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We use this blog to help inform business owners and hiring professionals to be up to speed with trends and industry news, in an effort to demonstrate the impact our industry truly does have. As we enter the 2nd month of 2023, we see how background checks will be impacted in the coming months and beyond. Background checks for employment are often the bedrock for ensuring your workforce is as strong as possible. Today, we wanted to cover a few things that the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) touched on in a recent article focusing on the challenges facing business owners in 2023

Here are a few background screening trends to keep an eye on this year and beyond. 

Changing Marijuana Laws

Emerging Technology

“Clean Slate” & Other Privacy Laws

Changing Marijuana Laws

One major change in the background check industry is the perception and legality of marijuana. Long considered a drug that would prevent you from passing a drug test for employment, marijuana is technically still illegal to possess under federal law, but many states have legalized the substance for medical and/or recreational purposes. This has forced many employers across the country to take a look at their drug testing program and re-consider if marijuana should be a part of their pre-employment drug testing panels. 

Despite the reality that using marijuana off the clock is legal in many places, state laws tend to not protect against impairment at work. The issue here is that there is yet to be a widely accepted system for assessing a legal standard of impairment. It can be assumed that in time, these abilities to test and assess impairment will advance, but until then it has hiring professionals scratching their heads on what to do about marijuana usage by employees.

Having a trusted background check partner to turn to when making decisions to your pre-employment screening process helps.

Emerging Technology

AI has slowly entered almost every industry and will continue to impact our day-to-day lives more and more every day. Automated technology can be an extremely helpful tool, but also requires evolution and changes to function properly. In order to maintain compliance, anyone running background checks for employment must adhere to standards put in place by federal agencies like the EEOC (Employment Opportunity Commission), the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and the CFPB ( Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). 

These agencies are demonstrating their concerns over the increasing use of HR technology. Despite the ability for these types of automated tools to help speed up processes and make things easier for the user, some believe that AI has demonstrated signs of discrimination

So long as your organization is working with a background check partner that is on the up and up with changes, you can rest assured that you aren’t breaking any rules.

“Clean-Slate” and Other Privacy Laws

You may remember we talked about changes to NYC Tenant Background Checks here on the blog, but over the last few years many cities, counties, and states have passed “fair chance” hiring laws that limit the hiring party’s use and consideration of an applicant’s criminal history in making a hiring decision. “Ban the Box” is a common term surrounding these changes. 

Now, a new term known as “clean slate” laws should be understood by hiring professionals. Clean slate laws, with good intentions, are meant to help people with criminal records access better jobs through automatic expungement or sealing of criminal records after a certain amount of time has passed. As of now, 10 states have passed such laws. 

Some may like that the automatic expungement of a past crime will help make a decision easier, because they don’t need to know about the crime if it was long ago, but others may feel as though they aren’t truly sure of who they’re hiring without a full criminal history available. 

With even small changes occurring, like California and Michigan courts removing the date of birth as a personal identifier from public records, it can really throw a wrench in efficiently providing concrete, accurate, and thorough reports. This could slow down the process in order to provide a previously more streamlined process, and will certainly force background check companies to evolve their processes.

These are only a few things that will impact the background check industry in 2023. Stay tuned to our blog to continue to learn why background screening is important! If you or someone you know has a question about the way you are conducting background screening this year, don’t hesitate to reach out! We will work with you to ensure you are making the best hiring decisions possible!