NAPBS 2016 Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference

2016 NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference

Washington D.C. April 3-6, 2016


The conference officially kicked off on Sunday night with an opening ceremony followed by the exhibit floor open to all for hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  A full house of exhibitors again supported NAPBS and attendance was up from 341 last year to 368.  Last year we had 55 go up on the hill on Advocacy Day and this year we had 70.

While the official kick-off was Sunday evening, things really started earlier.  The Board flew in on Saturday for their board meeting and early on Sunday they participated in Board training sessions.  From 2-5PM some attendees participated in the Advanced FCRA course (and exam) while others participated in a half hour of Ambassador Training (those volunteers who help attendees get from point A to point B in the hotel without getting too lost).

Here are some of the topics covered over the two days of the conference (sub-notes in blue are highlights we garnered from those sessions we were able to attend):

  • 2016 FTC Priorities
  • Cyber Security Best Practices (presented by the FBI)
  • Legislative Update
  • Avoiding Class Action Suites
  • Required State and Local Consumer Notices
  • What CRAs Need to Know about Ban the Box
  • Key Contract Clauses to Protect You and Your Clients

o   Certifications of client compliance with FCRA

  • Include end user certifications that they will comply with FCRA
  • Include “I agree” with such certifications other places to remind the client of their requirements
  • Do annual “audit” to be sure your clients are in compliance

o   Don’t include “providing reports as is” and don’t assure accuracy

o   Be careful of contract clauses that your suppliers demand you include in your contract.  They are trying to lay off their risks on you, so beware

o   If you provide templates (i.e. adverse notice), be sure to disclaim that you are not providing legal advice and this is a suggestedtemplate

o   Eliminate any indemnification, if possible; if not, put caps and floors on indemnifications

  • Composition of Statewide Repositories

o   Head of departments for PA, MN, MO explained history and current data inclusion/exclusions

  • FCRA Compliance and Litigation Defense for 2016

o   For determination if this is the applicant’s record, use the 2+ rule (2 or more identifiers).  Using only the Name and DOB is no longer the gold standard, especially for common names

o   Good idea to run SSN Trace on every applicant

o   Middle names are important (capture from client or SSN Trace)

o   Never report “possible matches”

o   Disputes.  You will get them.  It is important to keep track and measure disputes (reason for error, vendor who made the error, employee at fault, etc.).  Record your actions and the results and then do something to improve procedures to prevent future occurrence.  Great defense in court

o   Civil records have a 7 year limit, period

o   Applicant Release Form

  • Do not include a release of liability
  • Make sure clients are fully and solely responsible for the form
  • CA is the only state that requires the CRA name on the release

o   Data Providers may be considered CRAs and this would result in the restriction of non-convictions over 7 years not being reported

o   Adverse Notice

  • If you are sending out adverse letters for your client be concerned about the form and the info in the notice
  • Be sure in New York City include the NY City required wording
  • Make your client take action to initiate the notice (e.g. not automated). You want this to be their action, not yours
  • If sending pre-adverse notice be sure there is follow-up to send the rejection letter/adverse action notice

o   Consumer requests for their file?  Ask for it in writing and require photo ID

  • EU Privacy Shield Update (replacing Safe Harbor)
  • Legal Marijuana and the Impact to Background Screening
  • Sue Weaver Cause 

o   Key resource for making lawmakers understand the importance of a background check

o   Become a Sponsor

  • Tenant Screening

o   Landlords have broad discretion but arrest records cannot be used to exclude or evict

o   HUD ruling last week: Because Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately arrested and convicted, HUD cautioned the use of relying on criminal records.  If use a criminal record you might have to prove that such use would not create a disparate impact

  • Verifications: Best Practices

o   30% of calls are made to just find out the method of doing the verification

o   Best to have a separate person who researches phone numbers

o   Reported completion rates

  • 88% with a 3-call process
  • 90% with a 4-call process
  • 91% with a 5-call process

o   Calling from a toll free number is less effective

o   If your “unable to verify” is greater than 7% you may have a problem (not sure how this reconciles with the completion rates above)

o   You must know your internal costs.  Most leave out many real costs when analyzing.  Your real cost is not just the direct labor cost of your most efficient caller  [note: if you would like a spreadsheet to determine your total costs, email me at 

Chair Julie Hakman gave a great welcoming and announced that NABPS now has 71 accredited companies and that over 70 had committed to go up on the hill to represent us on advocacy day.

