Tag Archives: discrimination

ESR NEWS ALERT: Massachusetts CORI Reform Law Prohibits Employers from Asking About Criminal Convictions on Initial Job Applications Effective November 4, 2010

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Starting November 4, 2010, employers in Massachusetts will no longer be able to ask about convictions on “initial” job applications because of new legislation that prohibits employers from asking questions on initial written job applications about criminal offender record information, which includes criminal charges, arrests, and incarceration.

As previously reported on the ESR News Blog, the new law overhauls the Commonwealth’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law and contains several provisions that will affect the way employers use the criminal histories of prospective and current employees and impact Massachusetts employers performing criminal background checks on job applicants and employees.

While the new law does not prevent employers from obtaining criminal histories of job applicants or employees contained in the CORI database, under the CORI reform law those records will no longer contain:

  • Felony convictions closed for more than ten years, whether convictions occurred more than ten years ago or individuals were released more than ten years ago.
  • Misdemeanor convictions closed for more than five years.

In addition, the new law also includes the following provisions:

  • Employers that decide not to hire applicants or take adverse actions based on criminal histories in CORI reports must first give applicants copies of the reports.
  • Employers conducting five (5) or more criminal background checks per year must maintain a written criminal offender record information policy.
  • Employers are prohibited from maintaining CORI records of former employees or unsuccessful job applicants for more than seven years from the last date of employment or from the date of the decision not to hire the job applicant.

After the initial application of the CORI reform law provision which restricts questions by employers about criminal history on initial written job applications takes effect on November 4, 2010, employers that continue to ask questions on initial written applications about felony or misdemeanor convictions after that date may be subject to liability under the new law, experts warn.

For more information, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

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. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.


SHRM Tells EEOC Credit Checks Are Legitimate Background Screening Tool at Recent Public Meeting

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

According to a news story on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website – “SHRM: Credit Checks Are Legitimate Screening Tool” – a representative for SHRM told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during a public hearing on October 20, 2010 that the federal government should not eliminate an employer’s use of credit histories to help make decisions about job candidates.

The representative, in prepared comments, said that “SHRM believes there is a compelling public interest in enabling our nation’s employers – whether that employer is in the government or the private sector – to assess the skills, abilities, and work habits of potential hires.” In addition, the representative said credit history is one of many factors – including education, experience and certifications – that employers use “to narrow that applicant pool to those who are most qualified.”

The SHRM representative pointed out Human Resources (HR) typically conducts a background check on the job finalist or group of finalists before making a job offer, and that background check might include checking personal references, criminal history, and credit history depending on the employer and the position to be filled.
Citing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the representative said SHRM believes “employees already have significant federal protection for the misuse of background checks.”
Recent SHRM Research Department data on the use of employer background screening practices was also referenced at the meeting. Among the findings:

  • Just 13 percent of employers surveyed conducted credit checks on all job candidates while another 47 percent consider credit history for candidates of select jobs.
  • Employers generally conducted credit checks only for certain positions, including jobs of financial or fiduciary responsibilities (91 percent), senior executive positions (46 percent) and positions with access to confidential employee information (34 percent).
  • Among employers that used credit checks, 57 percent initiated them only after making a contingent job offer and 30 percent initiated them after the job interview.
  • Four out of 10 employers surveyed did not conduct credit checks.

The EEOC heard public comment from SHRM and others to determine the extent of the practice of using credit checks during the background screening of job candidates, the effectiveness of its intended purpose, and its potential impact on different populations.

More information about the EEOC public meeting can be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/10-20-10/index.cfm

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.


EEOC Public Meeting Explores Use of Credit Histories of Job Applicants for Employment Background Screening

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

According to a press release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the EEOC held a public Commission meeting on Wednesday, October 20 to hear testimony from representatives of various groups, social scientists, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the growing use of credit histories of job applicants as selection criteria during employment background screening.

The EEOC Chair commented that the discussion provided important input into EEOC’s work to ensure that “the workplace is made free of all barriers to equal opportunity.” She also said that as a result of high unemployment forcing more people into the job market, an increasing number of job applicants are exposed to employment background screening tools such as credit checks that could unfairly exclude them from job opportunities. 

The Commission heard from a diverse set of experts, including one from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) who expressed concerns that the use of credit histories creates a “Catch-22” situation for job applicants during the current period of high unemployment and high foreclosures, both of which have negative impacts on credit. Others explained using credit histories for employment purposes can have a disparate impact on protected groups, including people of color, women, and the disabled. 

