6/29/2008 New Law Calls for Retroactive Criminal Checks of Teachers

[New Law Calls for Retroactive Criminal Checks of Teachers

The News-Press (6/29/2008) (http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080629/NEWS0120/80629011/1075) – Fort Myers,FL,USA*

The law includes required procedures for background checks, prohibits confidentiality agreements that hide criminality from future employers and requires …

[Read the full story here . . .](http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080629/NEWS0120/80629011/1075)

John Pinnington Sacked After CRB Check Reveals Unsubstantiated Abuse Allegations

A care worker who was sacked after a criminal record check revealed an unfounded allegation of abuse is fighting a legal battle to clear his name.

John Pinnington, a father of two children, from Benson, Oxon, claims that the police were wrong to disclose the allegation to his new employer. He is now awaiting the outcome of a judicial review.

The dispute has become a major test case. His lawyers say that if he loses, thousands of carers will be prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Mr Pinnington was fired from his post as deputy principal of Thomley Hall, a college for autistic children in Oxfordshire, when his employers requested an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check after he took the job in 2005.

The check revealed an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual abuse that was made against him by an autistic child he had cared for at another college in 2001. Police had investigated the allegation at the time and dismissed it.

Mr Pinnington, 59, is now challenging the right of Thames Valley Police to have disclosed the allegation to his new employer.

The case is a test of tough new vetting laws introduced after the murders of the Soham schoolgirls in 2002. The girls’ killer, Ian Huntley, had been able to get a job as a school caretaker despite having faced repeated allegations of sex offences involving underage girls.


Congratulations to Shelli Johnson of Adventist Health System, the Winner of our 42” Toshiba LCD Television Raffle

Congratulations to Shelli Johnson of Adventist Health System, the Winner of our 42” Toshiba LCD Television Raffle

Congratulations to Shelli Johnson of Adventist Health System. You’ve won the 42” Toshiba LCD Television we raffled off at the Annual SHRM Conference in Chicago.

Please contact Jonah Green, Account Executive at EmployeeScreen IQ to claim your prize. Jonah can be reached at (800) 235-3954 ext. 443.

Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to speaking with you all soon about how EmployeeScreen IQ can enhance your current screening program. For more information, please visit us at www.EmployeeScreen.com

employeescreenIQ’s TWIB Notes from the Week of June 23, 2008

It was all SHRM Conference all the time this week at employeescreenIQ. TWIB Notes (This Week in Background Checks) from the blog and employeescreen University include the following:

SHRM Conference Happenings

· SHRM Conference Wrap Up

· Workforce Management Article on SHRM Conference Exhibit Floor

· employeescreenIQ’s List of 10 2009 Trends in Employment Screening

In the coming weeks we look forward to sharing the various PodCast interviews we conducted at the conference highlighted by interviews with SHRM’s China Miner-Gorman, Cheezhead’s Joel Cheesman, Pre-Employment Directory’s Barry Nixon and HRMarketer’s Jonathan Goodman.

Social Networking In Employment Screening: Just Because Someone Says It’s a Good Idea, Doesn’t Make it Legal

If you’re sick of having to go to countless websites to keep up with all of your social networking, Spokeo is a great tool. It searches your friends’ blogs and photos across 40 social networks so you don’t have to visit hundreds of websites individually. Great concept for hiring professionals (or anyone) interested in keeping up with your friends.

When Good Concepts Go Wrong

Our inside sources (I’ve always wanted to say that) tell us that Spokeo is getting ready to market this service to employers so that they can aggregate data on their job applicants and employees as part of the background checking process. Good idea? Not if you’re interested in staying out of a court room!

Since many of you have read the cautionary advice we’ve provided about using Social Networking sites in your employment screening practices, I’ll spare you the lengthy diatribe. However, you need only read the Fair Credit Reporting Act, FACT Act and, or the myriad anti-discrimination laws to know that this is most definitely not a good hiring practice.

Spokeo may want to revisit their newest marketing strategy or provide indemnification to employers for any lawsuits that arise by employees and job candidates who were terminated or rejected based on the information they provided.

6/25/2008 Top Personnel Official Pressured to Resign

[Top Personnel Official Pressured to Resign](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/24/AR2008062401395.html)

Washington Post – United States*

“Based on the briefings we’ve received from the Capitol Police, there was a very serious problem and a failure to do adequate background checks. …

[Read the full story here . . .](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/24/AR2008062401395.html)

U.S. Capitol Police Ignore Background Checks

Kudos to the U.S. Capitol Police for knowing the importance of conducting a thorough background checks when hiring new employees.  They know that performing a proper background check is but one way to ensure that they can protect themselves and the people they serve.  They know that an effective background check can help mitigate the possibility of embarrassing facts coming to light after the time of hire.  They probably also know how much it costs to hire and train a new employee.

