Yearly Archives: 2010

Inaccurate Criminal Background Check Information Leaves Innocent Man Jobless

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A man from North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was stunned after he was fired from his job at a video-game store for ‘nondisclosure of information’ on his application caused by what turned out to be erroneous information on a background check, according to a story in the Philadelphia Daily News.

The 32-year-old man had admitted that he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple assault, harassment, and related offenses for fighting, and disclosed this on his job application at a video-game store in North Philadelphia, PA. However, after a month of employment, his manager asked about any criminal record that he had not disclosed before firing him.

After being fired, the man interviewed for an overnight-manager position at another company and gave them permission to do a background check. A week later, he received a denial letter from the company and a copy of his background check which claimed he had been convicted in 1996 of felony cocaine possession in Gloucester County, Virginia and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The man – who had never even been to Gloucester County, VA and was still in high school at the time of the offense – called the background check company to dispute the information and the company cleared his criminal background check of the false felony cocaine charge. However, the video-game store did not re-hire him after the felony charge was cleared, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

After not having steady work since April 2009, the man now wonders how many other jobs that he applied for but did not get were because of inaccurate information on his background check.

This story – about an employee losing a job because of inaccurate information on a background check – shows why hiring (and firing) decisions made by employers must be based on timely and accurate background check information. Erroneous and out of date background check information exposes employers not only to bad hiring decisions but also to potential litigation from those people harmed by such data.

A reputable and accredited background check company can help ensure that the information found on background checks is accurate and up to date and limit the occurrence of “bad” background checks. For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/personal_finance/20101213_Innocent__felon___Background_check_gave_false_info.html

ESR Background Screening Trend 8 for 2011: Increased Privacy Concerns Over Offshoring of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011

Trend No. 8: Increased Privacy Concerns Over Offshoring of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

A new background screening trend emerging in 2011 will be the increased concern over the “offshoring” of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of U.S. consumers.

A recently signed California law appears to be the first in the United States to regulate the “offshoring” of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of U.S. consumers collected for background checks, a controversial practice where private data of U.S. citizens – such as names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers (SSNs) – is sent overseas, outside the United States and its territories, and beyond the reach of U.S. privacy laws.

In September 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law California Senate Bill 909 (SB 909), which addresses the issue of personal information being sent offshore. SB 909 – which takes effect January 1, 2012 to allow time for background check firms to provide new releases to employers or modify online language – amends the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRA) that regulates background checks in California and requires that a consumer must be notified as part of a disclosure before the background check of the web address for “information about the investigative reporting agency’s privacy practices, including whether the consumer’s personal information will be sent outside the United States or its territories.” In addition:

  • If a background check company does not have a web site, then the background check company must provide the consumer with a phone number where the consumer can obtain the same information.
  • The background check company’s privacy policy must contain “information describing its privacy practices with respect to its preparation and processing of investigative consumer reports.”
  • Background check companies in California (and firms that do business in California) must have a statement in their privacy policy entitled “Personal Information Disclosure: United States or Overseas” that indicates whether the personal information will be transferred to third parties outside the United States or its territories through the process of offshoring.
  • “Third parties” are defined in SB-909 as including, “but not being limited to, a contractor, foreign affiliate, wholly owned entity, or an employee of the investigative consumer reporting agency” and also requires a “separate section that includes the name, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the investigative consumer reporting agency representatives who can assist a consumer with additional information regarding the investigative consumer reporting agency’s privacy practices or policies in the event of a compromise of his or her information.”
  • In the event a consumer is harmed by virtue of a background check company negligently sending data offshore, SB-909 provides for damages to the consumer.

