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"ESR Speaks" Sample Topics

Attorney Lester S. Rosen, the Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), is available to speak on critical topics affecting a safe workplace including California Background Checks, Criminal Records, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), International Screening, Using Social Media for Screening, and a variety of other subjects not limited to those mentioned on this page. Sessions range from 45 minutes to day long workshops. To contact Lester Rosen for a speaking engagement, email Attorney Lester Rosen directly at

Real Comments about Attorney Lester Rosen from Attendees at Recent National Event:

"Engaging, entertaining, great speaker, made legal topics enjoyable. Extremely knowledgeable."
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“Very informative, knowledgeable speaker.”
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“Great information. Very knowledgeable. Opened my mind to new ideas & updates to the laws. Thank you very much!”

Dealing with “Only in California” Laws Regulating Employment Screening and Safe Hiring


In the “Independent republic of California,” background screening is done much differently than the other 49 states. Even though California employers still need to follow the federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCA), there is a large overlay of additional California rules and requirements when it comes to background checks. Given the large risk with just one bad hire, employers cannot simply opt out of these complexities by not doing background checks all since the risk is too high. The bottom line is that employers still need to exercise due diligence but need to follow all the complex requirements for California.

In this session, you will learn about critical California only requirements including: unique language that must be in California consent, language required in a California employer certification to the screening firm, special LANGUAGE needed on the first page of a background report, how California is the only state that has a Spanish language form and when and how it is required to be used, new California off-shoring disclosure rules, new California credit reporting rules, current litigation challenging the seven year limitation on reporting criminal records, California rules on obtaining a consumer’s social network site password, why an employer in California cannot consider a matter that was an arrest only, understanding the alphabet soup of the ICRA, FEHA and ICR, numerous limitations on background firms, why criminal databases are dangerous for California employers, how the California $10,0000 civil penalty operates, the two California check boxes including the “secret” check box, the California rules on past employment checks and eligibility for rehiring, the interplay between the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and he EEOC Guidance on Criminal records, and California law, and much more.

Learning Points:

The Use of Criminal Records in Hiring and EEOC Best Practices

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, approved on April 25, 2012 an updated Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Guidance may well have a profound impact on how employers in America hire.

In this 60-minute webinar, Attorney and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a webinar that will go beyond simply repeating the EEOC Guidance language and will give "real world' examples and suggestions on what employers should do now to remain in compliance while performing criminal background checks.
 There are steps and tools that employers can implement immediately at no cost to demonstrate good faith compliance. At the end of this webinar, you will have a road map for action items you can implement immediately to demonstrate legal compliance.

Learning Points:

Negligent Hiring and Background Checks - Best Practices and Legal Compliance

Workplace Application: 

Employee problems are caused by problem employees, and this session will help HR professionals avoid bad hires in the first place by practicing due diligence in their hiring programs.


Negligent hiring is one of the fastest growing areas of employment litigation.  Learn legally complaint best practices to keep a business productive and out of court, including how to obtain and utilize criminal record and background information on job applicants.  Get updated on the recent legal developments, and review case studies to demonstrate what steps employers should take and mistakes to avoid.  Hear about cutting edge issues, such as the use of social networking sites and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approach to the use of criminal records.  Learn steps a firm can take immediately to avoid a bad hire.

Learning points:

Web 2.0 Caution! Using Social Networking Sites and Search Engines to Screen Applicants

Workplace Application:

Learn how to navigate through legal and practical pitfalls and roadblocks when using Web 2.0, such as search engines or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to screen applicants.


Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on potential job applicants by using social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and search engines. However, the unrestricted use of Web 2.0 could well land an employer, human resources professional or recruiter in hot water.  Just because it is online does not mean it is risk free or true.  This session will examine the pros and cons of employers utilizing such tools, including what is available online, discrimination issues, the use of legal off-duty conduct, privacy, accuracy and authenticity. The use of these sites also has an impact on recruiters as well.  Through case studies, legal decisions and reviewing web sites, Recruiters and HR professionals will see visually how these sites work, what you may find, and the potential legal landmines and practical risks involved.  The session will focus on strategies for getting what you need while minimizing potential complaints for discrimination or invasion of privacy.  The session will also uncover how Web 2.0 is used fraudulently, such as fake degrees and phony references.

Learning Points: 

Extreme Caution Advised:  Dealing with Federal and State Laws Regulating Pre-employment Screening and Safe Hiring

Workplace Application: 

Learn and get updated on federal and state laws that control the process of pre-employment screening and background checks on prospective employees audit your own practices to ensure that you are in compliance.


