All posts by Les Rosen

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.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

July 2007 Vol. 7, No. 7

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. Genuine “Fake” Diplomas on the Rise

2. The Top Five Reasons NOT to Use Home-Based Operators to Perform Employment and Education Verifications

3. Free Interview Generator Tool Available to Employers

4. ESR Speaking Schedule and Educational Opportunities


1. Genuine “Fake” Diplomas on the Rise

Getting a college diploma apparently no longer requires years of hard work, taking tests, paying tuition or even reading a book. Why bother going through the formalities when all a person needs is a credit card and a web browser in order to buy an authentic looking diploma that mimics real colleges, universities and even high schools across the U.S.? Go to any search engine and run keywords such as “Fake Diploma” and anyone can instantly “graduate” from nearly any school in America with a very handsome and authentic looking diploma suitable for hanging.

One such website advertises that it creates “very realistic diplomas/transcripts. These diplomas/ transcripts are extremely high quality printed on official parchment quality paper. You can show your employer and they will never doubt that you indeed attended college. You will not find better quality anywhere!!!”

Some of these sites “officially” caution that the diplomas and transcripts are intended for “Novelty and Entertainment Use Only.” However, the fake documents you receive do not have a disclaimer written any place on them.

With statistics showing that resume fraud is a significant issue, employers must be very cautious about accepting a physical diploma as proof of a degree. When presented with a physical diploma or transcripts, employers should fax a copy to the school to confirm its authenticity. Most background firms can tell stories of faxing copies of degrees, supplied by the applicant, to high schools and colleges only to be told the degree is a fake.

These fakes have not entirely escaped official attention. In Illinois, the legislature passed a law in 2004 aimed at addressing educational fraud. It is now a Class A Misdemeanor to knowingly manufacture or produce for profit or for sale a false academic degree, unless the degree explicitly states “for novelty purposes only.”


2. The Top Five Reasons NOT to Use Home-Based Operators to Perform Employment and Education Verifications

Employers concerned about the privacy and security of an applicant’s personal and identifiable information (PII), should take steps to ensure that a background screening firm is protecting that information appropriately during the screening process. One area where there is a risk is if a background firm utilizes home-based operators to perform the verifications. Here are some potential issues when home-based operators are given personal data in order to call schools and employers:

  1. Privacy: In order to accomplish the work, the home operator is usually given the applicant’s date of birth and social security number. Since the operators are at home and beyond any supervision, a screening firm has very little control over what happens to the data. Not only is there the potential for direct miss-use or theft of the data, but a screening firm has no idea who is going in or out of the operator’s home, what information is being left laying around on a kitchen table or dorm room, what is being left on the computer, how passwords are protected, who has access to the operators computer or a host of other risk factors.
  2. Security: There are security issues with at home operators. For example, the screening firm does not know who is accessing the computer system, making the calls, entering data or if calls are even being made. A certain amount of auditing may reveal some abuse eventually, but not until the damage is done.
  3. Training: Another vital issue is standardized training across all operators. With at-home workers, training is extremely difficult to conduct. In addition, since operators are working in isolation at home, the opportunity to catch and correct errors timely is lost. Nor can at home operators have the opportunity to learn from each other and develop additional expertise by interacting with co-workers.
  4. Supervision and Quality Control: With at-home operators, it is difficult to implement quality control. There is nothing to prevent an at-home operator from just closing the orders or even “faking” data just to get a complete. Since the background firm does not know how much time the at-home operator spent on the phone, there is no way to run routine cross-checks or productivity reports that helps to assure quality control.
  5. Real-time Status Updates: In a typical home worker situation, the worker is given a list of verifications to perform, and certain work rules. However, until the verification is complete, the Consumer Reporting Agency ((CRA), another way of saying “background firm” as defined by the Federal Trade Commission) does not have status, nor can the CRA tell exactly who was called, when the call was made and the current status.

Other then trying to save money, there is no inherent reason that such verifications need to be outsourced to home based operators. If the at-home workers are misclassified as independent contractors when in fact they should be paid as employees, the matter gets even more complicated. Given the potential risks invoked, an employer may want to verify exactly how their verifications are being performed.


3. Free Interview Generator Tool Available to Employers

Employers preparing for job interviews can utilize a free Interview Generator tool created by ESR. It is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Interviewgenerator.php

The Interview Generator helps employers to create customized question sets that can be printed out and used during an interview. An employer can also create sets of questions for each position, choosing from general sample questions listed or generating their own questions. Each interview set can be saved in WORD and can be customized by each employer.

The structured interview form can be broken into six separate sections, including: general questions about the applicant, questions about the particular job, behavior and attitude questions, employment history, security questions and follow-up questions.

Using a “structured interview” helps employers ask permissible questions in a consistent fashion for all applicants for a particular position. An employer should only choose those questions that are valid predictors of job performance for a particular position.

The Interview Generator also allows employers to select the five critical interview questions that ESR recommends be asked at every interview. These questions focus in on the essential safe hiring issues, including criminal records, employment history and credentials and unexplained employment gaps.

See: http://www.esrcheck.com/Interviewgenerator.php


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 contractors 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

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

September 17/18 Oakland, CA “Using Online Social Networking Sites to Screen Applicants” Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) Annual Conference.

September 20, 2007 National Teleseminar” Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability?” Lorman Seminars. www.Lorman.com

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

October 17/18, 2007 Long Beach, CA “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial: HR in Court.” and “Caution–Using Google, MySpace or Facebook for Hiring.” 50th Annual PIHRA Conference

November 9/10, 2007 — “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial– College and University HR in the Hot Seat.” National HR Conference for College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), Baltimore, MD

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

3Back to Newsletters

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.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

June 2007 Vol. 7, No. 6

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. New U. S. Supreme Court Case Decided June 4, 2007 on “Willfulness” Under the FCRA May Have Dramatic Impact on Employers and Screening Firms in the Future

2. New Restrictions on the Use of Credit Reports

3. From the Mailroom: How do Background Checks Actually Protect Employers from a Bad Hire?

4. ESR Speaking Schedule and Educational Opportunities


1. New U. S. Supreme Court Case Decided June 4, 2007 on “Willfulness” Under the FCRA May Have Dramatic Impact on Employers and Screening Firms in the Future

A new case from the U. S. Supreme Court relating to the application of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to certain insurance industry practices decided June 4, 2007, may have significant impact on employers when it comes to background checks. The case, Safeco Ins. Co. v. Burr, No. 06-84, 2007 U.S. LEXIS 6963 (June 4, 2007), dealt with the use of credit reports to set insurance rates and the obligation of insurers to send out “adverse action” notices to consumers whose rates were affected by their credit reports.

However, the case also concerned the definition of “willful” under the FCRA. That was critical since under FCRA section 616 (15 U.S.C. ง 1681n), punitive damages are only allowed if there was willful non-compliance.

The Court dealt with a split among lower federal courts on what the FCRA meant by “willfulness.” Some courts had ruled that a willful violation of the FCRA meant that a business had to have actual knowledge that their conduct was in violation of the FCRA.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that a “reckless disregard” of the FCRA was sufficient. A reckless disregard can be an action entailing “an unjustifiably high risk of harm that is either known or so obvious that it should be known.” Recklessness is a higher standard than mere negligence, but a lower standard than what other lower federal courts had imposed. The net effect is that it is now easier to sue an employer or screening firm for punitive damages.

