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Background Checks

Is Your Company at Risk for a Fall?

Everywhere you turn it seems there’s another compliance hazard threatening your company’s background screening program. So how do you protect your company, employees, and candidates?

Our guide, Protect Your Company from Hidden Compliance Traps with EmployeeScreenIQ, provides a checklist crucial for safeguarding your screening program.

Our guide explains how compliance services:

  • Allow you to make smarter hiring decisions
  • Ensure a more positive candidate experience
  • Help you to align your screening process with the EEOC & FCRA Guidelines

Here’s a glimpse inside our guide:

Background check companies

Download your complimentary copy of the full guide today!

Compliance guide

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Employment Background Checks in New York

Today, to quote Billy Joel, I’m in a New York State of mind.  The Empire State has got it all from my favorite city in the world, New York City, to Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. They’ve got the best pizza in the world, Buffalo Wings, Garbage Plates (see definition at the bottom of this post) and Wegmans (shout out to my friends from Rochester). And while the state has plenty to brag about, one thing is for sure: conducting employment background checks in New York is a huge pain in the backside.

Warning: None of this information should dissuade you of the notion that you have to conduct employment background checks.

Regardless of the hoops you have to jump through, you still have an obligation to protect your employees, your customers and your business.  If that’s not enough, the cost of defending a negligent hiring claim and the average verdict in such cases, let alone the public safety concerns.

No further proof of this responsibility is necessary than a 2012 bus crash in New York which left 15 people dead. While this was just an accident, check out the details NBC-4 in New York uncovered when they investigated the driver.

Williams’ [the driver] criminal record includes the June 2003 arrest for driving with a suspended license. He was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and possession of the police scanners. Police records show Williams was also charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors as an adult, including pleading guilty to one charge of manslaughter. Documents show Williams served prison time from 1992 through the time he was paroled in 1994 on the manslaughter charge. He also had past arrests for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in 1998 and went back to prison, documents show.  He was released from parole in 2004. Another past arrest was for “intent to obtain transportation without paying” — which records show he pleaded guilty to a violation back in 1987.

I don’t know where this is in the courts now, but I can only imagine what the cost of this settlement is going to be.  So again, you still need to conduct background checks, but we can still always commiserate.

7 Reasons Why Employers Detest Conducting Background Checks in New York


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Hot List of Background Screening Providers

We are proud to announce that EmployeeScreenIQ has been included by Workforce Management Magazine on their Hot List” of Background Screening Providers for the seventh consecutive year. The list recognizes the top background screening companies in our industry.

This distinction validates our “No Shortcuts” approach to employment background checks and our unwavering commitment to compliance, accuracy and best practices. We also would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge our valued employees and clients who allow us to raise the bar and set new industry standards each and every day.

EmployeeScreenIQ Makes Hot List of Background Screening Providers

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Jaqueline Berrien is leaving Washington and her post as the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Insert your own emoticon here. President Obama announced today that she’ll be replaced by Vice Chair, Jenny Yang. Congratulations are in order for Yang, who is the first Asian-American to chair the agency.

Yang was the favorite to replace Berrien when she was appointed Vice Chair in 2014—just one year after her appointment to the Commission. Yang’s term expires July 1, 2017. Yang is known for her work in the non-profit sector as well as her work as a litigator and partner with Washington-based plaintiff law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll P.L.L.C where she represented employees. Her firm Cohen Milstein represented workers in the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gender discrimination litigation. [...]

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Employment Background Checks

Happy September! With several popular posts on the IQ Blog at the tail end of August, we wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to read them as we head into September. From a ban the box mishap in Texas, to the fatal flaw in employment background checks, take a look at each of the posts below for the latest in pre-employment background screening this week.

The Wrong Way to Comply with Ban the Box: Austin, Texas

The city of Austin, Texas hired a six-time convict to work in their public library . . .  that just plead guilty to attempted indecency with a child. Read More

Judge Tosses Texas Lawsuit Against EEOC on Criminal Background Checks

A judge ruled that Texas cannot challenge EEOC’s guidance on criminal background checks because the state is not at risk of being penalized for non-compliance. Read More

Flaw in Employment Background Check Law is Hurting Candidates

Often critics of employment background checks don’t realize that there’s a loophole in the federal law that was designed to help consumers but actually hurts them. Read More

Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Employment Credit Reports?

Employment credit reports can be valuable to employers because they can offer insight into an applicant’s reliability and sense of personal responsibility. Read More

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HR's Guide to Employment Credit Reports

What’s in a credit report? Credit reports are not routinely used in pre-employment screening. In fact, our most recent survey revealed that only 12% of employers use them regularly. However, employment credit reports can be valuable to hiring managers as a part of the employment background check process because they can offer insight into an applicant’s reliability and offer clues about a person’s sense of personal responsibility. An employment credit report might include derogatory credit information, public record filings (bankruptcies, liens and judgments), account standing with creditors, and other clues like previous address history.

