CIR's Background Screening Blog

Issues and Resources in Employment Screening

EEOC explains workplace for the mentally ill

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“Fisher Phillips | EEOC Explains Workplace Rights For Employees With Mental Health Conditions Dealing with mental illness

The EEOC’s document provides a balanced and practical summary of the rights and obligations of both employers and employees when an employee has a mental health condition. While written for employees, it provides a useful review of this often-confusing area of the law that is valuable for employers as well.”

Written by Ann Lane

February 1st, 2017 at 5:10 pm

What to do if your Applicant has a criminal record

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From SHRM,

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/evaluating-job-applicants-with-criminal-histories.aspx

Before excluding an applicant, the HR department should consider whether or not the criminal record can be expunged.

 

 

Written by Ann Lane

January 30th, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Welcome

2017 Employment Trends

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From across the internet, several trends we should see in 2017:

  1. The GIG economy continues. A decline in regular employment and the rise of freelancing is one of several major trends employment experts predict will intensify in 2017. (http://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-2016/work-and-job-trends-2017.html)  also http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/13/gig-economy-is-growing-heres-how-much.html
  2. Location Tracking of employees. Employers already are able to track employees public social media to see if they are about to quit and go to a new job. Next up could be technology that lets companies use location data to track the movement of workers. (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-on-leadership-workplace-20170115-story.html )
  3. Office attire and workplace culture become more casual (http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2016/11/01/workplace-trends-2017/2/#256afa333bbb)
  4. More hiring managers will look at your social media presence. (http://insights.dice.com/2016/12/12/6-hiring-trends-impact-you-2017/)
  5. Lack of qualified applicants.  Apply for jobs, keep applying.  Go where the needs are greatest. The hardest jobs to fill around the globe referenced in the survey include sales representatives, engineers, technicians, drivers, accounting and finance professionals, machine operators, secretaries and receptionists. If you’re in the process of changing career paths, keep these hard-to-fill openings in mind, and tailor your resume to highlight skill sets and experiences coveted by positions that recruiters desperately need to fill. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2016-12-20/2017-hiring-trends-for-job-seekers-to-watch

 

Written by Ann Lane

January 17th, 2017 at 8:27 pm

FCRA Class Actions

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This is an article from Fisher and Phillips, Employment Lawyers, regarding the recent FCRA class actions.  “The FCRA applies to any business, large or small, that uses a consumer report for employment purposes.”

j0178794“Here is a sampling of some of the violations alleged in FCRA class actions from the past 12 months:

  • Hathaway v. Whole Foods Market California, Inc. alleging that Whole Foods Market’s disclosure violated the FCRA because it contained a waiver;
  • Ford v. Chuck E. Cheese’s, alleging that Chuck E. Cheese’s practice of including the notice and authorization as part of a multipage printed employment application violated the FCRA;
  • Camacho v. ESA Management LLC, alleging that inclusion of disclosure in an at-will job application violated the FCRA;
  • Cox Jr. v. Teletech@home Inc., alleging Teletech violated the FCRA’s pre-adverse action notice requirements;
  • White v. Century 21 Department Stores, alleging that Century 21 violated the FCRA by obtaining consumer reports without the requisite notice to and authorization from the applicant or employee;
  • Cox v. Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, LLC, alleging a violation of the FCRA’s standalone disclosure requirement where the employment application contained sections regarding the applicant’s background and equal employment opportunity status;
  • Poole v. Check ‘N Go, alleging violation of the FCRA’s standalone document requirement where the employer used an online authorization form that contained nine paragraphs spanning two pages and requested certain information from the applicant regarding criminal history, equal employment opportunity status, and other information;
  • Rumph v. Nine West Holdings, Inc., alleging a violation of the FCRA where Nine West’s notice did not use the term “consumer report” and contained extraneous language including shipping information, privacy policies, philanthropy opportunities, and other unrelated store information;
  • Mack v. Panera, alleging that Panera violated the FCRA’s standalone disclosure requirement because it contained at-will language, hours of work, and a disclaimer;
  • Mack v. American Multi-Cinema (AMC), alleging that AMC violated the FCRA because its notice and authorization did not contain the term “consumer report” and because they did not stand alone since they included additional language regarding at-will employment, information regarding hours of work, and a disclaimer; and
  • Castro v. Michaels Stores, alleging a violation of the FCRA in that Michaels Stores, Inc.’s notice was embedded in an online web page application and because it included a liability release.”

To read the full article click here, Hyping The “Hyper-technical

Background reporting format

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We are changing our reporting standards for background checks. Our standard criminal report will now include:

  • 1) Felonies forever
  • 2) Misdemeanors for the last 7 years
  • 3) Criminal Traffic for the last 3 years, if you also order driving histories, the criminal traffic will no longer be reported.

If your background screening needs required different time frames, please contact us so we may adjust your background to meet your needs.

 

Written by Ann Lane

November 21st, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Employers and Social Media

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Although, legislation has not passed in North Carolina, a bill was introduced. The article below provides details on all 28 states with legislation or pending legislation regarding privacy in social media.  Interesting how employers allow employees to use their own laptops, cell phones, etc, but are more considered with what is posted.