Representatives from the business community – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) – told the Commission that the use of credit histories is permissible by law, limited in scope, and predictive in certain situations of reliability. A recent survey from SHRM revealed that 13 percent of organizations conduct credit checks on all job candidates and another 47 percent consider credit history for selected jobs. Also, it is the experience of SHRM member companies that few organizations utilize credit histories for every job opening. 

However, an industrial psychologist said that there is little research exploring the implications of using credit checks in the employment context and – given the potential for discriminatory exclusion – he concluded that it would be wise to use an applicant’s credit history only within the context of a thorough background check.

The statements of all the panelists at the meeting, along with their biographies, can be found on the EEOC website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/10-20-10/index.cfm. A complete transcript of the testimony will be posted later.

For more information about employment background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.


Hot Off the Press: EEOC To Hear Testimony on Employer Use of Credit Reports as Background Screening Tool at Open Meeting on October 20

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced it will hold a meeting Wednesday, October 20, 2010 to hear testimony about employer use of credit reports as a background screening tool and to investigate the practice of using credit histories as employment screening devices.

According to various news releases and news reports, some of the testimony aims to clear up some common misperceptions about the use of employment credit reports by employers, including a common misperception that employment credit reports include a credit score.

The House Financial Services Committee conducted a hearing in September to discuss the Equal Employment for All Act (H.R. 3149), a bill aimed at severely limiting the use of credit checks on employees that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to make it unlawful to discriminate against job applicants based on consumer credit reports. The Equal Employment for All Act would make it unlawful to base adverse-employment decisions against job applicants and current employees on consumer credit reports.

The EEOC last held a meeting on credit checks in 2007. No action was taken. The meeting on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 will be held at 9:30 A.M. Eastern Time in the Commission Meeting Room on the First Floor of the EEOC Office Building, 131 “M” Street, NE, Washington, D.C.

The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Blog has several previous posts dealing with the issue of employers using employment credit reports during background screening. As reported before on the ESR News Blog, several states have already passed laws restricting the use of credit checks in hiring: 

ESR has long taken the position that employers should proceed with caution with using applicant and employee credit histories in the background screening process and not use employment credit reports unless they can clearly articulate a business justification, which normally means that that the job applicants or current employees have or will hold “sensitive” positions in which they may handle money or have access to personal data.

ESR also co-authorized a white paper with LexisNexis, “The Use of Credit Reports
in Employment Background Screening – An Overview for Job Applicants,”
on the protections applicants have when it comes to credit reports and the fact that credit reports do not contain credit scores. To read the white paper, visit: http://www.napbs.com/files/public/Consumer_Education/Credit_Reports_for_Background_Screening.pdf

For more information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.


Employment Screening Resources President Presents Webinar on Background Screening Best Practices with IOMA Institute of Finance and Management

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Author, speaker, and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), the company that literally wrote the book on background checks, will present a webinar titled ‘Background Screening Best Practices: How to Use the Web to Conduct Searches & Avoid Legal Landmines’ with the Institute of Management and Administration’s (IOMA) Institute of Financial Management (IOFM) on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM ET. For more information on this interactive webinar that will help participants discover key sources for gathering critical information while minimizing their liability, visit: http://www.iofm.com/products/view/background-screening-webinar.

“More companies are planning to use Internet searches for background screening in the next year. And many more have staff performing casual searches of Facebook, LinkedIn, and similar sources outside of the formal screening process,” explains Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace,’ the first comprehensive guide for employment screening. “The information can be invaluable, including helping to identify potentially dangerous employees and job candidates—but it’s not risk free. Using these sites to conduct investigations can present legal risks, raising both privacy and discrimination issues. Failure to follow best practices in collecting information from social media sites exposes organizations to unnecessary and costly litigation.”

Through case studies and viewing Internet sites, participants in the webinar ‘Background Screening Best Practices: How to Use the Web to Conduct Searches & Avoid Legal Landmines’ will join Rosen for a first-hand guided tour of the ins-and-outs of social networking sites, the treasure trove of information they contain, and the privacy and discrimination issues they raise. By joining Rosen for this tour of social networks as they apply to background screening of job candidates and employees, participants will:

  • Learn why major employers, human resources, and security professionals use search engines and social network sites to screen candidates and gather information.
  • Understand the full scope of risks in using these social network sites.
  • Learn the myths and realities of investigations utilizing these sources: Isn’t everything on the web fair game since privacy is waived once someone places something on the Internet?
  • Learn how discrimination laws and rules concerning off-duty conduct apply.
  • Uncover best practices for conducting Internet investigations.
  • Hear how to evaluate the pros and cons of using Internet sites in background screening.
  • Get answers to specific questions in the Q&A session following the presentation.

