BTW: Your Background Check Guide for Staying Out of Hot Water

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

Our June issue features a employment background check conundrum: Would your hire an applicant with a 37 year old murder conviction?  

Check it out.

Federal Contractor Settles Discrimination Claims for $2M

 

Federal contractors take note—yesterday Baldor Electric Co., which holds $18 million worth of government contracts, agreed to pay $2 million to settle allegations that its hiring process discriminated against female and minority job applicants.  Baldor is a subsidiary of Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Ltd., and has received nearly $100 million in U.S. government contracts since 1997.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) alleged that the company’s background screening process prevented nearly 800 women and minorities from getting jobs.  Sound familiar? The DOL investigation mirrors the disparate impact cases filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that we have been tracking all year.  The DOL looks to be taking a chapter straight from the EEOC’s playbook, using its enforcement authority over federal contractors to allege discrimination by challenging the impact of background screening programs.

The agreement with the DOL says that Baldor will pay $2 million in back wages and interest to the affected individuals and will make at least 50 job offers to members of the original class of job applicants as positions become available.  If divided equally, the settlement comes to about $2,500 per person.

Arkansas-based Baldor had been fighting the claims since 2006, and finally grew tired of the fight and the expense.

“It was going to be a much lengthier process to fight it any longer. We don’t admit that we’ve done anything wrong. This was purely a statistical analysis on their (the Labor Department’s) part. But it would have been so long and so much more expensive to fight, it was just time to be done,” Baldor spokeswoman Tracy Long said.

“We’ve ensured that the screening process is in compliance with the Department of Labor’s expectations. We’ve had lot of time to work on it,” Long said.

Long’s comments defended the company decision to maintain a U.S. workforce , while taking a swipe at enforcement policies, claiming “It makes it hard to have this (U.S.) manufacturing strategy if you have policies like this, but we still feel it’s the right place to be.” Lesson for federal contractors—document your hiring policies and adopt best practices.  Even then, be prepared to defend your screening program, or shell out a multi-million dollar settlement.

6/24/2012 New Article from EmployeeScreenIQ Shines Light on Job Applicant Deceptions (PRWeb)

Most HR professionals have experienced deception on the part of their job applicants, often after the fact. A new article by EmployeeScreenIQ, “Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System,” offers a roadmap for spotting employee background check mistruths before a hiring decision is made.

While technologies such as HRIS and applicant tracking systems have streamlined the hiring process, they have also created new opportunities for candidates to “misremember” the facts when it comes to pre-employment background screening. One key to countering potential deception? Human oversight, according to EmployeeScreenIQ.

Georgia on Your Mind? Let’s Talk Background Checks at SHRM

If you’re heading to Atlanta for the 2012 Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition, June 24 – June 27, please plan on stopping by our booth #1716 to say hello, get the latest in employment background checks and employment screening from the front lines and even scoop up some show-worthy swag!

If you won’t be there, stay tuned to this blog for highlights and other employee background checks news.

And while we’ve got your attention, have you downloaded our complimentary article, “Job Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System,“? It’s the ultimate roadmap for catching pre-employment background check mistruths and deception before you make a hiring decision!

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See you at the show!

How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Try to Cheat a Background Check

Over the years, we here at EmployeeScreenIQ have seen our fair share of pre-employment background check deceptions from job applicants, and we’re guessing you have, too (our personal favorite is the candidate who faked her own death to avoid criminal prosecution). However, did you spot the deception immediately or find out after the fact?

Our latest article, “Job Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System,” shows you the top ten ways your applicants are trying to pull a fast one when it comes to employment background checks– and how human oversight, even in this age of technology, can make all the difference. You’ll learn how to debunk popular employee background check maneuvers designed to mislead including:

  • “Misremembered facts” communicated to background screening companies
  • Employers who don’t exist (think Seinfeld and Vandelay Industries!)
  • Delayed drug tests
  • And more!

Download “Job Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System” today!

Top Ten Ways Candidates “Misremember” Employment Background Check Facts

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Over the years, we here at EmployeeScreenIQ have seen our fair share of pre-employment background check deceptions from job applicants, and we’re guessing you have, too (our personal favorite is the candidate who faked her own death to avoid criminal prosecution). However, did you spot the deception immediately or find out after the fact?

Our latest article, “Job Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System,” shows you the top ten ways your applicants are trying to pull a fast one when it comes to employment background checks– and how human oversight, even in this age of technology, can make all the difference. You’ll learn how to debunk popular employee background check maneuvers designed to mislead including:

  • “Misremembered facts” communicated to background screening companies
  • Employers who don’t exist (think Seinfeld and Vandelay Industries!)
  • Delayed drug tests
  • And more!

