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    New York City

    Earlier this week, the New York City Council passed a bill that makes it unlawful for employers to request or use an job applicant’s credit history for employment purposes as part of their background screening practices. Intro Bill 261-A amends the City’s Human Rights Law to make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to use an individual’s consumer credit history in making employment decisions. The bill is expected to be signed by Mayor Bill DeBlasio and will be effective 120 days following approval.

    The city council created a limited set of exemptions for sensitive positions (see below), however it’s worth noting that these exemptions are much more narrow than those provided in similar state laws.

    Bill Exemptions:

    • an employer, or agent thereof, that is required by state or federal law or regulations or by a self-regulatory organization as defined in section 3(a)(26) of the securities exchange act of 1934, as amended to use an individual’s consumer credit history for employment purposes
    • persons applying for positions as or employed:
      • (A) as police officers or peace officers, as those terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, respectively, or in a position with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation;
        (B) in a position that is subject to background investigation by the department of investigation, provided, however, that the appointing agency may not use consumer credit
      • (C) in a position in which an employee is required to be bonded under City, state or federal law;
        (D) in a position in which an employee is required to possess security clearance under federal law or the law of any state;
        (E) in a non-clerical position having regular access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information;
        (F) in a position: (i) having signatory authority over third party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more; or (ii) that involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer with the authority to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more on behalf of the employer.
        (G) in a position with regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of the employer’s or client’s networks or databases.

    New City City joins ten states which currently prohibit the use of employment credit reports except in limited circumstances: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

    Employers in New York City that conduct employment credit reports are encouraged to review their policies and practices to determine if they qualify for the aforementioned exemptions.

    Download our guide to help determine if credit reports are right for you.

     

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        Background Screening Compliance

        Every year, our Annual Background Screening Trends Survey unveils new insights into the minds of HR professionals and their experience with criminal background checks, resume lies, background screening compliance, social media background checks, and more.

        If you want to know how your peers and even competitors are handling their employment screening process, their greatest screening challenges, and how they stay compliant with “ban the box” legislation—or even what they’re failing to do, our webinar will reveal the answers to these questions and more. So, why is background screening compliance the new 800-pound gorilla? [...]

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            Background Checks

            Paramount Gets FCRA Claim Thrown Out

            Finally, a voice of reason. Employers got some good news from a judge in the Northern District of California last week, when the court granted Paramount Picture’s motion to dismiss a class action claim for alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. The case was one of the many class actions that have been flooding the federal courts, disputing the validity of the disclosure form used for running a background check. This wave of litigation has erupted over the past twelve months, putting employers on the defensive against FCRA claims seeking millions in statutory and punitive damages.  The judge’s decision to dismiss the case against Paramount is a welcome development, and may be a turning point for employers facing FCRA class actions of this type.    [...]

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              Do You Know EmployeeScreenIQ?

              Published on 30 March 2015 by in News/Media

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                EmployeeScreenIQ employees recently completed a survey focused on their pop culture preferences. It deserved an infographic. We think it’s a fun, unique way to highlight a slice of our culture.

                MUSIC_CULTURE_GRAPHIC_BLUE3

                Interested in joining our team, find out what it’s like working at EmployeeScreenIQ here.

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                    I’ve been knee-deep in the online employment space for almost 20 years. But when EmployeeScreenIQ offered me a full time job last year, among other things, I thought it would be a great opportunity to stay in the industry while viewing the world through a very different perspective.

                    One example: Not every job opening needs a Help Wanted sign on the Internet but every hire needs a background check – even if every employer doesn’t do one on every candidate.

                    Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 2.12.43 PMNeedless to say, I’ve learned a lot about screening job candidates and the companies who do so in the past year. There’s much that goes into what makes this engine purr.

                    Here’s a breakdown of what opened my eyes the most:

                    • Background checks are pretty much a commodity. Everything in a background check is publicly accessible. An arrest record in Any County, USA can be seen by anyone who knows what they’re looking for. Differentiation in this industry is achieved by having talent on the ground checking said information that’s better than the competition. That means constant attention to detail and efficiencies. It also means customer service truly makes a difference. User experience from the technology side is important too.
                    • Companies are scared to death. No one wants to recruit an employee who ends up being a bad seed and does something criminal. Not only is doing so a litigious nightmare, but it’s also a social media disaster waiting to happen.
                    • Candidates are scared to death. Lying on resumes and stretching the truth is out of control. Desperation leads to deception. Diploma mills are big business as a result, awarding PhDs and MBAs to anyone with a few hundred dollars to spend. Our own President and COO has a wall full of bought diplomas, showing just how easy it is to be something you’re not.
                    • Government keeps everyone guessing (and pulling out handfuls of hair). When the GOP won control of congress last year, it increased speculation that EEOC regulations might be eased and litigation defused. Additionally, the wave of marijuana legalization means employers have to stay alert to what’s going on with all levels of government.
                    • Background checks aren’t going away. You can argue that job postings might one day be unnecessary, thanks to sourcing or social media or robots or something, but as long as people behave badly – and they always will – then there will be a need to screen them before hiring them.

