Category Archives: Recent Posts

Ban the Box Act would Prohibit Most Employers from Asking Applicants about Criminal Records until Job Offer

New legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives – H.R. 6220, “Ban the Box Act of 2012” –  would prohibit most employers from asking about or checking a job applicant’s criminal record until after a conditional offer of employment and would “ban the box” that job applicants are asked to mark indicating whether they have a criminal record. Introduced by Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI), H.R. 6220 would allow employers to check an applicant’s criminal record only if the job duties in question “may involve an unreasonable risk to the safety of specific individuals or to the general public.” The text of the bill is available here: H.R. 6220, “Ban the Box Act of 2012”. Continue reading

Background Screening Firms must Modify Forms Mandated by Fair Credit Reporting Act by January 1 2013

According to regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), three essential forms mandated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) used in the background screening process must be modified by January 1, 2013. The forms must be changed to reflect that consumers can obtain information about their rights under the FCRA from the CFPB instead of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The three forms in use currently indicate that the FTC is the agency consumers can contact with questions. The regulation with the original revised forms is available online here. For more current CFPB forms, read the ESR News blog ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces New Corrected Forms Required by FCRA for Background Checks Starting January 1 2013′. Continue reading

Background Screening Company to Pay 2.6 Million Dollar Penalty to Settle FTC Charges of Multiple FCRA Violations

In a case representing the first time the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a background screening company that delivers reports to employers with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a leading background screening firm, also known as a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”), has agreed to pay a $2.6 million penalty to settle charges that it violated the FCRA multiple times. A press release from the FTC about the settlement is available at: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/hireright.shtm. Continue reading

Illinois Law Prevents Employers from Demanding Social Network Passwords from Employees and Job Candidates

A new law makes Illinois the second state to prevent employers from demanding social network passwords as Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation – House Bill 3782 (HB 3782) – that protects the right to privacy of current employees and job applicants by making it illegal for employers to request social network account information such as usernames or passwords to gain access to their accounts or profiles. The full text of the law, which takes effect January 1, 2013, is available here: Illinois House Bill 3782 (HB 3782). Continue reading

July 2012 BLS and ADP Employment Reports Both Show Gain of 163000 Jobs during Month

Total nonfarm payroll employment in the United States rose by 163,000 jobs in July 2012 while the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons rose slightly to 8.3 percent and 12.8 million respectively, according to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JULY 2012’ report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Employment Situation for July 2012 will be available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf until the Employment Situation for August 2012 is released on Friday, September 7, 2012. Continue reading

Medical Identity Theft Victimizes Estimated 2 Million Americans Each Year at Cost of 41 Billion Dollars

According to results from Experian’s ProtectMyID® ‘Third Annual National Study on Medical Identity Theft’ conducted by the Ponemon Institute® and released in June 2012, medical identity theft victimizes an estimated two million Americans each year with an estimated total cost of approximately $41 billion. For more information about the study, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-people-aware-of-medical-identity-theft-but-do-little-to-protect-themselves-from-it-160349435.html. Continue reading

Background Check Expert Explains EEOC Criminal Guidance Compliance in PIHRA Webinar August 10

To help Human Resources professionals understand the new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the use of criminal records, background check expert Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will host a Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) webinar titled ‘Practical Steps Employers Can Take to Comply with the New EEOC Criminal Guidance’ on Friday, August 10, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Pacific Time. To register for webinar, visit: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/631716505/. Continue reading

New Louisiana Law Requires Sex Offenders to List Status on Social Media Websites Starting August 1

New Louisiana legislation authored by State Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal – House Bill No. 249 – will expand sex offender registration requirements by requiring sex offenders and child predators to state their criminal status on social media websites such as Facebook starting on August 1, 2012. The full text of the new law is available at: http://legiscan.com/gaits/text/637699/Louisiana-2012-HB249-Engrossed.pdf. Continue reading

New EEOC Criminal Record Guidance and Background Checks Discussed in Webinar on August 1

Background check expert Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will be one of three panelists participating in a live 90-minute webinar and teleconference titled ‘Pre-Employment Background Screening After EEOC’s New Guidance: Structuring Policies to Comply With Title VII, Fair Credit Reporting Act and State Laws’ on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. For more information, visit: http://www.straffordpub.com/products/pre-employment-background-screening-after-eeocs-new-guidance-2012-08-01. Continue reading

Credit Background Checks of Applicants Not Used by More than Half of Organizations According to Survey

A survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) “Background Checking — The Use of Credit Background Checks in Hiring Decisions” indicates that more than half of the responding organizations – 53 percent – do not conduct credit background checks on any of their job candidates, a noticeable  increase from 40 percent in 2010 and from 39 percent in 2004. The survey of randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership is available at: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/CreditBackgroundChecks.aspx. Continue reading