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Personal Background Checks


Missing Data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been busy. At the request of Congress, it’s been looking into criminal background checks. Last week the GAO released a report of findings from a two year study titled “CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS: Additional Actions Could Enhance the Completeness of Records Used for Employment-Related Background Checks.” The report lives up to that lengthy title–it is the most comprehensive accounting of the current state of FBI background checks, criminal record databases, and practices since 2006. It reveals when and why states conduct FBI record checks, and looks at whether states have improved upon reporting complete records into the FBI database. It also looks at the practices of private companies that conduct criminal record checks. [...]

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Casino employee theft

Is your business being sabotaged by its own employees?

For many employers in the gaming industry, the answer to this question may be a surprising one. Research shows that almost half of all losses in casinos is due to employee theft. In casinos, theft can happen in many different places, from the cashier cage to the vault rooms to the casino floor.

Material theft isn’t the only kind of theft that employees can commit. Time theft, when employees are supposed to be working but are loitering or doing personal things without anyone knowing, is another serious problem in the workplace. In the United States, it is estimated that employee time theft costs employers almost six full weeks of an average employee’s salary every year.

Completely preventing theft is nearly impossible. Even an employer who takes every precaution may still get burned by theft, especially in the field of gaming where money flows so openly throughout the business. Fortunately for casino owners and operators, there are background screening best practices that can help minimize the chance of employee theft. [...]

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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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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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Non-Violent Criminal Records

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know I do my best writing when I am outraged. This also explains why I haven’t been writing as much over the last few months. I just haven’t had anything juicy to sink my teeth into. Until now!

PBS just posed the most ridiculous poll question to their viewers, listeners, and readers:

Should employers doing background checks be blocked from seeing non-violent criminal offenses?

Response Choices:

  • Yes, a non-violent offense should not be an obstacle to gainful employment.
  • Yes, non-violent offenses should be sealed from background checks, but only after 10 years.
  • No, a business owner has the right to know the full background of the individual he/she is hiring.

Before you answer, let’s analyze each of these responses to make sure you’re making an informed decision. [...]

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Congressional Committee Report

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: [...]

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Employment Background Screening

As Bob Dylan would say (or sing) the times they are a-changin’. From the workplace, to technology, to our own lives, we’re living in a time when change is inherent. And with ever-changing background screening laws and other screening requirements, employers should be prepared to face changes in the hiring process. So what’s step one? Create a flexible screening program with a trusted screening partner that can walk your company through necessary changes.

It was with future changes in mind that Dina Anzalone, Senior Manager of HR with Leviton, began searching for a background screening company. She knew that the screening program Leviton set up in the beginning would not look the same within a year or two, and because of that, it was essential to choose a partner that could adapt to the company’s needs over time.

How Leviton Built a Better Hiring Process with Background Checks


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Background Checks Financial Services

You work hard to safeguard not only your company’s finances, but those of your clients as well. And as a company in the financial services industry, you deal with both on a daily basis. From a business perspective, it’s vital to the success of your organization that your finances are not only in order, but that you can entrust your company’s financial information with your employees. From a personal perspective, you are serving a wide range of customers—who are entrusting your company with both their personal and financial information.

For an industry that’s already heavily regulated to keep sensitive information secure, you have to wonder, is it possible to increase security? When it comes to the safety of your company as well as your customers—you can’t be too careful. And your customers’ information should be particularly safeguarded by your employees, whether you work for a bank our any other financial institution (private wealth management, brokerage services, credit union, credit card company, insurance company…the list goes on). [...]

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