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I was going to post this article sans the comments.  I can’t hold back….I don’t agree with many of the statements here, notably:

“Personally, I feel everything is being done to keep our children safe,” Velkoff said.

Again, you can do background checks or you can do background checks properly.  I humbly submit my series Employment Screening 101 to the Fairfax county Public Schools.

Background Checks aren’t Foolproof

By Layla Wilder
Source: Fairfax County Times

As children return to school after a year when several Fairfax County Public Schools staff were arrested, those in charge of the school system’s hiring say they are doing everything possible to keep criminals away from students.

An unusually high number of school employees were arrested during the 2007-2008 school year, said Kevin North, head of the school system’s Human Resources Department.

As the 2008-2009 school year begins, the schools’ hiring staff will continue with its stringent approach to screening applicants, North said. Last year’s statistics proved that approach hasn’t always been successful, according to notifications from the county’s police.

Leonard Marsh, an assistant principal at Cub Run Elementary School, was arrested Oct. 30, 2007, for growing marijuana. Police arrested Marsh and his wife, Jinny, after narcotics detectives executed a search warrant at the Marshes’ home and found marijuana in packages and growing in a closet.

In May 2008, Rachel Smith, a teacher at the Chantilly Academy, was arrested and charged with possessing methamphetamine.

Thyra Eller-Cox, 42, was an administrative assistant at Greenbriar West Elementary School when she was arrested and charged with two counts of embezzlement in December 2007. She allegedly deposited school money into a personal bank account, police said.

Ted Velkoff, president of Chantilly High School’s PTSA, said the topic has been discussed at the group’s meetings. Administrators assure parents that everything is being done to hire quality staff.

“Personally, I feel everything is being done to keep our children safe,” Velkoff said.

Allan Barbee, a former investigator specialist for the county school system, said in November 2007 that about 5 percent of people applying for county school jobs have a prior criminal record.

They are required to undergo background checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state police and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

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As you may know, in March we successfully launched employeescreen University, a first of its kind interactive, educational Web site for security, risk management and human resource professionals that features regularly updated, free background-screening information; all aimed to help hiring managers make better hiring decisions. The reaction from the marketplace has been overwhelmingly positive and we have evolved the content based on the responses we receive from our visitors.

Some of the new features added since the launch include:

Guest Articles Section- A unique point of view about background checks and, or other related topics from industry insiders and experts. Sample of Guest Contributors includes:

employeescreenIQ Podcast Channel- Interviews with relevant hiring professional experts and content specific programming from employeescreenIQ associates. Sample of Podcasts already conducted includes:

Resources Page for FCRA and Other Important Links

Court Delays Update Page

Announcements Section

In the coming months we plan to include additional social networking tools, introduce new videos, and conduct best practice webinars both live and recorded and much, much more.

If you haven’t yet visited the site, please check out what you’ve been missing at http://university.employeescreen.com. We also invite all visitors to offer feedback. What did you like? What didn’t you like? What topics would you like to see more of? Etc.

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It’s Tuesday afternoon and for most of us, we have 3 1/2 days of work left this week before we get that long weekend we have been looking forward to since the 4th of July.  That being the case, I thought it was time for a little background check humor.  I found this article on www.savingadvice.com while researching another blog topic and its wittiness made me smile.  Here are the highlights:

Financial Benefits of Owning a Dog

“After years of struggling to justify the cost of dog ownership, I have compiled a list of chores for my dogs to do that save me money and time. Training was simple, since most duties are derived from their natural instincts. I find myself with more time, more money and less stress. Most dogs would love to be productive members of society, if only humans would let them do their thing.

Identity Protection

There is no need to buy a paper shredder or sign up for expensive identity protection services. I simply give all my financial papers to my dogs and they are unreadable in no time. The dogs also do a wonderful shredding job on old magazines, towels, and even blankets (when playing tug of war) which cuts down on overall trash while making all of it so indistinguishable that not even an identity thief would want to try and decipher it.

Stranger Screening

I no longer need to pay for background checks on my mail-person, delivery drivers or my neighbors. My dogs will give every visitor a thorough sniffing before allowing entrance to my yard. They also come with a convenient built-in alarm system if the stranger does not pass inspection.”

