Tag Archives: due diligence

Arrest Stories of College Football Players in NFL Draft Show Importance of Background Checks

Following a recent six-month investigation by Sports Illustrated (SI) and CBS News that ran criminal background checks on nearly 3,000 college football players from the Top 25 ranked teams that revealed that 7 percent – 1 in 14 – of the players checked had criminal records, a blog on BleacherReport.com listed the ‘10 Craziest Arrest Stories of Players in this Draft Class’ that focused on the college football players who have had “run-ins with the law” that will be involved in 2011 National Football League (NFL) Draft that begins April 28, 2011. Continue reading

Background Check Myths Exposed by Safe Hiring Expert at 2011 SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference

Attorney, author, and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen – founder and President of San Francisco, California-area a background check provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – exposed the leading myths associated with employment screening background checks to an audience this week at the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., according to a special report ‘Due Diligence Myths in Background Investigations’ on HR.BLR.com. Continue reading

Five Questions Employers Should Ask Job Applicants in Interviews for Safe Hiring

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President

The job interview, along with being an opportunity to find applicants who are a good fit for a company, is also when employers should perform due diligence and try to identify applicants who may be too dangerous, unqualified, unfit, or dishonest for the position.

While employers would not want to start the interview off with questions aimed at past criminal conduct or negative employment experiences, every interview must have a “safe hiring” portion where the job applicant is asked due diligence questions. This would be an appropriate time for the following five suggested due diligence questions to be asked in every interview:

  • “Our firm has a standard policy of conducting background checks on all hires before an offer is made or finalized. You have already signed a release form. Do you have any concerns about that?” This is a general question about background screening. Since applicants should have already signed a consent form for a background check, they have a powerful incentive to be truthful, honest, and reveal any issues.
  • “We also check for criminal convictions for all finalists. Do you have any concerns about that?” This question goes from the general to the specific. Employers should ask the question in a form that is legally permissible in their state of operation. It is important not to ask questions that are so broadly worded that they may lead to applicants revealing more information then allowed by law. Again, employers should make sure applicants understand that they signed a release for a background check and this process is standard company policy.
  • “When we contact your past employers, what do you think they will say?” This general question, which indicates past employers will be contacted, again provides a powerful incentive to be very accurate.
  • “Will your past employers tell us that there were any issues with meeting job requirements?” This question goes again from a general to a specific area, asking about matters that are expressly relevant to the job function or the workplace.
  • “Tell me about any unexplained gaps in your employment history.” If there are any unexplained employment gaps, it is imperative for employers to ask about them to make sure the employment gap was not a result of some negative situation such as the applicant being in custody for a criminal offense.

Employers should always indicate that these five suggested due diligence questions are standard job-related questions asked of all applicants and that they need to be answered. Asking standard written questions in an interview allows for a consistent process so that all applicants are subjected to the same questions. Standard questions also create a more comfortable environment for the interviewers since they do not have to remember every question asked because the questions are written down. If the questions on safe hiring issues make applicants feel uncomfortable, interviewers can simply indicate that these questions are asked of everyone and they are required due to standard company policy.

To help design their own interview template, including these five due diligence questions, employers may access the Free Online Interview Guide Generator Tool from Employment Screening Resources at http://www.esrcheck.com/Interviewgenerator.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://www.esrcheck.com/Five-Due-Diligence-Questions-Asked-In-Every-Interview.php

Colleges and Universities Learning to Avoid Mistakes with Higher Education Background Checks

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President

Institutions of higher education such as colleges and universities bear the same risk as other employers when it comes to hiring employees. Due diligence in hiring, including employment screening background checks, is critical for any organization seeking to avoid workplace violence, negligent hiring lawsuits, or any repercussions from hiring employees with unsuitable criminal records or false academic credentials.

Since colleges and universities have a higher duty of care when it comes to hiring given their special role in society to provide a safe place of learning for young people, these institutes should avoid the ten biggest mistakes that higher education Human Resources (HR) professionals make in the area of background screening of staff members:

  • No. 1 – Assuming all screening firms are the same

The mistake of assuming all background screening firms are the same is like saying that all schools are the same and a fake degree from a “diploma mill’ is as good as a degree from a school with a legitimate accreditation. In selecting a background screening firm, higher education HR professionals need to make sure the firm belongs to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and if it is accredited by the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). Higher education HR professionals may also want to see if a background screening firm – also referred to as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) – is a member of ConcernedCRAs and demonstrates a commitment not to “offshore” job applicant personal data overseas beyond U.S. laws.

  • No. 2 – Assuming database searches for criminal records are adequate protection

One of the biggest fallacies is the untrue premise that database searches are real criminal background checks. Even Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database searches using fingerprints of job applicants can result in missed records since it relies in great part upon the accuracy and timeliness of reports made by state and local jurisdictions. Commercial privately assembled multi-jurisdictional commercial databases used by higher education HR departments can be full of holes since they are a crazy quilt of information complied from a variety of sources with no guarantee that the data is complete, updated, timely, or accurate. Large swaths of the country are not included in these databases and they are subject to both “false positives” and “false negatives,” meaning that criminals can come back as “cleared” and innocent job applicants can be falsely labeled as criminals.

