FBI Job Background Checks Up 6 Times In Decade; Critics Cite Flawed Files


Employers increasingly are using the FBI's criminal databases to screen job applicants, prompting concerns about the accuracy of the agency's information and the potential for racial discrimination, reports the Washington Post. Many FBI's records list only arrests and not the outcomes of those cases. Consumer groups say missing information often results in wrongful rejection of job applicants. A lawsuit filed by minorities against the Commerce Department alleges that the use of incomplete databases means that African Americans and Hispanics are denied work in disproportionate numbers. FBI background checks “might be considered the gold standard, but these records are a mess,” said Madeline Neighly of the National Employment Law Project. A new NELP report says the FBI processed nearly 17 million employment background checks last year, six times more than a decade ago. The advocacy group estimates that as many as 600,000 of those reports contain incomplete or inaccurate information. The FBI said it receives data from state records agencies, and states are responsible for keeping the information updated.

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