FTC’s Identity Theft “Red Flag” Enforcement Delayed Again (July 31, 2009)

In a development that should surprise absolutely no one, the Federal Trade Commission has announced another delay in their enforcement of the “Red Flag” guidelines aimed to curb identity theft until November 1, 2009.

They have done so, “To assist small businesses and other entities, the Federal Trade Commission staff will redouble its efforts to educate them about compliance with the “Red Flags” Rule and ease compliance by providing additional resources and guidance to clarify whether businesses are covered by the Rule and what they must do to comply. To give creditors and financial institutions more time to review this guidance and develop and implement written Identity Theft Prevention Programs, the FTC will further delay enforcement of the Rule until November 1, 2009.”

Important for Employers Engaged in Employment Screening and Background Checks!

We been in contact with the FTC and learned that this delay does not apply to employers who still need to be in compliance by the original November 1, 2008 deadline. Employers must still have a policy in place to handle “Red Flag” Address Discrepancy Notifications from National Consumer Reporting Agencies (mainly the credit bureaus). For information for how employers can comply with the “Red Flags” Guidelines, feel free to download our webcast with Seyfarth Shaw’s Pam Devata.

For more information on these guidelines, please visit the following sites:
FTC Delays Enforcement of “Red Flags” Rule Again
Users of Consumer Reports Have New Responsibilities as of November 1
EmployeeScreenIQ Offers Free Webinar on New FTC Guidelines
FTC Enforcement Policy: Identity Theft Red Flags Rule
FTC Delays Enforcement of “Red Flags” Rules: Employers Still Must Comply

FTC’s Identity Theft “Red Flag” Enforcement Delayed Again

In a development that should surprise absolutely no one, the Federal Trade Commission has announced another delay in their enforcement of the “Red Flag” guidelines aimed to curb identity theft until November 1, 2009.

They have done so, “To assist small businesses and other entities, the Federal Trade Commission staff will redouble its efforts to educate them about compliance with the “Red Flags” Rule and ease compliance by providing additional resources and guidance to clarify whether businesses are covered by the Rule and what they must do to comply. To give creditors and financial institutions more time to review this guidance and develop and implement written Identity Theft Prevention Programs, the FTC will further delay enforcement of the Rule until November 1, 2009.”

Important for Employers Engaged in Employment Screening and Background Checks!
We been in contact with the FTC and learned that this delay does not apply to employers who still need to be in compliance by the original November 1, 2008 deadline. Employers must still have a policy in place to handle “Red Flag” Address Discrepancy Notifications from National Consumer Reporting Agencies (mainly the credit bureaus).

For information for how employers can comply with the “Red Flags” Guidelines, feel free to download our webcast with Seyfarth Shaw’s Pam Devata.

I Wouldn’t Want This on My Background Check

This is a story that speaks for itself.  I just wouldn’t want to be the poor sucker looking for a job with Horse Molestation on my record.  Can you imagine the person who reviews this background check?  I didn’t know that someone could be a registered sex offender for having sex with non-humans.

Police: SC Man Charged with Having Sex with A Horse

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A South Carolina man was charged with having sex with a horse after the animal’s owner caught the act on videotape, then staked out the stable and caught him at shotgun point, authorities said Wednesday.

But this wasn’t the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged with buggery. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after owner Barbara Kenley found him in the same stable and was sentenced to probation and placed on the state’s sex offender list.

Kenley said she noticed several weeks ago her 21-year-old horse Sugar was acting strange and getting infections again. She noticed things in the barn had been moved around — dirt piled up and bales of hay stacked near the horse’s stall at her Lazy B Stables in Longs, about 20 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach.

“Police kept telling me it couldn’t be the same guy,” Kenley said Wednesday. “I couldn’t believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse.”

She spent several nights at the stables, which are about four miles from her home, but didn’t find anything. So she installed surveillance cameras, and when she reviewed the footage from July 19, she couldn’t believe she was seeing the same man doing the same thing to her horse.