The bottom-line: Just because a screening firm or employer believes it is acting lawfully, that is NOT a protection from an allegation of “willful” violation of the FCRA and exposure to punitive damages. A screening firm or employer is now held to a higher standard of compliance. Where the line will be drawn between mere negligence and recklessness in any particular case is always a difficult proposition. The net-effect is that if a lawsuit is filed against screening firms or employers for FCRA violations, a request for “punitive” damages on a “recklessness” theory is more likely. There is also an increased possibility of class action lawsuits based upon FCRA violations because of the loosened “willfulness” definition to include recklessness. This underscores again the critical nature of legal compliance when it comes to background checks.

For a copy of the Supreme Court decision, contact Jared Callahan at 415-898-0044 or by e-mail at jcallahan@esrcheck.com.


2. New Restrictions on the Use of Credit Reports

A change in the laws for background screening in the state of Washington that goes into effect later this year underscores once again that background screening is a highly legally regulated activity and the use of credit reports in particular need to be paid careful attention.

Under the amended Washington law, employers cannot obtain a credit report as part of a background check unless the information is:

(i) Substantially job related and the employer’s reasons for the use of such information are disclosed to the consumer in writing; or

(ii) Required by law.

See: RCW 19.182.020

The immediate impact is that employers in the state of Washington who are utilizing employment credit reports will need to change their forms. Washington employers will also need to carefully review any job position where a credit report is requested and to be able to communicate to job applicants the reason a credit report is substantially related to a particular job.

This law underscores the sensitivity of the use of credit reports for employment purposes. As a general rule, any pre-employment assessment tool must be both a valid predictor of job performance and non-discriminatory. Credit reports have recently come under scrutiny on both counts.

Since employment credit reports do not contain actual “credit scores,” employers need to carefully consider how to utilize the information contained in a credit report to determine if the information is related to the job. Employers typically look at factors such as the income to debt ratio, to determine if an applicant who will have access to cash or assts is under financial pressure. An employer may also look to see how a person has handled their own financial affairs as an insight as to how they will handle the employer’s finances.

However, employers need to be aware that there can be errors in credit reports, or information that is not relevant to job performance, such as high debt brought about by medical bills for example.

If a pre-employment assessment tool has the impact of disproportionately excluding members of protected groups from employment consideration, then that can potentially give rise to discrimination claims. Credit reports can have an unfair impact unless its use is job related and necessary for the operation of the businesses.

The bottom-line: Even though the new law is only in effect in Washington state, the underlying message is a good one for employers everywhere. Employers utilizing credit reports should carefully scrutinize why they are being used and for what purpose to ensure the information obtained is substantially related to a position.

3. From the Mailroom: How do Background Checks Actually Protect Employers from a Bad Hire?

Every employer knows that a bad hiring decision can create a legal and financial nightmare. If an employer hires someone who turns out to be dangerous, unqualified or unfit for the job, the employer must spend time and energy to deal with the situation including termination.

A program of pre-employment screening can help employers in four essential ways:

  1. Deterrence of Potential Problems  Just having background screening can discourage applicants with something to hide. Making it clear that screening is part of the hiring process can deter potentially problematic applicants and discourage applicants with something to hide. An applicant with serious criminal convictions or falsified information on his or her resume is less likely to apply at a firm that announces pre-employment background checks are part of the hiring process.
  2. Encourage Honesty A candidate who may have some blemish on their record may be well qualified for employment. However, employers need to be fully informed when making a hiring decision. Having a safe hiring program that includes background checks encourages applicants to be especially forthcoming in their interviews. Making it clear that background checks are part of the hiring process is strong motivation for applicants to reveal information about themselves they feel may be uncovered by a background check.
  3. Fact-Finding Although instincts play a role in hiring, basing a decision on hard information is even better. Effective screening obtains factual information about a candidate in order to supplement the impressions obtained from an interview. It is also a valuable tool for judging the accuracy of a candidate’s application since screening limits uncertainty in the hiring process.
  4. Due Diligence Just Implementing a background checking program helps an employer demonstrate due diligence in their hiring, and is a powerful defense in the event of a lawsuit.

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

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 17/18 Oakland, CA “Using Online Social Networking Sites to Screen Applicants” Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) Annual Conference.

September 20, 2007 National Teleseminar “Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability?” Lorman Seminars. www.Lorman.com

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

October 17/18, 2007 Long Beach, CA “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial: HR in Court.” and “Caution–Using Google, MySpace or Facebook for Hiring.” 50th Annual PIHRA Conference

November 9/10, 2007“Negligent Hiring Mock Trial– College and University HR in the Hot Seat.” National HR Conference for College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), Baltimore, MD

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.comif 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

3Back to Newsletters

 

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.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

May 2007 Vol. 7, No. 5

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. Hot Off The Press: Federal Court Rules that a Background Firm can Reasonably Rely on Court Records Even if the Court Made a Mistake

2. “Cyber Slamming”–Another Reason to be Careful “Googling” a Candidate

3. From the Mailroom: How Can a Background Firm Train Their Staff Members?

4. ESR Speaking Schedule and Educational Opportunities


1. Hot Off The Press: Federal Court Rules that a Background Firm can Reasonably Rely on Court Records Even if the Court Made a Mistake

On May 7, 2007, the federal Ninth District Court of Appeals issued a ruling that a consumer reporting agency can reasonably rely upon court records, even if the court made a mistake. In Dennis v. BEH-1 and Experian Information Solutions, a consumer credit report showed that the plaintiff had a judgment against him in a civil case. In fact, the plaintiff had entered into a stipulation that as long as the plaintiff made payments on the debt, no judgment would be entered. However, a court clerk erroneously reported there was a judgment in both the court trial minutes and the Register of Actions. Consequently, the credit report from the credit bureau reported a civil judgment, even though no judgment was entered.

The consumer notified Experian that the information was incorrect and requested a re-investigation. Pursuant to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Experian sent a researcher to the courthouse to review the court records. The court researcher confirmed that a judgment was entered on the official court records. However, Experian also obtained a copy of the stipulation between the parties that indicated that a judgment would NOT be entered unless the consumer failed to pay.

The Court held that Experian acted reasonably when it included erroneous information about the judgment in the original credit report. Although the information turned out to be incorrect, the Court held, as have other courts, that the mere fact that there was an error does not mean the consumer reporting agency is liable. The FCRA requires “reasonable procedure.” In other words, a consumer reporting agency is not held to a standard of strict liability for any error. However, if the error occurred because the consumer reporting agony did not utilize reasonable procedures, then there may be liability.

In this case, the Court decided that it was reasonable for a consumer reporting agency to accurately report what was in the court files. The fact the court made an error does not mean a consumer reporting agency is liable.

Where the case became even more interesting was that when Experian sent a researcher to re-investigate the credit report, Experian found the stipulation that indicated there was no judgment. The Plaintiff argued that Experian should have caught the error during the re-investigation. The majority of the judges held that because it was the court’s error, the plaintiff was in the better position to petition the court to clarify the mistake, and the consumer reporting agency could not be expected to ignore a court record and to clean up errors caused by a third party. A strongly worded dissent however, argued that since the consumer reporting agency was on notice there was an issue, it should have gone further with its re-investigation.