If things were only that easy in the world of employment screening

Click here to read the full article

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California Assembly Bill 2918 which seeks to limit state employer’ ability to review credit reports for employment screening purposes has been described as “dangerously close to becoming a critical issue”.

According to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), “This bill would prohibit the use of a consumer credit report, with the exception of certain financial institutions, from containing a consumer credit report for employment purposes unless the information is 1) substantially job related, meaning that the information in the consumer credit report relates to the position for which the person who is the subject of the report is being evaluated because the position is a highly compensated or managerial one, or 2) required by law to be disclosed to or obtained by the user of the report.”

The original bill didn’t seem to present a problem until the following points were removed:

  • The position is one where there is access customer or employee personal or financial information
  • The position involves fiduciary responsibility or handling or managing of money or requires travel

BTW, anyone want to define what “highly compensated” means?  It seems to me that is both vague and open to much interpretation.

Anyway, we recommend that all California employers who are concerned about this proposed legislation contact their state representatives immediately before its too late.

View the full Assembly Bill here . . .

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You may not believe this but I have been waiting for a story like this for a while.  We have written countless times (including 5 minutes ago) about school systems failing to conduct proper background checks.  It appears Davidson County did something right!  They caught a fugitive looking to work as a teacher with kids in a school.

Newly Hired Davidson Co. Teacher Was a Fugitive

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A woman hired to teach in the Davidson County school system failed a background check and will be returned to Maryland to face criminal charges.

Arlene Denetta Hudson, 42, of High Point was arrested last week after a criminal history check revealed she was wanted by Maryland State Police for stealing a car in September 2005 from a Toyota dealership in Westminster, Md.

School officials notified the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office after Hudson’s background check turned up the criminal charges. A school resource officer then arrested her.

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Back to the Background Check

Published on 26 August 2008 by in Criminal Records

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Another story about schools failing our children by not conducting proper background checks.

Back to the Background Check

By Eric Ringham

Every once in a while, you see a mistake repeated often enough that you wonder whether there’s business opportunity at hand. Case in point: a Sunday Star Tribune story by Jim Walsh and Patrice Relerford about yet another executive whose personal information went unchecked before hiring.

This situation involves the administrator who is the focus of an investigation into $160,000 missing from a Minneapolis charter school. Joel Pourier signed on six years ago to be the finance director at Heart of the Earth/Oh Day Aki charter school. He had been an unlicensed math teacher at another school — a situation that begs another set of questions. But he told a Heart of the Earth staffer he had an MBA, with an emphasis in finance. He was hired, then promoted to executive director. No one bothered to see if he really had an MBA from Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb. — which would have taken a simple phone call to the school. No one verified two other false claims: that he had a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Schenectady County Community College in New York, or an associate’s degree from a Kansas school. The bachelor’s degree claim alone should have been a red flag: a two-year college had a granted a four-year degree? Possible, but unusual.

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Be wary of who you are hiring!  When hiring someone from a foreign country a title of “doctor” can mean many things.   Utilizing a solid global screening or international screening program is more important than ever.  Simply verifying a professional license or checking the equivalency of a license could make a big difference.  Imagine the embarrassment of hiring a doctor only to find out he is a doctor of nothing!

Highly “Educated” Dictators of Tehran

The fiasco of the clumsily forged Oxford doctoral diploma of the Iranian interior minister is comically tragic. Unfortunately for the interior Minister Ali Kordan, he will not be able to join the elite group of Dr. Ahmadinejad, Dr. Larijani, Dr. Khatami, Dr. Maleki, Dr. Rezaii, Dr. Motaki, Dr. Jajili and a thousand other officials with a PhD degree any time soon. However this debacle raises the question, why Tehran´s rulers feel the need to carry the title of “Doctor” to govern?

More than anyone else, these inept executives are conscious of their own incompetence. Most of them have climbed up the same four step career ladder: Revolutionary Guard, prosecutor/torturer/executioner, provincials governor, city mayor or division director, and finally minister/MP/president. Their busy vocational path has left little time for learning skills needed to run the government. Purchasing a PhD diploma has been the logical choice for these rulers to purge intellectuals and educated workforce, and place themselves better to rip off the county´s wealth.

