Services and Solutions from ESR are found using the menus below.
Employment Screening Resources® is Accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for background checks.
ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen wrote the book on background checks. Order here. ESR provides comprehensive screening technology, resources, and legal compliance.
Five easy steps every small business can take TODAY to protect themselves and the public
(c)2002-2003 By Les Rosen, Founder of Employment Screening Resources.
Its becoming a familiar story in the news: a small business owner hires a new employee, fails to perform a background check or check references, and only after a crime has been committed does the business find out about the employee’s serious criminal record. By then, it can be too late.
Hiring a person with a criminal record can lead to workplace violence, theft, embezzlement and business disruptions. And in some cases, the cost of hiring a criminal can mean financial ruin, the end of the business itself, or injury and even death for co-workers, customers or innocent bystanders.
There are over 40 million small businesses in America with 20 employees or less, and yet it is estimated that only a very small fraction of those small businesses take meaningful precautions to know exactly who they are hiring.
Every employer has an obligation to take reasonable steps in the hiring process to avoid hiring someone who they either knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known was dangerous or unfit for a particular job. That is called "due diligence." If an employer violates that duty, they can be sued for "negligent hiring." Employers generally do not hire someone that they know is dangerous or unfit for a job. It is the "should have know" that creates the difficulty. Without taking steps to hire intelligently, it is almost a statistical certainty that an employer will hire someone with a criminal record that should have been considered in the hiring process.
That does not mean that a person with a criminal record can never get a job. In fact, it is to everyone's best interest that a person with a criminal record be able to find employment to become a productive citizen. But there are certain jobs that just are not appropriate for certain people. A person with a criminal history showing violence, for example, is not a reasonable fit for a job that places them into a person's home.
It can be a challenge for a small business to do background checks. First, there is no such thing as a "nationwide" criminal check. Each courthouse where a person could potentially have a record must be searched. And with over 10,000 courthouses in America, not every courthouse can be checked.
In addition, for many small businesses, the time, money and effort for a background check can seem overwhelming. Being a small business owner is one of the toughest jobs in America. Not only does the owner of a small business have to make sure everything gets done, but the owner only gets paid after everyone else gets his or her money. Background checks can seem like a waste of time and money, particularly if the business had never had a problem in the past. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad hire to ruin a small business or to ruin someone else's life.
The good news is that there are five easy and common sense steps an employer can take immediately. These five steps take practically no time and the cost can be as little as $20 or less. There is no reason that any small business has to hire blind. With theses simple, quick and inexpensive steps, any small business can protect themselves, their workers and the public from a bad hire. Here are the steps:
Following these simple steps will go a long way toward protecting your business. Remember, if a person has a criminal record, an employer should not automatically exclude the person from employment without first determining whether there is a sound business reason, based upon the nature and gravity of the offense, the nature of the job and when the crime occurred. In addition, just because a person has made a mistake in the past does not mean that they should never get a chance. However, certain jobs may not be appropriate for a person with certain types of convictions.
Important Note-The information in this article and the form below are not given or intended as legal advice. It is based upon generally accepted Human Resource and industry practices. An employer should check with their own attorney to determine how state or local law affects their business, and for any legal advice.
Sample Release Form: A release form such as this should be a standard part of any employment application. If an employer is using the services of a professional firm that performs background checks, called a Consumer Repotting Agency (CRA), then a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies. The background firm should provide the employer with the necessary forms, including an employer certification s well as the Release and Disclosure that must be given to the job applicant. In fact, under federal law, the disclosure form must be on separate document. In addition, if an employer uses an "online" service to obtain information, an employer is well advised to utilize the forms needed under the FCRA, as well. Any service an employer uses should be able to give the employer the forms and information they the need on how to conduct a legal background check in their state.
The following form is for an employers who wants to take steps in-house. It is not intended as a form to be used under the FCRA:
Authorization and Consent for Pre-Employment Screening Report
I, _____________________________________________, in connection with my application for employment at ________________________________________________, hereby authorize the Employer and any agent it authorizes to perform a pre-employment background screening check (including future screenings for retention, promotion or re-assignment if applicable unless revoked in writing). I understand and agree to the following:
I understand that the employer may obtain information about ne having a bearing on job performance, and may include information from public and private sources, public records, courts, schools, former employers and references concerning my driving record, court records, credit, worker’s compensation record, education, credentials, identity and previous employment.
I authorize and release people, companies, references, current and former employers, schools, credit bureaus, municipal, county, state and federal agencies and courts, to provide all information that is requested to the employer or its authorized agents. I further release and hold harmless all of the above, including the employer, to the full extent permitted by law, from any liability or claims arising from retrieving and reporting of information concerning me.
I agree that a copy or fax of this document shall be as valid as the original.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? (Please exclude convictions for minor marijuana related offenses, convictions that have been sealed or legally eradicated and misdemeanor convictions for which probation was completed and the case was dismissed.) Yes__________ No ____________
Are you currently out on bail or released on your own recognizance pending trial? Yes _________ No ________
If the answer to either one is YES, please explain on a separate piece of paper. (An affirmative answer to any of the above will not necessarily disqualify you from employment).
(For California ONLY)
__ I waive my right to receive any public record obtained by the employer, including court records.
I verify and affirm that all the information on this form and all information on my resume and application as well as all information given during any interview is true and correct. Any false information or material omission is grounds to terminate the hiring process, or to terminate employment at any time if it has started.
Your signature_______________________________________ Date__________________
(c)1999-2002 by Lester S. Rosen; All rights reserved. May not be reprinted or published in whole or in part with out authorization.