The practice of offshoring – whether personal information or jobs – can have a negative impact on network security since, for all intents and purposes, once Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is sent offshore outside the U.S. it is beyond the reach and protection of U.S. laws in cases involving identity theft or privacy issues. As reported earlier on ESR News, other states besides California have data privacy laws in effect, in legislation, or have voiced concerns over data privacy. For example:

As for the definition of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), the following are often used for the express purpose of distinguishing individual identity, and thus are clearly PII under the definition used by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget:

  • Full name
  • Birthday
  • Birthplace
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Vehicle registration plate
  • Driver’s license number
  • Credit card number
  • National identification number
  • IP ( Internet Protocol) address
  • Face, fingerprints, or handwriting
  • Digital identity
  • Genetic information

In addition, according to a 2009 security survey of 350 network administrators and IT executives executed by Amplitude Research and commissioned by VanDyke Software, offshoring of Information Technology (IT) jobs can lead to increases in data breaches. The survey more than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents felt outsourcing technical jobs offshore had a negative impact on network security, and 61 percent of workers at companies outsourcing IT jobs said their company had experienced a data breach.

The security survey naturally raises questions as to the safety of offshoring Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of American job applicants in order to prepare background checks. ConcernedCRAs, a group of more than 120 Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs), opposes the practice of offshoring Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of U.S. citizens outside the country to be processed beyond U.S. privacy laws.

A member of ConcernedCRAs, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) does not offshore Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and all domestic background checks are performed exclusively in the United States. ESR does all processing and preparation in the U.S. in order to protect applicants and employers, the only exception being when performing an international verification using information residing outside the U.S. ESR was also the third U.S. background screening firm to become “Safe Harbor” Certified for data privacy protection. See: https://safeharbor.export.gov/companyinfo.aspx?id=9239.

Before selecting a U.S. background check firm, employers should determine if that firm is processing information outside of the country. The risk is significant, even if the offshore facility is wholly owned or a subsidiary of a U.S. firm. An employer needs to have a full understanding of how data and privacy is protected once it leaves the U.S., and what duty is owed to job applicants in terms of notice that their PII is being sent abroad.

To read more about ‘Offshoring’ and ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ on ESR News, visit articles tagged at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/offshoring/ and http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/personally-identifiable-information/.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is releasing the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 throughout December. This is the Eighth of the Top Ten Trends ESR will be tracking in 2011. To see an updated list of ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Bad Credit Found During Background Check Leads to Revoked Job Offer and Lawsuit against University

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A woman is suing the University of Miami (UM) in federal court on after her job offer at the college’s medical school was revoked due to bad credit found on a background check, a case some hope will help ban employers from using credit histories in hiring decisions.

According to a report by the Miami Herald, the woman’s application to become a senior medical collector in the patient financial services department had already been accepted by the UM when she was notified that a car repossession and defaulted student loan found on her credit report during a background check disqualified her from the job, even after she had been through several interviews and apparently had the right experience for that job.

In addition, the woman filing the suit is African-American and some believe the use credit reports by employers discriminates against minority job applicants since more Latinos and blacks are unemployed than whites and unemployment is often the reason people cannot pay their bills, according to the report in the Miami Herald.  The lawsuit is pending in court.

With unemployment still high and the economy still low, many job seekers with bad credit histories are in a “Catch-22” situation where they cannot fix their credit without finding a job but cannot find a job because they are rejected due to their bad credit. Meanwhile, employers argue that credit checks can help a company protect its assets, its clients, and prevent liability from negligent hiring claims.

While many and job seekers would like credit checks eliminated altogether by employers, a recent survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 60 percent of employers performed credit checks on at least some job applicants during the background check process and more than 1 in 10 employers ran credit checks on every job applicant.

As reported earlier on ESR News, credit background checks for employment purposes are a controversial part of the background screening industry, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a recent public meeting to discuss whether the use of credit checks during background checks violates the civil rights of job applicants.

To read more ESR News reports about the use of credit reports during employment background checks, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/credit-reports/.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/06/1960665/woman-with-bad-credit-sues-um.html

Continual Employment Screening Background Checks on Current Employees Carries Risks

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President

In a recent blog on ‘Background Checks: Trends and Legal Issues’ on HR Toolbox by background check expert and Attorney at Law Lester Rosen, the verdict on whether or not the advantages of periodic background checks of current employees outweigh the disadvantages is: “the jury is still out.”

“To avoid bad hiring decisions, employers have increasingly turned to pre-employment background screening as a risk management tool,” writes Rosen, founder and President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a national background screening firm, and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace,’ the first comprehensive book on employee background checks. “No background screening program can be conducted, however, without a full understanding of a number of laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), discrimination and privacy law, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and a host of state specific rules. In addition, for employers to be able to defend themselves from allegations of negligent hiring, they must demonstrate due diligence in their hiring process.”

