Lawsuit Alleges Hiring Discrimination Due to Credit Background Checks

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this case which alleges that the University of Miami medical school “violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by rejecting or firing qualified individuals because of their credit background, even though credit history does not predict employment performance.”

I’m certain we don’t entirely agree with that statement, but you might want to check out our recent white paper, “Credit Reports and the Hiring Process: The Value (And Risk) to HR Professionals“.

The firm filing on behalf of the plaintiff is no stranger to such cases.  They have brought suit against many an employer for perceived discriminatory hiring practices involving background checks including a high profile case involving a Madison Square Garden employee.

See release below from the plaintiff’s firm.  We are eager to see the University of Miami’s response and will publish as soon as we do.

The University of Miami conducts background checks that discriminate against African Americans and Latinos, a class action lawsuit filed in Miami federal court today alleges. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Loudy Appolon of Miami, Florida, accuses the University of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by rejecting or firing qualified individuals because of their credit background, even though credit history does not predict employment performance. In fact, there is no correlation between credit history and job performance or trustworthiness, and credit reports are often rife with inaccuracies.

Samuel R. Miller, a senior attorney at Outten & Golden LLP, said, “By all accounts, Ms. Appolon was well-qualified for the position – that’s why the University of Miami offered her the job. But instead of evaluating Ms. Appolon on an individual basis, as a person who – like many Americans today – may have struggled with and overcome some personal financial difficulties, and who showed promise to be an excellent employee, the Hospital stigmatized her based on her credit history. When companies act this way, they make it impossible for Americans to break the cycle of lending and bad credit, rebuild their lives, and contribute to their families and communities. And the employers hurt themselves by losing out on some of their best potential workers.”

Sarah Crawford, counsel with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, stated, “The University of Miami’s policies and practices are illegal because they adopt and perpetuate the racial disparities in the credit system. We see this problem occurring in private and public employment across the country, despite the fact that employers, credit reporting agencies, and researchers have found no link between credit history and job performance. At a time when unemployment rates are skyrocketing, particularly for minority jobseekers, this unjustified and discriminatory practice only exacerbates the problem. Employers need to know that the practice is discriminatory and must end.” Ms. Crawford testified about the discriminatory effects of credit checks at an October 20, 2010 hearing of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the Complaint, “Defendants’ hiring policy duplicates the racial discrimination present in the credit reporting system . . . This discriminatory denial of employment affects not only the individuals who are rejected or terminated, but also their families and entire communities, replicating minority under-employment and compounding credit inequities in the process.”

The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Appolon interviewed for a senior medical collector position with the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in June 2009. She was offered the position, but the day before she was due to start her new job — after she had already resigned from her previous job — the University informed Ms. Appolon that she would not be hired because of her credit history. “I was shocked,” says Ms. Appolon. “I’ve worked in this industry for years, and my credit was never a problem.”

Traveling over the Holidays? Who’s Screening TSA Screeners?

Well as we head into the big Thanksgiving Holiday (the greatest holiday of all), the media and the random people that are selected for additional screening at the airport are up in arms about “extra love” they are receiving from our friendly TSA employees.  Some claim that the pat downs have left weary travelers needing a cigarette and a shower (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Anywho, I’ve got no problem with the extra security precautions.  If this is what it takes to ensure we are all safe, then I believe it’s a small price to pay.  Heaven forbid the TSA backs off the policy and something that could have been prevented passes through without a concern.  The same people would be calling for their heads.

The only thing that becomes even more abundantly important is the responsibility of the TSA to conduct thorough employment background checks on it’s employees.  The background checks should include a comprehensive criminal record search including a Sex Offender Registry Check.  Because with the new security measures, this could bring in a flood of deviants hoping to slip through the cracks (definitely no pun intended).

That’s all I’ve got.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

Adios to Chain of Custody Forms for Employment Drug Screening

Earlier this week, EmployeeScreenIQ announced  a new Web-based drug testing solution that eliminates chain-of-custody paperwork, enables online scheduling and provides real-time analysis and reporting. The new solution is the result of a partnership with eScreen, a pioneering provider of employment screening technology and Web-based applications.

Rather than share bullet points on the benefits of our new solution, we thought we’d show you a quick video to see how it works.  Enjoy!

Watch National Accounts

Web Demo of EmployeeScreenIQ’s Advanced New Drug Screening Platform

EmployeeScreenIQ is proud to announce a new strategic alliance with eScreen, a pioneering provider of substance abuse screening technology and Web-based applications. Join EmployeeScreenIQ for a web demonstration to learn how this fully integrated solution allows you to save both time and money in the hiring process.

Discover how our automated solution:

eScreen Logo

  • Eliminates chain-of-custody paperwork
  • Speeds the background screening process with online scheduling
  • Provides real-time analysis and reporting at the collection site

Give us 30 minutes of your time, and we will show you how EmployeeScreenIQ and eScreen solutions can drive real value for your organization.

We are offering this 30 minute demonstration on December 1st and 9th at 2 pm EST/11am PST. To participate, simply click on a session below and complete our brief Webex registration form. Registration for each session is limited to the first 100 respondents.

Please choose the demonstration that you would like to attend:

Sign Up Now

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 2pm EST/11am PST

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 2pm EST/11am PST

EmployeeScreenIQ Partners with eScreen for State of the Art Substance Abuse Screening

Today, EmployeeScreenIQ announced a new Web-based drug testing solution that eliminates chain-of-custody paperwork, enables online scheduling and provides real-time analysis and reporting. The new solution is the result of a partnership with eScreen, a pioneering provider of employment screening technology and Web-based applications.

The pre-integrated and fully-automated drug testing solution drastically accelerates the background screening process by slashing turnaround times through online event scheduling and allows for Web-based, real-time analysis at the collection site and secure, confidential Web reporting to the employer.