Credit reports also allow employers to quickly verify and expand on information they receive from applicants. They can reveal additional information that may prompt further review of the applicant and their past. They also provide credit information that would not otherwise be shared by applicants but may have an impact on job performance.  These reports are especially useful for companies whose candidates will have check-writing privileges or other access to company funds.

But, before you jump into the fray and start screening for credit, read our article, HR’s Guide to Employment Credit Reports for some key considerations, such as:

  • Which positions might necessitate use of an employment credit report
  • An examination of the growing trend of state law restrictions on the use of credit reports
  • Pending federal legislation designed to curb the use of credit reports
  • How to determine if credit reports are right for your company

Given all of the existing limitations, companies need to weigh their options carefully when it comes to pre-employment credit. Not only are there legislative limits on the use of credit, but adding to the mix, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the trial bar are aggressively pursuing class action lawsuits in situations where they claim that the use of credit reports leads to race discrimination. Because of the uptick in cases involving credit, the increase in legislative initiatives, and the high cost of litigation, you should do some preventive risk analysis to determine whether credit reports are right for your organization.

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


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Background Screening Law Being Exploited

Having been involved in the employment background screening industry for over twenty years one could say I have seen it all. I have seen class action lawsuits, congressional hearings, state hearings, and pundits slamming an industry they really don’t understand. Often critics don’t realize that there’s a loophole in the federal law (the Fair Credit Reporting Act) that was designed to help consumers but actually hurts them.

Employment background checks exist because organizations simply want to protect their interests. Hiring managers have a duty to insulate their employees, customers and clients from individuals who pose a risk to them or the organization as a whole. But many times the pre-employment screening process is questioned for a lack of accuracy or seen as a barrier for employment.

So where is the flaw? [...]

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Judge: Texas Can't Sue EEOC for Criminal Background Check Guidance

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the state of Texas cannot challenge the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance on criminal background checks because the state is not presently at risk of being penalized for refusing to adopt the policy. You might recall that this suit was filed last November by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a legal action which challenged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “enforcement guidance” that limits the use of criminal records during the hiring process.  

Those who conduct employment background checks should read on to learn why this case was so important, but why you shouldn’t despair over the ruling. [...]

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Employment Background Checks and Ban the Box in Austin, Texas

Question: What do you get when you combine ban the box” compliance with utterly idiotic hiring practices? (I know I’m supposed to be diplomatic but no can do in this instance.)

Answer: Ask the city of Austin, Texas who hired a six-time convict to work in their public library . . .  that just plead guilty to attempted indecency with a child.

Before we dig into the details, let me show you the resume (see: rap sheet) of said employee, Joe Heath brought with him to the Austin Public library where he would come in regular contact with the public, including children.

  • 1987 – Trespassing
  • 1987 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 1990 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 2004 – Aggravated Assault w/ deadly weapon  4-years probation
  • 2005 – Money Laundering  = >$20K <$100K, sentenced to 4-years jail in 2007
  • 2006 – Hindering Secured Creditors  = >$100K – $200K

And here’s the kicker, not only didn’t the city of Austin fail to ask about past convictions on their job application, their hiring manager never bothered to ask at any point in the hiring process. Worse, they never conducted an employment background check.

How Did This Guy Get Hired?

The comedy of errors that led to Joe Heath’s hiring and retention would be funny if the consequences weren’t so serious. Read on to learn how you can avoid these mistakes when it comes to complying with ‘Ban the Box’ laws and exercising responsible hiring practices through employee background checks. [...]

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Employment Background Checks

It’s been awhile since our last weekly wrap up, and we’ve posted quite a few stories on our blog the past couple of weeks. If you’ve been out of the loop, now is a great time to get plugged back in, and I’ll give you a jump start with four of our latest blogs.

Ban the Box Has Jumped the Shark- It’s Getting Ugly Employers

The talent management community needs to push back.  Employers can’t just sit back anymore and think that these background screening laws are benign. Read More

Integrating the Candidate Experience & Saving Time

Wondering about the benefits of integrating your background screening program with your ATS or is there something you can do better? Watch our video to learn more. Read More

Is Your Background Screening Program Missing a Piece of the Puzzle?

Is your company using resume verification in its background screening program? If not, your hiring decisions could come back to haunt you someday. Read More

San Francisco “Ban the Box” Effective on August 13, 2014

Employers beware: you will need to do a lot more than just take the check box off of the application. Removing the box is not enough. Read More

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