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Credit Reports and the Hiring Process: The Value (and Risk) to HR Professionals

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Imagine one of your employees absconds with some cash. That’s unfortunate—but not nearly as unfortunate as when your CEO discovers the employee had a troubling history of financial irresponsibility. Then the question is not why they took the money, but why you hired them for a position of financial responsibility.

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Are Snow Days Taking a Toll on Your Employment Background Checks?

Brrrrr it’s cold . . . and snowy . . . and icy!!!! No, this isn’t my way of forcing uncomfortable chitchat while we wait for a conference call to start. I actually have a point here.

The Winter of 2014 is wreaking havoc on employment background checks. More specifically, the winter weather has caused more courts to close in more jurisdictions across the country than I ever remember. And when the courts close, that delays criminal background checks. It seems like everyday I am receiving notices from multiple courts indicating that they are closed due to weather. Just within the last couple weeks, we were notified that all courts in the Kansas City area were closed as well as throughout the state of Missouri, Kansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee (parts of), Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Kentucky.

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1/3/2014 Court Closures in Massachusetts Due to Snow Storm

Please note that all courts in the state of Massachusetts will be closed today, January 3, 2014 due to a snowstorm affecting the U.S. Northeast. All employment background check requests in these affected courts will be delayed until the courts reopen for business on Monday the 6th.

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Court Affirms EEOC Responsible for $750,000 in Employment Background Check Case

You might recall that back in 2011 a federal judge ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to reimburse the staffing company, PeopleMark, for over $750,000 worth of legal fees and expert witness costs it incurred as a result of  overzealous prosecution tactics concerning their employment background check practices.

The premise of the case was the EEOC’s contention that PeopleMark automatically rejected candidates that had criminal records.  Even worse was that they ignored evidence that would have torpedoed their case. The EEOC put together a list of 286 applicants they said were denied employment based on PeopleMark’s blanket policy.  Evidently, they wouldn’t release the names of these applicants until they were compelled to do so by the court. When PeopleMark received the list, they discovered that 22% of these applicants with criminal records were actually hired.  They even notified the EEOC of this fact, yet the EEOC continued to pursue the case.

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Employment Background Screening Is An Essential Tool for the Airline Industry

Background Checks for Airlines

At a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, airline passengers want to rest easy knowing that they are in good hands and will safely make it to their destination. They trust the airline they have chosen is taking all precautions to make sure that happens from the way they maintain their aircraft to the training of their employees.

As any human resource professional in the airline industry knows, employment background checks are an essential piece of this puzzle. And we all know that it’s not just the employees that are up in the air with passengers. There are mechanics (who should have an up-to-date license), the baggage handlers (do they have sticky fingers), the customer service personnel (have they exhibited violent and threatening behavior in the past) and just as importantly, the contractors, including food service vendors (they should be subjected to the same screening criteria as direct employees.)

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