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March 2015 BTW

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.

Is Big Brother Watching? When Big Data Meets HR

Big data is transforming the information world at an alarming rate. It’s no surprise that the data being collected, sliced, sorted, and sold is being used to help businesses make better hiring decisions. Read More

New Jersey’s Ban the Box Law Effective March 1, 2015

The New Jersey ban the box law, titled The Opportunity to Compete Act, went into effect on March 1, 2015. The law impacts both private and public employers hiring in the Garden State. Read More

The Federal Trade Commission Takes Down Diploma Mills

The World Wide Web just got a little bit safer for consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down two bad actors running Florida-based diploma mills. Read More



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Have a question for the next issue of BTW? Submit YOUR question for Ask Angela here: askangela@employeescreen.com

 

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Big Data and HR

Big Data and Work-Force Science: A Boon for HR

Big data is transforming the information world at an alarming rate. It’s no surprise that the data being collected, sliced, sorted, and sold is being used to help businesses make better hiring decisions. According to the New York Times, a growing number of entrepreneurs are applying big data to human resources and the search for talent, creating a field called work-force science. To quote technology writer Steve Lohr, “work-force science, in short, is what happens when big data meets HR”  The data part of the equation is collecting all of the digital imprints that a worker or job seeker has left in the course of web browsing, e-mailing, instant messaging, or posting on social media. The “science” part—evaluating and measuring the data—is the tricky part. Silicon Valley start-ups are developing analytics and algorithms to put this data to work for recruiters and employers. [...]

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Ban the box New Jersey

The New Jersey ban the box law, titled The Opportunity to Compete Act, went into effect on March 1, 2015. The law impacts both private and public employers hiring in the Garden State. Like most ban the box laws, the statute does not prohibit employers from asking candidates about their criminal past nor does it prohibit criminal background checks, but it does change the timeframe within which an employer can make an inquiry about criminal history. [...]

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Beef ‘O Brady’s has been served with a class action complaint for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The U.S. sports bar and grill is being targeted for now-familiar claims surrounding the company’s authorization and disclosure for employment background checks. [...]

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Employment Background Check Lessons

In one sense, your company’s hire strategy is complex and meticulous. You draft a comprehensive job description, thoroughly analyze resumes, and conduct in-depth interviews to ensure you hire the right person for the position. On the other hand, some aspects of the hiring process are so simple that a child could provide some insight. Surprisingly, you may have learned more in kindergarten than you knew that can be applicable to the employment background screening process. Take a look at how you can apply these eight lessons from kindergarten to your screening program. [...]

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Criminal Background Check

The scenario may seem familiar, whether through a real life experience or something you saw on TV. You interview a candidate and it appears as if they would be perfect for a position with your company. But then, it’s revealed through their admission or a criminal background check that they had a past run-in with the law. In every other way, the interviewee absolutely shines and would be a credit to your organization. You might be tempted to brush the information aside and hire him or her anyway. However, there are several precautions you must consider when your candidate has a criminal record. [...]

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Home Depot Background Checks

Litigation Update

Home Depot has been hit with another class action lawsuit[1] alleging violations of federal law based on its employment background screening practices. The mega home improvement store is facing a second Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuit—this one filed in the Northern District of Georgia on February 11, 2015. The focus of the present case is, like many other cases we have seen in recent weeks, the portion of the FCRA that requires a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” about the background check that is made in writing “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.” [...]

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Resume Fraud

The psychological teachings of Sigmund Freud might not be the first to come to mind as a guide for hiring new employees, but some of his theories about the elements of the personality can be applicable when conducting resume verifications.

Freud’s views hold that the “id” is responsible for instinctive behavior, the “ego” reins in the “id,” and the “superego” consists of our morals. Job seekers tend to be impulsive when preparing their resumes, so consider Freud’s teachings to understand what candidates are going through when they apply for a job with your company.

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Falsification of a Job Application

Most job candidates know that falsifying a job application is grounds for being denied employment. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always stop them from doing it, however most understand the consequences if they get caught. Conversely, most employers are conditioned to believe they are well within their rights to deny employment on the basis that someone lied on the job application. In fact, I recently conducted a webinar on behalf of Newton Software and was asked if it is easier to deny employment based on an application omission or fabrication discovered on a background check rather than going through the adverse action process. Given this generally accepted principle and the current legal landscape concerning employment background checks, it might be time to question if employers truly have the legal right of way to take such action. [...]

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Michael's Background Checks

Litigation Update

Michaels Stores was hit with another FCRA class action case last week. You might recall that the arts and crafts retailer was named in a similar suit just a few months ago*. The current complaint is once again about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure requirement under 15 USC 1681b(b)(2)(a). Specifically at issue is the requirement that disclosure is made in a document that consists solely of the disclosure. The complaint alleges that in the company’s employment background screening process, the disclosure is “embedded within one long continuous web page that applicants fill out” that includes application information and a liability release. [...]

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