The webinar presenter, Lester Rosen, is an attorney at law and a frequent speaker nationwide on pre-employment screening who has testified as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. He was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and also served as the first co-chairman.

IOMA’s Institute of Finance Management (IOFM) is the leading source of information, tools, and resources for corporate managers and professionals in budgeting and cost control management.

About Employment Screening Solutions (ESR):
Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. The company is a leading provider of information, education, and training on “all things background checks” and is dedicated to promoting a safe workplace for both employers and employees. In 2003, ESR was rated the top U.S. employment screening firm in the first independent study of the industry. To learn more about Employment Screening Resources (ESR), please visit www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://www.iofm.com/products/view/background-screening-webinar

Social Network Background Checks of Job Applicants Present Challenges for Employers and Recruiters

By Lester Rosen, ESR President

It appears that a new industry is popping up, whereby employers can go to third party firms that will scour the internet and locate and assemble a dossier on an applicant’s cyber identity.  These “social network background checks” will search social networking sites like Facebok and Twitter, blogs, and anywhere else on the Internet for information about job applicants, including things they may have put online yeas ago and completely forgotten about.

Companies providing social network background checks present a number of challenging questions that HR professionals and recruiters will need to deal with:

  • First, such a site may well be categorized as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA).  Under the FCRA section 603(f) a CRA can be a third party firm that engages is the “assembling or evaluation” of consumers for employment.   That means that these types of sites are essentially background checking firms, with all of the same legal duties and obligations of any other background firm.  Therefore, such sites need to have full FCRA compliance, including client certifications under FCRA section 604 as well as adverse action notices and numerous other obligations, such as re-investigation upon request. Background checking is subject to heavy legal regulation.  
  • Another issue is authenticity. Under FCRA section 607(b), a Consumer Reporting Agency needs to exercise “reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.”  The issue of course is how to know what is real or authentic before reporting it to an employer.  If a social site contains something negative, how is the firm that supplies the information to go about verifying that it is accurate, authentic, and belongs to the applicant. If the search should happen to turn up a criminal record, then the obligations are even heavier.  A CRA must either give notice to the applicant at the same time it notifies the employer that a criminal record is being reported or it must confirm the information is complete and up to date, which typically means going to the courthouse.  In California, state law does  not even allow he notice option.  
  • There is also the possibility that some of the information obtained from a social networking may meet the definition of a special kind of background report called an “Investigative Consumer Report (ICR).” If so, there are additional special rules if matters that are likely to adversely impact employment, such as revivifying the information from another source or ensuring the information came from the best possible source.
  • Another big challenge for these types of web sites is discrimination allegations.  Employers or recruiters may be accused of disregarding candidates who are members of protected classes by passing over the online profiles of people based on prohibited criteria such as race, creed, color, nationality, sex, religious affiliation, marital status, or medical condition. All of those are things that may be revealed by an online search.  There may even be photos showing a physical condition that is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or showing someone wearing garb suggesting their religious affiliation or national origin. This issue is sometimes referred to as Too Much Information or TMI.

The problem is that once an employer recruiter is aware that an individual is a member of a protected group, it is difficult to claim that they can “un-ring the bell” and forget he or she ever saw it.  Employers may be exposed to “failure to hire” law suits based upon discrimination or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims. 

Another problem yet to be fully explored by the courts is privacy.  Contrary to popular opinion, everything online is not necessarily fair game.  Certainly if a person has not adjusted the privacy setting so that his or her social network site is easily available from an Internet search, that person may have a more difficult time arguing that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.  However, the terms of use for many social network sites prohibit commercial use and many users literally believe that their social network site is exactly that, a place to freely socialize.  The argument would be that in their circles, it is the community norm, and a generally accepted attitude, that MySpace or Facebook pages are off limits to unwelcome intruders, even if the door is left wide open.  After all, burglars can hardly defend themselves on the basis that the door was unlocked so they felt they could just walk in. 

Another issue is legal off-duty conduct.  A number of states protect workers engaged in legal off-duty conduct. If such a search reveals legal off duty conduct, a candidate can claim they were the victims of illegal discrimination  

These concerns are just the tip of the iceberg.  Employers need to be very careful when it comes to harvesting such information from the internet.  How and when an employer obtains such information is critical. For example, employers may have increased protection if such searches are done after there has been a conditional offer, and consent has been given.   Legality may also depend on whether the employer has well written job description with the essential functions of the job defined, so that information used from such searches can be justified.  Another issue is whether employers engage in any sort of objective analysis using metrics. 

The bottom line: Before using the internet to screen candidates, or using third party services, see your labor attorney.  

To read a related article on social network background checks, ‘The Rush to Source Candidates from Internet and Social Networking Sites,’ visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2009/08/01/the-rush-to-source-candidates-from-internet-and-social-networking-sites-2/.

For more articles on social network background checks, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/social-networking-sites/page/2

For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/social-networking-sites/page/2/

From the ESR Mailbox: Employment Applications and Questions about Past Criminal Convictions

By Lester Rosen, ESR President

From the ESR mailbox: Our HR department is changing our application form so that an applicant only has to answer questions about any criminal matter going back seven years. They say that this is required under the laws of many states, including California. Are they right?

Answer: The issue of whether employers can use a job application in order to ask about a job applicant’s criminal record is getting complicated. For example, starting November 4, 2010, such questions are not permitted in one state, Massachusetts. For that reason, employers should have their legal department or employment lawyer double check the application form.

Although Employment Screening Resources (ESR) cannot provide legal advice, based upon commonly accepted industry practices, there is not really a good justification for a seven year limitation on applications.

First, the seven year rule is limited to just eleven states (California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington). Nevada also has a form of a seven year rule, but it appears to apply to reports issued for credit purposes and not employment.

Of those states, there is broad agreement that the seven year rule for Texas and Colorado has been pre-empted by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because the rules were enacted too late to qualify for an exemption. A strong argument can also be made that it is pre-empted in California as well, although most firms still follow it.

Even for states with a seven year rule in effect, there is often an income exception, so that over a certain income level, a crime older then seven years can be reported. For example, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington waive the time limit if the applicant is reasonably expected to earn over $20,000 a year. So, as a practical matter, the limitation itself is very limited. California has no income exception, however.

Also, how the seven years is calculated can also get complicated. Seven years by no means actually means seven years. For example, a crime may have been committed more then 7 years ago, but if the person was still in custody within the seven years, it is likely reportable. Or a person committed a crime 9 years ago and violated parole or probation and spent a day in jail within the past seven years. That means the seven years clock starts over and it is reportable. The idea is that person must have been custody free for seven years. Generally speaking, being on parole or probation does not “toll” (or in other words stop) the seven year clock. It normally requires that an applicant be free of physical confinement.

Another critical point is that seven years is a reporting restriction is placed on a screening firm. Even for those states with a seven year rule, there is NO restriction upon an employer asking. Even if California, there is no requirement the employer limit the question to seven years.

The one other consideration, of course, is that going back too far can potentially create an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issue because an old crime may be less relevant to a job (depending upon the nature and gravity of the of the crime and the nature of the job).

In some states, there are limits on asking about arrests that did not result in a conviction, as well as additional state specific limitations.

The bottom line is that such a limitation in the application does not appear to be mandated by sate or federal law. However, your firm’s attorney is in the best position to give advice on this issue. For more information on what language to use in applications, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/articles/crime_and_employment_application.php .

For more information on employee background checks and pre-employment screening, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://hr.toolbox.com/blogs/background-checks/employment-applications-and-questions-about-past-criminal-convictions-41276

Bus Company Sued for Discrimination against African-Americans and Latinos

By Lester Rosen, ESR President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

A class action lawsuit backed by nation’s largest union of mass transit workers – the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) – asserts that a major provider of bus services violated federal race discrimination laws in its operations because workers with criminal records were barred from employment no matter how old the conviction.

According to a story on ATU News, a class action lawsuit was filed against First Transit, Inc., one of the nation’s largest bus companies, for illegal discrimination against African-American and Latino employees and job applicants. The lead plaintiff is an African-American woman who was fired in 2009 by First Transit in Oakland, CA, after just two days on the job due to a seven-year-old felony welfare fraud conviction, which had been expunged from her record by the state of California, according to ATU News.

At issue is a company-wide “No Hire Policy” implemented by First Transit that refuses employment to any job applicant who has a past felony conviction or who has been sentenced to any term of incarceration, no matter how brief. The “no-hire” policy is in force regardless of:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense,
  • The amount of time passed since the conviction, or
  • Whether the offense has any relationship to the job in question.

According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the policy has a “disparate impact” on African-American and Latino job seekers, because they are arrested and convicted at far greater rates than their white counterparts, ATU News reports.

In addition, ATU News reports that policy guidelines of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cited in the class action complaint support the claim of discriminatory practices at First Transit. According to the EEOC:

[A]n employer’s policy or practice of excluding individuals from employment on the basis of their conviction records has an adverse impact on [African Americans and Latinos]… such a policy or practice is unlawful under Title VII [of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964] in the absence of a justifying business necessity.”

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) has long cautioned employers that any automatic disqualification rule – like a company-wide “No Hire Policy” – can be discriminatory, and that employers must first consider if there is a business justification to deny employment, taking into account the nature and gravity of the crime, the nature of the job, and the age of the offense. 

For more information on how best to avoid discrimination against employees and job applicants while conducting employment screening, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://www.atu.org/content/atu_news/7257/

Arizona Nightclub Uses Background Checks to Tighten Security

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Patrons of nightclubs are usually prepared to have their driver’s licenses checked to prove they are old enough to drink, pay a cover charge, and adhere to a dress code, but undergo a background check?

According to an article posted on the Arizona Daily Star website, the Pearl Nightclub in Tucson, AZ is requiring some patrons to submit to a background check before they enter as part of beefed up security after the shooting death of a 21-year-old man in its parking lot in August.

Patrons that don’t meet the club’s dress code – which prohibits baggy clothing, athletic wear, flip-flops, work boots, or plain-colored T-shirts – are asked by security guards to submit to a background check search done online through the Arizona Judicial Branch’s website, the Daily Star reports.  People without recent felony convictions are issued a VIP card allowing them free admission that night and quicker entry on subsequent visits.

If a background check turns up a recent felony conviction they are not allowed in the club. Only men have been asked to submit to background checks so far, which take one minute or less, and around 10 people have been asked to leave the club after a background check turned up a recent felony conviction, according to the article.

However, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona was quoted in the article warning that the club needs to avoid the perception that it is targeting certain groups and that “there should be clearly defined standards for who gets searched to guard against discrimination.”

In addition, the Daily Star also reported that background checks conducted on the county’s Justice Court’s website are not foolproof for the following reasons:

  • The background check won’t turn up crimes a person has committed in another state or another country.
  • If a person commits a crime soon after being issued a VIP card by the club, the club’s security guards would not know unless they ran another background check.

Background checks are an effective method to promote a safe workplace, especially with the help of a professional background screening firm. To find such a firm, employers are advised to choose a background screening firm that is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

For more information on background checks and how to keep any workplace safer and secure, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.


Author and Safe Hiring Expert Lester Rosen to Present Two Sessions at PIHRA Pacific West HR Conference in Pasadena CA on September 22

President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Lester Rosen to review hot button issues HR Professionals face during hiring including international background checks, discrimination, privacy, and use of social networking sites for background checks.

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Safe Hiring Expert Lester Rosen, President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), the San Francisco area firm that literally “wrote the book on background checks,” will present two sessions at the 53rd Annual Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) Pacific West HR Conference & Exhibition in Pasadena, CA on Wednesday, September 22, 2010. The first session, “Everything HR and Recruiting Professionals Need to Know about Background Checks,” is 11:10 AM to12:10 PM while the second session, “Pitfalls and Landmines in Using the Internet and Social Network Sites to Screen or Recruit,” is 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. For more information, visit http://www.pacificwesthrconference.org/conference_sessions.cfm.

“To avoid the financial and legal nightmare of bad hiring decisions, employers have increasingly turned to pre-employment background screening,” explains Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters, and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace,’ the first comprehensive book on employment screening. “However, screening is subject to intense legal regulation.”

  • The first session, “Everything HR and Recruiting Professionals Need to Know about Background Checks,” (Wednesday, 9/22/10, 11:10 AM to12:10 PM) will review the hot button screening issues for 2010, including discrimination lawsuits, privacy, the use of social networking sites, legal compliance, best practices for employers and recruiters, and international background checks.
  • The second session, “Pitfalls and Landmines in Using the Internet and Social Network Sites to Screen or Recruit,” (Wednesday, 9/22/10, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM) will reveal potential legal landmines and practical risks involved with using social networking sites for screening as well as strategies to stay out of court.

“Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on job applicants by searching the internet and social networking sites,” says Rosen. “However, the use of these sites can present legal risks, including privacy and discrimination issues.”

Both sessions have been pre-approved by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) for one (1) general recertification credit hour toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification.  Speaker Rosen is an attorney at law and a consultant, writer, and frequent presenter nationwide on pre-employment screening and safe hiring issues. He was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and served as the first co-chairman.

The Pacific West HR Conference is from September 21 to 23, 2010 and held by PIHRA, the largest chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the country with more than 5,200 members representing more than 3,000 firms.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is dedicated to promoting a safe workplace for both employers and employees and literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters, and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace” by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. In 2003, ESR was rated the top U.S. employment screening firm in the first independent study of the industry. More recently, ESR produced an intensive 30-hour online Safe Hiring Certification Training course and has expanded to provide extensive international screening and applicant generated reports. To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@esrcheck.com.