New Limits on Background Checks Considered

August 9, 2011  |  

(Corporate Counsel) — Precious Daniels is not what you’d call a hardened criminal. In 2009, she was arrested for blocking a doorway during a peaceful protest against a health insurer in Michigan—charges that were later dropped. But Daniels claims that single arrest was enough to prevent her from getting a job with the U.S. Census Bureau a few months later when the agency ran her name through a criminal records database. About 92 million Americans—more than one in four adults—have some kind of criminal history, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Whether it was an arrest or a conviction, the charge was for a felony or misdemeanor, the verdict was guilty or innocent or the person was tried as a juvenile or an adult, the records can all show up in background-check databases that have proliferated on the Internet.

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