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Background Checks

Is Your Company at Risk for a Fall?

Everywhere you turn it seems there’s another compliance hazard threatening your company’s background screening program. So how do you protect your company, employees, and candidates?

Our guide, Protect Your Company from Hidden Compliance Traps with EmployeeScreenIQ, provides a checklist crucial for safeguarding your screening program.

Our guide explains how compliance services:

  • Allow you to make smarter hiring decisions
  • Ensure a more positive candidate experience
  • Help you to align your screening process with the EEOC & FCRA Guidelines

Here’s a glimpse inside our guide:

Background check companies

Download your complimentary copy of the full guide today!

Compliance guide

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HR's Guide to Employment Credit Reports

What’s in a credit report? Credit reports are not routinely used in pre-employment screening. In fact, our most recent survey revealed that only 12% of employers use them regularly. However, employment credit reports can be valuable to hiring managers as a part of the employment background check process because they can offer insight into an applicant’s reliability and offer clues about a person’s sense of personal responsibility. An employment credit report might include derogatory credit information, public record filings (bankruptcies, liens and judgments), account standing with creditors, and other clues like previous address history.

Credit reports also allow employers to quickly verify and expand on information they receive from applicants. They can reveal additional information that may prompt further review of the applicant and their past. They also provide credit information that would not otherwise be shared by applicants but may have an impact on job performance.  These reports are especially useful for companies whose candidates will have check-writing privileges or other access to company funds.

But, before you jump into the fray and start screening for credit, read our article, HR’s Guide to Employment Credit Reports for some key considerations, such as:

  • Which positions might necessitate use of an employment credit report
  • An examination of the growing trend of state law restrictions on the use of credit reports
  • Pending federal legislation designed to curb the use of credit reports
  • How to determine if credit reports are right for your company

Given all of the existing limitations, companies need to weigh their options carefully when it comes to pre-employment credit. Not only are there legislative limits on the use of credit, but adding to the mix, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the trial bar are aggressively pursuing class action lawsuits in situations where they claim that the use of credit reports leads to race discrimination. Because of the uptick in cases involving credit, the increase in legislative initiatives, and the high cost of litigation, you should do some preventive risk analysis to determine whether credit reports are right for your organization.

Download our guide to help determine if credit reports are right for you.

 

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Background Screening Law Being Exploited

Having been involved in the employment background screening industry for over twenty years one could say I have seen it all. I have seen class action lawsuits, congressional hearings, state hearings, and pundits slamming an industry they really don’t understand. Often critics don’t realize that there’s a loophole in the federal law (the Fair Credit Reporting Act) that was designed to help consumers but actually hurts them.

Employment background checks exist because organizations simply want to protect their interests. Hiring managers have a duty to insulate their employees, customers and clients from individuals who pose a risk to them or the organization as a whole. But many times the pre-employment screening process is questioned for a lack of accuracy or seen as a barrier for employment.

So where is the flaw? [...]

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Employment Background Checks and Ban the Box in Austin, Texas

Question: What do you get when you combine ban the box” compliance with utterly idiotic hiring practices? (I know I’m supposed to be diplomatic but no can do in this instance.)

Answer: Ask the city of Austin, Texas who hired a six-time convict to work in their public library . . .  that just plead guilty to attempted indecency with a child.

Before we dig into the details, let me show you the resume (see: rap sheet) of said employee, Joe Heath brought with him to the Austin Public library where he would come in regular contact with the public, including children.

  • 1987 – Trespassing
  • 1987 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 1990 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 2004 – Aggravated Assault w/ deadly weapon  4-years probation
  • 2005 – Money Laundering  = >$20K <$100K, sentenced to 4-years jail in 2007
  • 2006 – Hindering Secured Creditors  = >$100K – $200K

And here’s the kicker, not only didn’t the city of Austin fail to ask about past convictions on their job application, their hiring manager never bothered to ask at any point in the hiring process. Worse, they never conducted an employment background check.

How Did This Guy Get Hired?

The comedy of errors that led to Joe Heath’s hiring and retention would be funny if the consequences weren’t so serious. Read on to learn how you can avoid these mistakes when it comes to complying with ‘Ban the Box’ laws and exercising responsible hiring practices through employee background checks. [...]

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Employment Background Checks

It’s been awhile since our last weekly wrap up, and we’ve posted quite a few stories on our blog the past couple of weeks. If you’ve been out of the loop, now is a great time to get plugged back in, and I’ll give you a jump start with four of our latest blogs.

Ban the Box Has Jumped the Shark- It’s Getting Ugly Employers

The talent management community needs to push back.  Employers can’t just sit back anymore and think that these background screening laws are benign. Read More

Integrating the Candidate Experience & Saving Time

Wondering about the benefits of integrating your background screening program with your ATS or is there something you can do better? Watch our video to learn more. Read More

Is Your Background Screening Program Missing a Piece of the Puzzle?

Is your company using resume verification in its background screening program? If not, your hiring decisions could come back to haunt you someday. Read More

San Francisco “Ban the Box” Effective on August 13, 2014

Employers beware: you will need to do a lot more than just take the check box off of the application. Removing the box is not enough. Read More



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Employment Background Checks

Want to save time and improve the candidate experience? Look no further than streamlining your background screening program with an applicant tracking system (ATS). Whether you’re seeking to understand compliance best practices for your current system, or simply want to learn more about how an ATS can significantly save you time and improve the candidate experience—listen as our experts discuss the benefits of integration.

Wondering what some of the benefits of an applicant tracking system are or wondering if there’s anything you can do better? Watch our brief video and take a look at the overview below. [...]

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Ban the Box- Criminal Background Checks

If you are in the talent management space, you know that there has been an explosion of “Ban the Box” laws that have popped up at the federal, state and local levels over the last few years.  These employment and labor laws generally prohibit employers from asking whether a job candidate has been convicted of criminal activity on the job application.  Sometimes, these laws only affect government workers, but more often they include private sector employers as well.

If you conduct employment background checks, you’ll want to read on to see why it’s time to take a harder stance on “ban the box”. [...]

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San fran skyline

Things aren’t getting any easier for employers in California. As I posted way back in February, San Francisco has banned the box. Effective August 13, 2014, employers in the city or county of San Francisco may no longer inquire about criminal history on employment applications or during interviews. It’s Ban the Box on steroids, and it may be coming to a city near you.

Titled The San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, No. 17-14, the new law prohibits both private and public employers with at least 20 employees from asking about a criminal past on the job application or in an initial interview. The law also restricts asking about criminal history on applications for affordable housing within the city. With respect to employment, the law applies to temporary workers, contract workers, and city contractors and subcontractors. The proponents of this and similar laws are trying to give ex-offenders a second chance by deferring questions about criminal history until after the application stage of hiring.

[...]

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Compliance Employment Background Checks

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.

The Sharks are Circling: Two New FCRA Class Actions

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, the sharks are circling with more FCRA-related class action claims. This time Home Depot and Aaron’s furniture stores are the companies under attack. Read More

The Problem(s) with Ban the Box

Ban the box has gone viral. And while the removal of this little check box has potentially made life easier for job seekers with a criminal past, it has created much confusion and frustration for employers. Read More

Ban the Box Update: Rochester, DC, New Jersey, and Illinois

You might be tired of hearing about “ban the box” by now, but as the list continues to grow, so does the importance of employment background checks. Read More

Have a question for our next issue? Send an email to askangela@employeescreen.com and you may see an answer next month!



 






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Compliance Employment Background Checks

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, the sharks are circling with more FCRA-related class action claims. This time Home Depot and Aaron’s furniture stores are the companies under attack. Just a couple weeks ago, when most Americans were cutting out of work early to get to their July 4th parties, these two retailers were hit with class action lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in their background screening process.

This is a continuation of the wave of FCRA class action lawsuits that I have written about all too often in the past year. Investing in some preventive FCRA compliance measures this summer can really pay off, especially since the litigation continues—and recent settlements are costing employers millions of dollars.

[...]

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