All posts by Les Rosen

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

Pre-Employment Background Screening at Missouri Hospital To Include Drug Test for Nicotine

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

A hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri will no longer hire smokers who fail a drug test for nicotine as part of a pre-employment background screening program beginning January 1, 2011, according to a story in the Southeast Missourian newspaper. The new tobacco-free hiring policy – which will not affect current employees – will drug test job applicants for nicotine as part of the hospital’s pre-employment background screening program.

On the “Current Openings” page of the Saint Francis Medical Center website at http://careers.sfmc.net/CurrentOpenings.htm, the following message appears under the heading ‘Nicotine-free hiring policy’ for prospective job candidates:

Because it is important for healthcare providers to promote a healthy environment and lifestyle, effective January 1, 2011, Saint Francis Medical Center has a nicotine-free hiring policy. Applicants will be tested for nicotine as part of a pre-employment screening.

I understand that my application will not be considered if I use tobacco products.

Although Missouri labor law mandates employers cannot refuse to hire and cannot fire an employee for alcohol or tobacco use after working hours off company property, church-related organizations and not-for-profit hospitals – like the Saint Francis Medical Center – are exempt from the code, the Southeast Missourian reported.
 
The hospital’s tobacco-free stance comes at a time when more private-sector employers in the U.S. are prohibiting smoking in their hiring policies. One reason is that employees who smoke can cost their companies $12,000 a year unnecessarily, according to statistics cited by anti-smoking and nonsmoker rights advocates in the story.
 
Nicotine drug tests used during background screening have been challenged in court, the Southeast Missourian reports, but a federal court in Massachusetts ruled public policy favored a smoke-free society over the right of individuals to smoke on their own time.

For more information on pre-employment background screening, visit the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Services page or the ESR 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.

Sources:
http://www.semissourian.com/story/1682223.html
http://careers.sfmc.net/CurrentOpenings.htm

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

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

Employment Screening Resources (ESR)http://www.ESRcheck.com – a nationwide provider of background checks that is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), will announce its Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 on the ESR News web page at http://www.ESRcheck.com/wordpress/ throughout the month of December 2010.  To see an updated list of the ESR Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.

“For the fourth consecutive year, Employment Screening Resources has identified new trends that are starting to make a difference as well as older trends evolving as the pre-employment background screening industry matures,” 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 book on background checks.

An article detailing each of the top ten trends will be published on ESR News in ascending order beginning in December 2010. The complete Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening’ for 2011 will be published in early January 2011.

Mr. Rosen, an Attorney at Law and recognized safe hiring expert, selected each trend after closely reviewing background screening news and developments from various sources, a practice that has helped him predict future background screening industry trends in the past.

“For example, the number one trend on the ‘Top Ten Trends’ list for 2010 was the increased focus on whether the use of credit reports and criminal records during employment screening would be seen as discriminatory,” says Rosen. “This topic was hotly debated during this year by jobseekers, employers, and the government.”

To see the Employment Screening Resources Third Annual Top Ten Trends in the Pre-Employment Background Screening Industry for 2010, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/2010-trends-backgroundscreening-industry.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.

Background Checks Help Avoid Fraudulent Academic Claims

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

An interesting story about an alleged fraudulent academic claim serves to remind all employers, including academic institutions, how a simple background check can help uncover education fraud.

According to a news release from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), after discovering that an instructor who taught workshops on human trafficking and counterterrorism misrepresented his academic credentials to the Institute, the MIIS is taking steps to ensure a similar case does not occur again by requiring that anyone teaching a course for credit to undergo a background check, effective immediately.

The instructor – who has not responded to requests from MIIS to provide supporting documentation – claimed in a resume and biography submitted to the Institute to be “a retired colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces” who earned a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. However, the Institute’s review found the instructor had not earned a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon, and was unable to obtain military records that substantiated the military service claims, MIIS officials stated in the news release.

Because the instructor served only as an independent contractor and never applied for a position as a faculty member at the Institute, he was not subjected to the pre-employment background checks MIIS requires of all employees, including faculty and adjunct faculty. As a result of this incident, effective immediately, MISS has changed its policy and extended the requirement for a full “pre-engagement” background check to any person who provides classroom instruction for academic credit, regardless of employment status.

Located in Monterey, California, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College, has prepared graduate professionals for global careers in the private, public, nonprofit, and educational sectors since 1955. For more information about the Monterey Institute, visit http://www.miis.edu.

Background checks that include verifications of education can help employers avoid hiring job applicants that make fraudulent academic claims. This case demonstrates how a failure to run an academic verification during a background check can allow a fraudulent claim of education to fall through the cracks. A simple phone call would have prevented this. 

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a nationwide provider of background checks that include education verifications, has extensive procedures to ensure that any school is legitimate and not a so-called “diploma mill” (also known as a “degree mill”), an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The terms “diploma mill” and “degree mill” may apply to:

  • A “real” degree from a fake college.
  • A fake degree from a real college.

ESR also has a wealth of material on the subject of academic fraud including an article by ESR’s founder and President Lester Rosen, “The Basics of Educational Verifications,” at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/1090/the-basics-of-education-verifications. In addition, the ESR Resource Center contains information on states with lists of fraudulent schools as well as how to find real accredited schools at: http://www.esrcheck.com/services/resources.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.

Source:
http://www.miis.edu/media/view/21940/original/2010-1120_bill_hillar_release.pdf

Background Checks Possible Alternative to Invasive Transportation Security Agency (TSA) Screening at Airports

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor
 
A blog on Politico.com titled ‘Alternative to TSA pat-downs: More background checks’ proposes that if Americans don’t like the invasive techniques used by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to improve air travel security – such as full-body scans that can penetrate clothing and “enhanced” pat-downs some label groping – an alternative may be background checks that scrutinize information of airline passengers.

The blog’s author, reporter Josh Gerstein, writes that the vocal backlash against the body scanning and pat-downs by the federal government could pressure the government to introduce security measures such as background checks of airline passengers that would include in-depth interrogations of travelers at airports, government scrutiny of airline information of passengers, and the creation of a secure and standardized national ID card.

Many security experts favor background checks instead of body scanners and pat-downs as a method for screening air travelers. This alternative approach to airport security looks for terrorists in advance and calls for singling out suspicious passengers and subjecting them to intense questioning instead of spending equal time screening all passengers. By gathering background check information about passengers before they arrive for flights, security can focus more time on the careful screening of those who raise red flags and less time frisking the elderly, pregnant women, and young children, experts say.

The more intrusive pat-downs in particular – which “some passengers have compared to sexual molestation,” Gerstein writes – were seen by some as a tipping point in the fight against terror over the question of how much privacy should U.S. citizens relinquish in the name of improved security against terrorism. A security adviser said that American culture views “the laying on of hands by anyone in authority” as a more serious invasion of privacy than investigating a passenger’s travel history through a background check. Even so, an ABC News/Washington Post poll cited in the Politico.com blog found that public reaction was roughly split, 50-50, on whether the pat-downs were a good idea.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), an accredited provider of background checks, believes effective background checks occur at the intersection of privacy and security. For more information about instituting background check programs, visit the Employment Screening Resources website at http://www.ESRcheck.com and read the ESR News blog at http://www.ESRcheck.com/wordpress/.

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.