Blog Post

The Contractor Criminal Record Check Appeal Process

Background Screening | June 15, 2023

Everyone deserves a chance, a job, and the opportunity to make a difference. This is also true when it comes to how criminal record information may impact a contracting decision. In some cases, there may be regulatory requirements – such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state law, or even fair chance initiatives – that will deliver on this truth. In other cases, there may be internal processes organizations can follow that will ensure objective and considerate decisions are made about individuals. 

The Contractor Criminal Record Check Appeal Process

Many organizations have a standard process to background check their contractor networks. These networked individuals are responsible for servicing, delivering, repairing, and otherwise supporting or servicing the organization’s products and customers. Ensuring that they do not bring financial, operational, legal, or reputational risk to the organization is very important. To determine if there is a risk, criminal checks are often part of the screening process. However, this does not mean that all criminal record results should, or would, be a barrier to engagement. 

Each criminal record is unique, as is each individual. If a criminal record is returned on an individual, it must be evaluated for its relevance to the role the individual will hold, the length of time since it occurred, and the nature and gravity of the offense. Using this approach ensures that only relevant, impactful records, which may have an adverse impact on the individual, are considered. An adverse impact is an event like not being hired, not being deemed authorized to work on a contract, or other restrictions on their final status with your organization.

In those cases where a criminal record, or criminal record history, will impact an individual negatively, PlusOne has maintained a process since our inception of allowing the individual to appeal before a final decision is made about their inclusion in an organization’s service network.  The dispute process, prescribed under the FCRA, is focused on correcting any information that is incorrect or incomplete, while the appeal process recognizes the information is accurate but provides the opportunity for the individual to disclose additional details about their circumstances to explain why they feel they are still suitable for the role and eligibility in the Customer’s network. This allows the individual to explain why their past experiences or criminal history should not be a disqualifying condition.

Without steps in place to fully understand the circumstances around the findings in a background screening, decisions may be made based solely on the contractor criminal record check and no additional information from the individual. Even when using a decision matrix to guide decisions and strive for consistency, there are valid reasons for reconsideration of the impact of past criminal or driving behaviors before a final decision is made. Background screening results are on real people, and life’s circumstances can never be fully understood from just a background screening report.

This is how it works: after the background screening report is provided but before a final decision is made, the individual can review a copy of their report and has an opportunity to “appeal” their eligibility decision. This builds on the individualized assessment process, those consideration factors noted above, and allows the individual to explain their story and ask for reconsideration. They can demonstrate their rehabilitation and suitability for the role and often gives greater insight into the circumstances which gave rise to the adverse behavior.

While each organization may have its process, PlusOne is pleased to be able to support this appeal process for any of those organizations that we work with. It gives the individual an opportunity to participate in the screening process, gives them the chance to be heard, and ensures that decisions related to their engagement in a contractor network are based on complete information and not just details returned on a criminal check.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit

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