To avoid bad hiring decisions, employers have increasingly turned to pre-employment background screening as a risk management tool. No screening program can be conducted without a full understanding of a number of laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), discrimination and privacy law, the ADA, and a host of state specific rules. The session will review the application of federal and state laws to both pre-employment screening and the investigation of current employees.

Learning Points: 

Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification

Workplace Application:

Learn how to navigate through legal and practical roadblocks when it comes to both obtaining and proving past employment information, as well as tool to spot phony credentials and fake degrees.


With hiring decision becoming more critical in challenging economic times, verifying past employment and education and obtaining references have become critical.  Unfortunately, falsifying or inflating employment and educational accomplishments has become a significant problem for employers. Legal limitations also create barriers for human resources professional when obtaining and giving past employment information. This workshop reviews legal and effective technique for the reference checking process and how to verify education and spot phony credentials. 

Learning Points: 

International Background Checks:  Global due Diligence and Legal Compliance

Workplace Application:

This seminar will introduce employers to international background check, including the legal, practical and cultural challenges employers face when obtaining information outside of the United States.


Employers have long recognized that conducting due diligence on new hires is a mission critical task. Firms cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers can be the subject of lawsuits for negligent hiring if they hire someone that they should have known, through the exercise of due diligence, was dangerous, unfit or unqualified.

However, with the mobility of workers across international borders it is no longer adequate to conduct these checks just in the United States. A significant percentage of the population consists of immigrants. In addition, an increasing number of workers have spent part of their professional career abroad. With business gong global, U.S. firms are having to staff up offices internationally as well.  The number of countries from which employers seek additional information about applicants is expansive, and includes India, China, Philippines, France, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Canada, among others.

Among the topics covered are the ins and outs of international criminal records, terrorist databases, and whether background checks are needed on applicants with a visa.  Also covered will be international employment and education verification, and how to protect against fake international degrees.  Special emphasis will be placed on data protection and privacy including the rules of the European Union and Canada.  Employers will learn that although international screening can be challenging, there are ways to help hire the best regardless of the country involved.

Learning Points:

The Top Ten Trends for Background Checks - What Every Employer Needs to Know

Workplace Application: 

Employee problems are caused by problem employees, and this session will help HR professionals avoid bad hires in the first place by keeping current on trends, best practices and legal developments affecting background checks and due diligence in their hiring programs.


Employers have long recognized that conducting due diligence on new hires is a mission critical task. Firms cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers can be the subject of lawsuits for negligent hiring if they hire someone that they should have known, through the exercise of due diligence, was dangerous, unfit, dishonest or unqualified.

This session will review the top ten trends and best practices when it comes to background checks and safe hiring, including the use of social networking sites, the EEOC approach to the use of criminal records and credit reports, international background screening, resume fraud, dealing with temporary workers, privacy and off shoring of personal data, and tools to protect against workplace violence.

Learn legally complaint best practices to keep a business productive and out of court and steps a firm can take immediately to avoid a bad hire.

Learning points:

Due Diligence in Recruiting: Don’t Play Russian Roulette with your Future

Workplace Application:

Learn how to minimize risks so you can focus on growing your business, rather then risk being put out of business. 


Recruiting and staffing veterans know that each placement they make has the potential to put their business at great risk.  Just one bad placement can mean the loss of business, lawsuits and damage to a firm’s professional reputation.  Some staffing vendors also increase their business risks unnecessarily with client contracts that fail to address critical due diligence issues or advertising materials that increase their exposure in court. Improper use of social networking sites can also create unnecessary liability. Just focusing on Sourcing and Sales without proper regard to the quality of each potential hire is a formula for disaster.  

Crimes, Criminals and Employment–The Role of Criminal Records in the Hiring Process

Hiring an employee with a criminal record can lead to disaster. Employers who fail to exercise due diligence in their hiring practice can be liable for negligent hiring or supervision should problems occur.  Failure to take precautions has led to workplace violence, theft, embezzlement and numerous other problems.

However, employers and Human Resources professionals face a host of legal and privacy concerns in obtaining and using criminal records. In fact, it is unlawful to even consider certain types of criminal records in California.

This session will review the legal use of criminal records in the hiring process, including how to locate, interpret and evaluate criminal records. The session will also cover ten steps an organization can immediately take to avoid hiring a criminal and a safe hiring practices audit.

In this session, you will gain:

The Use of Search Engines and Social Netorking Sites to Screeen Applicants

Job applicants have long used the internet to research employers. But now, employers are using the internet to research job applicants as well. Employers aren't only using search engines to find information on applicants but are now examining social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace. For job applicants of course, social networking sites are places to interact with peers in any manner they choose. Entries on these sites are typically not meant for employers to view. Employers tell anecdotes of avoiding serious mistakes by using these tools. Conversely, some job applicants feel they have been denied opportunities unfairly by employers or recruiters snooping on social Web sites and viewing materials out of context or Web entries meant just in fun for friends.