A new issue Rosen tackles is whether employers should conduct periodic criminal background checks of their current workforce since – although a background check may show a clean record when an employee is hired – an employee may commit a crime while employed. These ongoing searches are a way to demonstrate due diligence and to protect the workplace. Although some may argue that an employer would likely be aware of a crime committed by a current worker because that employee would miss work, many serious offenses may end up with the employee being bailed out and serving a sentence with work furlough, weekend jail, volunteer hours, or some other alternative to actual incarceration.

Even though periodic criminal background checks of current employees may have some apparent advantages, Rosen feels that “the jury is still out” on whether it is a cost-effective tool or even if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. He offers these points to consider:

  • There is no empirical evidence that shows that periodic background checks have resulted in any advantage to employers. There are no studies to suggest on a cost-benefit basis, such checks produce results.
  • If such periodic background checks are done, the next issue is how. If databases are used, then there is the possibility of both false positives and false negative since databases available to private employers are not always complete or up to date.
  • If there is a periodic background check, it should be done ideally on the courthouse level in addition to any databases, which increases the cost.
  • There is also the consent issue with periodic background checks. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), periodic checks must be done with consent (unless there is a specific investigation for suspicion of misconduct or wrongdoing).
  • If an employee withdraws consent for periodic background checks, the question arises if the employee can be terminated for refusal to consent. It is clear that employers have much more discretion in requiring pre-employment background checks, based upon the fact that they do not have experience with the applicant.
  • The issue becomes more complicated if the employee refusing periodic background checks is a member of a protected class since that raises potential discrimination issues.
  • In addition, a firm needs a well laid out policy in an employee manual as to how they will deal to a new criminal record that may be uncovered during a periodic background check. At a minimum, any action must be based upon some business justification, taking into account the nature and gravity of the offense, the nature of the job and how long ago it occurred. In addition, the pre-adverse action notice requirements of the FCRA would come into play.
  • There are also the cultural considerations with periodic background checks. What type of message does it send the workplace if workers are constantly suspected of criminal activity? What type of workplace stress is created if an otherwise long time and loyal employees feel they are subject to dismissal at any time for a criminal offense that may or may not bear upon their suitably a an employee?

However, Rosen states that the case may well occur where an employer is sued for a failure to perform periodic background checks on current employees, if such a failure was the proximate cause of workplace violence or other harm that arguably could have been prevented.

“The bottom-line is that this is an issue that will be worked out in court decision in the coming years,” Rosen concludes. “In the meantime, employers contemplating such periodic checks should approach it with caution and seek the advice of their attorney.”

The mission of Rosen’s blog ‘Background Checks: Trends and Legal Issues’ is to assist HR professionals in keeping up with legal developments, trends, and best practices in the critical area employment screening background checks. To learn more about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was also the third background screening company to be ‘Safe Harbor’ certified. For more information, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

ESR Background Screening Trend 9 for 2011: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011

Trend No. 9: E-Verify and I-9 Audits Help Government Find Employers with Illegal Workers

An October 2010 press release from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced record-breaking immigration enforcement statistics achieved under the Obama administration, which included issuing more financial sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized workers than during the entire previous Bush administration. Since January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the principal investigative arm of DHS – has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring workers not legally eligible to work in the U.S., debarred 225 companies and individuals, and imposed approximately $50 million in financial sanctions, according to the DHS.

A summary of fines and penalties from ICE reveals that this surge in enforcement of a legal U.S. workforce included a 500 percent increase in penalties from worksite enforcement actions (over $5 million), a nearly two-fold increase in I-9 audits (2,200), a record-breaking 180 criminal prosecutions of employers, and the debarring of more than 97 businesses, compared to 30 last fiscal year, with average fines exceeding $110,000.

Due in large part to increased scrutiny on employers from ICE through I-9 audits – where employee information on Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (“I-9 forms”) is checked for accuracy by Government agents –  penalties from worksite enforcement inspections have increased recently. The following statistics from ICE compares Fiscal Year 2010 (October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010) with Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009):

  • ICE penalties from worksite enforcement inspections increased to $5,300,000 in FY 2010, up from $1,033,291 in FY 2009.
  • ICE criminally charged a record-breaking 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors in FY 2010, up from 135 in FY 2008 and 114 in FY 2009.
  • ICE conducted more than 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010, up from more than 1,400 in FY 2009.
  • ICE debarred 97 business and 49 individuals in FY 2010, up from 30 and 53, respectively, in FY 2009.

These record breaking statistics show that ICE is focusing more on targeting the employers that hire illegal workers through the use of I-9 audits and investigations of their hiring practices. Now more than ever, U.S. employers must regularly review their I-9 compliance practices.

One of the trends that emerged in 2010 and should continue in 2011 is that employers will take steps to ensure they hire a legal workforce by using E-Verify, a free, web-based electronic employment eligibility verification system operated by the U.S. government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees by comparing data from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. E-Verify is currently being used by more than 230,000 employers at more than 800,000 worksites, according to recent figures from DHS.

Currently, federal contractors and subcontractors in all states must use E-Verify. Many U.S. states have additional state or local E-Verify mandates for either all employers, state agencies, city employees, or have E-Verify legislation pending. A listing of E-Verify requirements can be found on the recently updated (November 22, 2010) online E-Verify State Legislation Map from Tracker Corp available at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. To learn more about E-Verify, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is releasing the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 throughout December. This is the Ninth of the Top Ten Trends ESR will be tracking in 2011. To see an updated list of ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.  

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was also the third background screening company to be ‘Safe Harbor’ certified. For more information, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Announces Initial 2011 Speaking Dates for ESR Speaks Program

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading provider of pre-employment background checks accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), has announced the initial dates for the company’s 2011 ‘ESR Speaks’ speaking and training program. The ‘ESR Speaks’ web page is located at: http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/ESR-Speaks/.

“With ESR Speaks, Employment Screening Resources offers information and guidance to employers on issues such as privacy, discrimination, credit reports, criminal records, and using social networking sites such as Facebook to screen applicants,” explains Lester Rosen, founder and President of Employment Screening Resources and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace,’ the first comprehensive guide on background checks.

Rosen, an Attorney at Law and frequent speaker on safe hiring issues, will be a presenter for the ‘ESR Speaks’ program along with ESR Director of Client Relations Jared Callahan, a licensed private investigator in California who brings over a decade of experience and expertise with background checks and legal compliance issues. Either Rosen or Callahan will present for ESR on the following dates:

More speaking dates will be added to the 2011 ‘ESR Speaks’ schedule in the coming weeks and months. For information about the Employment Screening Resources speaking schedule, visit ‘ESR Speaks’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/ESR-Speaks/. A summary of ‘ESR Speaks’ events for 2011 is at: http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR_Speaks2011.php. Check these web pages for updates.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Background Check Expert Lester Rosen Comments on Evolving Background Check Industry in HR Magazine Article

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

According to background check expert Lester Rosen, while the background check industry is still fragmented, he notes in an article about pre-employment background checks in HR Magazine that some consolidation has occurred and that he expects consolidation in the industry to continue with two background check firm models evolving: large data-driven industries and smaller boutique-style firms emphasizing education and consultation.

Rosen – founder of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace’ – was quoted in an article “Backgrounds to the Foreground” in the December 2010 issue of HR magazine, a publication from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), saying two background check models have evolved.

“Investment banking firms buying and consolidating big companies is a new trend. Larger financial interests are involved at the same time we still have medium-size or boutique firms,” Rosen, an Attorney at Law, says in the story, adding that two models for background check firms have evolved: “A large data-driven industry with assembly-line-like practices and a boutique approach with emphasis on education and consultation.”

The author of the article, Bill Roberts, a contributing editor for HR Magazine, writes that the stakes have never been higher when it comes to choosing a background check firm to protect a business and its reputation due to legal challenges and security concerns. While juries still punish employers for inadequate background checks – one jury mentioned in the article awarded over $20 million in a negligent hiring case – the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has increased enforcement against overuse of background checks that the agency claims violate federal law.

To help employers choose a background check partner, the article notes that the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) launched an accreditation program in March 2010 to apply best practices for consumer protection, legal compliance, and client education, and standards for court researchers, data, and verification, to its members. The NAPBS accredited companies were announced before year-end of 2010.

The article also reveals that while some vendors have ISO certification from the International Organization for Standardization, the ISO only designates that formal business processes are applied and that the ISO is not specific to background checks and does not guarantee quality of products or services like the NAPBS accreditation.

The HR Magazine article “Backgrounds to the Foreground” is currently available only to SHRM members at: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/hrmagazine/EditorialContent/2010/1210/Pages/1210roberts.aspx.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.shrm.org/Publications/hrmagazine/EditorialContent/2010/1210/Pages/1210roberts.aspx

Employment Screening Resources Top Ten Trends In Background Screening for 2011: No. 10, New Accreditation Standards Help Employers Select Background Screening Firms

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011Trend #10: New Accreditation Standards Help Employers Select Background Screening Firms

Before this year, employers were largely on their own when selecting a background screening firm. With hundreds upon hundreds of background screening firms to choose from, employers faced a bewildering landscape of competing claims that touted any number of bells and whistles that made it hard to distinguish one background screening provider form another. Some background screening firms had ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification, but as noted in the article “Backgrounds to the Foreground” in the December 2010 issue of HR Magazine, the ISO designation is not specific to background screening and does not guarantee quality of products or services. Employers were also faced with “commercial” rankings published by private “for-profit” publications, which only added to the confusion. The problem for employers is that background screening is a critical function subject to intense legal regulation, and so the stakes are high.

In 2010, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) took significant steps towards solving this perplexing problem with the creation of the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) that covers all areas related to the background screening process and, most important, is professional and objective and not based upon any commercial considerations. The BSAAP advances professionalism in the background screening industry through the promotion of best practices, awareness of legal compliance, and development of standards that protect consumers.

A number of background screening firms have already completed the accreditation process with NAPBS – which was formed in 2003 as a non-profit trade association to promote professionalism in the background screening industry – and more firms are in the process of making a commitment to demonstrate professionalism by going through the accreditation process. The NAPBS press release announcing the companies that have successfully achieved compliance with the BSAAP, ‘Background Screening Credentialing Council Recognizes Accredited Companies,’ is available at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/background-screening-credentialing-council-recognizes-accredited-companies-2010-12-01?reflink=MW_news_stmp.

An emerging trend for 2011 is that employers will start looking for the NAPBS BSCC accreditation seal during their selection process of a background screening firm. This industry “seal” will represent a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. The advantage to employers is that they will know they are dealing with a background screening firm that has demonstrated their expertise and compliance in background screening processes. To become accredited, background screening firms – also known as Consumer Reporting Agencies or CRAs – must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent auditing firm, of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas of the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program:

  • ‘Section 1: Consumer Protection’ includes standards for: Information Security Policy; Data Security; Intrusion, Detection and Response; Stored Data Security; Password Protocol; Electronic Access Control; Physical Security; Consumer Information Privacy Policy; Unauthorized Browsing; Record Destruction; Consumer Disputes; Sensitive Data Masking; and Database Criminal Records.
  • ‘Section 2: Legal Compliance’ includes standards for: Designated Compliance Person(s); State Consumer Reporting Laws; Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA); State Implemented DPPA Compliance; Integrity; Prescribed Notices; and Certification from Client.
  • ‘Section 3: Client Education’ includes standards for: Client Legal Responsibilities; Client Required Documents; Truth in Advertising; Adverse Action; Legal Counsel; Understanding Consumer Reports; and Information Protection.
  • ‘Section 4: Product Standards’ includes standards for: Public Record Researcher Agreement; Vetting Requirement; Public Record Researcher Certification; Errors and Omissions Coverage; Information Security; Auditing Procedures; Identification Confirmation; and Jurisdictional Knowledge.
  • ‘Section 5: Service Standards’ includes standards for: Verification Accuracy; Current Employment; Diploma Mills; Procedural Disclosures; Verification Databases; Use of Stored Data; Documentation of Verification Attempts; Outsourced Verification Services; Conflicting Data; Professional Conduct; and Authorized Recipient.
  • ‘Section 6: General Business Practices’ includes standards for: Character; Insurance; Client Credentialing; Vendor Credentialing; Consumer Credentialing; Document Management; Employee Certification; Worker Training; Visitor Security; Employee Criminal History; Quality Assurance; and Certification.

