12/18/2014 Year in Review: EmployeeScreenIQ Reveals Top Five Legal Trends of 2014 (PR Newswire)

At year’s end, Angela Preston, vice president of compliance and general counsel for EmployeeScreenIQ reflects on the top five background screening and employment issues of 2014:

1.  Uptick in Job Growth

Job growth is finishing strong. The U.S. economy had the biggest gain last month since January 2012, adding 321,000 jobs. Unemployment clocked in fairly low, at 5.8 percent. November set a new record as the 50th consecutive month of job gains and 2014 became the best year for job creation since 1999.

Is it Time for Employers to Consider Social Media Background Checks?

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Last weekend, Jason Morris and I had the pleasure of joining the folks over at TalentCulture on #TChat to discuss the pros and cons of using social media sites as part of their employment background screening efforts. Check out the primer here.

As a follow up to our conversation, host Kevin W. Grossman wrote an excellent take on whether using social media employment background checks was fair game and we wanted to give our readers a chance to review it in it’s entirety (see below).

The Hot Potatoes Of Social Screening- By Kevin W. Grossman

That’s when I saw the photo — a full view of a man’s naked back severely cut open from multiple slashes of some kind of large knife. Before even knowing the context (and not really caring at first), I cringed and rolled my eyes. I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate images online since I’ve been playing and working in online networks, usually the more social of the bunch like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, even Instagram (of course, since that’s where you share photos, and my appropriate share is plentiful). Continue reading Is it Time for Employers to Consider Social Media Background Checks?

The Unemployment Discrimination Problem: D.C. Fights for Long-Term Unemployed

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When graduating from college a little over three years ago, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road as I searched for a full-time job. For the first few months, I worked several part-time jobs before finding a full-time position with EmployeeScreenIQ. While I was never without a job, I can imagine the stress and fear millions of Americans have experienced who have been unemployed for months—with no end in sight. As many have struggled to find work since the recession, it has become widely recognized that unemployment discrimination is a major issue in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.95 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. However, the unemployment rate has dropped from 2.5% to 1.9% since December, meaning progress has been made—but there’s still work to be done. With the White House, over 300 companies announced they’re adopting best practices for recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed.

A total of $170 million in 23 grants will help companies to train and hire the unemployed. While this benefits hundreds of companies in the U.S., others might not have the resources to jump on the bandwagon. So, for employers seeking to shed the unemployment bias and give unemployed candidates a chance, here are a few considerations when screening the long-term unemployed. Continue reading The Unemployment Discrimination Problem: D.C. Fights for Long-Term Unemployed

December BTW: Uber Back in the Headlines, Background Check Guide for Job Seekers, and 2014 in Review

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For those interested in staying up-to-date with the latest in compliance for pre-employment background screening and the laws that affect your use of employment 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.

Uber Back in the Headlines with FCRA Class Action for Background Checks

Uber can’t seem to get it right. First, the company was criticized for NOT doing background checks, and now it’s under attack for doing them the wrong way. The national ride sharing service that everyone loves to hate is back in the headlines (although I’m not sure they ever left) facing a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read More Continue reading December BTW: Uber Back in the Headlines, Background Check Guide for Job Seekers, and 2014 in Review

Year in Review: Hiring, Background Checks, and the Top 5 Legal Trends

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I almost can’t believe it myself, but it’s already December. And this point in the year means it’s almost time to close the books on 2014. As the year comes to an end, I’ve spent some time looking back at the legal trends in hiring and employment screening throughout 2014. Here is a list of the top five background screening and employment issues from 2014 that are worth reflecting on as we get ready to raise a glass to ring in the New Year.

1. An Uptick in Job Growth

Let’s start with the good news. Hiring is up. Job growth for 2014 is ending on a strong note, and the government’s November jobs report was good. And I mean really good. The US economy had the biggest gain last month since January 2012, adding 321,000 jobs. Unemployment clocked in fairly low, at 5.8 percent. It all adds up to a report card in the A range, when all that was expected was a C or maybe a C+. November set a new record as the 50th consecutive month of job gains. As business analyst Jill Schlesinger put it, “2014 has become the best year for job creation since 1999!” (Cue the Prince music, please.)” That’s welcome news for job seekers and businesses.

Continue reading Year in Review: Hiring, Background Checks, and the Top 5 Legal Trends

Congressional Committee Report Lashes Out at the EEOC

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On November 24, 2014, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P.) issued a scathing report, taking the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) to task for a laundry list of egregious tactics. The report’s title sums it up nicely: EEOC: An Agency on the Wrong Track? Litigation Failures, Misfocused Priorities, and Lack of Transparency Raise Concerns about Important Anti-Discrimination Agency

The Report

The Senate H.E.L.P. Committee Report doesn’t pull any punches. Inside are key findings of questionable practices and litigation failures by the EEOC. The report criticizes the agency’s sketchy litigation tactics, its practice of filing suit without a commission vote, questionable discovery requests, the lack of cooperation with defense counsel and a failure to conciliate. It points out that the EEOC has been ordered to pay sanctions and attorney’s fees ten times since 2011, and it has been “openly chastised” by the courts. The report also slams the EEOC for a lack of transparency, citing the dearth of reports from the General Counsel’s office, the practice of introducing guidance without public comment, and failure to respond to F.O.I.A. requests.

The report includes a chart listing the ten cases where the EEOC has been ordered to pay sanctions over the past four years. The list includes the Peoplemark case, which involved disparate impact claims based on the company’s background screening policies.

To sum it up, the report asserts that the EEOC’s tactics are ineffective, burdensome, and are costing taxpayers too much money.

A few of the specific complaints contained in the executive summary of the publication are as follows: Continue reading Congressional Committee Report Lashes Out at the EEOC

FTC and EEOC Publish Background Check Guide for Job Applicants

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If there’s one part of the hiring process when the candidate experience can blow up, it’s the background check. The idea of a background check is daunting for most people—even those with a clean record. If a candidate is rejected as a result of something in the background check, it is increasingly common to hear from their legal representative. One way employers can avoid problems in the background screening process is to educate job applicants. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Continue reading FTC and EEOC Publish Background Check Guide for Job Applicants