Ever wondeTraffic Lightr why Traffic information is reported under the Criminal County, National Criminal History and 50-State Sex Offender components of a background check? The reason is because Traffic falls under the criminal court system.

We are making a change to this practice and will be removing traffic violations from these sections. We are making these changes for the following three reasons:

  1. This will help to ensure that we continue to be compliant with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations.
  2. We have heard your requests and concerns about minor traffic tickets falling under such serious categories as Criminal and Sex offender reports. Please be assured that if it is a criminal charge, such as a third -offense DUI or vehicular homicide, the information will still be reported under the criminal section.
  3. Another reason we are making this change is because traffic data is not consistent across the nation. Some states include traffic information in their criminal courts, but others do not. To provide you with consistency in information, ordering a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) search is a better, more accurate, option.

If you need Traffic information, we can provide you with this information through a Motor Vehicle Records report.  You can order an MVR that will give you up-to-date and accurate information to better meet your needs.

If you are in need of traffic information to make a hiring decision, please contact us and we will set up your ordering system to include the MVR. We would love to talk with you and help meet your needs.

The EEOC, Background Checks and NATSB’s Job Matrix

The EEOCDo you want to comply with the EEOC’s (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidance that was issued in 2012 dealing with background checks? We can help you build targeted, position specific background checks through our Job Matrix. Using our Individual Assessment tool, we contact your applicants and assess them for you. In 2012 and 2013 the EEOC has been extremely active. Even though the courts have been siding more with the employer, the EEOC is not showing any signs of going away.

At NATSB, we have learned a few things from recent cases:

  1. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC, as the plaintiff, cannot proceed to trial without making a threshold showing of disparate impact.
  2. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC can only sustain this showing with reliable expert statistical evidence, and cannot necessarily rely on nationwide criminal justice statistics.
  3. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the employer does not have a single-step, across-the-board screening process, the EEOC cannot merely challenge the process “as a whole,” but it must demonstrate that the alleged disparate impact stems from specific elements of the process.
  4. Employers that want to assess potential disparate impact risks should conduct a review of their screening policies to identify areas to fortify Title VII compliance. Some questions to consider: Has the policy targeted background checks for different roles in your company? Does the policy account for the developing body of criminological literature discussing recidivism?

Now that you know the EEOC is active, you will need to know the steps to stay compliant. When ordering a background check, order one that is Job Related and Consistent with Business Necessity. This shows that you are building a targeted background check for the position you are screening. Each of your positions need to have position specific search criteria that includes the data behind the decisions for the background check.

When reading the background check, look at the crime and consider the nature behind it. Also, look at the nature of the job and the time elapsed from the crime. You can then provide an opportunity for an individualized assessment for applicants excluded by the background check to determine whether the policy is job related and consistent with business necessity. Always keep information gathered from background checks confidential. Only use the information for the purpose of hiring, retaining, not hiring or dismissing an applicant or employee.

The EEOC indicates that individual assessments should take into account any information provided by the individual in question regarding:

  • The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
  • Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison;
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
  • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
  • Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training;
  • Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and
  • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.
  • If an individual does not respond to the employer’s request to conduct the individual assessment, the employer can then make a decision without the information, according to the Guidance.

The EEOC did spell out what they view to be “Employer Best Practices” and they cite the following:

  • Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers about Title VII and its prohibition on employment discrimination.
  • Develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants and employees for criminal conduct.

At NATSB, our mission is to be the ultimate source of services to hire and retain superior employees and volunteers for our clients. Our core values consist of integrity; people first; client oriented; and innovation. We respect the value of human dignity. With people first, we’re building safe and secure workplaces along with nurturing relationships with our employees and clients. Always designing services to meet our clients’ needs. Providing education to add value. Making ourselves available to listen to our clients. With innovation, we embrace technology. Promoting industry best practices. Constantly improving service and products. We hope this is evident in the personal service and expert advice you’ll receive from our screening specialists.