Any U.S.-based employment screening organization is eligible to apply for accreditation. A copy of the standard, the policies and procedures, and measurements is available on the NAPBS website at http://www.napbs.com/.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is releasing the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 throughout December. This is the Tenth of the Top Ten Trends ESR will be tracking in 2011. To see a continuously updated list of ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Most Up-to-Date E-Verify Legislation Online Interactive Map Announced

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

To help employers navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment verification requirements, Tracker Corp – developers of innovative Form I-9 software for compliance with employment eligibility verification laws and E-Verify – has announced in a press release the latest and most up-to-date online interactive E-Verify State Legislation Map that shows current summaries of all active and proposed E-Verify laws at federal, state, county, and city levels.

With E-Verify laws gaining momentum, and worksite enforcement “I-9 audits” by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reaching record numbers, employers need to understand their E-Verify compliance requirements now more than ever. Clicking on the image of each state on the online, interactive E-Verify State Legislation Map provides an instant description of the current active E-Verify legislation in that state, including relevant links about the specific E-Verify executive orders, bills, or ordinances.

E-Verify – currently used by more than 230,000 employers at over 800,000 worksites – is a free, web-based system operated by the United States government that enables employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees by comparing data from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 against records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

Employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance with the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about ESR’s E-Verify services, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php and read ESR News Blog posts tagged ‘E-verify’ at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/e-verify/. The E-Verify State Legislation Map is available on the ESR website at http://www.esrcheck.com/State-E-Verify-map.php.

Founded in 1998, San Francisco, CA-based Tracker Corp provides software for immigration management, I-9 compliance, and E-Verify used by many Fortune 1000 companies, hospitals, and universities. For more information, visit http://www.trackercorp.com/.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com. 

Source:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/12/prweb4840794.htm

Background Checks Using Only Internet Search Engines Like Google Can Misinform Employers about Job Candidates

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

A story about a student in Florida who searched his name using the search engine Google and found out he was wanted for murder shows why employers should not just depend solely on Google – or any other Internet search engine – to take the place of “real” pre-employment background checks when screening for information about job candidates.

According the a report from ABC News, the 18-year-old University of Florida student, Zachary Garcia, searched for himself online using the massively popular search engine Google and discovered that his name and photograph were connected to a felony murder that took place in September.

Officers with the Polk County (FL) Sheriff’s Office said Zachary Garcia was charged with murder in a news release, but the real murder suspect was named Zachery (spelled with an ‘e’) Garcia. The story was reported by several media outlets that also broadcast a driver’s license photo of the wrong Garcia (Zachary, with an ‘a’) in connection with the alleged murder, ABC News reports. In another strange twist, a spokesman with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the two men with very similar names also happened to share the same day of birth, although they were born one year apart.

ABC News also reports that the Polk County sheriff sent the student a formal letter apologizing for the error and vowed to correct the misinformation. The sheriff also said that while the news release named the wrong Garcia, official booking documents never contained the same error.

In the story, Zachary Garcia, a freshman, said he hopes the search engine screw-up does not affect his future since employers may background check his name online and may not hire him because of the mix-up. He said he is speaking out about what happened to him because he wants others to know that it could happen to them: “The Internet is not always right.”

This story is proof positive why employers cannot rely only on cheap, quick, and convenient Internet searches using Google or other search engines in place of “real” background checks from companies like Employment Screening Resources (ESR), which is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC). ESR uses trained background check specialists that research criminal and civil court records, driving records, credit checks, social security number traces, employment references, educational verifications, and more.

For more information about “real” background checks, and how employers can find the most accurate and current data about job candidates, visit the Employment Screening Resources website at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/florida-student-zachary-garcia-googles-finds-charged-murder/story?id=12285736