Tag Archives: Continual screening

IRS Rehires More than 200 Former Employees with Past Conduct and Performance Issues


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On July 24, 2017, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a final audit report entitled “The Internal Revenue Service Continues to Rehire Former Employees with Conduct and Performance Issues” that found over 200 of more than 2,000 former employees rehired by the IRS from January 2015 to March 2016 were previously terminated or separated from the IRS while under investigation for substantiated conduct or performance issues. Continue reading

Continuous Screening of Employees Will Gain More Acceptance as Critical Post-Hire Due Diligence Tool

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

While most companies currently perform background screening on employees once at the pre-hire stage, “the new normal may call for continuous, post-hire monitoring” in the near future to avoid insider threats, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article. The fact that Continuous Screening is a process that more employers are considering as a critical post-hire due diligence tool is Trend Number 5 in the Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) 10th annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends’ for 2017. Continue reading

Continuous Screening of Employees Could Be More Common in Near Future


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

While most companies currently perform background screening on employees once at the pre-hire stage, “the new normal may call for continuous, post-hire monitoring” in the near future to avoid insider threats, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article. Continue reading

ACFE Global Fraud Conference Features Session by Background Check Expert on Reducing Insider Threats


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), will present the session “Background Checks and Reducing the Insider Threat: Strategies Before and After Hiring” at the 27th Annual Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Global Fraud Conference held from June 12-17, 2016 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. To register for the ACFE conference, click here. Continue reading

Background Check Expert Reveals Strategies To Minimize Insider Threats


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Employers increasingly concerned about the risks associated with “insider threats” – where employees have the ability to wreak havoc on the organizations that hired them – need strategies to minimize those risks, according to an article written by Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder and CEO of San Francisco, CA area background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and author of “The Safe Hiring Manual.” Continue reading

Continual Employment Screening Background Checks on Current Employees Carries Risks

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screening expands beyond new employees to vendors and others on premises

By Les Rosen, Employment Screening Resources

2010 Trends in Screening Trend Eight:  Screening will expand beyond new employees to vendors and others on premises

This is another ongoing area that will heat up due to the recession. In a recovery period, employers typically turn to temporary employees before committing themselves to full-time hires.  However, under the legal doctrine of co-employment, an employer has exposure regardless of whether the worker is on the company payroll or being paid by a staffing firm. With lawsuits for negligent hiring on the rise, employers can still find themselves the target of negligent hiring by failing to supervise the hiring practices of their staffing vendors.  Temporary workers and vendors coming on premises have access to company property and can still create a risk of workplace violence, theft, or embezzlement.  New and additional resources are coming online in 2010 to help employers manage the screening of their vendors.

Another area where screening will expand is the availability of applicants to run their own background checks.  Applicants will have the ability to screen themselves as part of the job-hunting process in order to find out ahead of time if there is anything in the public records about them that is negative, and as a tool to get an employer’s attention. Of course, an employer must still exercise its own due diligence so that all applicants are treated in a similar fashion, but pre-screening may help applicants get noticed faster.  An area that has yet to establish itself is the continual screening of current workers periodically after they are hired.  As Employment Screening Resources (ESR) has noted in previous articles, there are still issues to be worked out before such a practice gains wide acceptance.

(Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading national online employment screening background firm, is releasing the ESR Third Annual Top Ten Trends in the Pre-Employment Background Screening Industry for 2010. This is the EIGHTH of the ten trends ESR will be tracking in 2010.)