CONTACT US: If you would like more information you can visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection or the NATSB website. To learn more how NATSB can help you with your background screening needs, please contact us at or call us at 316-263-4400. We can customize any background check to meet your unique needs. We offer volume pricing, NO signup fees, and NO minimum orders.

Criminal Background Screening: Beyond Criminal Records


This article is the final third of a three part series that examines the role of background checks and reports in modern workplaces.

In the second article of this series, you read about the life cycle of a criminal conviction.  To review:

  • Criminal convictions come from criminal behavior.
  • Convictions are filtered through the criminal justice system.
  • Many convictions are pleas to lesser charges.
  • Convictions data is kept in courthouses all across the nation and in aggregated databases.

Criminal history is useful as a broad screening tool.  Applicants who show a propensity to hurt others or steal property can usually be disqualified for most jobs based upon business necessity.  If an employee assaults their colleagues or clients, or steals company property, the case for disqualification is relatively simple.  Now let’s shift our focus away from criminal courts and see what other sources of re-employment screening data exist.


When a person commits a crime that harms society, they could be convicted in criminal court.  When they violate another person’s rights, they can be held liable in civil court.  Civil court records can include Protection from Stalking or Abuse orders, restraining orders, garnishments, collection forfeitures, breach of contract, evictions, or other judgments.  It is appropriate for applicants for positions that provide access to financial documents, valuables, sensitive information, or petty cash.


It is possible to research a potential worker’s history of claims through State Departments of Labor.  There are additional legal restrictions on these kinds of queries.  The general rule is that this search is only done post-offer, and requires a special privacy waiver by the applicant. There may be additional restrictions in some locations, and some States prohibit this search altogether.


If your applicant will be driving a vehicle on company time or on the company dime, don’t you want to know if they have a valid license, history of DUIs, reckless driving, or evading and eluding police?  The Motor Vehicle Report, or MVR, should be used.  An MVR might be required by your insurance carrier.  In many instances they will provide this search as part of their comprehensive coverage.


Need plus opportunity leads to risk.  If your applicant cannot manage their finances, it speaks to their character and ability to manage job duties.  If they are grossly in debt, have multiple collections, and have a history of defaulting or bankruptcy, they are a higher risk for embezzlement.  If their job duties give them access, check their credit.


Banks, credit unions, and financial institutions should consider checking the myriad of databases maintained by regulatory agencies for the financial industry.  FINCEN, the FDIC, the SEC, the OIG, and many other governmental bodies maintain registries of companies and people who are banned from banking or have been sanctioned for noncompliance.  This is a simple and cost effective way to prevent big problems in a highly regulated trade.


Diploma mills and a culture of embellishment have led to a high rate of inaccuracy on resumes and job applications.  It is advisable to have a third-party conduct verifications with past educational institutions, employers, and credentialing boards.  If it important enough to ask about these qualifications, it is important enough to know that the information provided is correct.  To quote President Ronald Reagan, “Trust, but verify.”


Many States compile registries of individuals who have a history of abusing, neglecting, or endangering dependent adults or children.  If the job tasks require interaction with these populations, it is a no-brainer to disqualify anyone who has demonstrated this propensity.  An abuse registry check would be the order of the day!


The legal phrase that motivates background checks to prevent negligent hiring is “best available means”.  Given the huge number of people on social media sites, a check of an applicant’s social media footprint is fast becoming the industry standard.  The wealth of information available through these methods greatly assists the hiring decision.  However, with such power comes great responsibility.  Social media has a greater risk for employers due to its transmission of protected class information.  The EEOC, Federal regulations under Title VII, and the National Labor Relations Board have a lot to say about properly utilizing social media for screening.  Have a policy, get it reviewed by legal counsel familiar with these federal regulations, and only use a professional third-party screening service to view these social media sites.  They are too good not to check, but it does no good to violate applicant’s rights or federal law in this process!

With all of these specialty searches plus the various criminal conviction data sources, building the proper screening system can be overwhelming.  Consult a professional screening service.  For more information about conducting an analysis of what screening searches are best for each job classification, and how to handle the disqualification process in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, check out our website at!


