Public Reaction to Seattle Law That Threatens Employment Background Checks

criminal background check

For the past few months we’ve been following a Seattle councilman’s efforts to significantly inhibit an employer’s ability make a hiring decision based on the adverse findings of a criminal background check.  Today, I discovered that the Seattle Times has joined the Seattle Chamber of Commerce in opposition of this bill.

Like the Chamber, the Times expressed support for the goal of the legislation: giving ex-offenders a second chance. However, as the Times points out, the current version of the legislation places undue burden on employers. In particular, the Times writes that “the initial legislation would allow a lawsuit in which a court would second-guess the employer’s decision, creating a whole new way for disappointed job seekers to drag employers into court.” The Times also points out that the proposed legislation adds to regulations faced by employers only in the city of Seattle; those include the paid sick-leave law which the Chamber continues to oppose.

The Seattle Times also published an Op-Ed written by Erin Shannon from Washington Policy Center’s Center for Small Business in which she boldly states Continue reading Public Reaction to Seattle Law That Threatens Employment Background Checks

BTW: January Issue- Privacy and Employment Background Checks

employment background screening

 

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 January issue focuses on issues of privacy affecting the employment background screening industry, both from the prospective of data brokers and social media.  Are data brokers responsible for the information they aggregate?  Does it have to be accurate?  Are private Facebook posts indeed private?  For a preview of this issue, check out Angela’s video below.

Download the January issue here.

 

EEOC Case Against Kaplan Higher Education Tossed

employment credit reports

Strike up the band, pop the champagne and raise the roof!!!!  You can’t see me right now, but I’m doing my happy dance.

For the past 2 years we’ve chronicled the EEOC’s case against Kaplan Higher Education in which they alleged that Kaplan’s use of employment credit reports constituted a discriminatory hiring practice.  Today, I’m happy to share that a motion for summary judgment has granted in Kaplan’s behalf and the case has been tossed. Continue reading EEOC Case Against Kaplan Higher Education Tossed

Indiana Pushing for Better Background Checks for Teachers

school employee background checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to reason that conducting employee background checks in schools is important, but it’s even more vital to consider the type of background check being done. Every school district or organization has different policies and many are finding that they need to tighten their processes to prevent the wrong employees from slipping through the cracks.

For example, a search for criminal records might only be completed in the current county where the applicant resides. However, EmployeeScreenIQ has found that 8% of records are discovered in a county that was found in the national criminal database search. Imagine the criminal records that are missed when additional counties are not added to a background check.

Indiana has proposed a bill that will require a national criminal history background check for anyone applying for a teaching position-and if you haven’t guessed, that would mean more criminal hits will be found. Previously, a criminal record search for these applicants was conducted only within the state of Indiana; but according to Representative Sheila Klinker, this is not enough. Many applicants might have a record in another state and these records are missed due to limited background checks.

Continue reading Indiana Pushing for Better Background Checks for Teachers

Weekly Wrap Up-January 25, 2013

It’s hard to believe that yet another week is coming to a close. EmployeeScreenIQ received exciting news this week on our Employment Screening Trends Survey-we had nearly 1,000 participants respond with opinions on a variety of trends in our industry. We also posted a couple of great blogs by Angela Bosworth, our VP of Compliance and General Counsel. Arguably a controversial topic, one story Angela wrote about involved a court that requested access to the plaintiff’s Facebook profile for information regarding the case. Most recently, Nick Fishman shared some thoughts from his experience at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ hearing, a little over a month ago. See below for more details and as always, subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest trends and news in our industry.

 

Court Allows Discovery of Private Posts on Facebooksocial media background check

Facebook is a seemingly endless source of juicy intel. As such, I always recommend that users lock down their privacy settings if they want to keep “the man” out of their timeline. Public posts are fair game for employers and anyone else who is interested. Read More

 

Continue reading Weekly Wrap Up-January 25, 2013

Scooby Doo’s Got Nothing on Me: My Neophyte Washington DC Experience

criminal background checks

 “I would suggest to (businesses) that they think long and hard about why they think they need to do a criminal background check”.

John Hendrickson, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Chicago District

If I asked you what the context of this quote was and what the EEOC attorney meant when he made these comments, what would you say?

Well, that was the primary question directed to me by Civil Rights Commissioner Dave Kladney following my testimony last month at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ hearing on the impact of criminal background checks and the EEOC guidance on the consideration of arrest and conviction records.  And I have to admit, I was so floored by the question thinking that it was so obvious that I had a total Scooby Doo moment; ZOINKS!!!!

I was so caught off guard that I thought I must have missed something.  Check out the actual transcript below. Continue reading Scooby Doo’s Got Nothing on Me: My Neophyte Washington DC Experience

2013 Employment Screening Trends Survey Produced Overwhelming Response

employment background screening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you know, we have been asking for participation in our 2012 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey for the past several weeks. We closed the survey this past Friday and we’re excited to announce that the response was phenomenal with nearly 1,000 survey participants. So we would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone that took the time to provide your invaluable feedback for our industry.

For anyone who missed our survey, some of the topics included were criminal records, new EEOC guidelines, resume distortions and social media within background screening.

Continue reading 2013 Employment Screening Trends Survey Produced Overwhelming Response

Information Outlaws: Reining in Data Brokers

Employment background check

In some corners, data collection has become the Wild, Wild West: unruly and unregulated. Well, not anymore. As 2012 drew to a close, two federal agencies made it clear that they intended to continue their focus on web-based information providers—so-called “data brokers”. On December 14, 2012, The FTC issued orders for information from nine companies (Acxiom, Corelogic, Datalogix, eBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, Peekyou, Rapleaf, and Recorded Future). The firms were asked to provide the FTC with information about how they collect and use data (namely criminal record data) about consumers:  The agency will use the information to make recommendations about the accuracy, collection and use of the information.

The FTC requested details about: Continue reading Information Outlaws: Reining in Data Brokers

Court Allows Discovery of Private Posts on Facebook

Social media background check

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook is a seemingly bottomless treasure trove of juicy intel. As such, I always recommend that users lock down their privacy settings if they want to keep “the man” out of their timelines. Public posts are fair game for employers and anyone else who is interested. So it would seem, after making the recommended changes to our profiles, we can enthusiastically post all of those choice pictures from the weekend, confident that we are safely shielded by the invisible fence provided by Facebook. Or can we?

Continue reading Court Allows Discovery of Private Posts on Facebook

Mistaken Credit Report Cost Job Opportunities for an Ohio Woman

Credit report background check

Often as a part of a background check, employers will run a credit report. It’s not uncommon to worry about identity theft causing problems with a background check, but what if your credit history was confused with someone else’s? This is the case of Judy Thomas, whose credit report has been confused with another woman’s credit…in Utah. News Channel 5 in Cleveland reported that the women have similar names but live in different states and have very different credit records. Unfortunately for Judy, she has been turned down for jobs because of this mistaken identity.

As with some criminal record searches in background checks, credit bureaus might not be providing exact matches using important information such as Social Security Numbers, date of birth, or first name. Not using this information to correctly identify a person’s credit report can easily cause a credit bureau to provide incorrect credit records to an employer. According to attorney Sylvia Goldsmith 20-40% of people have significant mistakes in their credit report and they might not even know it.

Continue reading Mistaken Credit Report Cost Job Opportunities for an Ohio Woman