July BTW: 5 Sticky Legal Situations Employers Should Avoid

Compliance in Background Checks

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

In the July issue of By The Way we bring you an update on ban-the-box in the state of Indiana, another EEOC discrimination case, except instead of Dollar General & BMW this story focuses on transportation giant, J.B. Hunt. And lastly, Angela shares a “top 5” list of 5 Sticky Legal Situations Employers Should Avoid. Angela offers best practices in the five areas that employers are often confronted with in employment background checks–you won’t want to miss this month’s featured story.

 

Legal Situations Employers Should Avoid

 

Listen as Angela talks about the 5 “sticky” situations she features in her latest article and provides imperative information for employers who want to remain compliant in their hiring practices:

Take a look at BTW here!

 

State Attorneys General Fight Back Against EEOC

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

In an interesting turn of events, nine State Attorneys General are fighting back against the EEOC Criminal Record Guidance.  These states include; West Virginia, Montana, Alabama, Nebraska, Colorado, South Carolina, Georgia, Utah and Kansas.   It seems their reactions are directly tied to the Dollar General and BMW suits filed by the EEOC last month.  The letter goes as far to say; “We believe that these lawsuits and your application of the law, as articulated through your enforcement guidance, are misguided and a quintessential example of gross federal overreach.”

I am actually surprised by this letter.  I am surprised that ONLY nine states decided to participate.  To me, one of the most troubling aspects of the new guidance is the safe harbor and preemption of federal statues that regulate what criminal records can and can’t be used.  The guidance is pretty clear that this safe harbor only applies to federal mandates and excludes state law. What does this mean? Well if the federal law says you can’t hire someone with (insert example) record, you are safe, but if state law says you can’t hire someone with <Insert better example> you are left twisting in the wind!  So ladies and gentleman, as far as the EEOC is concerned, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. This, in my humble opinion, is the area all states should be screaming about! OK, end of rant, back to the letter…

Continue reading State Attorneys General Fight Back Against EEOC

EmployeeScreenIQ Wrap Up: July 26, 2013

As July is quietly coming to a close, it seems we are due for another Weekly Wrap Up. We’ve posted quite a bit in the past couple weeks, so here’s a recap for those who have been busy vacationing or were otherwise preoccupied. We officially released another video from our Quick Takes series, Is a Candidate’s Profile Picture Worth a Thousand Words? This video focuses on the use of social media screening in the hiring process. Find out what our panelists had to say about using this important tool for job candidates. At the end of last week, I shared a blog post regarding the use of resume verifications and advice for employers to ensure you find resume lies, when they are present on a job application. For more, read Liar, Liar. Are Job Seekers Hiring Professional Liars to Verify Resumes? Nick posted a useful guide to the top 10 advocates in our industry (as far as we’re aware), EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Top 10 Employment Background Screening Advocates. Miss anything else? View our full blog site for more posts from your very own background screening experts.

 

EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Top 10

Employment Background Screening AdvocatesTop 10 Employment Background Screening Advocates

It’s no secret that the employment background screening industry has been under intense scrutiny over the past few years from revised EEOC guidance on employers’ use of criminal records, to fines for Fair Credit Reporting Act violations, to myriad states creation of “Ban the Box” laws. And while we support actions that hold our industry and employers accountable for complying with these laws and maintaining the highest ethical standards, we also think that the employer’s we represent should be praised for the work they do to keep our nation’s workplaces safe. Read More

 

 

 

Liar, Liar. Are Job Seekers Hiring

Professional Liars to Verify Resumes?Resume Verifications

As an employer, you may expect a few lies in the hundreds (or more) resumes you receive. These discrepancies may or may not be intentional — a forgotten end date of employment or job title is average to find on almost any resume. However, you might not expect for applicants to both blatantly lie on their resume and ensure that their lie is verified. It seems like a lot of work for someone who just wants a job offer. Or is it? Read More

 

 

