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You probably wouldn’t hire this guy…knowing he has walked into several businesses on the premise that he’s applying for a job, and then precedes to rob these stores. The main stores include Subway and Starbucks near the San Fernando Valley. The man, known as the “job app bandit,” requests a job application and then pulls out a gun demanding money. He’s robbed nine different locations in the same general vicinity. News Channel 5 in Cleveland reported that most of his targets were Subway and Starbucks-could he have a personal vendetta against these companies? Probably not, but it’s curious that those have been his main targets. I also wonder if he could already have a criminal background and would not have been hired even if he applied for these jobs.

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As another holiday season approaches, there are many companies hiring employees for temporary positions. One of these holiday jobs includes finding individuals to work as Santa-whether it’s in a mall, department store or an event. It may only be a few seconds when children sit on a stranger’s lap and tell him their Christmas wish list, but I’m sure more than one parent has questioned-who is the man behind the beard?

In years past, there have been cases when Santa turns out to be a registered sex offender, but employers had no knowledge because they failed to do an employment background check. So how are these sketchy Santa’s uncovered? In some circumstances, they were recognized by someone who happened to see them working.

Not only is Santa under suspicion, but a story we talked about last year revealed that someone dressed up as Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster was a registered sex offender. See our past blog post below as well as an article about the most recent Santa mishap in Cleveland, Texas.

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In just a couple weeks, our 2012 Employment Background Screening Trends survey will be wrapping up, so we’re taking a few moments to reflect on the results of last year’s survey as well as review the upcoming trends for 2013. See below for last year’s survey results. In addition, as we eagerly await the results from this year’s survey, take a look at the comparisons of 2012 trends to the upcoming trends of 2013: [...]

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There are new cases of employees failing to disclose information on job applications every day.  This particular story as reported by News Channel 5, hits close to home as EmployeeScreenIQ is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The two employees, Patrick J. Gallagher, Grounds/Maintenance Worker, and Michael J. Gallagher, Safety & Health Coordinator, provided misleading information on their job applications-one did not disclose his criminal history in full, and the other listed false education information.

However, while there was a failure for the two employees to provide this information, one must also question if background checks were completed, and if so, how thorough were the background checks if this information was discovered years later? An eight page report was provided on the News Channel 5 website which includes the details of this story, but it does not detail if there was a previous investigation or background check completed, prior to these allegations. The allegations were:

  • Patrick failed to disclose his criminal history on his application for a position with Cuyahoga County.
  • Michael falsified his original application as well as an application for promotion with the information that he earned an Associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College.

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Last week, I had the tremendous honor and privilege of providing testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights at their hearing on the impact of criminal background checks and the EEOC’s conviction policy on the employment of Black and Hispanic workers.  The purpose of my remarks were to highlight how background screening companies like EmployeeScreenIQ and employers conduct and employ the use of employee background checks in a responsible manner.  Many of you have expressed interest, so rather than condensing my message, I thought it best to post my testimony in full.  Please see below.

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According to CBS 6 in Richmond, Virginia city public school board members are taking issue with the district’s request of them to submit to criminal background checks.  Newly elected board member Kristen Larson was quoted as saying. “We are elected officials, we are not employees of Richmond Public Schools.”  She also stated that their job as board members was “administrative in nature”, insinuating that this would alleviate the need to conduct the background check.

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I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough about the rising number of reports of abuse in Boy Scouts of America. However, another angle regarding criminal background checks within BSA is interesting. Not only did the organization not do criminal background checks for their volunteers for a long time, but for many years, they felt it was not worth the cost to do background checks for anyone working within the organization.

The LA Times reported that some of the major reasons for not conducting background checks included, “checks would cost too much, scare away volunteers and provide a false sense of security.” Of course, since volunteers are unpaid, this could be seen as a loss for BSA. It can also be argued that in the long run it would be better to lose a few volunteers than harm the children the organization exists for. In addition, maybe if a volunteer had a criminal record or was a sex offender, the mention of a background check could have filtered them out of the process anyway.

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This week at EmployeeScreenIQ, we jumped right back into the work week with our hands full. We announced our upcoming December webinar, Background Screening Partner Selection: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You. We also covered the story of Instant Checkmate, an online background screening company, that possibly uses racial profiling in their online advertisements. Lastly, we were excited to announce an upcoming U.S. Commission on Civil Rights briefing regarding changes in EEOC guidelines and the impact of criminal background checks.  EmployeeScreenIQ’s Nick Fishman will have an opportunity to testify on behalf of background screening companies at this briefing. There were a couple other posts this week, as well as a post this morning, CFPB Releases New Background Screening Forms . . . Again. As always, continue to read our blog and if you’re not subscribed, consider adding the IQ blog to your RSS feed!

 

Background Screening Partner Selection: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!

By now, you know the importance of a background check when identifying and hiring the best employee. But simply having an employment background screening provider is not enough. The truth is that your employment background checks are only as effective and reliable as your provider. So how do you weed through all of the competing sales jargon to identify the best partner for you? See More

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has announced its briefing regarding the recent changes in the EEOC’s Conviction Records Policy on the employment of black and Hispanic workers as well as the impact of criminal background checks for employers. On one side of the conversation, it’s argued by employers that conducting criminal background checks assists in ultimately ensuring a safer work environment for everyone, reducing negligent hiring and criminal activity in the workplace. From the EEOC’s perspective the increase in criminal background checks for employment could cause discrimination in the hiring process. This hearing will bring in a number of experts who will present their experiences to assist in this investigation. This investigation will serve for use in future decisions with changes in EEOC guidelinesEmployeeScreenIQ’s Nick Fishman, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP, will be among these experts and presenting the perspective from the background screening industry.

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While your name might not show up with a criminal record in a background check, what if an advertisement for a background check service used your name stating, “John Smith, arrested.” Although there may be someone with a criminal record under that name, you don’t have a criminal record. How would you feel if you saw this advertised while doing a simple search on the internet?

A few cases have shown up recently for professionals with ethnic sounding names finding that their names are listed in Instant Checkmate’s advertisements typically with the word, “arrested” or something equally misleading. This points to suspicion that the website, Instantcheckmate.com is using profiling in their advertisements. One example is Ebony Jefferson. When her name was found in an Instant Checkmate advertisement, it read, “Ebony Jefferson, arrested?” But when a similar name, Emily Jefferson was listed in an ad, it simply said, “We found Emily Jefferson.” Coincidence? Perhaps. However there are many instances where similar results were found in relation to ethnic sounding names being associated with listing words like “arrest” with those names in particular. Another example is the case of Latanya Sweeney,a Harvard University professor of government, whose name was found by a colleague while searching for an article Sweeney published. The ad listed her name alongside, “arrested” much like Ebony Jefferson.

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