Additional Topics

Articles

  • Candidate stories: Better understand the past and present >

    A candidate story is candidate-submitted context about their arrest or conviction records and self-improvement efforts. After a candidate submits their story, you can read it in their report in the Checkr Dashboard.

    Candidate stories help you comply with fair chance hiring practices and Ban the Box regulations. Some jurisdictions require you to collect relevant supplementary information from candidates during the adverse action process.

    To disable candidate stories, contact Checkr.

    Note

    You can use the Checkr API to create and retrieve candidate stories.

    Request a candidate story in the Checkr Dashboard

    To request a candidate story, use the steps below:

    1. In the Checkr Dashboard, open the candidate's report.
    2. In the Actions section, select "Request candidate story."

    Candidates can also submit stories without you requesting them.

    Play the Checkr Academy video below to learn how to request a candidate story in the Checkr Dashboard.

    The Tag field on the Candidates page shows who you asked for additional information and who submitted it. Checkr uses the tags below:

    • candidate-story-requested
    • candidate-story-submitted
    Learn from Checkr experts

    Go to our Fair Reviewer Certificate course on our free learning hub, Checkr Academy, to learn and practice how to fairly review reports with records.

    Notifications

    To set notifications for candidate story submissions, use the Account page. By default, your adjudicators receive notifications for candidate stories submitted before the pre-adverse action process begins.

    To manage candidate stories you receive, you can make an account for your adjudicators to share:

    1. Create a new user with an adjudicator role.
    2. Set the new user’s email address as the address for the group.
    3. Set the new user to receive notifications of candidate story submissions.

    After submission, the story and supporting documents appear in the Additional Information section in their report. After you read the candidate's story, you can mark it as read.

    Candidate experience

    Candidates receive an email invitation to log in to the Candidate Portal and voluntarily submit additional context or supporting documents.

    In the Candidate Portal, the candidate selects "Share your story." The candidate then provides general information or context for a specific record and submits documents.

    The Candidate Portal clearly states to candidates that you, decide whether to review submissions and Checkr doesn't guarantee that you will.

  • Fair chance: Hiring candidates with records >

    At Checkr, we believe people with records should be able to leave their pasts behind.

    Fair chance hiring is the practice of hiring people with arrest or conviction records. Fair chance hiring offers everyone an equal chance at suitable jobs, regardless of background. Fair chance hiring helps you find skilled, varied workers with different experiences, who boost diversity and business success.

    Learn from Checkr experts

    Go to our Fair Reviewer Certificate course on our free learning hub, Checkr Academy, to learn and practice how to fairly review reports with records.

    Fair chance dashboard

    The fair chance dashboard appears only if you use Checkr for employment purposes, not for business, insurance, or housing purposes.

    You can access your organization’s fair chance dashboard from the "Fair chance" page of your Checkr Dashboard. This page has education, hiring-related analytics for organizations that have data, and other resources.

    The data in this dashboard appears for admin users and other roles that have explicit permission to access analytics in the Checkr Dashboard.

    Analytics

    The analytics below don't appear for all customers. The data your organization has determines which analytics appear.

    Adverse action rate bar chart

    The three-bar chart compares your rate of adverse actions to organizations that order a comparable number of background checks each year.

    Adverse action comparison.png

    Your adverse action rate is the total candidates your organization initiated adverse action for, divided by the total reports that have the Review outcome.

    "Average" is the adverse action rate of the 50th percentile for your group of similar-size organizations.

    "High fair chance" is the adverse action rate of the top 10% of similar-size organizations with the lowest adverse action rates.

    Fair chance opportunity metric breakdown

    This section shows the total candidates who received adverse action in the past year and shows candidates in four charge categories:

    • Pending charges: No official guilty or not-guilty decision exists, and the case is ongoing.
    • Petty charges: Petty charges are the least severel, might not be serious in nature, and might not be relevant to your business or job type.
    • Charges over seven years old: People are less likely to commit additional offenses over time. People with charges older than seven years have surpassed the statistical reoffense rate.
    • Charges from when the candidates were younger than 25 years old: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) encourages considering the person's age at the time of offense when determining eligibility for candidates with records. Research about brain maturation suggests that adolescent brains continue to mature well into the 20s. Additionally, according to many world organizations, such as the United Nations, "youth" refers to people younger than 25 years old. You can consider candidates who were younger than 25 at the time of the offense as “youth.”

    Candidates not through funnel.png

    For more information about fair chance hiring practices, refer to Checkr's Fair Chance Mission.

  • Expungements: Helping candidates move on from their past >

    At Checkr, we believe a criminal sentence shouldn't be a life sentence to unemployment. We believe that the past shouldn't limit human potential, and we work to expand people’s opportunities.

    To promote our mission of fair chance hiring, we built an affordable expungement process for candidates with certain eligible charges in California.

    What are expungements?

    Expungements seal, or remove criminal charges from, a public record. The factors below affect the availability of expungements:

    • Jurisdiction of the initial charge
    • Charges from multiple jurisdictions
    • Charge type and severity
    • How long ago the charge happened
    • Rehabilitation procedures and opportunities
    • Fines and fees for the charges and potential expungements

    Some states have mandatory expungement policies for certain charges. Many candidates and employers don't know about these policies and don’t know which charges qualify.

