While other similar databases have been discontinued over concerns with their processes and compliance, the NRMA Retail Theft Database goes the extra mile.
GIS’ Proprietary NRMA Retail Theft Database
First, let’s talk about what the NRMA Retail Theft Database actually is: it’s a members’ only database that contains only actual theft data as reported by member retailers. Each incident of theft reported is backed up by a signed admission statement from the offender in which he admits having intentionally engaged in theft. This, and the fact that the instances that are reported here do not have to result in a criminal conviction, is what makes this database so valuable. Research shows that only 5% of those who steal actually have criminal records that would show up on a traditional search, meaning that running a traditional criminal history search simply will not screen out the vast majority of applicants who have committed retail theft.
To make matters worse, the 2017 National Retail Security Survey shows that while the number of shoplifting incidents has increased (in some cases quite dramatically) over the last year, instances of companies pursing criminal charges against shoplifters has actually decreased. Databases like this are truly the only way to get a jump on employee fraud.
How do we ensure compliance?
As with all background checks we perform, there are two major compliance thresholds we need to cross before we even consider offering the product.
- The EEOC. The EEOC says conviction records are proof of conduct, but arrest records are not. Because the NRMA database is based strictly on admissions and does not include referrals for prosecution or any other unsubstantiated accusations, an NRMA record is much like a conviction record in reliability. Like most criminal convictions, the NRMA records are admissions of guilt. The EEOC allows use of criminal history to determine employment when it relates to risks that applicants pose in their potential jobs. When a retailer has a concern that an applicant may steal, an admission that the applicant has stolen before is very closely related.
- The FCRA. Reports of records in the NRMA Retail Theft Database are consumer reports under the FCRA. Therefore, you may only use them for purposes that the FCRA permits. When we developed the NRMA, the original members decided that they wanted the only use of NRMA information to be for employment purposes under the FCRA. For that reason, your use of NRMA reports is limited to employment purposes.
GIS abides by the FCRA’s dispute and reporting provisions. We only accept incidents that have a signed admission of wrongdoing from the individual in question. Before reporting any record you submit, we will ask you to confirm the incident report, and we may require you to promptly investigate and/or delete records because of disputes. We also encourage you to contact us if you receive a dispute directly (so that we can aid you in responding in an FCRA-compliant manner) and so that we can update our database promptly to reflect the outcome of your investigation.
At the end of the day, GIS has always and will always do our due diligence to provide our clients with products that are not only useful, but compliant across the board. This includes the NRMA Retail Theft Database.