                    There are others, and nuances happen almost weekly. But this is a good overview of what I’ve discovered the past year. Never a dull moment, and the roller coaster is always more fun than the merry-go-round.

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                        Missing Data

                        The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been busy. At the request of Congress, it’s been looking into criminal background checks. Last week the GAO released a report of findings from a two year study titled “CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS: Additional Actions Could Enhance the Completeness of Records Used for Employment-Related Background Checks.” The report lives up to that lengthy title–it is the most comprehensive accounting of the current state of FBI background checks, criminal record databases, and practices since 2006. It reveals when and why states conduct FBI record checks, and looks at whether states have improved upon reporting complete records into the FBI database. It also looks at the practices of private companies that conduct criminal record checks. [...]

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                            Casino employee theft

                            Is your business being sabotaged by its own employees?

                            For many employers in the gaming industry, the answer to this question may be a surprising one. Research shows that almost half of all losses in casinos is due to employee theft. In casinos, theft can happen in many different places, from the cashier cage to the vault rooms to the casino floor.

                            Material theft isn’t the only kind of theft that employees can commit. Time theft, when employees are supposed to be working but are loitering or doing personal things without anyone knowing, is another serious problem in the workplace. In the United States, it is estimated that employee time theft costs employers almost six full weeks of an average employee’s salary every year.

                            Completely preventing theft is nearly impossible. Even an employer who takes every precaution may still get burned by theft, especially in the field of gaming where money flows so openly throughout the business. Fortunately for casino owners and operators, there are background screening best practices that can help minimize the chance of employee theft. [...]

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                                Ban the box compliance

                                It’s no secret that ban the box legislation is on the rise in cities, counties, and states across the United States. Just in case you haven’t heard much about this movement yet, here’s a brief explanation. When a particular location “bans the box” this means that employers are unable to include the check box on applications which asks whether or not an applicant has been convicted of a crime—at least not until later in the hiring process.

                                While these laws are well-intentioned, they’ve often become confusing for employers. While they protect job candidates from discrimination, laws are inconsistent, which exposes employers to an increased risk of breaking the law if they are unaware of the facts. [...]

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                                    Credit Report Reforms

                                    Later today, the big three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are expected to announce major new reforms on how they will report adverse information on a consumer’s credit report and the steps they will take when a consumer wishes to dispute the information.

                                    What’s The Difference

                                    According to the Wall Street Journal, the credit bureaus have agreed to wait 180 days before adding any medical debt information. During this time, consumers will have the opportunity to clear up the debt. When an insurance company pays off medical debt, they will quickly be removed from report (as opposed to other negative information which can stay on a report for up to seven years). [...]

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                                        March 2015 BTW

                                        For those interested in staying up-to-date with the latest in compliance for pre-employment background screening and the laws that affect your use of employment background checks, follow our publication, BTW: Your Guide to Staying Out of Hot Water. This compliance resource has been created by our VP of Compliance and General Counsel, Angela Preston, and is a must-read for human resources and security professionals.

                                        Is Big Brother Watching? When Big Data Meets HR

                                        Big data is transforming the information world at an alarming rate. It’s no surprise that the data being collected, sliced, sorted, and sold is being used to help businesses make better hiring decisions. Read More

                                        New Jersey’s Ban the Box Law Effective March 1, 2015

                                        The New Jersey ban the box law, titled The Opportunity to Compete Act, went into effect on March 1, 2015. The law impacts both private and public employers hiring in the Garden State. Read More

                                        The Federal Trade Commission Takes Down Diploma Mills

                                        The World Wide Web just got a little bit safer for consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down two bad actors running Florida-based diploma mills. Read More



                                        View March Issue

                                        Have a question for the next issue of BTW? Submit YOUR question for Ask Angela here: askangela@employeescreen.com

                                         

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                                          All information contained on this website is provided by employeescreenIQ solely for the convenience of the site viewers. employeescreenIQ is not providing legal advice or counsel and nothing provided on this website or otherwise by employeescreenIQ should be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Users are solely responsible for complying with all local, state, and federal laws relating to the use of any information provided on this website and any information products provided by employeescreenIQ. Users should consult with their own legal counsel if they have questions regarding their legal responsibilities or any information provided by employeescreenIQ.