Dan Oblinger is the Training Director for the National Screening Bureau, a leading provider of pre-employment screening, drug-free workplace programs, and I9 compliance services.   He is a ten year veteran of a large metropolitan police department with assignments as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, undercover detective, crime reduction specialist, drugged driving enforcement investigator, and hostage negotiator.  He has extensive training and experience in crime analysis, criminal identification and apprehension, drug influence, and corporate safety.


Criminal Background Checks: Criminal Conviction Data

imgres-1You’ve already learned in our last article about why it’s a good idea to use criminal records to screen applicants. Now let’s touch on details of how criminal convictions are made, and where we find the criminal conviction data.

Learning about what a conviction actually is and how it comes to be can help you get the most out of a detailed and thorough employee screening program.  Contrary to popular belief, a conviction doesn’t begin in the courtroom, or even in jail. Once the crime has been committed—whether in a home, at a park or at a local bar—the conviction process has began.

As mentioned in the first article, in any community there are people motivated to commit crimes. Convictions grow from these criminal offenses. Unfortunately, what most people don’t know is that a majority of crimes go unreported and unnoticed. The difference between reported crime and an actual crime rates is known by criminologists as the “dark figure” of crime.  Typically victims are weary to report crimes because they are ashamed, they have little faith in the legal system, or they simply do not realize they’ve been victimized.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics has estimated that 52% of violent crime went unreported from 1996 to 2010.  (

Even after the crime has been reported, it remains far from a conviction. Some of the reported crimes will never be investigated.

Even after being reported, a crime is still far from a conviction. Some reported crimes will never reach investigation.  Many of the crimes that are investigated never result in an ID of the person responsible. Once a suspect has been ID’d, the police present the case to a prosecutor. In many instances, the prosecutor will decline to charge the case. There will never be a conviction under any of these circumstances.

Even after being charged and prosecuted, many cases are pled to a lesser offense. Once taken to trial, there is always a chance of an acquittal. This entire sequence means less than 10 convictions are handed down for every thousand criminal offenses. If your applicant has a conviction on their record, it means they have passed through all of these obstacles It’s important you don’t dismiss a conviction as something that’s “not that big of a deal” because it’s their only mistake. The reality of the matter is probably just the opposite. . In most cases, the conviction was actually a plea to a lesser charge.

Once a conviction is created, where does it go? The short answer to this question is a courthouse. Every courthouse holds conviction records at their respective jurisdictional level. If you’re looking for state court convictions you can search for these records online. Federal records are found at the federal court and city or municipal records are at the city court. Most courts don’t communicate their convictions with each other.

There are national databases that combine some criminal records and state maintained registries. These are excellent resources for background checks because they are fast and fairly inexpensive. Although they are useful, beware that these records are often incomplete.

The Updated Form I-9

The newly revised Form I-9 has finally arrived. This updated version of the Form I-9 was made available online through the USCIS website on March 8 and can now be accessed here. This version replaces the previous form employers are most familiar with, which will become invalid starting May 7, 2013. The new form is an improvement from the outdated version with a few key changes.

The new I-9 is equip with a more clear set of instructions for employers on how to complete the form, as well as a revised layout now expanding the document from five pages to nine.  USCIS strongly encourages employers to copy page 7-8 together as a double sided sheet to avoid separating the two papers. They’ve also included sections for employees to provide e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, although it is not mandatory.

It is still required that employers provide employees with a list of acceptable documents for identification as well as instructions to assist them in completing the forms.

The filing and storage procedures for the I-9 remain the same. Before making any changes to your hiring practice, review the new handbook (M-274)  which has been renamed to The name as “Guidance for Completing Form I-9.”

Lastly, when you’re starting the I-9 process, don’t t forget to verify there’s a revision date of March 8, 2013 at the bottom right hand corner. By May 7th, this will be the only acceptable form. Filling out the I-9 can be tricky. If you want to make sure you’re remaining compliant, or want to learn more about the I-9 changes visit NATSB here and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of.