CI’s Compliance Initiative
By: Patricia Reilly
I had the pleasure of sitting down with our resident compliance analyst extraordinaire, Tammy, to speak about what is happening in the background screening industry in terms of legislation. Sitting in the CI lounge, sipping coffee, and discussing industry changes is my quintessential perfect afternoon. We dove into those hard-hitting questions about current legislation and what is important to our clients, as their background screening partner. Tammy has been with CI for almost two years and has become an invaluable member of the team.
So, tell me a bit about yourself, and how you came to this position as our Compliance Analyst?
I came from a background of policy writing, and compliance related consulting. I have a master’s in legal studies which is the source of my affinity for research, diligence, and compliance.
I’ll never forget your interview. You came in with three binders of research on our company, and what our mission, vision, and values are. I remember you had said in your interview that “We were different, and possessed the kind of values that you were looking for in an organization.” So, what legislation is currently happening right now?
Well in New York, I’m following pending legislation and changing compliance rules. One way I do this is through research, and tracking of the current legislation. I capture the legislation and nuances, then track the progress of it. It’s one of my daily tasks as Compliance Analyst. I also sit on a NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners) committee and serve as the Albany Metro Captain for NAPBS Government Relations. I basically track everything that might happen at the municipal level in Albany County, and the City of Albany, and report back to NAPBS. I’m on this committee with many other members of NAPBS, and we all report back to each other monthly on the status of newly arising and proposed legislation from jurisdictions around the country. In this way, we keep our eyes and fingers on the pulse of legislation.
What is the biggest legislation news our clients should be aware of?
There’s a lot of local, and jurisdictional legislation that is sweeping the country under the rubric of privacy protection, and criminal justice reform. The result is a patchwork of regulatory inconsistencies and contradictions. This is causing a compliance headache for many CRAs as we scramble to keep up and remain compliant while still delivering quality results. One of the biggest areas of concern is courts limiting access to public records. In New York State it was through the 2020 budget vote that increased the price of the Statewide Criminal search from $65.00 to $95.00, a 47% increase, that’s huge! Other jurisdictions are attempting to limit access all together which adds cost. Cost in price, as well as time, when it comes to trying to help people get jobs. This could hurt the consumer, as well as the employer, and contribute to the overall slowing of economic growth.
What should our clients be watching in terms of legislation right now?
New York State has proposed a Ban the Box bill for both public and private employers as a statewide requirement in the hiring process. This proposal could pre-empt the current jurisdictional laws that have already been passed. It’s still in committee, and hasn’t had movement, but it’s certainly something to watch. One theory holds, the best way to remain compliant is to utilize the rule that is most restrictive, and most beneficial to the applicant. However, there are many important considerations to weigh in attempting to comply with conflicting jurisdictional rules. These considerations are specific to a company or an employer, and there is no universal approach.
We finished our coffee and chatted a bit more about the background screening industry as a whole. Keep an eye out for more compliance news from our resident compliance analyst extraordinaire!