DATE: May 2014 - CI Attends NAPBS Conference
In April, Commercial Investigations LLC sent our President, Michelle Pyan, and one of our Investigators, Melissa Ramsey, to Arlington,
Virginia to attend the 2014 Mid-Year NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners) Legislative and Regulatory
Conference. While there, Michelle and Melissa were able to get more insight on the ever evolving compliance requirements for
background investigations. They had the opportunity to sit in many seminars, even one that included Jacqueline Berrien, the chair of
the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Berrien emphasized that background screeners need to understand that
criminals who are convicted of a crime are getting discriminated against when they are applying for jobs. The EEOC is trying to enforce
its guidelines to the point where they will sue employers based on discrimination. Recently the EEOC issued new guidance for hiring
convicts. These guidelines closely resemble New York’s Article 23-A requirements. This is where the law suits will stem from.
Michelle and Melissa were also able to sit in a seminar with a panel of individuals from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), one of the
organizations that enforce the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). This panel helped review various scenarios and answered questions
providing an understanding of how background screening companies and their clientele need to be in compliance with the FCRA.
Michelle and Melissa’s greatest take away was that, in the scheme of things, make sure your clientele follow the Preadverse/Adverse
action FCRA requirements, or they will be asking for the FTC to be knocking on their door (see CI’s February Webinar Series recording
on its website for more information).
Following the FTC was Georgia Attorney General, Sam Owens. Sam argued against the EEOC‘s guidelines. He believes the EEOC
tries to enforce the guidelines to the point where they are authority; however, the EEOC guidelines are not the law and can be tricky
when individual states have certain laws you have to follow with background investigations. Note: New York's Article 23-A is law and
needs to be complied with, regardless of your take on the EEOC guidelines if you are a New York employer.
One of Michelle and Melissa’s favorite sessions was with Pam Devata Esq., who spoke about case settlements, adjudication, obtaining
user certification, consumer disputes, profile disclosure and failure to delete, all within 90 minutes. Pam was very insightful and is a
great contact to have in the background screening industry. Commercial Investigations learned a lot from Pam when it came to
compliance in today’s FCRA environment and current interpretation of the regulations.
The final meeting was the Town Hall meeting where Melissa Ramsey found out that she had received her FCRA Advanced
Certification. The CI staff is proud of Melissa and excited to have our first FCRA Advanced Certified team member.
On the final day of the conference Michelle and Melissa were able to go to Capitol Hill and meet with legislators in their area to inform
them on background screening in upstate New York. It was an interesting and thrilling experience to be able to put Commercial
Investigations LLC in the minds of our legislature officials.