Is Your Screening Program Legally Compliant?

Jason Morris

Is your background screening process compliant with State and/or Federal laws? In some cases, like the story below, companies balance what they think is right and the letter of the law.  As we all know the EEOC and the FTC have some pretty stringent guidelines on how to properly screen an individual.  Sometimes hiring a convicted felon is the right thing to do, everyone needs to work right? However, in some cases your good deed could violate state statute.  Companies of all sizes struggle with this every day.  To ensure you are getting good advice, make sure your screening provider is up to date on all the federal and state laws surrounding background screening and hiring.

Company Employed Felons to Raise Funds

A South Side company has employed dozens of convicted felons over the past five years to make fundraising phone calls on behalf of well-known charities in violation of Pennsylvania law, according to publicly available records.

By hiring professional solicitors with criminal backgrounds to raise money for diverse and well-known groups, Outreach Associates Inc. appears to have violated Pennsylvania’s 1990 Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act.
Read Outreach Associates’ statement, regarding employment questions

“If a professional solicitor employed somebody who was convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor involving dishonesty, then that would be a violation of state law,” said Tracy McCurdy, director of the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

“Assuming if we were to find something like that to be true that would be something that the bureau would be extremely concerned about.”

In response to inquiries by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette following a six-month investigation, the company announced Friday that it had suspended nine employees with criminal records.


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal,, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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