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Criminal Background Screening and Employment: Exemptions

The Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act (FCRSA) of 2014 aims to prevent unlawful screening of a job applicant’s criminal background by employers with 11 or more employees. This law does not apply to federal government jobs.

Additional exemptions apply for some employers, including:

  1. those where federal or District law or regulations require considering an applicant’s criminal history;
  2. when a position is designated by government program or obligation to encourage employment of those with criminal histories; or
  3. those who provide programs or services to minors or vulnerable adults.

OHR has determined the following positions to be exempt from FCRSA given the above criteria:

  1. Positions at Children's National Medical Center.
  2. Positions at other hospitals that have direct contact with patients.
  3. Positions that require the applicant to obtain a security officer or special police officer license from the DC Government.
  4. Positions at banks and other financial institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  5. Positions at organizations whose mission includes providing services and programs to minors or vulnerable adults and where the position duties require direct contact with minors or vulnerable adults. For example, case managers for the homeless or those with mental health issues, positions at schools (K-12), day care centers, and after-school programs.
    • Employers whose mission is to provide other services (i.e. a restaurant or IT consulting agency) but whose employees may volunteer at an organization that provides services to minors or vulnerable adults as part of an employer sponsored program are not exempt from the FCRSA. 
    • Similarly, employers whose mission is not solely to provide services to minors or vulnerable adults but who have some employees who do perform such duties are not categorically exempt from the FCRSA, but the applicable positions may be. 
  6. Federal contractor positions that require a security clearance pursuant to a federal law or regulation.