Instead of waiting for changes to state or federal laws, Dayton, Ohio is taking a more blanketed approach to their hiring practices now. Although they are only required to have about 70% of their city employees background checked before hiring, they have decided to make all positions require that level of vetting. They are hoping this will alleviate concerns regarding fairness when to it comes to their policy on hiring felons. No potential employee will be hired if they have a felony conviction on their record. As of now, there are three positions which have not been background checked. These positions include the waste collector, administrative typists, and a mechanic. Once their new policy is officially in effect, these two will be held to the same scrutiny as all other positions.
Nonprofit agencies are asking for a different policy change though. They would like to see felons get a fair shot at city jobs. In fact, PowerNet and LEAD, two agencies concerned with justice in hiring, especially when it comes to former convicts, would like all potential hires to get through the first round of interviews without even having to check the felon box. This way, if they make it to the next round after they’ve proven they are qualified for the position, only then would their criminal history come in to question. Of course, the city’s current policy on not hiring ex-felons would then have to be changed to allow certain people to be hired if their felony is not related to the position they apply for.
Maurice Evans, secretary and chief examiner for the Civil Service, said they do not know how many ex-felons currently work for the city. He is sure that there are none working in the departments of police, fire, law, airport, water, and sewer though, because those positions have always included background checks. Many companies are upping their background check requirements due to the rise in crime and the potential negligent hiring suits they might incur if a crime is committed by a previous offender on their watch and while on company business. This is causing nonprofit agencies like LEAD though to speak out on behalf of criminals who they feel have paid their dues. The EEOC is also weighing in the matter. Whatever policies and laws change in the future, currently, it is more than acceptable for organizations to hire companies like backgroundchecks.com to carry out checks on potential hires. This gives them access to products like US OneSEARCH and US AliasSEARCH enabling them to find out if their applicants have criminal convictions on their records.
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