    Checkr supports expungement services in the ways below:

    • Identify potentially expungeable records for certain charges in California.
    • Help candidates through the expungement petition process.

    Expungements in California

    Checkr identifies records

    Checkr helps both customers and candidates identify which records might qualify for expungement:

    • For customers: The Checkr Dashboard identifies potentially expungeable records.
    • For candidates: For potentially expungeable records for certain charges in California, Checkr takes the actions below:
      • Checkr contacts candidates directly by email and text message.
      • The Candidate Portal identifies the record.

    After Checkr identifies candidates with charges in California that are eligible for expungement, Checkr refers them to Avenues Legal LLP. Avenues Legal LLP is a law firm in California that evaluates candidate eligibility and processes expungement petitions. All service costs go to Avenues Legal LLP.

    The expungement process has the steps below:

    1. Checkr notifies the candidate that they have a potentially expungeable record.
    2. If the candidate wants an expungement, they complete a questionnaire in the Checkr Candidate Portal to determine whether the record qualifies.
    3. If the record qualifies, Checkr passes the information below to Avenues Legal LLP:
      • The candidate’s contact information
      • The candidate's eligible charge information
      • The underlying background check report
    4. The candidate chooses whether to pay the legal and processing fees for filing their petition.
    5. Avenues Legal LLP creates and files the candidate’s petition and communicates results.
    6. Checkr emails the candidate with the expungement decision.

    California data access expungement legislation

    In July 2023, California enacted California Senate Bill 731 (CA SB 731). California is the first state to allow most old convictions on a person’s criminal record to be permanently expunged. The law also expands the list of convictions eligible for expungement. 

    Checkr’s policy team tracks expungement legislation to ensure that implementation doesn't limit court access to records for background checks.

    Get involved

    Checkr wants to partner with nonprofits, government entities, and companies to sponsor expungements so more candidates benefit from a clear record. To learn more, contact expungements@checkr.com.

  • FAQs for Clean Slate initiatives in the US >

    Approaches to mitigate Clean Slate-related data limitations

    Checkr’s goal is to immediately mitigate all instances of data restrictions related to clean slate initiatives. Because clean slate initiatives differ across jurisdictions, it's difficult to estimate when records will become available.

    Checkr has created tools to mitigate data limitations that states and counties might experience as they implement Clean Slate laws. If the implementation of clean slate initiatives is causing inaccessible jurisdictions, contact Checkr to enable your account to skip the search. You can select "Complete now" to cancel pending searches and complete the report without them. You can also decide whether to order follow-up reports when inaccessible jurisdictions are available again:

    • Automatic full follow-up reports: When previously unavailable jurisdictions have available records, the full report with all searches automatically happens again. Typical pricing applies.
    • Automatic partial follow-up reports: When previously unavailable jurisdictions have available records, only searches in those jurisdictions automatically happen again. Discounted pricing applies.
    • Manual full or partial follow-up reports: If you don't want follow-up reports to happen automatically, you can manually select individual reports for full or partial follow-up reports. 

    Discounting doesn't apply to the original report or full follow-up reports. We offer a 40% discount to Checkr costs only for partial follow-up reports. The discount doesn't apply to county passthrough fees. Because the follow-up reports are on a different package, the invoice PDF will show a different line and title. For example, the original report shows "Run it all" with a price of $20. The follow-up report shows "Run it all (Ta 2)" with a price of $12.

    Full follow-up reports are subject to standard package pricing. Partial follow-up reports are available at a 40% discount to Checkr costs. This discount doesn’t apply to county passthrough fees.

    Checkr’s goal is to immediately mitigate all instances of data restrictions related to clean slate initiatives. Because clean slate initiatives differ across jurisdictions, it's difficult to estimate when records will become available.

    Clean Slate + government policy

    There are two main types of expungement bills:
    • Petition-based bills, which don't restrict data access
    • Large-scale automated expungement bills, also known as Clean Slate bills, restrict data access 

    Expungement bills pass through various parties before implementation. The standard government process typically involves the steps below:

    1. State-level expungement bills originate from citizen-based advocacy groups, public interest groups, or other organizations that focus on criminal justice reform. 
    2. A legislator introduces the bill and moves it through a complex legislative process. 
    3. The bill becomes a law when the state Governor signs it. 
    4. The Department of Justice and the state judicial system implement the bill. 

    Bill proposal timelines vary; however, we follow trend lines throughout the country to proactively engage in expungement legislation. Checkr is aware and engaged where Clean Slate bills are passed, proposed, and implemented in all states.

    If a state has a high probability of moving forward with Clean Slate legislation, Checkr educates our support team to ensure a successful implementation while remaining aware of potential areas of significant risk.

    Although expungement legislation is well-intentioned, it often lacks the appropriate items below:

    • Guidance from the state to the courts
    • Budget to facilitate the automated requirements of the law
    • Timeline for implementation after the bill becomes law

    Checkr works to help mitigate these risks before bill passage. 

    Michigan implementation of Clean Slate

    For county-level data updates, check data.checkrstatus.com.

    Inaccessible Counties

    All jurisdictions are accessible.