More

Sex Offender working at Florida water parked accused of molesting 3 girls

A Florida water park employee has been accused of molesting 3 girls.  That sentence is disturbing enough but what is even more disturbing is the fact that the employee was a Registered Sex Offender.  The company that hired the accused man ran a background check on him.  The background check was a search of the state sex offender database and local arrest history.  If the company had run a comprehensive background check, they would know that he had been convicted of sexual battery in 2003.  Who knows, maybe even a quick check of the iPhone sex offender locator would have prevented him from being hired.

Broward County investigating how sex offender got job at Deerfield park

More girls accuse Deerfield park attendant of molesting them

It May Just Pay To Just Say No (Literally)

A new study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) shows that roughly 75% of the companies polled conduct pre-employment drug tests, urine testing being the most common type of screen performed.  And it’s not just those workers in safety sensitive positions being screened.  The study indicates that 84% of the respondents stated that workers, no matter what the position or job responsibility, are fair game to be tested for drugs and/or alcohol.

With many employers having their pick of the employee litter, we will be seeing background screening and drug testing policies and procedures become much more stringent. 

Looking for a Job? Prepare to be Drug Tested

i4cp Study: Most Companies Drug Test, Especially During Pre-Employment

Seattle, WA, July 28, 2009 –(PR.com)– If you’re looking to land a job in today’s economy, you’ve got a much better chance if you’re drug free, suggests a new study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The study found that three-quarters of companies polled have a drug screening policy, and almost all of those with a program say that pre-employment screening is the most common type.

A full 95% of companies that screen employees for drugs do so prior to hire; increasing to 100% in organizations with 10,000 or more workers. Seventy percent test when there is “reasonable suspicion” of drug use, 62% test following an employee accident, and 41% say they do random testing.

Among companies that do pre-employment drug screening, the largest share (47%) require that the test be conducted within four days of the applicant’s acceptance of a position, while 30% say it can be done at any time before the new employee’s start date.

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I first learned of this famous latin phrase as a criminology major at Kent State UniversityQuis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase from the Roman poet Juvenal, which literally translates to “Who will guard the guards themselves?”, and is variously translated in colloquial English as “Who watches the watchmen?”  I felt it appropriate when reading the following article about Senate Bill 447 in California.

Governor to consider bill barring ex-cons from doing background checks

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Created: 07/29/2009 07:57:44 PM PDT

Now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the state budget, he has to decide whether to sign more than 100 new bills.

Among the measures that will soon be placed on his desk is Senate Bill 447, which would ensure that people with a criminal past can’t conduct background checks for prospective employees and members at agencies, such as the Boy Scouts.

Lawmakers backing the bill expect it to hit Schwarzenegger’s desk within the next week.

Once the bill is sent to the governor, he would have 12 days to sign it.

The Assembly passed the bill on July 13, after it received Senate approval in May.

“It’s a great, great idea,” said Susan Warren, co-founder and co-director of Project Think in Claremont. “I don’t think we can be too careful checking the backgrounds of individuals who are going to be working with children, or checking those supervising children, who are our most important resources for the future.”

Project Think is an active-learning summer program for preschoolers to eighth-graders. Warren has been a teacher and principal for 22 years and is a professor and director of masters programs and education at Azusa Pacific University.

There are 36,000 youth organizations in California that require criminal background checks for prospective members. But the person conducting the background checks can also review his or her own past.

“We can’t take that chance because that could ruin a child’s life,” Warren said.

Bill sponsor Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said the loophole could lead to an ex-con supervising an organization’s background check process unbeknownst to other agency members.

The bill would require the state Department of Justice to review the criminal past of potential record custodians to confirm whether they are suited for the position.

8/17/2009 Social Networking Sites: Can You Trust What You See?

Speaking Engagement: Devore Technologies

August 17, 2009 at 11:40AM-1:15PM EST

August 18, 2009 at 6:00-8:00PM EST

Social Networking Sites: Can You Trust What You See? Presented by EmployeeScreenIQ President and C.O.O., Jason B. Morris at [Devore Technologies](http://devore.com) corporate headquarters in Beachwood, Ohio. Please contact Devore Technologies at 440 232 3846 if you wish to attend.