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Increasing numbers of Americans use social media both on and off the job. Recently, some employers have asked employees to turn over their usernames or passwords for their personal accounts. Some employers argue that access to personal accounts is needed to protect proprietary information or trade secrets, to comply with federal financial regulations, or to prevent the employer from being exposed to legal liabilities. But others consider requiring access to personal accounts an invasion of employee privacy.

State lawmakers introduced legislation beginning in 2012 to prevent employers from requesting passwords to personal Internet accounts to get or keep a job. Some states have similar legislation to protect students in public colleges and universities from having to grant access to their social networking accounts.”

Click here for the list of states.

USIS is not responsible for bad background checks

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When management fails, work quality deteriorates. USIS is blaming its employees and contractors for sloppy work. The government prosecutes the “little guy” while letting the billionaire management to continue to do sloppy work that WE pay for.

OPM’s crackdown on background check fraud

Two weeks ago, a 34-year-old USIS contractor from South Carolina, became the latest background investigator to plead guilty to charges stemming from falsifying a report. The charge could carry a penalty of five years in prison.

Brian Rapier’s guilty plea garnered numerous headlines coming amid the broader legal woes for the company he worked for — USIS. The Justice Department has accused the company, the government’s largest contractor for providing background investigations, of shortcutting more than 665,000 background checks for more than four years beginning in 2008.

But it’s far from the first time a lone security-clearance investigator has faced tough penalties for falsifying background investigations.

Since 2008, the Office of Personnel Management has been on a crusade to root out falsification in background investigations using the courts. Nearly two dozen background investigators for either OPM or one of its contractors have been criminally prosecuted for misconduct ranging from outright falsifying reports, known as “ghostwriting,” to performing sloppy checks that failed to adhere to OPM’s standards. Many of them have done jail time.

But while the civil case joined by the Justice Department, continues to move forward, a criminal case against USIS for the widespread “dumping” of cases alleged in DOJ’s complaint, now seems increasingly unlikely.

More than half of background investigators convicted of falsifying reports have done jail time — most in the range of three to five months.

But as long as the case against USIS remains a civil matter, company officials cited in the Justice Department’s complaint as being aware of and directing the fraudulent activity likely won’t face the same penalties, said Charles Tiefer, a law professor at the University of Baltimore and a former member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting.

There appears to be a double standard, “when those who defraud the government out of a single quality background investigation are criminally convicted,” he said, “while those who run a system which deprives the government of hundreds of quality background investigations are not.”

To read the full article and its continuing coverage, click here.

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Written by Ann Lane

May 20th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

EEOC Guidance on Background Checks

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Criminal Records

Criminal Records (Photo credit: nickmickolas)

Guidance on the use of criminal records.

I. Summary

  • An employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions may, in some instances, violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
  • The Guidance builds on longstanding court decisions and existing guidance documents that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Commission or EEOC) issued over twenty years ago.
  • The Guidance focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin. The Introduction provides information about criminal records, employer practices, and Title VII.
  • The Guidance discusses the differences between arrest and conviction records.
    • The fact of an arrest does not establish that criminal conduct has occurred, and an exclusion based on an arrest, in itself, is not job related and consistent with business necessity. However, an employer may make an employment decision based on the conduct underlying an arrest if the conduct makes the individual unfit for the position in question.
    • In contrast, a conviction record will usually serve as sufficient evidence that a person engaged in particular conduct. In certain circumstances, however, there may be reasons for an employer not to rely on the conviction record alone when making an employment decision.
  • The Guidance discusses disparate treatment and disparate impact analysis under Title VII.
  • Click here to read the complete guidance
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Written by Ann Lane

May 7th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Updates on EEOC actions

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Here is a link to read the numerous EEOC actions. Most are discrimination actions, such as pregnancy discrimination.

EE

Look Magazine (March 15, 1938) ... Unemployed ...

Look Magazine (March 15, 1938) … Unemployed seek protection against job bias — “People, I’m sure, are looking for shortcuts to trim the applicant pool that they’re looking at,” Cooper said (October 09, 2011) … (Photo credit: marsmet522)

OC Press Releases

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Written by Ann Lane

May 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Data Brokers Settle with the FTC

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Does anyone care about privacy and accuracy in background screening. Hopefully these settlements will impact the background screening industry to provide quality services

Checkmate.com and a background screening company settled allegations by the FTC that the companies failed to provide accurate backgrounds and notifications to employers.

Instant Checkmate violated the FCRA by failing to maintain reasonable procedures to ensure that those using its reports had permissible purposes for accessing

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

them; furnishing reports to users that it did not have reason to believe had permissible purposes to access them; failing to follow reasonable procedures to assure that its reports were as accurate as possible; and failing to provide FCRA-mandated “User Notices” outlining several important consumer protections.

InfoTrack and its owner, Steve Kaplan, violated the FCRA by failing to use reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of consumer report information obtained from sex offender registry records; failing to provide FCRA-required notices; and failing to provide written notices to consumers of the fact that InfoTrack reported public record information to prospective employers, when that information was likely to adversely affect consumers’ ability to obtain employment.

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