check for employment purposes.

That would improve the employment prospects, and the lives, of the nearly 50 million people with arrest or conviction records.

The problem of flawed reports became clear when Congress required new F.B.I. background checks for about 1.5 million people who work on the nation’s ports after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The goal was a sensible one: to screen out people who presented security risks. A 2009 report from the National Employment Law Project, a workers’ advocacy group, found that the government had mistakenly denied credentials to tens of thousands of workers, partly because of flawed reports.

The most common problem is that the records fail to include the final disposition of a case. For example, they may show that the person was arrested but not that the charges were dismissed or that there was no prosecution or conviction.

To read more click here.


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