Instead of printing chain-of-custody forms and handing them to candidates, who then have to take them to a laboratory, the form is created electronically at the collection location. Once an employee completes their test, results can be obtained within 15 minutes if the results are negative—as opposed to the traditional lab-based model timeframe of 24-48 hours.

The solution is supported by a national network of over 2,300 occupational health clinics that collect and analyze samples and immediately report five-panel results using eScreen’s proprietary eCup™ and eReader™ drugs of abuse screening technology. For full details on the service, visit http://employeescreen.com/sascreening.asp.

“This partnership with eScreen not only provides our customers with significant cost savings, but it also streamlines the recruiting and staffing processes by making the background screening experience significantly more efficient,” said Nick Fishman, chief marketing officer for EmployeeScreenIQ. “By including a completely paperless chain-of-custody drug testing solution, our customers now have an easy and affordable way to purchase tests online.”

View Full Release

12/1/2010 Web Demo of EmployeeScreenIQ's Advanced New Drug Screening Platform

EmployeeScreenIQ is proud to announce a new strategic alliance with eScreen, a pioneering provider of substance abuse screening technology and Web-based applications. Join EmployeeScreenIQ for a web demonstration to learn how this fully integrated solution allows you to save both time and money in the hiring process.

Discover how our automated solution:

eScreen Logo

  • Eliminates chain-of-custody paperwork
  • Speeds the background screening process with online scheduling
  • Provides real-time analysis and reporting at the collection site

Give us 30 minutes of your time, and we will show you how EmployeeScreenIQ and eScreen solutions can drive real value for your organization.

We are offering this 30 minute demonstration on December 1st and 9th at 2 pm EST/11am PST. To participate, simply click on a session below and complete our brief Webex registration form. Registration for each session is limited to the first 100 respondents.

Please choose the demonstration that you would like to attend:

Sign Up Now

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 2pm EST/11am PST

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at 2pm EST/11am PST

11/15/2010 EmployeeScreenIQ Partners with eScreen, Introduces Online Drug Screening Solution

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) November 16, 2010

Global employment screening provider EmployeeScreenIQ announced today a new Web-based drug testing solutionthat eliminates chain-of-custody paperwork, enables online scheduling and provides real-time analysis and reporting. The new solution is the result of a partnership with eScreen, a pioneering provider of employment screening technology and Web-based applications.

The pre-integrated and fully-automated drug testing solution drastically accelerates the background screening process by slashing turnaround times through online event scheduling and allows for Web-based, real-time analysis at the collection site and secure, confidential Web reporting to the employer.

Instead of printing chain-of-custody forms and handing them to candidates, who then have to take them to a laboratory, the form is created electronically at the collection location. Once an employee completes their test, results can be obtained within 15 minutes if the results are negative—as opposed to the traditional lab-based model timeframe of 24-48 hours.

The solution is supported by a national network of over 2,300 occupational health clinics that collect and analyze samples and immediately report five-panel results using eScreen’s proprietary eCup™ and eReader™ drugs of abuse screening technology. For full details on the service, visit http://employeescreen.com/sascreening.asp.

“This partnership with eScreen not only provides our customers with significant cost savings, but it also streamlines the recruiting and staffing processes by making the background screening experience significantly more efficient,” said Nick Fishman, chief marketing officer for EmployeeScreenIQ. “By including a completely paperless chain-of-custody drug testing solution, our customers now have an easy and affordable way to purchase tests online.”

About EmployeeScreenIQ
Founded in 1999, EmployeeScreenIQ is a Cleveland, Ohio-based employment screening company offering a variety of employment screening services to mid- and large-cap organizations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe and East Asia. For more information, visithttp://www.EmployeeScreen.com.

About eScreen, Inc.
Located in Overland Park, Kansas, eScreen was founded in 1998 as the pioneer manufacturer and marketer of employment screening technology and web-based applications for the hiring and maintaining of efficient workforces. eScreen set the new standard for drug testing program management and directly affected the evolution of employee drug screening, including introduction of the industry’s only instrumented 15-minute negative urine drug screen, the first-to-market paperless chain of custody form, and integrated web-based result reporting.

Today, as the largest Third Party Administrator (TPA) in the country, eScreen processes millions of corporate data transactions each year and offers a centralized process to ensure program compliance for both federally regulated (DOT) and non-regulated hiring programs. To learn more about eScreen’s integrated, electronic drug testing solution for simplified local and nationwide testing, please visit http://www.escreen.com.

View Full Release

Police Recruits Screened on Facebook

Come on guys, don’t you read our blog? BAD IDEA!!  Just call your counterparts in Bozeman, Montana and ask them how embarrassing it was when that story hit the news.

Police recruits screened for digital dirt on Facebook, etc.

By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Law enforcement agencies are digging deep into the social media accounts of applicants, requesting that candidates sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other personal spaces.

Some agencies are demanding that applicants provide private passwords, Internet pseudonyms, text messages and e-mail logs as part of an expanding vetting process for public safety jobs.

More than a third of police agencies review applicants’ social media activity during background checks, according to the first report on agencies’ social media use by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the largest group of police executives. The report out last month surveyed 728 agencies.

“As more and more people join these networks, their activities on these sites become an intrinsic part of any background check we do,” said Laurel, Md., Police Chief David Crawford.

Privacy advocates say some background investigations, including requests for text message and e-mail logs, may go too far.

“I’m very uneasy about this,” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “Where does it all stop?”

During the IACP’s conference last month in Orlando, about 100 chiefs and other law enforcement officials who attended sessions on vetting applicants’ social media use said they either request waivers and other personal information from applicants or are developing policies to do so.

Full Story