Since a credit report is just one type of consumer report, the same rules would apply to any information provided by a background screening firm, including for example criminal records.

The bottom line for employers is that it is critical to work with screening firms that understand how important it is to follow reasonable procedures. It underscores that background screening is not merely a matter of buying data, but it is a heavily legally regulated, knowledge-based professional service.

For a copy of the case, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com


2. “Cyber Slamming”–Another Reason to be Careful “Googling” a Candidate

In the March, 2007 newsletter, ESR discussed why employers should approach the use of the Internet with caution when it comes to “do it yourself” background checks on search engines or social network sites such as Facebook or MySpace.

Another reason to be careful before using a search engine to make a job decision has been in the news lately. It is called, “cyber slamming.” It occurs when defamatory statements are made about individuals on the Internet. The Internet is full of discussion boards and chat rooms where anyone can make an anonymous posting and say anything they want. Truth or good taste is not a prerequisite for anonymous public postings.

If a posting crosses the line into malicious and false statements, those can be extremely harmful if an employer finds them by running a candidate on a search engine. Innocent people can effectively be blacklisted and not even know it.

In the new cyber age, job candidates now need to be proactive in knowing what an Internet search will say about them. In addition to reviewing their own online identity, such as their Facebook or MySpace page, applicants need to investigate if anyone is saying things about them. There are actually services now for job applicants to protect their online reputation. One example of that type of service is at www.reputationdefender.com

3. From the Mailroom: How Can a Background Firm Train Their Staff Members?

Employers who select background firms often ask about how a background firm trains their staff members. In fact, large employers who issue formal “Requests for Proposals” will often want information on how staff members are both trained and updated. Smart employers understand that background checking is not merely clerical work where someone puts a name in a computer. Background checking is a knowledge-based profession that requires trained and skilled specialists to ensure that relevant and accurate information is returned on a timely basis.

Currently, the screening industry does not have an official certification program for background screening specialists. However, to meet the needs of its clients all over the U.S., ESR has developed a 30 hour intensive online course that all ESR employees must successful complete to become a certified Safe Hiring Specialist.

The course in fact has been approved for re-certification credits through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), and can be utilized for ASIS re-certification as well. See: http://www.esrcheck.com/ESRonlineSafeHiringCourse.php

The certification is also available for the entire screening industry and employers through BRB Publication at: http://www.brbpub.com/safehirecourse/

In addition, all ESR staff members are assigned to read, The Safe Hiring Manual, the 512 page definitive book on safe hiring and background checks, also written by ESR.

Finally, all ESR staff members receive ongoing and documented training.

To find out more about ESR staff training, contact ESR Marketing Director Jared Callahan at 415-898-0044 or at jcallahan@esrcheck.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

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

May 23, 2007-Foster City, CA Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance. San Mateo County Employer Advisory Council-Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City (lunchtime program)

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 20, 2007 National Teleseminar–“Background Checks–Legal Compliance in the Hiring Process.” By IOMA. For more information, see: See>>>

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 17/18 Oakland, CA “Using Online Social Networking Sites to Screen Applicants” Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) Annual Conference.

September 20, 2007 National Teleseminar “Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability?” Lorman Seminars. www.Lorman.com

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

October 17/18, 2007 Long Beach, CA “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial: HR in Court.” and “Caution–Using Google, MySpace or Facebook for Hiring.” 50th Annual PIHRA Conference

November 9/10, 2007“Negligent Hiring Mock Trial– College and University HR in the Hot Seat.” National HR Conference for College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), Baltimore, MD

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

3Back to Newsletters

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.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

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

3Back to Newsletters

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.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)
March 2007 Vol. 7, No. 3

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. Alert! Old Law Can Be Bad Law When It Comes to Keeping Employers Out Of Court

2. Credit Bureaus Increasing Requirements For Employment Credit Reports

3. From The Mailroom: Should an Employer Use Facebook or MySpace to Screen Applicants?

4. ESR Speaking Schedule


1. Alert! Old Law Can Be Bad Law When It Comes to Keeping Employers Out Of Court

A press release issued recently by an HR consulting service announced that it was offering background-screening services through a private investigation firm that did background checks. The investigative firm’s website went into considerable detail about how they searched criminal records in California, and the various time limits involved.

The only problem? The information was about nine years out of date! It referred to the state of the law in 1997. Back in 1997, a screening firm could not report criminal convictions older than seven years, unless the applicant made more than $75,000 a year. That law was repealed in 1998 so that under federal law, convictions can be reported without limitation.

However, there are still a number of states with their own laws. California, for example, in 2002, imposed a seven-year limit (with certain limited exceptions).

The bottom-line—background screening is largely a knowledge-based professional service and not merely an online data retrieval service. An employer who uses a firm just to save a few dollars may find out the hard way that the true cost of saving a few dollars can be substantial if they find themselves in court.


2. Credit Bureaus Increasing Requirements for Employment Credit Reports

The use of credit reports in employment decisions is becoming a hot issue. As reported in last month’s ESR newsletter, the Christian Science Monitor ran a story about the use of credit reports in employment. The story recounted arguments against the use of credit reports. The article also quoted ESR president, Les Rosen, on why employers utilize credit reports. According to the article, the use of credit reports is increasingly being seen as a civil rights issue. See: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0118/p01s03-ussc.html?s=t5

An article in the March 18, 2007 Tampa Tribune also examined the use of credit reports, and quoted ESR President Les Rosen. According to the article:

Rosen said credit checks can find out if applicants might have a motive to steal, if they can responsibly handle their own money, or if they will be able to charge hotel rooms or cars on credit cards as part of their job. He said he discourages any credit screening that can’t be tied directly to job performance.
“It’s just an indicator, it shouldn’t be decisive,” he said.

See: http://www.tbo.com/news/money/MGBKOD797ZE.html

It is also important to note that a credit report obtained for employment purposes will not have an applicant’s actual credit score. It is an urban myth that credit scores are used for employment. What that means, however, is that each time a credit report is used an employer is making a judgment call based upon the contents of the report, such as reported debt that is high compared to the potential salary or factors that seem to suggest a lack of responsibility. On the other hand, employers need to keep in mind that information in a credit report may be outdated, incorrect or not job-related. For example, if an applicant has debt or collection issues related to medical bills that may have little to do with their eligibility for a job.

Another aspect of these issues is that the credit bureaus are imposing significant new safeguards and restrictions on who can get credit reports and how they are used. For example, one major bureau now requires background firms that provide credit reports to essentially do a background check on the employers requesting the report to ensure the employer is a legitimate and authorized business with a permissible purpose for obtaining credit reports. In addition to physical site inspections, there are new and additional due diligence steps a background firm must take before providing credit reports, such as verifying bank data, and verifying certain information about the employer.

The bottom-line—there is a growing concern about the use of credit reports for employment purposes with groups that are actively opposing employment credit reports. Employers should approach credit reports with caution, and only use them when there is a clear relationship between information in the report and the job and where the information used is recent, relevant, and accurate.

