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Swift Transportation Settlement for Background Checks

It’s finally over. Swift Transportation Corporation has entered into an agreement to pay $4.4 million and settle a long-running and contentious class action lawsuit for alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. The settlement marks the resolution of yet another high dollar case following the growing trend of FCRA class action claims for background check violations. The case, Ellis et al v. Swift Transportation Corporation, was filed on behalf of US job seekers who applied for truck driver positions with Swift from July 23, 2008 and after.

FCRA Claims Abound

Swift is not alone—it’s just the latest large employer to capitulate. K-Mart agreed to pay out $3 million last year to settle an FCRA claim over background checks, specifically for alleged adverse action and notice violations. Domino’s Pizza paid out a cool $2.5 million in a similar case, and US Xpress settled for $2.75 million. Whole Foods and Disney are currently defending class action claims over their background screening policies filed earlier this year. [...]

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Nebraska Ban the Box

On April 18, 2014, Governor Dave Heineman (R) signed off on a ban the box provision for the State of Nebraska.  The “box” in question is the somewhat controversial check-box on job applications that asks prospective employees about their criminal histories. In this case, the ban applies only to public employers in the state. [...]

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Employment Credit Checks

Nearly 600 human resources professionals opened up to EmployeeScreenIQ about how they use employment background checks to make hiring decisions and their candid feedback is detailed in our just-released, fifth annual survey of U.S. based employers. The new report looks at how companies manage the process of employment screening, their practices concerning Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) guidance, candidates’ self-disclosure of criminal records and how they address adverse findings.

In the past few years, the EmployeeScreenIQ Trends Survey has become a benchmark many employers use to evaluate their background screening policies and practices. This year’s survey provides a unique cross-section of opinions and insights from an assortment of organizations and is a must-read for HR professionals that want to learn about what their industry peers are doing.

Today, we’d like to analyze one of our top findings: Does your organization utilize employment credit reports in your hiring process? [...]

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4-18

Happy Friday! If you were unable to keep up with our blog this week, you’re in the right place. Earlier in the week, we shared our thoughts on the official court ruling in the EEOC vs. Kaplan Higher Education case. Jason shared the results of this year’s NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference in Washington D.C. Read his account here. And since the release of our 2014 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey Report a couple weeks ago, we’ve begun to dive deeper into the specific results in our post, EmployeeScreenIQ Survey Reveals Criminal Offenses That Concern Employers. And lastly, with news of a luggage theft problem at LAX, we shared best practices for the airline industry to improve its background screening practices.

Kaplan Higher Education Triumphs Again Over EEOC on Employment Credit Reports

Earlier this week, the Sixth Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to Kaplan in a high profile lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp.) over their use of employment credit reports. Read More

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Airport Background Checks

It can be an uncomfortable feeling—laying down all of your personal items, removing items like belts and shoes, all to go through a scanner where a TSA agent will undoubtedly see all. And if that isn’t intimate enough, often we must walk through the full body scanner, where once again, a complete stranger can literally see it all. However, most of us shrug off these moments of vulnerability, because of course—it’s for our safety.

But even if you and your luggage make it through security unscathed, there’s still a chance someone else could be rummaging through your bag later. And hearing a story like this one might make you uncomfortable the next time you check baggage. While there have been headlines of TSA agents stealing from passenger’s luggage, in this instance, the luggage was out of the passenger’s hands and behind the scenes. [...]

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Trends Cover

Nearly 600 human resources professionals opened up to EmployeeScreenIQ about how they use employment background checks to make hiring decisions and their candid feedback is detailed in our just-released, fifth annual survey of U.S. based employers. The new report looks at how companies manage the process of employment screening, their practices concerning Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) guidance, candidates’ self-disclosure of criminal records and how they address adverse findings.

In the past few years, the EmployeeScreenIQ Trends Survey has become a benchmark many employers use to evaluate their background screening policies and practices. This year’s survey provides a unique cross-section of opinions and insights from an assortment of organizations and is a must-read for HR professionals that want to learn about what their industry peers are doing.

Today, we’d like to analyze one of our top findings: What Types of Conviction Records Might Disqualify a Candidate From Employment? [...]

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The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) met last week in Washington D.C. for the 2014 Legislative and Regulatory Conference. The conference brought together over 300 background screeners, regulators, and lawmakers for an annual event in the Capitol. Note that this recap includes observations based on my role with EmployeeScreenIQ and reflects my views as a provider of background checks—the content of this post does not reflect the views of NAPBS.

The conference kicked off on Monday April 7th with two polar opposite keynote speakers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jacqueline Berrien addressed attendees first and was followed by a dramatically different message from Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. So, how were these two speakers received? Let’s just say that only one speaker received a standing ovation—and it wasn’t Chair Berrien.

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Earlier this week, the Sixth Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to Kaplan in a high profile lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp.) over their use of employment credit reports. First and foremost, we want to congratulate our good friend Pam Devata and her colleague at Seyfarth Shaw who have done a wonderful job on this case since it was originally filed.

You might recall that the EEOC lost its case in the lower court because the research conducted by their expert witness (which concluded that credit reports have a disparate impact on minorities) was flawed. And without that research, the EEOC’s case fell apart. The judge basically indicated that without reliable statistical evidence of discrimination, the EEOC’s hard line enforcement doesn’t stand up in court.

This case is particularly important for those that conduct pre-employment credit reports as well as those concerned about the EEOC’s perspective on employment background checks.

Now, let’s dissect the ruling here. [...]

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Background Screening Trends

Just last week we released the results of our 5th Annual Survey Report entitled, The Unvarnished Truth: 2014 Top Trends in Employment Background Checks. Our survey report shares the top screening trends based on the opinions of nearly 600 HR professionals, who responded from November 2013 through January 2014. You can download the report here. Nick shared vital information for employers that conduct background checks in the state of New York in State of New York to Withhold Certain Criminal Records. And most recently, we shared a post on a not-so-frequent topic—the re-screening of employees. A one-time pre-employment background check might not be all your company needs, for more information read Once a Winner, Not Always a Winner: 3 Reasons to Re-Screen Employees.

The Unvarnished Truth: 2014 Top Trends in Employment Background Checks

Nearly 600 human resources professionals opened up to EmployeeScreenIQ about how they use employment background checks to make hiring decisions and their candid feedback is detailed in our just-released, fifth annual survey of U.S. based employers. Read More [...]

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Rescreening Employees

Before hiring a candidate, you order an employment background check. Let’s say the results come back clean in every area—criminal background, resume verification, and drug screening. Your candidate also meets the requirements and skills needed for the position, so you decide to move forward. Now the question is…is a one-time background check enough? Maybe, maybe not.

You make a hiring decision based on the information you have at the time of hire, and as I’m sure you already know—people and circumstances change over time. That being said, it’s important to maintain a safe work environment by not only screening new employees, but current ones as well.

3 Reasons to Re-Screen Employees

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