Feel like you’ve been set up?  We all have!  There’s only one problem with their policy:  It evidently didn’t include paying attention to the results of the background check!

According to the Washington Post, 15 recruits in the most recent class of trainees had to be let go after it was found that they had information on their background checks that would have disqualified them from employment.  Even worse, this information was contained on the background checks that were conducted.  They were just ignored and never read.


See the full details below:

Top Personnel Official Pressured to Resign

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 25, 2008; Page B04

Pressure is mounting on a top U.S. Capitol Police personnel official to resign in the wake of a scandal over the hiring of 15 recruits who had criminal records or other irregularities that should have disqualified them, officials said yesterday.

The Capitol Police human resources director, Jennifer McCarthy, was put on administrative leave several weeks ago in connection with the problem, according to police and congressional officials. She was told to resign by today or present strong evidence why she shouldn’t be fired, said congressional and police sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment on personnel matters.

McCarthy did not respond to a message left at her home phone number. She has denied any wrongdoing, according to one Capitol Police source.

The 15 police trainees, who make up about one-fourth of the latest group of recruits, were removed about halfway through a 12-week training course in Georgia and recalled to Washington over the weekend. They have been told they will be fired Friday if they haven’t resigned by then.

View the full story by clicking here

Are We Overprotective of our Kids?

A new report out of the U.K. questions whether parents are too protective of their children in this day and age. The U.K. thinktank, Civitas, reports that there is now exists a “culture of suspicion” which deters people from working with children due to the possible appearance of impropriety.

I absolutely agree with Civitas’ notion that there exists this culture which makes us question the motives of others. Why? Because there is cause for it. On any given day you can peruse the Internet and find a multitude of stories about sex offenders, coaches, volunteers, bus drivers, teachers, and others who have committed unspeakable acts of violence against children (or you can just read our blog). If there were no cause for this suspicion, companies like ours would not exist.

At the conclusion of this article, there is an opportunity to post your thoughts on this story. I ran across a comment made by a father about an incident that occurred with his young daughter. Here’s his story:

“I have been stopped in the street because I picked up my youngest daughter, who had decided to cause a scene in town, and carried her over my shoulder to the car. A passer by assumed that I must be some evil child abducter, and I had to patiently explain to them, and the well meaning security guard they’d drafted in, that I was nothing of the sort. What’s bizarre is that whilst part of me was overcome with indignation, the other couldn’t help being impressed that they’d bothered to check…”

So even though someone butting their nose into your affairs feels a bit intrusive, take a minute to think about the big picture. If that was your kid, loved one, or employee, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you NEED to know? Wouldn’t you be glad someone took the time to ask?

Click here to read “Are We Overprotective of our Kids?

Workplace Violence Strikes Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros

Houston Astros Pitcher Shawn Chacon has been suspended indefinitely for grabbing the General Manager, Ed Wade, by the throat and throwing him to the ground.  For those of you playing at home, this is not the correct way, even in Major League Baseball, to move up the corporate ladder.  And while professional sports has been abnormally tolerant of aberrant behavior, even they have their breaking point as it looks like Chacon has most likely disqualified himself from ever playing again as a result of this workplace violence issue.

I found the following excerpt from an article written by baseball writer, Richard Justice revealing, because it shows that the Astros performed some type of background check (at least an employment verification).  They evidently just chose to ignore the signs that such an incident was predictable.

Choking GM likely ends Shawn Chacon’s career

HOUSTON — It was both frightening and surreal to those who saw it. Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon rose from his chair, wrapped his hands around general manager Ed Wade’s throat and threw him to the floor.

After all the tantrums and all the dumb stuff and all the people who have forgiven Chacon through the years, he finally crossed the line Wednesday. He might long regret the day he likely ended his own big league career.

Chacon did it himself. He’ll look for scapegoats. He’ll blame others. He’ll look everywhere except the mirror. That’s what people like Chacon always do.

In the end, though, everything that has happened to Shawn Chacon has been because of Shawn Chacon. This incident can’t be forgiven or forgotten. Not by the Astros. Not by any other club.

Wade had approached Chacon and requested a meeting after the pitcher lashed out at Astros manager Cecil Cooper for demoting him to the bullpen.

Chacon refused. He challenged Wade to say what he had to say. Wade did. Loudly.

This wasn’t Wade’s finest hour, either. To ask for a meeting is one thing. To resort to yelling and cursing reflects a lack of maturity on Wade’s part as well. Some who have known Wade through the years have thought he had a large streak of insecurity and a little man’s complex.

View the full story here . . .