For more information on credit reports, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com or at 415-898-0044, ext. 240.


3. From The Mailroom: Should an Employer Use Facebook or MySpace to Screen Applicants?

Here is a question from an employer from a national webinar on hiring given by ESR President Les Rosen:

Question: Should an employer utilize social networking sites to screen potential applicants, such as Facebook or MySpace. What about Internet searches using search engines?

ESR Response: Many employers have discovered what appears to be a treasure trove on the Internet when it comes to recruiting and hiring. By using search engines and social networking sites, recruiters are often able to source candidate for positions. In addition, there are many stories about employers using the Internet to pre-screen applicants. One employer tells the story of recruiting for a high profile consulting firm. The recruiter ran the applicant’s phone number on a search engine, only to discover that the applicant had a business on the side—an “adult”” service of a mature nature complete with revealing photos. That particular candidate was not hired.

There are some things to consider however using the Internet for screening:

  1. The fist problem is often referred to as “TMI” or “too much information.” What if an Internet search revealed prohibited information, such as ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religious preference, or other factors that cannot be considered for employment?
  2. Another issue is that the search of Facebook or MySpace may contain a photo, revealing personal characteristics or physical problems. This can raise questions of discrimination as well.
  3. Privacy is also a concern. There is an assumption that just because something is online, it is fair game for any use. However, sites such as Facebook or MySpace have “terms of use policies” that appear to limit the use of such sites to personal social networking. A Facebook or MySpace user can argue that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, in that only others who were interested in social networking would view their materials. That is an issue yet to be decided by courts but can still represent a risk to employers.
  4. Using private behavior for employment decisions can be problematic since some states have statutory protections in place for workers to limit consideration of off-duty conduct.
  5. Finally, how can an employer know for sure the online entry item actually belongs to the applicant and is not a fake or sham?

As a result of the issues, job applicants are well advised to monitor their online identity in the event an employer looks them up. There are even websites dedicated to helping applicants protect themselves. Some schools have even required that employers reveal if they do such online searches as a condition for recruiting at the school.

This is a developing new frontier for employers. Employers may want to think through their policies before doing random web searches. One alternative: get a specific consent from an applicant for an online search, and only do it after a conditional job offer has been made.

For more information, a copy of a national teleseminar conference given by ESR President Les Rosen on the topic can be ordered form Lorman Education Services at http://www.lorman.com/seminars/teleconference.php?product_id=167341&topic=LB


4. ESR Speaking Schedule

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

March 29, 2007–SHRM National Webcast “Background Screening of International Job Applicants.” Free event for members of SHRM. See: http://www.shrm.org/global/webcast/07rosen.asp

April 3, 2007 Sacramento, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening” Lorman Seminars

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

3Back to Newsletters

ESR Newsletter and Legal Update

This newsletter is sent to clients of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), as well as employers, Human Resource and Security professionals, and law firms who require information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)
February 2007 Vol. 7, No. 2

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. The Use of Employment Credit Reports Seen As a Civil Rights Issue

2. FAQ: Can Employers Copy Documents Used for I-9 Verifications?

3. From The Mailroom: How Far Back Should an Employer Check Criminal Records

4. New ESR Services: I-9 Authorization, Integrity Checks and Vendor Checks


1. The Use of Employment Credit Reports Seen As a Civil Rights Issue

According to a news article appearing in the Christian Science Monitor on January 18, 2007, the use of credit reports for employment decisions is becoming seen as a civil rights issue. The article, which quoted ESR President Lester Rosen on the use of credit reports, centered on a job applicant at Harvard University who was not given a position after a credit report was run.

According to the article, the applicant had worked as a temporary employee processing alumni donations including credit card payments. When she was offered a permanent position, the university ran a credit report and based upon the results, decided not to follow-through on the employment opportunity.

The article reviewed a growing trend among civil rights advocates who view the use of credit reports in employment as discriminatory. The article cited studies showing that certain protected groups had lower credit scores, meaning their use as a factor in employment could result in disparate treatment against members of protected groups.

In discussing why employers utilize credit reports, the article noted that:

“Employers should look at credit only for jobs where the information is relevant, says Lester Rosen, president of Employment Screening Resources, a national background screening firm in California. He cites a few examples:

  • For jobs handling money, people may have the motive to steal if their debts surpass their salary.
  • For jobs requiring travel, bad credit could bar applicants from renting cars or buying tickets.
  • For jobs managing money, the report can offer some clues on how applicants manage their own.

Particularly in that last scenario, he cautions employers to be circumspect since blemishes might be errors or beyond the person’s control, such as sudden medical expenses. Legally, employers must receive written permission from applicants to do a credit check, and must give those denied because of credit a chance to respond.

Mr. Rosen defends the careful consideration of credit in the hiring process. ‘If Harvard hired a person and did not use a credit report and the person embezzled, what would the headline be?’ he asks.”

The criticism of the use of credit reports seemed to stem from the use of credit scores. However, it is critical that employment credit reports do not contain credit scores. According to the article, Harvard in fact did not have a numerical score. What employers are looking at are specific facts contained in the credit reports demonstrating behavior or risks.

The bottom-line: credit reports in employment remains a sensitive issue. There has only been one study relating credit reports to employment, and although it was a very small study, it suggested there was no relationship between credit reports and employment performance.

Since employment credit reports do not contain any sort of scoring, the use of a credit report for employment becomes a judgment call each time. One of the problems with that is that a credit report can contain what appears to be derogatory information that is incorrect, or has no relationship to the ability to successfully perform the job. That is why ESR urges employers who utilize credit reports to use them with extreme caution and to ensure that any use of a credit report for employment is based upon data that is recent, relevant, accurate and fair.

See: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0118/p01s03-ussc.html?s=t5


2. FAQ: Can Employers Copy Documents Used for I-9 Verifications?

Employers have an obligation to verify, through a specific process, the identity and work authorization or eligibility of all individuals, whether U.S. citizens or not. Part of the process requires an employer to review certain documents within 72 hours.

A Frequently Asked Question is if employers can copy the forms they review. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has answered that question and many other FAQ’s in a form called “The Form I-9 Process in a Nutshell.”

See: http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/EIB102.pdf

According to the DHS:

An employer may, but is not required to, copy a document (front and back) presented by an individual solely for the purpose of complying with the Form I-9 verification requirements. If such a copy is made, it must be retained with the Form I-9. The copying of any such document and the retention of the copy does not relieve the employer from the requirement to fully complete Section 2 of the Form I-9. If employers choose to keep copies of Form I-9 documentation, then the same should be done for all employees, and the copies should be attached to the related Form I-9. Employers should not copy the documents only of individuals of certain national origin or citizenship status. To do so may constitute unlawful discrimination under section 274B of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In 1996, Congress enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act to further deter illegal immigration into the United States. The law created the Basic Pilot Program, a voluntary program that allowed employers to verify the employment eligibility of prospective employees through the Social Security Administration and Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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. For more information on ESR’s I-9 services, including a Paperless I-9 service, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com or at 415-898-0044, ext. 240.


3. From The Mailroom: How Far Back Should an Employer Check Criminal Records

Here is a question from an employer from a national webinar on hiring given by ESR President Les Rosen.

