Why a Date of Birth Means More Than a Birthday

Over two years ago we blogged about the case of an employee involved in workplace violence at The Ohio State University. The OSU employee shot and killed one person and wounded another resulting in a flurry of questions about why the background check did not reveal that this man had a criminal record. It turned out that the employee had intentionally given an incorrect date of birth so that his past record would not be discovered. The moral of the story was that date of birth is vitally important when it comes to a background check and without it, mistakes like this can occur even if a background screening company does everything right. Without the correct date of birth, the background screening company that performed his background check was unable to find his criminal record.

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Expanding School Background Checks Beyond New Hires

You may feel there is an overload of information when it comes to school background checks lately, but many schools and organizations continue to move in a positive direction. Schools are tightening security by doing background checks on not just teachers but also parents, volunteers and other school employees.

One such school district is Johnston County in North Carolina. They are hoping to change their policy so that not only new hires are screened, but every employee would periodically have a background check done to screen for any recent criminal records since they were first employed. A recent case within the school district was a teacher’s assistant in the district who “was charged with distributing heroin in, on or within 1,000 feet.”

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NASA Employee Background Checks Controversy Strikes Again

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may recall a popular news story from a couple of years ago about NASA’s employment background checks. If you don’t remember, a few years ago NASA employees accused the company that their employee background checks were unconstitutional and invasive. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that these background checks were NOT unconstitutional and we haven’t reported anything as of late, however a recent New York Times article  brought up a new issue with NASA’s employee background checks.

At the end of October, a NASA laptop was stolen from a parked car outside of NASA’s headquarters in Washington D.C. containing confidential information on approximately 10,000 employees including “names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and in some cases, details related to background checks into employees’ personal lives,” according to NYT. The article focuses not so much on the issue of the background checks but rather brings into question the security of the information NASA is gathering from employee background checks.

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Astounding 31 Military Day Care Workers with Criminal Records

Children play outside the Child Development Center at Fort Myer, Va. Adam Skoczylas/U.S. Army

 

It began with the disclosure that two employees at Fort Myer’s Child Development Center were arrested for assault charges on children under their care. Later it was revealed that there was a third woman caught on video assaulting a child. These cases ultimately led to an investigation that revealed 31 of 130 CDC employees had criminal records. For any company or organization, this would be a huge number-especially to have slipped through the employment background screening process. You have to wonder how these employees were hired by anyone, let alone within the military.

The first employee cases uncovered involved assaults, not sexual, but still harmful to the children involved. The two initial suspects reportedly “pinched, kneed, and punched toddlers.” The videos that later proved these violent outbursts were installed due to a mother complaining that she witnessed an employee yelling at children.

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Weekly Wrap Up-December 21, 2012

 

Things are quickly winding down for the year at EmployeeScreenIQ, and we’re excited (much like Ralphie from A Christmas Story) for what’s to come in 2013. We’ve had quite a few blog posts this week that you might have missed in the hustle and bustle of the end of the month and the end of the year. Something I would like to highlight in particular is that our Employment Background Screening Trends Survey is awaiting your participation (and even better, we’ve extended the deadline through January)! As proven in 2011, our survey is a great resource for us and others in our industry. I’m not even sure where to begin wrapping up this last week because there are an overabundance of exciting stories on our blog.  I recommend taking a ten minute break from your work and scroll down our blog page. Some of the stories from this past week include, Recruiting On Social Networks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2012, an important update with ban the box in Pittsburgh and the results of a CareerBuilder survey showcasing the costliness of bad hires. Thanks for reading throughout this year and happy holidays!

 

Recruiting On Social Networks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2012

Social MediaSocial recruiting has seemingly moved up on HR’s list of priorities when it comes to hiring-and not only seeking job candidates via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but also searching profiles for reasons to remove a candidate from the process. If a potential employee has a public profile, HR can easily scan their page. However, this becomes a problem if employers are requesting user names and passwords to look at a candidate’s private profile. See More

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College Students Are Concerned About Credit Checks

 

Many college students have employment background checks on the brain.  At this point, they know that they will be conducted when they go to look for a job and hopefully are taking the proper steps to make sure there are no surprises.  The biggest area we’ve noticed is vigilance in paying attention to what they post on social media sites and to who is able to view it.  And as Blogging4Jobs points out in their recent post, “Are Credit Checks an Effective Pre-Employment Screening Technique”, those who will soon enter the workforce are also concerned about credit checks.

“Financial literacy is important for college students because it can affect your life post-graduation. Credit checks by employers are up 6% over last year to 21% according to a 2011 report byEmployeeScreenIQ. No longer can college students get away with bad debt while in college. In the real world there are more obstacles to jump through when applying for jobs. First, you must get the interview. Continue reading College Students Are Concerned About Credit Checks

12/20/2012 Background-Check Errors Can Occur, But Good Companies Do Their Due Diligence: Letter to the Editor (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

This is in response to your story on Saturday titled “Errors in background checks cost job seekers.”

I have been in the background-screening industry for more than 18 years and have been an owner of a screening company for the better part of 13 of those years. I am also the former chairman of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and remain very active and involved in that group today. I agree that when reports are inaccurate, people can lose jobs. But, unfortunately, the article highlights the worst-case scenario and bad practices that are not supported by the background-screening industry.

Letter to the Editor, Cleveland Plain Dealer on Background Checks Story

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to a Plain Dealer article posted last week, “Errors in Background Checks Cost Job Seekers,” EmployeeScreenIQ’s president and COO, Jason Morris, wrote a letter to the editor in defense of our company and industry. The article, somewhat like NBC’s story on the background screening industry, covered worst-case scenarios of background checks that ultimately were costing people jobs. Morris highlighted the fact that some employment background screening companies may not have best practices, but there are certainly companies that aim for the highest quality in their work. The Plain Dealer posted Jason’s letter on their website today, read below for further detail.

This is in response to your story on December 15th 2012, “Errors in background checks cost job seekers.”   I have been in the background screening industry for over 18 years and have been an owner of a screening company for the better part of 13 of those years.  I am also the former Chairman of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and remain very active and involved in that group today.   I agree that when reports are inaccurate, people can lose jobs. But unfortunately the article highlights the worst case scenario, and bad practices that are not supported by the background screening industry.
 
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), section 607, a screening company is required to use  “reasonable procedures” to ensure “maximum possible accuracy”—confirming that a record belongs to an applicant before reporting it on a background check.  In addition there are other areas that support consumer protection, accuracy and how to dispute erroneous or incorrect information. 
 
Where I believe the issue stems from are different interpretations of what screening companies should do with adverse information.  There are two legally permissible options a company can choose; the first is to confirm the information is accurate and substantiated by authenticating the record at the source, thus ensuring it is of the best quality and accuracy.  Continue reading Letter to the Editor, Cleveland Plain Dealer on Background Checks Story