The popularity of the doctoral title among the theocratic dictators is also due to the ill reputation and disgrace associated with religious titles such as “Hojatoleslam” and “Ayatollah” among people. Such religious titles in Iran are now symbols of demagogy, brutality, and despotism.

For those officials who are engaged in interactions with the international communities , such as nuclear negotiation teams, or ambassadors, the doctoral title is used to conceal insincerity and deceitful intents and cunning tactics.

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We wrote a great white paper on workplace violence a few months ago.  Where ours concentrates on the use of background checks, this article offers other tips.

Hidden Threats
There are steps you can take to prevent violence in the workplace

By: Steven R. Peltin and Gregg O. McCrary

More than 70 percent of workplaces in the United States have no formal program or policy to address workplace violence. Yet, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates, 2 million people each year are victims of workplace violence. Eliminating all such violence may be impossible, but employers can and should confront the problem in the following ways:

1. Take security precautions. Companies may deter violent acts by making changes to the workplace or to workplace procedures. If the perpetrator cannot enter the workplace or is intercepted before reaching the intended target, violence may be averted. Precautions could include controlled access to the workplace, enhanced lighting and visibility, alarms, closed-circuit cameras and cellular phones. Employee training is particularly important. Government or private security professionals can assist in evaluating and upgrading security.

2. Screen applicants carefully. Employers should try to exclude candidates with a history of violence or other unsuitable behavior.

3. Adopt and enforce a “zero tolerance” policy for violence or threats of violence. Companies should create a clear policy so the entire organization understands the commitment to proper workplace behavior and the protocol to follow in case of threats or violent conduct. Companies should ensure that the policy is enforced rigorously. Violence or threats in the workplace should lead to termination of employment or exclusion of visitors from the workplace.

4. Create and train a response team. Even smaller employers should have an experienced team to confront threats of violence

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Catchy title, huh?  When I saw this headline, I couldn’t imagine this article had anything whatsoever to do with background checks.  But it actually tells the true story of a company that fell victim to a very elaborate scheme concocted by an employee of one of their business partners.  Coincidentally, it also illustrates why it is important to conduct background checks on your employees, contractors, etc.  Who would’ve thought?

How To Not Get Hacked In Chinese Surgery

By Richard Gould, Asia Times Online

The modern business environment is a Hobbesian affair, and for companies that do not keep ahead of security threats, life can be nasty and brutish. Multinationals deploy a range of tools and tactics to protect their interests, with varying levels of data and network security, anti-corruption mechanisms, physical security, anti-counterfeiting technology, anti-theft devices, electronic tracking systems, access control systems, and more.

But even the most well-designed corporate security schemes occasionally fail. Just as companies’ research and development departments try to stay on the cutting-edge of technical progress, criminals are perpetually developing ways to take advantage of security lapses. Their gain is a company’s loss, and a diverse range of industries can become targets for fraudulent activity that is very difficult to reasonably anticipate.

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Time for another installment of employeescreenIQ’s TWIB Notes (This Week in Background Checks)!  I can already feel the excitement from our readers (hi Mom!).

This week’s post is especially exciting because earlier today, Jason Morris and I recorded a podcast version of the notes, so if you couldn’t get enough of the written post, go ahead and super size it with our Podcast Channel. The week of August 18th brings us the following:

Highlights from employeescreen University:

From the Blog:

That’s all I’ve got.  I’m going to pretend to work for a couple more hours today.  Have a great weekend!

Don’t forget to have your pets spade or neutered!  (What, I can’t steal from Bob Barker?)

Listen to the podcast here:

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All information contained on this website is provided by employeescreenIQ solely for the convenience of the site viewers. employeescreenIQ is not providing legal advice or counsel and nothing provided on this website or otherwise by employeescreenIQ should be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Users are solely responsible for complying with all local, state, and federal laws relating to the use of any information provided on this website and any information products provided by employeescreenIQ. Users should consult with their own legal counsel if they have questions regarding their legal responsibilities or any information provided by employeescreenIQ.