Question: How far back do you recommend going on a background check? I’ve been told 7 years is as long as you are legally allowed. I wanted to know what is considered the standard. If we use 7 years, have we done due diligence?

ESR Response: Many employers use a “seven year search” as their standard. That has evolved primarily due to the fact that 12 states have some form of a seven year rule, and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) had such a prohibition on employees making less than $75,000 a year until it was revised in November, 1998. The federal law was changed so that a screening firm could report a criminal conviction regardless of age. Even though the federal law, and many states, allows researchers to go back more than seven years, because of the lack of a workable national rule, the industry standard has become a seven-year search.

There are some things to consider however;

First, for states such as California that have a seven year limit, that limit only applies to what a background firm can report. Employers who go to the courthouse themselves are not subject to such limits.

Second, for employers in those states that do not have a seven year limit, then going back just seven years can leave those employers exposed to unnecessary risk.

Third, the seven years can include criminal matters that occurred beyond the seven years under certain circumstances. The seven-year period means that a person is free of custody for a period of seven years. For example, a crime that occurred more than seven years ago may be reportable if any custody time was served within the past seven years.

Fourth, keep in mind that the older the conviction, the less relevant it may be. The EEOC guidelines do not permit an employer to automatically deny employment based upon a criminal matter, but to consider the nature and gravity of the act, the nature of the job and the age of the offense.

Fifth, make sure that your background screening provider is using court researchers that go back on criminal records as far back as the records are available. In other words, while checking the records, the criminal researcher should not simply go back just seven years, because they could be missing records. It can be a big mistake to simply ignore older convictions because they are reportable in a number of states. Even in most seven year states, there is an exception if a person makes over a certain amount of money.

Finally, where it gets particularly complicated is how to proceed if the screening involves two states. For example, assume that an applicant from California, where there is a seven year restriction, has a criminal matter that is ten years old and therefore could not be reported in California. However, assume the job is at a facility in Ohio where there is no such rule. Does the employer and screening firm follow California law or Ohio law? That becomes a very complex issue that will be addressed in future articles.

The whole issue of reporting criminal records once again underscores that background screening is a professional, knowledge-based service and not merely data retrieval, and it is important to make sure your screening firm really understands the rules and does not merely apply mechanical standards.

Have questions about the legal aspects of background checks for safe hiring? Send them to Jared Callahan at jcallahan@esrcheck.com


4. New ESR Services: I-9 Authorization, Integrity Checks and Vendor Checks

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

February 22, 2007 Santa Clara, CA “Avoid Negligent Hiring–Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” Santa Clara EAC, Biltmore Hotel

April 3, 2007 Sacramento, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening” Lorman Seminars

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

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.

Fall, 2007 Bangalore, India International Pre-employment Screening Conference (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

3Back to Newsletters

ESR Newsletter and Legal Update

This newsletter is sent to clients of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), as well as employers, Human Resource and Security professionals, and law firms who require information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)
January 2007 Vol. 7, No. 1

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. New Trend – Local Governments Assisting Re-entry Of Ex-offenders Into The Workforce By Not Asking About Past Criminal Convictions On Employment Applications

2. New US-European Passenger Agreement Demonstrates Importance Of Privacy Considerations For HR Professionals

3. New Study Effecting Use of Credit Reports: Medical Debt Paid For By Credit Cards

4. ESR Announces 2007 Speaking Schedule


1. New Trend – Local Governments Assisting Re-entry Of Ex-offenders Into The Workforce By Not Asking About Past Criminal Convictions Employment On Applications

A number of city governments have instituted a new policy to help ex-offenders re-enter the workforce by taking out questions about past criminal conduct from the employment application. Cities such as Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and St. Paul have taken the lead in trying to get ex-offenders into the workforce by not asking questions about past offenses in the initial application process that would limit ex-offenders from applying in the first place. Other jurisdictions, such as Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Newark and Philadelphia are considering such legislation. In Boston, the law has gone further and applies to an estimated 50,000 vendors who do business with the city.

The logic behind the law is to ensure that applicants are considered for jobs based upon their qualifications and experience before the employer searches out criminal records. In addition, such protection also encourages ex-offenders to apply in the first place. The law is designed to address the problems faced by ex-offenders who are unable to obtain the employment necessary to become tax paying and law-abiding citizens, and to reduce the high recidivism rate of ex-offenders. It can cost taxpayers over $30,000 per year to incarcerate an individual, so society has a vested interest in having ex-offenders succeed.

These laws do not mean that convicted child molesters will be getting jobs as playground supervisors. The cities and counties passing such laws allow for background checks on finalists, consistent with the EEOC guidelines on the permissible use of criminal records for employment.


2. New US-European Passenger Agreement Demonstrates Importance Of Privacy Considerations For HR Professionals

As a result of the events of September 11, 2001, US authorities have been negotiating with the European Union on obtaining Passenger Name Records (or PNR) regarding passengers on flights from Europe to the US. The Court of Justice of the European Community struck down an agreement on data transfer, reached in 2004, in May 2006 due to concerns over compliance with European privacy rules. A new agreement had not been reached by September 30, 2006; the date the European Community indicated the old agreement would expire, leaving European airlines having to choose between violating either EU privacy law or US law.

A new agreement was reached on October 5, 2006 and published in the federal Register on January 4, 2007, along with a letter from the Department of Homeland Security setting forth certain assurances (called undertakings) on how the US would protect the privacy of the passenger data. The agreement by its term only lasts until July 31, 2007, which means that negotiations will be continuing.

The negotiations attempted to resolve some of the differences in the positions between the US and Europe, such as how long data can be retained, the nature and the extent of data being transferred, whether the US can pull the data or if the data must be pushed after US requests, how the data will be shared between Homeland Security and other agencies in the US, and the protection given to the data by the US.

For human resources professionals, the ongoing issue of data privacy and protection for airline passenger records highlights several critical points. First, the dispute is a reminder that the European Union views the United States as a country that generally does not provide adequate safeguards for personal data. In addition, the dispute over PNR illustrates just how seriously E.U. data protection authorities take the issue of international transfers of personal data. If E.U. data protection authorities are insisting upon privacy protections even in the context of the war on terrorism and protecting the safety of airplanes, then EU officials can be expected to also take seriously violations of E.U. data protection laws in the “normal course of business.”

For these reasons, every HR department, which relies upon transfers of personnel information from the E.U. to the U.S., even for the most routine forms of human resources administration, should address the data protection compliance issues raised by those transfers. This means that a multi-national company cannot lawfully transfer employees’ “personal data” (which includes not only employee health and compensation information, but even an employee’s work location and e-mail address) from the E.U. to the U.S. without taking steps which will demonstrate to E.U. data protection authorities that the information will be adequately protected once it arrives in the U.S.

The principal options currently available include certification to the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor agreement, data transfer contracts, and binding corporate rules. The Safe Harbor program is maintained by the Department of Commerce and provides a framework for US firms to certify that it provides adequate privacy protection of personal data of individuals from EU countries. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages, which should be carefully scrutinized. Because the E.U. has among the most stringent data protection laws in the world, compliance with those laws will have the added advantage of satisfying the data protection requirements of other countries with similar, or somewhat less stringent, data protection laws, such as Australia, Canada, and Japan.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) was the third screening firm in the US to become Safe Harbor certified. For more information on ESR’s international services, contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com or call at 415-898-0044, ext. 240.