Download “Job Applicants Do the Darndest Things: How HR Can Spot Candidates Who Game the System” today!

Summertime is Here: Don’t Be A Victim of Background Check Shrinkage

With the 95 degree heat we’ve been experiencing in Chicago lately, the summer is most definitely upon us.  It’s time to break out that new Speedo, throw some shrimp on the barbee and do to get your summer groove on.

For many employers, summer also means an explosion of hiring for seasonal staff.  Whether it’s interns, camp counselors, life guards, etc. the heat is on to get people hired and get them on the job as quickly as possible.  So, it’s up to you as the human resources professional to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks (here’s the part where we start talking about employee background checks).

The people you hire during the summer, even if they are only temporary, come with the same risks as any other employee and it is imperative that pre-employment background screening practices remain the same.

The best way to ensure this happens is to make sure you start the process early.  We have a number of clients whose employment rosters soar during the summer and many of them start making job offers as early as March.  In many cases, they have made a significant portion of their hires by the end of April.  This allows them all the time they need to make sure everything is in order.

One practice that we think is vital is to have all of the paper work in order, make the job contingent on the successful completion of an employment background check and then conduct that check as close to the person’s starting date as possible.  This way, you have the most current and up to date information before the person is on the job.

For those that don’t have a program, now is a great time to check out background screening companies.  I suggest looking companies that are NAPBS Accredited (by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners). (NAPBS).

Now go enjoy your summer!

State of Vermont Bans Use of Employment Credit Reports

We have just learned that the state of Vermont has become the eighth state to prohibit employers from using credit reports to make employment decisions effective July 1, 2012. Like it’s counterparts in the states of California, Maryland, Oregon, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington and Connecticut there are some exceptions. According to our friend (and counsel), Pam Devata at Seyfarth Shaw, employers may consider a credit report under the following circumstances only if the candidate is informed that a report will be sought and they have obtained written permission:

  • The information is required by state or federal law or regulation;
  • The position of employment:
    • involves access to “confidential financial information,” defined as sensitive financial information of commercial value that consumers or clients explicitly authorize the employer to have and which the employer only entrusts to certain employees;
    • is that of a law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel or a firefighter (as these terms are defined by state law);
    • requires a financial fiduciary responsibility to the employer or its clients, including authority to issue payments, collect debts, transfer money, or enter into contracts; or involves access to employer’s payroll information.
  • The employer is a financial institution or credit union (as these terms are defined by state law); or
  • The employer can demonstrate that the information is “valid and reliable predictor of employee performance in a specific position of employment.”

On a personal level, everyone saw this coming. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar measures during his tenure on two occasions. And the rising tide of similar legislation in other states only bolstered the state assembly’s efforts to make this happen.

While I was once opposed to this type of legislation, I have slowly warmed to the concept. The truth is that employers that do not use credit reports for the exempted purposes probably shouldn’t have been using them to make hiring decisions in the first place.

Any employer that operates in the state of Vermont and utilizes credit reports or might do so in the future should consider evaluating their employment screening policies.

6/13/2012 Vermont Prohibits the Use of Employment Credit Reports

We have just learned that the state of Vermont has become the eighth state to prohibit employers from using credit reports to make employment decisions effective July 1, 2012. Like it’s counterparts in the states of California, Maryland, Oregon, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington and Connecticut there are some exceptions. According to our friend (and counsel), Pam Devata at Seyfarth Shaw, employers may consider a credit report under the following circumstances only if the candidate is informed that a report will be sought and they have obtained written permission:

  • The information is required by state or federal law or regulation;
  • The position of employment:
    • involves access to “confidential financial information,” defined as sensitive financial information of commercial value that consumers or clients explicitly authorize the employer to have and which the employer only entrusts to certain employees;
    • is that of a law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel or a firefighter (as these terms are defined by state law);
    • requires a financial fiduciary responsibility to the employer or its clients, including authority to issue payments, collect debts, transfer money, or enter into contracts; or involves access to employer’s payroll information.
  • The employer is a financial institution or credit union (as these terms are defined by state law); or
  • The employer can demonstrate that the information is “valid and reliable predictor of employee performance in a specific position of employment.”

On a personal level, everyone saw this coming. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar measures during his tenure on two occasions. And the rising tide of similar legislation in other states only bolstered the state assembly’s efforts to make this happen.

While I was once opposed to this type of legislation, I have slowly warmed to the concept. The truth is that employers that do not use credit reports for the exempted purposes probably shouldn’t have been using them to make hiring decisions in the first place.

Any employer that operates in the state of Vermont and utilizes credit reports or might do so in the future should consider evaluating their employment screening policies.