7/27/2009 EmployeeScreenIQ Releases Latest Web Ordering Enhancements

EmployeeScreenIQ is pleased to announce the following enhancements to our website, My EmployeeScreen 4.0!

(Effective July 27, 2009)

Order Placement Enhancements

  • If you previously conducted a background check but accidentally request it a 2nd time, My EmployeeScreen 4.0 will notify you of a duplicate order before you submit it. This enhancement crosscheck’s your candidate’s Social Security Number with your previous orders.
  • The Social Security Administration has never issued a number greater than 772-00-0000. If you order a Social Security Number Trace, My EmployeeScreen 4.0 will validate the Social Security Number and alert you before you proceed with the rest of the order.
  • By entering just a zip code, the state and city will automatically populate, simplifying the order entry process.
  • EmployeescreenIQ can create a drop down list for clients that require adding P.O. Numbers, Billing Codes, etc. to the report. EmployeeScreenIQ will gladly customize this solution based on your specific needs.
  • Clients can now enter more than 3 alias names to search, if needed. Simply click on the green “+” button to add all information your applicant supplied to you.

Result Enhancements

  • We are pleased to bring you the most optimized solution yet. The “Preview” format allows you to view your candidate list while simultaneously scrolling through results. Adding additional services, archiving the report and e-mailing your Client Relations Associate are features which are still available through this dashboard option.

EmployeeScreenIQ is proud to offer these new solutions to our valued clients and excited to see how these features will enhance your screening program. Please contact our Client Relations department if you have any questions, (800) 235-3954, option 2. As always, thank you for your business.

Sex Offender Locator on iPhone

While browsing through the App Store on my iPhone this weekend I realized that there really is an app for everything!  Currently in the #6 spot for all paid apps in the Apple App Store is Offender Locator.  This app allows users to view registered Sex Offenders living near their families.

The iPhone’s Latest Hit App: A Sex Offender Locator

Looking over the top 10 paid iPhone apps list today, the list appeared pretty typical: A bunch of games, a camera app, etc. Then I noticed one called Offender Locator [iTunes link], mostly because it has a creepy icon. I figured it was a game — it’s anything but. It’s an app to show you registered sex offenders living around you.

While all 50 states require that sexual offenders register themselves, and allow anyone to access the information online, most people never look at it. That’s why it’s surprising that this app is a top seller — especially considering that it’s not free (it’s $0.99). Certainly, it’s good to be aware of these people living around you — especially if they have committed acts against children, and you have children — but it’s interesting that it’s the iPhone that is making such information ???popular.”

The app allows you to see a list of offenders based on your current location (using the iPhone’s location services), any contact’s address, or it allows you to manually enter an address. The app then scours the database and lists the sexual offenders based on their proximity to the location you gave. You can click on any of these names to get a picture of the person, their information like date of birth, height, weight, and a picture. And you can also see the specific sexual crime they were charged with.

But, as you might imagine, such an app is not without controversy. First of all, there’s a disclaimer when you first load it up warning that all of the information may not be accurate. The reason it gives are that the sexual offender lists are continuously updating, so some parts may be out of date or incomplete.

An even bigger problem is that the app may not be legal in all states. As someone who reviewed the app notes, “This app is not legal, at least under CA law. Selling the personal information of people (even ex-criminals) for profit is forbidden.” It is rather odd that this app costs money when the information is available freely on the web. As a top 10 app, the developer is likely making thousands of dollars a day off of this app.

Morris to Speak Today at IL SHRM Conference

EmployeeScreenIQ President, Jason Morris will speak today at the 10th Annual Illinois SHRM Conference & Expo.

Session Details Include:

Technology’s Role in the Employment Screening Process
Presented by Jason B. Morris, President and C.O.O.  at EmployeeScreenIQ
July 23, 2009 at 1:45PM CST
Dekalb, IL at Northern Illinois University