On the Hill

70+ people stayed over until Wed and gave up a full work day to contribute their valuable time to go “up on the hill” to talk to their representatives.  This was an early day, with a bus pickup at 7:30.  A beautiful but very cold day (28 degrees) and a bus driver that would make for some head shaking on a YouTube video. We finally arrived and had three main talking points:

  1. How the guidelines from the EEOC specifying the employer to do an individual assessment on each applicant’s criminal record are in direct conflict with some federal and state laws that specify that you are prohibited from hiring hire or granting a license if that person has a conviction. We asked that they support House Bill 548 and Senate Bill 5693 pertaining to EEOC reform
  2. Educate on laws specifying Fingerprint Check vs. Professional Screeners Check and to have any such laws allow for either type criminal background, not just a fingerprint
  3. Fair Chance Act (to create a uniform national Ban the Box law). NAPBS is in favor of such a law but wants new language included to not restrict the employer from waiting until post-offer to do a background check.

With some staffers it felt like we were talking in the wind, but others left us with the impression that they felt what we were seeking was, in fact, important. 

Fun Times

The party Monday Night was another winner (thanks Innovative!!).   Castellanos again started the dancing going and seems inexhaustible (Fun!).  Quinn asked me not to report on her exuberance on the dance floor, so ignore this.    Cory Kirk remains the pinball champion of the screening industry.  (I guess I will actually have to find someplace local to do a lot of practicing.  Actually, I think he secretly made arrangements with Innovative to rig the machine).

Streamed in video of the NCCA championship added some excitement, but disappointment for those supporting the loser (Asia and a few others).  All in all, another great party.

Tuesday night was a very nice closing dinner.  No special entertainment but a final chance to meet new industry people and to bond with the industry stalwarts. 

Bruce’s Comments

Food.  The food at this conference was disappointing, but I guess such is the nature of feeding the masses.   Not that we go for the food, but….

Temperature:  The main meeting room was brutally cold, but the Exhibit Hall was comfortable—we are making progress folks!  Next year at a different hotel.

Every year I question if I should go to the conference.  I tell myself, “is it really worth it?” “I am too busy to go” “It’s too expensive”.  And every year I come back saying I am so happy I went.  Not only a great time but a huge learning experience and we did some business too.

People, Places, Stuff

  • Active Screening sold.
  • EmployeeScreenIQ sold to SterlingBackcheck.
  • Talentwise sold to SterlingBackcheck. Will SterlingBackcheck be rebranded as Talentwise?
  • Nitza Lamas (formerly Int’l Screening Solutions) has joined SJV.
  • Jon Anderson (former EasyBackgrounds) moved to Foley Carrier Services as VP Business Development.
  • Kym Kurey (former First Choice) also moved to Foley Carrier Services as Director of Operations.

If you did not attend, once again you missed out.  Your company will not be as strong, your people not as knowledgeable, your clients not as well served and you did not get educated regarding the factors that could significantly increase your legal exposure.  It’s your industry.  It’s your business.  Join NAPBS! And support NAPBS.  Become active in a committee and come to the conferences.  I guarantee you won’t regret it.

The Fall Conference will be in Palm Desert, CA, currently scheduled for September 18-20.  Put it on your calendar and plan to attend and to bring as many from your company as you can.  Their education and feeling of belonging is so important to your company health and growth.



Remember, we are the experts in M&A.  Never even consider selling your business without our consultation.

And, when you need the best in outsourced verifications, turn to The Background Warehouse.