Workforce Management: Burden of Proof

Jason Morris

While we respect and admire Workforce Management, we were troubled by the article, “Burden of Proof,” which was part of a special report on Background Checking (February 2010 issue).  Having been quoted in this article, I was disappointed that my quotes, and those of one of my colleagues, were presented out of context.   The author attempts to make a correlation between the lack of empirical data on the ROI of background screening and the benefits of doing so for employers.   The fact is our industry trade group, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), has not conducted such studies.  However, the author fails to mention that such studies do exist outside of the trade group.

Additionally, some important points and studies on background screening were left out. For instance:

Probably more than anything, the ROI comes from bad press. Consider the following:

  • The news that a Radio Shack chief executive falsified his diploma, causing their stock to tumble drastically.
  • Last week’s revelation that at least 10 senior executives and directors at publicly-traded companies had corporate biographies claiming unearned academic credentials.

Background screening is one of the most important aspects of the hiring process; in fact, Workforce Management has published many articles over the years citing similar stats, studies and horror stories.

While I agree that the EEOC does have several initiatives to curb some background screening practices, it’s a far stretch to say the burden of proof will be on employers.  Admittedly, some companies are performing screening in a less than desirable manner.  However, NAPBS members have worked hard to separate themselves from these types of companies.  If background screening is done properly, it finds the right jobs for the right people.  If the selection of employees is done properly and no discriminatory hiring practices are utilized, the EEOC finds no cause for action.  Consider that fact that the largest user of background screening services in the world is the U.S. Government and their contractors!

Jason B Morris, President


Past Co-Chairman NAPBS

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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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  • Joe

    So if employers refuse to hire, where should these individuals who are living in your communities get their money to eat sleep and live? Thankfully your tax dollars are provding them this social need. So please continue to deny ex-offender jobs and make more revenue through your company so Uncle Sam can pay the ex-offender who aren’t allowed to work. Wouldn’t you rather have the felon working and paying their own share of taxes back to the system that invested into their rehabilitation? As a business person, where is your return for your investment of your tax dollars?

    Employers should require to show a burden of proof why a criminal conviction of 10+ years is still relivant to the position the applicant is applying for. If not then there is no check-n-balance occuring here. Background screening companies need to stop scaring businesses to make a profit and stop dsitributing old information.