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Criminal History Records Need Not Hold One Back

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October 8, 2020 Return to News & Events

Criminal History Records Need Not Hold One Back

Over the past twenty-years having a criminal history record is no longer the significant impact it once used to be and as more entities enact ban-the-box laws policy opportunities will continue to expand.  Additionally the perception of a criminal history as entirely negative has begun to change as well. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines: “With every change to laws governing the use of Criminal History reports hiring managers and HR departments should ensure continued compliance by working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as”

On September 15, 2020 Hawaii enacted significant changes to the state’s ban-the-box laws and, being the first state to enact these laws, may prove the example for ongoing reform.  Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, opines: “Laws governing the use of public records, such as Criminal Histories, will continue to evolve, and Hawaii’s amendment to an existing law highlights why the time is now to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency in order to keep pace with change and maintain compliance.”

In 1998 Hawaii enacted the first ban-the-box legislation in the United States, becoming the example for all legislation to follow.  On September 15, 2020 Hawaii further enforced their anti-discrimination policies by updating existing ban-the-box law.

From on September 16, 2020:

Hawaii has long had a law limiting the discretion that employers have to consider older criminal conviction records in making employment decisions. Effective September 15, 2020, SB 2193 prevents most private sector employers from considering conviction records within the last 10 years, but only convictions within seven years for felony convictions, and five years for misdemeanor convictions, excluding periods of incarceration.1 Hawaii shortened the 10-year lookback period “to reduce unnecessary employment discrimination against individuals with old and relatively minor conviction records, in furtherance of economic self-sufficiency, and to reduce crime and recidivism rates.” (1)

Almeida adds: “The amendment to Hawaii’s ban-the-box law shows how laws can change and with change hiring managers and HR departments should be sure that pre-employment background screening policies are current and compliant.  Hawaii’s change exemplifies why vetting policies must be continuously reviewed.”

Overall, the attitude towards hiring individuals with conviction records is changing.  A great example is with Mod Pizza as illustrated in a recent FAST COMPANY article (September 23, 2020).

For employers, providing equal opportunity for people with criminal background records is not only the right thing to do; it’s also good for business. For proof, look no further than MOD Pizza, a fast-growing pizza restaurant chain that thrives despite stiff competition from major brands with household names. The secret sauce? MOD Pizza pays living wages and actively recruits ex-convicts and felons, many of whom have gone on to become store managers and brand ambassadors. Founder Scott Svenson, reflecting on his commitment to providing equal opportunity, stated he has “discovered that it’s also a more powerful business model if you give people something to work towards that is more than just a paycheck.” (2)

Almeida concludes: “The use of criminal history records as a part of background screening has evolved, as has the attitude toward those with conviction records, but a best practice for hiring managers and HR departments has not changed. By working with a third-party pre-employment background screening agency employers can stay compliant with laws governing the use of public records.” is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with


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