3. New Study Effecting Use of Credit Reports: Medical Debt Paid For By Credit Cards

A study released on January 16, 2007, concerning the increased use of credit card debt to pay for medical expenses, underscores why employers should approach credit reports with caution when hiring.

The report documented how low and middle income American households who had medical expenses carried much higher credit card debt to cover co-payments, uncovered procedures and other health care costs. According to the authors of the report, the result is that many Americans are piling up debt on high interest credit cards, and risking their financial security due to illness.

One result of this trend can be that credit reports may be adversely affected by showing a high debt. However, employers should take into consideration that such debt may have no relationship to potential job performance. Employers are well advised to only utilize credit reports when it is directly relevant to a particular job, such as a position that handles cash or assets, and even then, to be careful to ensure that any information is rationally related to an employment decision.

One item of good news for Americans with high credit card debt due to health issues is that credit scores are not contained in employment credit reports and are not used for employment decisions.

The report is entitled, “Borrowing to Stay Healthy: How Credit Card Debt is Related to Medical Expenses.” To view the full report, visit www.demos.org or www.accessproject.org


4. ESR Announces 2007 Speaking Schedule

See 2007 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

January 26, 2007 Scottsdale, AZ “Pre-employment Screening,” 2006 Annual Conference for the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA)

January 29, 2007 National Teleconference on Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability? Lorman Seminars

January 30, 2007 Stockton, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening,” Lorman Seminars

February 8, 2007 National Teleseminar
href=”http://65.83.34.19/nextrain/Event.aspx?EventID=365&TitleID=182″ target=”_blank”> Safe Hiring Audit-Implementing and Measuring Due Diligence
.” Presented by BizSummits. See www.bizsummits.com

February 22, 2007 Santa Clara, CA “Avoid Negligent Hiring–Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” Santa Clara EAC, Biltmore Hotel

April 3, 2007 Sacramento, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening” Lorman Seminars

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

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.

Fall, 2007 Bangalore, India International Pre-employment Screening Conference (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

3Back to Newsletters

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 require information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter.

ESR’s offices will be closed on December 25th and January 1st in observation of the holidays. The entire staff at ESR sends their best wishes for the holiday season.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

December 2006 Vol. 6, No. 12

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. New Study: Background Screening Reduces Discrimination in Employment

2. Handling False Education Claims in the Employment Application

3. FBI Criminal Databases – Good But Far From Perfect

4. ESR Announces 2007 Speaking Schedule


1. New Study: Background Screening Reduces Discrimination in Employment

According to a press release issued by the University of Chicago on Nov 21, 2006, a new study found that employers who performed background checks ended up hiring more black workers, especially black men. The reason, according to the study? In the absence of a criminal background check, some employers may use race to infer past criminal activity. A survey of 3,000 establishments in some major American cities found that employers who are averse to hiring ex-offenders were the most likely to statistically discriminate.

The bottom-line: Criminal background checks can actually help prevent discrimination by proving applicants do not have criminal records, and thereby overcoming assumptions employers may make. Making criminal records harder to obtain can have the unintended consequence of harming law-abiding citizens. According to the authors of the study, curtailing access to criminal history records may actually harm more people than it helps and aggravates racial difference in labor market outcomes.

The article is Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers. Journal of Law and Economics: 49:2 (Authors: Harry J. Hold, Steven Raphael and Michael A Stoll)


2. Handling False Education Claims in the Employment Application

A recurring issue for employers is how to handle falsified educational credentials. False education is becoming an important issue for employers. Falsifications can range from claiming completion of degrees that were never completed, to presenting a worthless ‘degree’ obtained from a diploma mill, or even online printing services that provide very authentic looking fake degrees ostensibly from well known schools.

If a job requires an educational credential that an applicant fakes, it is fairy clear that such an act of dishonesty can be the basis to not hire.

However, what if a degree was NOT a job requirement. The problem of course is that if a candidate is willing to claim a false educational accomplishment, then that may undermine their honesty and veracity. On the other hand, the argument can be made that if there is no educational requirement that a false claim is irrelevant because it is not needed for the job.

To help employers handle such situations, one suggestion is to change the language on the employment application to the following:

Please list all degrees or educational accomplishments that you wish to be considered by the employer in the employment decision.

This statement has the advantage of putting the burden on the applicant to determine if they want to report a degree or educational accomplishment. The applicant is on notice that any degree they report can be used by the employer for the employment decision. If the applicant chooses to report a worthless degree, or a degree not earned, they can hardly complain if an employer uses that to deny employment, even if the degree was not a requirement of the job.


3. FBI Criminal Database – Good But Far From Perfect

Contrary to popular belief, obtaining a criminal record is not as easy as going on a computer and getting a thumbs up or a thumbs down. There are over 10,000 state and federal courthouses in the United States, spread out over some 3,300 jurisdictions, each with its own records file. There is simply no national computer database of all criminal records available to private employers. Period. End of story.

Yes, the FBI and state law enforcement have access to a national computer database called the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). However, it is absolutely illegal for most private companies to obtain criminal information from law enforcement computer databases without specific legal authorization. Examples are laws passed to authorize fingerprinting of teachers.

However, even the FBI database has significant drawbacks. First, the database relies primarily on the states to report. There can be significant differences between the states in the accuracy, timeliness and completeness of their reports. It can even vary from county to county. Secondly, the database is primarily an arrest database. The final disposition (or outcome) is often not reported.

The bottom-line: Even though the FBI database is a good source of information, it is currently far from perfect. For employers and organizations that have access to the FBI data, they need to keep in mind there can still be errors and criminal convictions can slip through the cracks. The best advice is to supplement any fingerprint search with a courthouse search of relevant counties.

Based on chapter 12 from, The Safe Hiring Manual-The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists and Imposters Out of the Workplace, by ESR President Lester S. Rosen (Facts on Demand Press/512 pages). See: http://www.esrcheck.com/SafeHiringManual.php


4. ESR Announces 2007 Speaking Schedule

See 2007 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: 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

January 26, 2007 Scottsdale, AZ “Pre-employment Screening,2006 Annual Conference for the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA)

January 29, 2007National Teleconference on Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability? Lorman Seminars

January 30, 2007 Stockton, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening,Lorman Seminars

April 3, 2007 Sacramento, CA “Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment ScreeningLorman Seminars

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

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.

Fall, 2007 Bangalore, India International Pre-employment Screening Conference (details to follow)

Contact ESR for further details.


Employment Screening Resources (ESR) 

www.ESRcheck.com

1620 Grant Avenue, Suite 7 

Novato, CA 94945

415-898-0044

3Back to Newsletters

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 require information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter.

ESR’s offices will be closed on November 23 and 24 in observation of the Thanksgiving Holiday. The entire staff at ESR sends their best wishes for the holiday season.

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

November 2006 Vol. 6, No. 11

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. “Non-Criminal” Offenses And Violations Can Trip Up Employers

2. Court Rejects Claim That Background Firm Not Responsible For Accuracy Of Court Researchers

3. Recruiters And the Background Screening Process

4. ESR Offers First Online Professional Development Course For Employers On Safe Hiring And Background Checks


1. “Non-Criminal” Offenses And Violations Can Trip Up Employers

Employers need to proceed with caution before utilizing “non-criminal” offense records. Some states, such as New York and New Jersey, have created categories of minor offenses that are specifically deemed to be “non-criminal.” Examples of such offenses can be traffic violations or violations related to “disturbing of the peace.” New Jersey has a system for “offenses,” which are typically brought in lower courts in order to expedite less serious matters. An expert in New Jersey criminal searches states that a “non-criminal” offense can be brought in over 500 municipal courts for offenses that do not exceed six months in custody.

For the unsuspecting employer, this “non-criminal” case can cause complications. For example, assume a job candidate stated in their application that they have not been convicted of a crime. A background screening report reveals that they do have a court record for disorderly conduct, in a state that has labeled such a record as being “non-criminal.” In that case, an employer cannot assume that the applicant has been untruthful, since technically the applicant was not convicted of a crime.

On the other hand, there is nothing that prevents an employer from utilizing information properly obtained that is a valid predictor or job performance, and non-discriminatory where state law has not prohibited the employer from considering it. The “non-criminal” disposition could have resulted from a more serious matter that may demonstrate behavior that is inconsistent with the job, such as violence. However, it is the underlying behavior that is being considered, and it can be difficult to discover the underlying factual basis of the “non-criminal” matter.

Most employers have questions in their application forms about past criminal convictions. Employers in states that have such non-criminal offenses may want to change the language on their application forms to include asking about “non-criminal offenses or violations,” provided there is no prohibition in their state about asking. Employers should contact their legal department or outside attorney to review their applications. Employers should also keep in mind that their applications should contain language advising applicants that a criminal conviction will not be used to automatically deny employment.

The bottom-line: if an employer locates such a “non-criminal violation,” they should proceed with caution and not assume the applicant has been untruthful.


2. Court Rejects Claim That Background Firm Not Responsible For Accuracy Of Court Researchers

A federal district court ruled that a background-screening firm could not escape liability for negligence on the theory that it merely resold information from a researcher, and had no responsibility for the accuracy of the data. In a 2006 case from the Eastern District of Kentucky, an applicant for a large employer was rejected because a background-screening firm reported that he had a conviction for driving under the influence. The conviction was purportedly confirmed by a date of birth and social security number match. When the applicant contested the report, the matter was re-investigated. It was discovered that although the real defendant had the same name, the court file had a different date of birth and in fact, the court file did not even contain a social security number.

In the lawsuit, the background firm blamed the research firm. The lawyers for the background firm argued that since the background firm was merely a “reseller” of the information given to it by the research firm, it had no responsibility for the accuracy of the data.

The court rejected that argument, ruling that the background firm still had responsibility to take measures to supervise its researchers in order to provide accurate information.

The bottom-line: Employers need to be careful to only use background firms that utilize appropriate due diligence measures to ensure that its researchers provide accurate information. This requires a duty of care in the selection of researchers and ongoing due diligence in the supervision of researchers, such as regular salting of orders given to researchers, and review of results for accuracy. That is another reason that the selection of a provider of a professional service such as employment screening should not be based entirely on price. A professional firm takes the extra time and effort to insure due diligence and legal compliance. Although that may cost a little more in the short run, using a professional services is probably is much more cost-effective in the long run.

For a copy of the case, please contact Jared Callahan at jcallahan@ESRcheck.com This story is not offered or intended as legal advice.


3. Recruiters And the Background Screening Process

An in-house recruiter is typically given assignments to fill a certain number of positions by hiring managers. Human Resources, or security departments, dictate the safe hiring protocol for the employer, such as the background screening process that the firm may use. In-house recruiters typically are under pressure to complete the hiring quickly. However, the process used for background screening usually takes up to three days. For large firms, even a one-day delay can have an impact, since many employers have a preset new employee orientation schedule. If a new hire misses the start date, then the new hire may have to wait a week or more before the next new employee classes begin.

 

In-house recruiters can help speed up the process in several ways;

First, the recruiter must understand the process can be delayed if screening firms are sent incomplete information, or forms that are not legible or completely filled out. For example, screening firms often face difficulty in deciphering an application in order to identify and locate past employers or read the social security number. If a “7” looks like a “9” that can cause issues. The screening firm then has to call the recruiter to clarify, in order to avoid having to guess. Recruiters who review all applications with the candidates before sending the applications to a screening firm will find their work is done much faster. This is simply a good practice for any employer or recruiter.

Second, an in-house recruiter needs to communicate with hiring managers so there are not unrealistic expectations. A hiring manager may not understand, for example, that criminal records are searched at each relevant courthouse, or that delays can occur if there is a potential match and the court needs to bring files from storage. Hiring managers must also be advised that employment and education verifications can be delayed for a number of reasons, such as schools that are on vacation or require a check or release to be mailed, or employers that are closed, merged or refuse to cooperate. If there is a delay in receiving a completed screening report, the recruiter should examine the source of the delay.

Third, if a recruiter is working with a screening firm that has an online ordering system, the process is considerably faster. Not only does this ensure accuracy, which makes the process faster, but it also avoids delays caused by sending a request to a screening firm and waiting for the firm to do manual data entry.

Finally, there are times when a recruiter may determine that even though the screening firm has not been successful in obtaining all of the information, enough data is available to make a hiring decision. This typically happens in the area of verifying previous employment. When doing employment verifications, often times the employment oldest in time is the most difficult to obtain. However, the oldest employment may be the least relevant. If the applicant, for example, worked in a fast food restaurant six years ago after getting out of school, and the fast food place will not call back, then there may be no reason to delay the hiring decision, especially if the screening firm has obtained the most recent, and presumably more relevant, job verifications.

The preceding information is taken from chapter 20 of The Safe Hiring Manual-The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists and Imposters Out of the Workplace, by ESR President Lester S. Rosen (Facts on Demand Press/512 pages). See: http://www.esrcheck.com/SafeHiringManual.php


4. ESR Offers First Online Professional Development Course For Employers On Safe Hiring And Background Checks

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

Current 2006 – 2007 Schedule

November 29, 2006 San Francisco, CA “Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” The HRNetworx Click Here To View Website

December 5, 2006 Sonoma County, CA “Avoid Problem Employees: Effective Hiring in the Wine industryNCHRA Wine Industry Conference
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January 30, 2007–Stockton, CA–“Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening,Lorman Seminars

April 3, 2007 Sacramento, CA –“Everything You Wanted to Know About Pre-employment Screening” Lorman Seminars

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

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

Contact ESR for further details.


Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

www.ESRcheck.com

1620 Grant Avenue, Suite 7

Novato, CA 94945

415-898-0044

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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 require information on pre-employment screening, safe hiring, the FCRA and legal compliance. If this was sent in error, you can be removed from this mailing by using the “remove” feature at the end of the newsletter.

Click here for upcoming HRCI certified workshops in the Bay Area. The workshop is free and attendees will receive 1.25 hours of Continuing Education credit!

