Category Archives: Recent Posts

Credit Report Background Checks of Job Applicants by Employers Increasingly Regulated by State Laws

In recent years, several U.S. states have passed laws regulating the use of employment credit reports of job applicants and current employees that have impacted the way employers conduct background checks. Seven states – California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington – currently have laws that limit the use of credit report checks by employers for employment purposes, with the most recent law, California Assembly Bill 22 (CA AB 22), taking effect January 1, 2012. Other states, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), are considering further restrictions on credit checks by employers. This is Trend Number 2 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Jobs Report for December 2011 Shows US Economy Gained 200000 Jobs

According to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION – DECEMBER 2011’ from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment added 200,000 jobs in December 2011 with most gains occurring in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, and health care. In addition, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October 2011 was revised from a gain of 100,000 jobs up to 112,000 jobs while the change for November 2011 was revised from a gain of 120,000 jobs down to 100,000 jobs. The Employment Situation for December 2011 will be available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf until the Employment Situation for January 2011 is released on Friday, February 3, 2012. Continue reading

Social Media Background Screening Checks of Job Applicants Becoming More Prevalent and More Controversial

Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information about potential job applicants on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and so-called ‘social media background checks’ are becoming more popular and prevalent than ever. However, the use of social media background checks for job applicants has become controversial and can present legal risks. Failure to utilize social media resources can arguably be the basis of a negligent hiring claim if an unfit person was hired for a position where a search of the internet may have raised a “red flag.” Conversely, employers face numerous landmines and pitfalls that can include that include privacy, discrimination, and accuracy issues. Lawsuits and developments in this area will likely be an ongoing topic in 2012.  This is Trend Number 3 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Study Shows Nearly One Third of Young Adults in United States Arrested by Age 23

Further evidence that the number of people in the United States who have criminal records is larger than most people think, the federal government’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) has found that nearly one third of the 23-year-olds participating in the study – 30.2 percent – reported being arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation, a figure noticeably higher than the 22 percent reported in an earlier NLSY study conducted in 1965. More information about The NLSY97 study may be found at http://www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy97.htm. Continue reading

Automation in Employment Background Screening Leads to Both Increased Efficiency and Increased Risks

In recent years, employment background screening has gone from a costly and time consuming task reserved for selected job applicants to an increasingly automated and technology driven business necessity in a global economy where employers expect fast, accurate, and inexpensive results from screening providers. However, both employers and background screeners are finding with increased efficiency comes increased risks, especially when it comes to the use of unfiltered information going directly to employers from criminal database or inaccurate information obtained by “screen scrapping or automated robotic searches.” This is Trend Number 4 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Background Screening Accreditation Program Proof of Increased Emphasis on Professionalism in Industry

When the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) was formed in 2003 as a professional trade association for the background screening industry, the idea of an accreditation process was a central driving force in order to demonstrate that background screening was a professional endeavor. Currently, NAPBS accreditation is quickly becoming a requirement of many employers when considering a background screening provider since it is the only practical means of third party verification of the professionalism and competency of a particular screening firm. This is Trend Number 5 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

New California Credit Report Check Law Unnecessary and Confusing for Employers According to Safe Hiring Expert

With new restrictions on the use of credit report checks by employers for employment purposes in California set to take effect January 1, 2012, a safe hiring expert speaking on KCBS News Radio in San Francisco about the upcoming credit check regulations said the new law – California Assembly Bill 22 (AB 22) – is unnecessary and confusing.  He further commented that the law essentially standardizes best practices for background checks that employers across the country should be following already. Continue reading

Diploma Mills Offering Fake Degrees and False Credentials Likely to Increase in Tight Job Market

A 2011 report from Europe’s leading background screening firm revealed an astounding 48 percent increase worldwide in the number of known fake diploma mills in the previous year, and the number of what the report describes as “largely online entities whose degrees are worthless due to the lack of valid accreditation and recognition” is likely to increase in the coming year as desperate job applicants knowingly – and unknowingly – do business with companies that offer fake degrees and false credentials for a price. This is Trend Number 6 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

New California Law Penalizes Employers for Willful Misclassification of Independent Contractors in 2012

Effective January 1, 2012, a new California law – Senate Bill 459 (SB 459) – imposes stiff penalties that range between $5,000 to $25,000 for the “willful misclassification” of independent contractors by employers “avoiding employee status for an individual by voluntarily and knowingly misclassifying that individual as an independent contractor.” To read SB 459, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0451-0500/sb_459_bill_20111009_chaptered.pdf. Continue reading

Employment Screening Lawsuits Increase as Attorneys and Consumers Become Familiar with FCRA Laws Regulating Background Checks

Consumers and attorneys are looking more closely at background check reports and laws governing employment screening and filing more lawsuits against employers. On one hand, employers are being sued by victims that alleged the employer failed to perform adequate screening. On the other, employers and background screening firms also face lawsuits from job applicants complaining about the accuracy of background reports, or failure to meet the guidelines of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In a number of cases, class action suits are being utilized as the vehicle to bring legal actions against employers. This is Trend Number 7 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading