FBI’s New Policy to Report “Non-Serious” Offenses to Employers

This was forwarded by Faces and Voices of Recovery. It could create new barriers to employment for people with misdemeanor drug crimes:

Folks –

We are writing to ask your help opposing a troubling new proposal by the FBI which would authorize the agency to report “non-serious” offenses in response to a criminal background check conducted for employment purposes. We very much need your help to spread the word about the proposal and generate public comments to the FBI. Please act fast because the deadline for comments is Monday, November 6th (see the attached sample letter and fact sheet prepared by the National Employment Law Project).

As you may know, the FBI’s rap sheets, generated by the state criminal records, are used more and more by employers and the states in screening workers for employment and occupational licenses Currently, the federal law limits the rap sheets to serious misdemeanors and felonies. But if the FBI has its way, that could all change. The rap sheets will also include non-serious offenses, which means juvenile arrests and convictions and minor adult crimes like vagrancy and public drunkenness. If adopted, the proposal will be devastating to the millions of workers who have a criminal record, and it will seriously undermine the growing movement to protect public safety by removing unnecessary barriers to employment based on a criminal record.

The more letters received by the FBI with the compelling stories of the communities where you live and work, the better chance the FBI will think twice before implementing this misguided policy. Please spread the word to your networks and communities. For more information on the FBI’s proposal, see the attached factsheet, or contact either Laura Moskowitz (lmoskowitz@nelp.org) or Maurice Emsellem (emsellem@nelp.org) at NELP. Your comments can be e-mailed directly to the FBI at enexreg@leo.gov, and indicate “FBI Docket No. 111P” in the subject box. Thanks for your help!

Maurice Emsellem
National Employment Law Project
405 14th Street
, 14th Floor
, CA 94612
(510) 663-5700