(Reading time: Less than 5 minutes)

October 2006 Vol. 6, No. 10

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Newsletter and Legal Update


1. Employers, Consumers and Online Daters Beware: No Standard Definition for a “Background Check”

2. Terrorist List Can Impact Innocent Americans

3. SCAM Alert: New Hospital and Jury Duty Scams

4. ESR Speaking Schedule – from Napa to Tampa


1. Employers, Consumers and Online Daters Beware: No Standard Definition for a “Background Check”

The term “background check” has become a common phrase in today’s business vocabulary. There are numerous news stories about the need for background checks or efforts made by various organizations, such as churches, charities, or businesses to obtain “background checks.” More recently, “background checks” have become a popular topic in the online dating industry with some sites offering “background checks” before you meet that dream date.

However, there is one significant problem: There is simply no one definition as to what constitutes a background check. A “background check” can vary from a one county criminal check, all the way to an in-depth FBI type investigation that costs thousands of dollars.

Why is this important? Because employers and consumers can be mislead into making certain assumptions about a person because they have been the subject of a “background check.” The biggest assumption: That the person must be safe or qualified because they passed a “background check.”

Unfortunately, nothing may be further from the truth. Unless the business or individual relying on the background check knows exactly what was checked and when, and the limitations and value of the checking that was done, a “background check” is NOT necessarily the same as not being a criminal or having an authentic resume.

The area where there is the greatest potential for a false sense of security is probably criminal records. Dating sites and private employers do not have access to the official government criminal history, the National Criminal Information Center, or NCIC. That is only available to entities that have been approved by the government, such as schools needing to check teachers. Even that system is subject to errors.

Some websites tout that they are doing a background check by use of a so-called “national” multi-jurisdictional database sold by private firms. The problem with this database search is that it can give a “false negative,” where a person is cleared as being a non-criminal even though they have a criminal record. They can also give a “false positive,” which means a person is incorrectly identified as a criminal, even though they are not.

Although those “national” searches can be very valuable as one part of a real background check because it is national in reach, it is not a substitute for a criminal search of county courts at the courthouse level. These databases may have millions of records, but they are assembled from a hodgepodge of different sources and there are substantial issues as to their accuracy and completeness

The bottom-line: Employers, consumers and online daters should not be lulled into a false sense of security just because some site has performed a ”background check,” unless you know exactly what was checked, how it was checked and when.


2. Terrorist List Can Impact Innocent Americans

According to a recent news story, the son of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator, was prevented from buying a house in Arcata, CA, a small town several hours north of San Francisco. The problem? The homebuyer was in no way related to Saddam Hussein. The buyer was born and raised in Michigan. However, when he went to buy his first home, his credit report was routinely checked against a government terrorist list. The buyer’s middle name was Hassan, and that was enough to trigger an alert, suggesting he could be the son of Saddam Hussein. Rather than exercise some commonsense and good judgment, the mortgage company, according to the story, denied financing.

This story once again underscores the danger of blindly utilizing databases without taking steps to investigate negative information. In this case, the database used was the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC.

Following the events of 9/11, it was discovered that the terrorists were able to bring money into the United States to finance their activities. Part of the Patriot Act was designed to prevent money laundering that can be used for terrorism. Financial intuitions, which can even include car dealers and travel agents in addition to banks, are now required by law to increase their “Know Your Client” procedures, which include running clients’ names against the OFAC list.

However, use of the list has some drawbacks. First, the list has very few identifiers and is based primarily on name matching. The list currently has a large number of names of Middle Eastern origin, so misidentification can easily occur. Secondly, a terrorist presumably knows if they are on the list, and can take measures to use a different name.

As a result, the database can produce both” false negatives” and “false positives.” A false negative is where a person is in fact a terrorist but is able to circumvent the list so a database search falsely clears them. A “false positive” is where a person is mistakenly associated with a terrorist because of a potential match of the name or even part of the name.

The news story underscores the need to carefully examine the results of all database searches, and to understand that people can be missed or improperly identified. It is not entirely clear how a person who is a victim of misidentification can prove they are not the person on the list. There have also been news stories of Americans who are mistakenly on “no-fly” lists. A well-known United States Senator (and brother of a former president) even had difficulty getting off the “no- fly” list. A victim of misidentification may need to contact a lawyer to prepare documents showing that they are not the person on the list if they are having difficulty with a financial transaction.

More information about the OFAC database and 13 other commonly used global terrorist databases is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/articles/article.php?article_id=TerroristSearchandPatriotAct.htm

To see if you are on the list, see: http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/t11sdn.pdf


3. SCAM Alert: New Hospital and Jury Duty Scams

Two new scams are in the news. According to the September 2006 Security Management Magazine (from ASIS), imposters have shown up at hospitals pretending to be inspectors from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). For hospitals, a visit from a JCAHO inspector is a major event, similar to a health department inspector showing up at a restaurant. Since JCAHO now does unannounced inspections, the imposters had a better chance of getting in.

A fraudulent person on premises, of course, can do a great deal of damage. According to the story, the hospitals asked for identification, which resulted in the imposters leaving. However, the incident underscores that any security-sensitive facility needs to take measures to know who is on premises and not simply assume that an authentic looking badge, letter or uniform is for real.

Just when you thought you heard it all, here comes another scam. You get a phone call from someone who identifies themselves as a “jury commissioner” that wants to know why you did not show up for court. You may even be told that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. When you say you never received any notice, the “commissioner” asks for your full name, date of birth and social security number. Being a good citizen and not wanting to get arrested, you give that information over the phone in order to clear it up.

That is all a scammer needs to steal your identity and go shopping under your name! This reinforces a basic rule of modern day life: never give a stranger, or anyone over the phone, personal information, no matter what they tell you.

http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel05/092805.htm


4. ESR Speaking Schedule – From Napa to Tampa

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, including three nationwide SHRM Conference: the SHRM National Conference, the SHRM EMA Conference and the Global Screening Conference.

Current 2006 Schedule

November 1, 2006-Palo Alto, CA-“Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” The HRNetworx. Click Here For More Details

November 6, 2006-Long Branch, NJ–Pre-employment Background Checks,” Garden State Council (New Jersey State Council) SHRM Statewide Conference Garden State Council

November 8, 2006–New York, NY “Background Checks and Recruiting Practices and Legal Compliance” Kennedy Information’s Recruiting 2006 Conference and Expo.

November 9, 2006–IPMA-HR audio conference–Public Sector Pre-employment Background Screening –Trends, Legal Developments and Best Practice Click Here For More Details

November 13, 2006 –Tampa, FL – Keynote address at the Annual Pre-Employment Screeners Conference (Intended for background firms and record retrievers) “The Top Ten Ways for a Screening Firm to Be Sued Out of Existence by Employers and Consumers” See: http://www.searchforcrime.com/Conference/body.htm

November 20, 2006— IOMA audio conference–“Background Checks: Legal Use in the Hiring and Talent Management Process

November 29, 2007-San Francisco, CA-“Avoid Negligent Hiring-Best Practices and Legal Compliance.” The HRNetworx Click Here To View Website

December 5, 2006–Sonoma County, CA “Avoid Problem Employees: Effective Hiring in the Wine industry” NCHRA conference (details to be posted)

Contact ESR for further details.


Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

www.ESRcheck.com

1620 Grant Avenue, Suite 7

Novato, CA 94945

415-898-0044

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