This seminar will review this emerging area of recruiting and employment law, examining the pros and cons of employers utilizing such tools and the legal landscape. Topics will cover how and why employers utilize these sites. It will then cover a number of legal implications, such as problems with employers obtaining information they should not have and discrimination, privacy and authenticity. Finally, we will examine approaches that employers and applicants may consider. 

How to Avoid Hiring Problem Employees - 10 Easy Steps HR can take today (and cost nothing)

Employee problems are usually caused by problem employees. Human Resources professionals have become painfully aware that hiring someone with a criminal record falsified credentials or undesirable background can create a legal and financial nightmare.   Employers are increasingly turning to pre-employment screening to prevent problem hires in the first place.

However, HR mangers must contend with a number of challenges in implementing a safe hiring program, including legal regulations and limited budgets.

This workshop will review the basic principles of safe hiring, including pre-employment screening and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It will also include a review of 10 strategies that HR professional can implement immediately that cost nothing but will significantly improve a company's chances of avoiding a bad hire. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to conduct an audit of their organization's safe hiring procedures and due diligence practices.

Strategic Role of Safe Hiring in Human Capital Markets: The Emergence of the Employment Screening Background Check Industry 

Using Human Capital Management (HCM) to effectively manage a firm's human assets can be the difference between success and failure, since a significant amount of corporate spending is allotted to "human capital assets."

Because of the need for information about job applicants, as well as the security and due diligence concerns that have been further fueled by the events of 9/11, the pre-employment background screening and credential verifications industry has emerged on the scene as a major new player in the human capital arena.    Once characterized by small local and regional firms in a very fragment market, the pre-employment screening industry is now a multi-billion dollar business, with deals that have topped a billion dollars.  These events have captured the attention of Wall Street and investors as well. 

The talk will review the development and current status of the screening industry, the various workflows and challenges involved in obtaining information used by employers, the evolution and role of technology, the needs and behaviors of the customer, the various types of firms in the market, the market structure, barriers to entry, the role of consolidation and whether size counts. Finally, the talk will review various models for the industry as it matures, and scenarios on how the industry may evolve in the future. 

The seminar also reviews the feasibility of developing a true human capital databases, since no market can operate without information about it's critical resource.  Data about the work force is needed in order to create a true human capital market, where the right person is seamlessly matched to the right job at just the right time with a minimum of delay and transaction cost.

Giving and Receiving Employment References – A Catch 22

References from past employers can be an essential part of the hiring process. However, many employers are so concerned about lawsuits, they will only provide dates of employment and job title. Many employers want references, but cannot give them to others. Good applicants can be prejudiced, while applicants with a negative history can go on to new and unsuspecting employers.

This workshop will cover effective employment reference strategies HR professionals can utilize despite these difficulties.

In this session, you will gain:

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) And Employers – Developments And Trends Affecting Pre-Employment Screening and Employee Investigations

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates how employers conduct pre-employment screening and investigations of current employees. Any employer, Human Resources or Security professional involved in pre-employment screening or employee investigations must have comply with this complex law. However, the FCRA is full of potential landmines that can expose unwary employers to liability. In addition, at least 27 states have their own version of the FCRA.

This session will first review the basic operation of the FCRA for employers. It will also cover pending legislation on conducting internal investigations, and the impact of Federal Trade Commission staff opinion letters, as well as new cases and future trends.

Attorney Lester Rosen Biography

Attorney Lester S. Rosen is founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR)  – 'The Background Check Authority®' and nationwide background screening company located in the San Francisco, California area and accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). He is the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” the first comprehensive guide to employment screening, and has also written “The Safe Hiring Audit.”  Rosen  is also a frequent presenter nationwide on employment screening and his speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences as part of the "ESR Speaks" Training Program. Mr. Rosen was also the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the NAPBS, a professional trade organization for the background screening industry, and served as the first co-chairman in 2004.

Rosen is a former deputy District Attorney and criminal defense attorney and has taught criminal law and procedure at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He has qualified and testified in the California, Florida and Arkansas Superior Courts as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. His speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences. His jury trials have included murder, death penalty and federal cases. He graduated UCLA with Phi Beta Kappa honors, and received a J.D. degree from the University of California at Davis, serving on the Law Review. He holds the highest attorney rating of A.V. in the national Martindale-Hubbell listing of American Attorneys. He is also a licensed Private Investigator in California.


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Certified with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners ESR's SOC 2 Audit Report confirms it meets high standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for protecting customer information PCI-DDS Compliance Privacy Shield Framework Services Perfromed in the USA Safe Hiring Manual Founding Member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners