ESR Newsletter and Legal Update

This newsletter is sent to clients of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) as well as employers, Human Resources and Security professionals, and law firms who have requested information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. Please note that ESR’s statements about any legal matters are not given or intended as legal advice but only general industry information. For specific legal advice, employers should contact their attorney. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by simply using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter and you will not receive any future newsletters.

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April 2007 Vol. 7, No. 4

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. Recent Negligent Hiring Case Resulting from Workplace Murder Underscores Risks When Employers Hire Blindly

2. International Screening vs. Global Screening

3. National Screening Convention Held in Texas

4. ESR Speaking Schedule and Educational Opportunities


1. Recent Negligent Hiring Case Resulting from Workplace Murder Underscores Risks When Employers Hire Blindly

According to a news story in the April 5, 2007 Houston Chronicle, a lawsuit for negligent hiring was filed against a Texas employer alleging a worker shot and killed an employee’s husband who was waiting in the employee break room to take his wife out to a Valentine’s dinner. The lawsuit further alleged that the employer did not perform a background check. According to the article, the worker accused of the fatal shooting had been convicted in 1992 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for assaulting a police officer.

Although the facts have not yet been litigated, the allegations underscores once again that employers who do not exercise due diligence in hiring are playing Russian Roulette with their future, not to mention the safety of their workers and the public. An employer can be sued for negligent hiring where it is foreseeable that someone could be hurt if the employer hires someone that they either know, or should have known, was dangerous, unfit or unqualified. Assuming that most employers do not intentionally hire dangerous or unqualified workers, the employer is typically faced with the allegation in front of a jury that the employer “should have known” of the danger and should have considered that in the hiring process.

As a general rule, employers should assume that juries operate on a theory that if the employer could have known that an applicant had a serious criminal record, and then they should have known and are therefore responsible for the harm done.

The bottom-line: It has become an established fact of business life that due diligence in the hiring process is mission critical for employers. Any employer who does not address the issue is just a sitting duck for a host of problems, such as workplace violence, unqualified workers and litigation.


2. International Screening vs. Global Screening

International background checks are becoming an emerging standard of due diligence for employers hiring candidates in the US who have spent time abroad and where international employment, education and criminal checks are needed to check credentials and exercise due diligence.

However, international screening should not be confused with global screening. When a US employer opens an office or facility outside of the US, and wants to screen employees in the foreign county, that can be referred to as “Global Screening.” For example, if a firm opens up a sales office in France, or a production facility in Thailand, and wants to screen local workers, the US employer will typically contact a screening firm with expertise in that country.

Since there are 192 members of the United Nations, and each country has its own rules, customs and practices, it is difficult to summarize what resources are available globally or what the protocol should be in each country. However, a workable general rule is this: When in Rome, do as the Romans EXCEPT if it violates US law or is contrary to best practices utilized in US offices.

For example, a California employer was hiring a sales representative in Asia. A private detective was retained in the Asian country and advised the employer to check criminal records, education and employment as well as personal traits of the applicant, such as whether the applicant maintained a good home. Although apparently a standard area of inquiry in that county, the California employer chose not to investigate the applicant’s home life since in the US such an inquiry would be improper and inconsistent with the company’s policy of respecting privacy of its workers.

For more information on international screening offered by ESR, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com or at 415-898-0044, ext. 240.

3. National Screening Convention Held in Texas

The fourth annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) was recently held in Austin, Texas. The association is the professional association for the screening industry with over 500 members.

The agenda included sessions on the proposed accreditation standards for the screening industry. It is anticipated that in the near future, employers will be able to choose to do business with screening firms that have met the NAPBS accreditation standards.

ESR is pleased to be a founding member of NAPBS. ESR president Les Rosen served as chairman of the steering committee that founded NAPBS and served as its first co-chair.

For more information about NAPBS, see www.NAPBS.com.


4. ESR Speaking Schedule and Educational Opportunities

ESR is pleased to announce new services that are available to US employers:

  1. Form I-9 Compliance ESR is qualified to act as an employer’s Designated Agent to perform the verification of employment eligibility checks to determine that individual’s employment eligibility through databases administered by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. See: http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php
  2. In-depth Searches and Litigation Support ESR has introduced a new service, an “Integrity Check,” for businesses that need in-depth research on partners, key executives, prospective members of a Board of Directors, and other highly sensitive positions, It is also ideal for law firms for litigation preparation. See: http://www.esrcheck.com/IntegrityCheck.php
  3. Vendor Checks ESR has introduced a new program to allow businesses to check their vendors. Businesses who would never allow an employee onsite without due diligence, can not ensure that the same due diligence is applied to vendors, independent contracts or temporary employees. For more information, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com or at 415-898-0044, ext. 240.

See 2007 Speaking Schedule Below:

ESR announces that the Safe Hiring Certification Training is now available in four separate mini-courses, in addition to the intensive 30 Hour course. The smaller course allows participants to focus in on just those areas of immediate interest and need. This is the first and only online educational and professional development course designed for employers, human resources and security professionals, and anyone responsible for risk management and due diligence in hiring.

The Safe Hiring Certification Training is a self-paced, on-line course that can be accessed at any time from anywhere, including at work.

Features of this course include:

  • Convenient 24/7/365 availability through any online connection
  • 21 self-paced lessons on Safe Hiring practices
  • A printable, 190-page workbook to facilitate note-taking and preparation for review quizzes
  • Review quizzes after each lesson featuring more than 300 questions about safe hiring
  • Easy access to useful Safe Hiring web-links
  • Sample safe hiring forms to help guide your own form development
  • Industry certification in Safe Hiring
  • Additional audio pointers by author Les Rosen (requires speakers but not a requirement for course completion)

Through this course, participants will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to implement and manage a legal and effective safe hiring program, including employment screening background checks. Upon successful completion, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion, marking a significant professional accomplishment. The course is offered at no charge to ESR clients.

The course is available at http://esr.coursehost.com

More information is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/ESRonlineSafeHiringCourse.php

ESR wrote the book on background checks! – The Safe Hiring Manual, now in its third printing, is available from BRB Publications. Click here to read more. The definitive book on pre-employment screening, “The Safe Hiring Manual-The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists and Imposters out of Your Workplace,” has undergone its third printing since its introduction a year ago. The new printing also contains updates and new material.

ESR is pleased to participate in the following seminars across the United States

ESR 2007 Schedule

April 23/24, 2007 New Orleans, LA “Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance” and “Extreme Caution Advised: Dealing with Federal and State Laws Regulating Pre-employment Screening and Background Checks.” 2007 SHRM Staffing Management Conference

May 22, 2007 Hayward, CA Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance. Southern Alameda County Employer Advisory Council-8:30 am

May 24, 2007–Santa Rosa, CA The Latest Hiring Trends–Safe, Legal and Effective Hiring. Co-sponsored by the HR Matrix and approved for 1.5 units of HRCI credit. Contact ESR for additional details.

May 31, 2007–National Teleconference–“Understanding and Complying with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).”-Sponsored by the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)

June 8, 2007 Pasadena, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening,” Lorman Seminars

June 10-13 Boston, MA PRIMA Conference (details to follow)

June 25/26, 2007 Las Vegas, NV “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial” and “Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification.” SHRM 59th Annual National Conference and Exposition.

July 16-18 Orlando, FL “Pre-employment Background checks,” National meeting of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)

September 5-7 Keystone, CO “Pre-employment Screening: Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” Colorado State SHRM Conference

September 24, 2007 Las Vegas, NV “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial–Security in the Hot Seat” ASIS International 53rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits

November 12, 2007 Tampa, FL Keynote address at the Annual Pre-Employment Screeners Conference sponsored by the Background Investigator( Intended for background firms and record retrievers ) “The Pre-employed Screening Industry–The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

December 6-7, 2007 Bangalore, India “Background Screening for US Firms with Operations in India and the Pacific Rim.” Keynote Address at the International Pre-employment Screening Conference, The Taj West End Hotel, (details to follow)

Contact ESR for further details.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Rated Top Background Screening Firm in First Independent Industry Study. See the Press Release


Please feel free to contact Jared Callahan at ESR at 415-898-0044 or jcallahan@esrcheck.com if you have any questions or comments about the matters in this newsletter. Please note that ESR’s statements about any legal matters are not given or intended as legal advice.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

www.ESRcheck.com

1620 Grant Avenue, Suite 7

Novato, CA 94945

415-898-0044

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