 

Is a Candidate’s Profile Picture

Worth a Thousand Words?Social Media Background Checks

Today’s employers are faced with a growing dilemma: whether or not to use social media to screen job candidates. The information you find on someone’s social media profile has the potential to make a profound impact on your hiring decision-whether it’s negative or positive. If you’re like many employers, you might be conflicted on whether to use these tools for background screening purposes. Angela, Nick and Jason discuss the potential risks and legal ramifications of social media screening. Read More

 

 

 

 

 

Technology Challenges & Changes in Employment Background Checks

In addition to EmployeeScreenIQ’s Quick Takes Video Series, we filmed footage of our panelists discussing the latest trends in the industry. We’re calling this additional footage our “roundtable” videos, all of which are currently available by visiting our EmployeeScreenIQ Video Library. You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel for even more videos.

Technology improves and changes so rapidly every day, it’s nearly impossible for any single person or company to keep up. In human resources, it seems there are new technologies daily vying for your attention, with possibly little time to stay on top of everything. More importantly, there are changes in technology related to employment background checks that employers should be aware of in order to keep background screening programs in line with the law.

One of the panelists in this video, Jason Morris, EmployeeScreenIQ president points out that employers may wonder, Why can’t I go on my iPhone and see what’s in every court in the country? Our panelists delve into this question and many more throughout the video. The first point is there isn’t a unified court system in the United States for criminal background checks. Neither employers or background check companies can check one system and pull up a criminal record, sometimes it requires quite a bit of research to verify or eliminate the possibility of a criminal record. In addition, technology is not at a point where a unified system is possible and some employers might be surprised that nothing like that exists right now.

Continue reading Technology Challenges & Changes in Employment Background Checks

Watch Where You Step: 5 Sticky Legal Situations Employers Should Avoid

BTW July

When it comes to hiring, the legal landscape is changing fast. Blow-your-hair-back, in-your-face, what-just-hit-me kind of fast. Hiring new employees is a process that has always involved legal risks. But the application, interview, and screening process is increasingly complicated for employers. So far, 2013 has been a banner year for litigation, legislation, and regulation. Recent developments at the local, state and national level make it difficult to keep up, even if keeping up is your full time job. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t feel bad-this list of top 5 provides a quick recap of any legal changes you might have missed. Continue reading Watch Where You Step: 5 Sticky Legal Situations Employers Should Avoid

EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Top 10 Employment Background Screening Advocates

Top 10 Employment Background Screening Advocates

It’s no secret that the employment background screening industry has been under intense scrutiny over the past few years from revised EEOC guidance on employers’ use of criminal records, to fines for Fair Credit Reporting Act violations, to myriad states creation of “Ban the Box” laws.  And while we support actions that hold our industry and employers accountable for complying with these laws and maintaining the highest ethical standards, we also think that the employer’s we represent should be praised for the work they do to keep our nation’s workplaces safe.

We think that we do a decent job of advocating on behalf of our industry and the need for employee background checks and celebrating the incredible work done both by background screening companies and employers.  However, every industry needs a group of committed, unbiased advocates to champion its causes.  Therefore, I’m happy to present to you our list of the top employment background check advocates that promote responsible background screening practices and tirelessly defend employers’ use of employment background check. Continue reading EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Top 10 Employment Background Screening Advocates

7/22/2013 Rhode Island Bans the Box: The State Trend Continues

Rhode Island has become the eighth state to enact a “ban the box” law that prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on a job application. The state ban will have a far-reaching impact on how and when employers can conduct criminal background checks. The new law applies to both public and private employers, similar to the precedent set in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and most recently Minnesota. In four other states–Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Mexico, ban the box restrictions are limited to hiring public workers. Two states—California and Illinois—have adopted administrative directives to limit banning the box, and 51 municipalities have passed similar measures. A few weeks ago we told you about two major cities, Buffalo and Seattle, banning the box, joining other major municipalities including Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey. Statewide bans continue to be considered in New Jersey and California.

The Beat Goes On: Rhode Island Latest to “Ban the Box”

welcome_to_rhodeisland

Rhode Island has become the eighth state to enact a “ban the box” law that prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on a job application. The state ban will have a far-reaching impact on how and when employers can conduct criminal background checks. The new law applies to both public and private employers, similar to the precedent set in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and most recently Minnesota.

In four other states–Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Mexico, ban the box restrictions are limited to hiring public workers. Two states—California and Illinois—have adopted administrative directives to limit banning the box, and 51 municipalities have passed similar measures. A few weeks ago we told you about two major cities, Buffalo and Seattle, banning the box, joining other major municipalities including Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey. Statewide bans continue to be considered in New Jersey and California.

Continue reading The Beat Goes On: Rhode Island Latest to “Ban the Box”

Liar, Liar. Are Job Seekers Hiring Professional Liars to Verify Resumes?

Resume Verifications

As an employer, you may expect a few lies in the hundreds (or more) resumes you receive. These discrepancies may or may not be intentional — a forgotten end date of employment or job title is average to find on almost any resume. However, you might not expect for applicants to both blatantly lie on their resume and ensure that their lie is verified. It seems like a lot of work for someone who just wants a job offer. Or is it?

As an employer, you most likely verify resumes through a third party–a background screening company, or perhaps you verify this information yourself. Regardless, you hope that one of these methods would uncover any discrepancies on a candidate’s resume. It’s standard to verify education, recent employers and perhaps request a reference or two before offering someone a position. The question is, how can you know how accurate these verifications are?

It may (or may not) be shocking that there are companies and websites with the sole aim of deceiving employers, while helping job seekers-for a price of course. An article posted on CNN Money, details the “business” of Timothy Green, who claims to run a company that will to lie anyone, about anything (however, if you read the terms on their website, that’s not entirely true). You can read the article for more information, but knowing the premise of this company, how can an employer or company feel safe with their hiring decisions?

Continue reading Liar, Liar. Are Job Seekers Hiring Professional Liars to Verify Resumes?

Is a Candidate’s Profile Picture Worth a Thousand Words?

Today’s employers are faced with a growing dilemma: whether or not to use social media to screen job candidates. The information you find on someone’s social media profile has the potential to make a profound impact on your hiring decision-whether it’s negative or positive. If you’re like many employers, you might be conflicted on whether to use these tools for background screening purposes. Angela, Nick and Jason discuss the potential risks and legal ramifications of social media screening.

This episode of the Quick Takes Series covers the possible risks of using social media in the background screening process as well as steps to take if you DO want to use social media in the hiring process.

So what’s against employers using social media for background checks?

  • Angela shares concerns from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding employer’s misuse of the information they might find on social media.
  • Jason points out that hiring managers have no way of verifying if the information found on social media truly belongs to their candidate.
  • The information employers come across on social media might include protected class information (including but not limited to race, national origin, religion), as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Despite the hazards related to social media screening, there are potential benefits for employers as well.

For employers who want to use social media, our expert panelists offer valuable advice to ensure that companies won’t run into legal trouble:

  • Does your company have a policy in place or a consistent hiring practice when it comes to social media?
  • Employers should have trained personnel, separate from the hiring manager, who can weed out possible discriminatory information
  • Will the candidate have a positive experience with your company if you utilize social media screening?

The bottom line for employers?

In the words of Nick Fishman, be careful.

Related EmployeeScreenIQ Content:

Quick Takes is a video series blending together bits of experience and expertise from EmployeeScreenIQ’s background screening experts. With a newsroom feel, discussions surround the latest issues in the background screening industry. All of the videos were filmed unscripted-giving you the opportunity to hear genuine responses from the professionals. Topics range from social media background checks to conducting a thorough criminal records search. We’re releasing a new video every month, so stay tuned.