  • No. 3 – Assuming a job applicant’s privacy is protected and personal information is kept within United States borders

Many background firms ship personal data of job applicants such as names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers (SSNs) outside of the U.S. for processing in order to save money. In recent years, there has been a substantial effort in the U.S. to protect what has come to be known as “Personally Identifiable Information” or PII. Unfortunately, these protections cease to exist as a practical matter once PII leaves the U.S. The lack of any meaningful protection once data is “offshored” is a major gap in the effort to combat identity theft. When identity theft occurs in the U.S., legal protections, resources, laws, and mechanisms help victims. Once data goes offshore, that protection dissipates rapidly. A reputable background screening firm should believe that risking PII to make more money is not justified by the potential damage to the consumer and the potential liability to the educational institution.

  • No. 4 – Assuming you need to have applicants sign a physical piece of paper

There is a “green” solution to the significant logistical challenges faced by institutions of higher learning that are hiring across numerous departments of large campuses, or even across multiple campuses. With the new technology available right now, background screening can be performed by a completely paperless system.  For example, if a school uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a button can be added that says “Perform Background Check.”  Releases can be handled online as well with a legally valid E-Sign electronic signature, so that no paperwork is involved whatsoever.

  • No. 5 – Assuming temporary employees have already been screened by staffing firms

When a staffing firm uses the term “screening,” it may simply mean they are trying to match up applicants with your list of needs – not that they are performing due diligence background checks. It is crucial for higher education HR professionals to have staffing firms clearly specify what types of background checks they are doing, if any, including: who is ordering them, what searches are being conducted, who is reviewing reports, and what criteria is being used to decide who is eligible to work. Another best practice is to ask the staffing firm to include the school, college, or university in the language of the background release so that the HR professional can review the completed reports as well. Even though the worker is on the staffing firm payroll, a college or university can still be considered a “co-employer” and be on the hook for any crimes or misconduct.

  • No. 6 – Assuming that contacting past employers is not beneficial

Not checking those businesses or institutions where the applicant has worked for the past seven-to-ten years can be a big mistake for higher education HR professionals. Some HR professionals assume that since past employers are reluctant to give reference information that such calls provide little value. But there are many instances where past employment verifications can be just as valuable as a criminal records search. These include verifying dates of employment and job titles, confirming a job applicant’s whereabouts for the past seven to ten years, making certain there are no “unexplained gaps” in employment, and determining which jurisdictions to search for criminal records.

  • No. 7 – Assuming international background checks are too difficult

With the increased mobility of workers across international borders it is no longer adequate to conduct due diligence checks just in the United States. Based on the ‘Place of Birth of the Foreign-Born Population: 2009’ report issued in October 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 38.5 million foreign-born U.S. residents, representing 12.5 percent of the population. In addition, an increasing number of workers have spent a significant part of their professional career abroad. Because of the perceived difficulty in performing international employment screening, some employers have not attempted to verify international credentials or to perform foreign criminal checks. However, the mere fact that information may be more difficult and expensive to obtain from outside the U.S. does not relieve employers such as colleges and universities of due diligence obligations.

  • No 8 – Assuming “one size fits all” for background checks

While HR processionals live by the rule that similarly situated people must be treated in a similar fashion, that does not mean all employees must undergo the same background check. It is perfectly acceptable to screen CEOs more intensely than janitors, as long as all CEOs are screened the same and all janitors are screened the same. The typical rule is that a higher degree of risk justifies, and may require, a higher level of background check. In considering the level of background screening, higher education HR professionals need to weigh the potential risks of the position. Examples of positions with of greater risk include workers with access to: student dorm rooms; personal or financial data; vulnerable groups such as the aged, young, or infirmed; and uniforms that may allow them to act under color of official authority.

  • No. 9 – Assuming the Internet and social networking sites can be used without limitations

Many employers have discovered that the internet can provide what appears to be a treasure trove of information when it comes to recruiting and hiring. By using search engines and social networking sites, recruiters are often able to source candidates for positions and use the Internet to pre-screen job applicants. However, in using the Internet for background screening, employers can uncover “TMI” or “Too Much Information” that reveals prohibited information such as ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religious preference, or other factors that cannot be considered for employment. Social network sites such as Facebook may contain a photo that reveals personal characteristics or physical problems and raise questions of discrimination as well. Other concerns with using the internet for background screening include issues of privacy, off-duty conduct, and “cyperslamming” where defamatory material is placed anonymously online. Some schools now have a policy of requiring employers to reveal whether they do such online searches as a condition for recruiting at the school. One alternative is to get specific consent from applicants for an online search, and only after a conditional job offer.

  • No. 10 – Assuming it costs too much to do real due diligence

Although cost is an important factor in business, it is usually not advisable to choose the cheapest provider for any professional service since, as the old saying goes: “You get what you pay for.” It is especially true for an information-based and heavily regulated industry like background screening. Key criteria for selecting a background screening firm should be knowledge, training, experience, and privacy policies – not cost-cutting.

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

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Sources:
http://www.esrcheck.com/higher_education_background_checks-common_mistakes.php

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President Lester Rosen to Speak at 2010 Pre-employment Screeners Conference to be Held in Florida from November 7-10

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

Safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, founder and President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), the company that literally wrote the book on background checks, will be the keynote speaker at the 2010 Pre-employment Screeners Conference to be held at the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel in Clearwater, Florida from Sunday, November 7, 2010 to Wednesday, November 10, 2010.

Rosen – an attorney at law and author of “The Safe Hiring Manual – How To Keep Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace,” the first comprehensive guide to background checks – will speak about “Trends, Legal Developments and Best Practices for Due Diligence in Hiring and Employment Screening Background Checks” as part of an all-Star panel of nationally known attorneys and leading pre-employment screening industry experts.
 
For more information about this conference for both pre-employment screeners and Human Resources (HR) Professionals, visit http://thebackgroundinvestigator.com/Conferences/clearwaterProgram.asp.

Topics of discussion for the 2010 Pre-employment Screeners Conference include:

  • The Art of Access to Public Records
  • Becoming a Category of One
  • Ding Happens! How to Quickly Make the Most of Whatever Life Throws at You!
  • Industry Update- What a Year!
  • Using Facebook, MySpace and Other Social Networks for Pre-employment Screening
  • International updates
  • 5 Billion Versus 1: How to Stay Safe in a Dangerous World – Hacking 101
  • Background Checks Today From the Eyes of an Expert Witness

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is dedicated to promoting a safe workplace for both employers and employees. ESR was rated the top U.S. employment screening firm in the first independent study of the industry. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) formally recognizes Employment Screening Resources as BSCC Accredited by successfully proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources (ESR), please visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.

FedEx Named In Lawsuit That Includes Claim of Negligent Hiring and Retention of Truck Driver

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

According to a report from KECI NBC 13 in Missoula, Montana, the family of a volunteer firefighter killed in a 2008 crash has filed a lawsuit claiming that FedEx, the world’s largest express transportation company, and the owner of the semi truck that killed the victim were negligent in hiring the driver of the semi truck and should have known that the driver was “incompetent and unfit to perform the job that he was hired to perform based on his horrendous driving record.”

The volunteer firefighter had stopped to help another motorist and was sitting in his truck on the shoulder of an Interstate highway with his emergency lights on to create a safety zone for a one-vehicle rollover when the driver of the semi truck – who was later accused of driving too fast for conditions – slammed into the firefighter’s truck, KECI reports. The driver of the semi is facing a negligent homicide charge and pleaded not guilty. The matter is still pending in court.

The lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased volunteer firefighter includes a claim of “Negligent Hiring and Retention” against both FedEx and the owner of the semi truck claiming that the Defendants:

  • Knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that driver of the semi truck was incompetent and unfit to perform the job that he was hired to perform based on his horrendous driving record.
  • Had a duty of reasonable care owed to Plaintiffs to hire and retain competent, qualified, and safe employees.
  • Breached their duty of reasonable care by hiring and retaining the driver who was incompetent, unfit, and dangerous.
  • Failed to exercise reasonable care, which was the proximate cause of injuries and death and damages suffered by Plaintiff.

To read the full text of the lawsuit, click here. The matter is still pending in court.

Every employer carries the obligation – the duty – to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others when hiring, according to ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – The Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace,’ a comprehensive guide produced by background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR). The legal description of the duty of care – “due diligence” – means the employer must consider if a potential new employee represents a risk to others in view of the nature of the job.

If an employer fails to exercise due diligence in the hiring process and a person is harmed by an employee, that employer can be sued for damages in a civil lawsuit for failure to perform a legal duty. The name of the legal action is called “negligent hiring,” which is the flip side of “due diligence.” If an employer hires someone who they either knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known was dangerous, unfit, or not qualified for the position, the employer can be sued for negligent hiring if injuries or death occur.

Understanding how due diligence is associated with the liability for negligent hiring is critical for any employer. If a bad hire does something to force an employer to defend in court, then an employer must show how it took appropriate measures of due diligence. Employers that do not perform due diligence are sitting ducks for litigation, including attorneys’ fees and big damage awards.

Employers that implement and follow a Safe Hiring Program (SHP) show due diligence measures that are a powerful legal protection. While the cost of exercising due diligence through a SHP is usually very modest, employers need to measure the risk of hiring blind with the risk of litigation and attorney fees stemming from a single bad hiring decision that may cause injuries and death.

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

Sources:
http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/25122686/detail.html
http://www.nbcmontana.com/download/2010/0922/25122750.pdf

Recent Trend Shows Women Increasingly Becoming Involved in Workplace Violence Incidents

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

Some experts believe that an emerging trend of women as workplace killers may be indicated by recent cases including a September 2010 incident in which a woman allegedly killed coworkers at the baking plant in Philadelphia where she worked after being suspended from her job.

A story on The Philadelphia Inquirer website about the incident reveals that  although women commit fewer than 5 percent of homicides and assaults in the workplace – and are much less likely to kill than men as a rule – several high-profile cases of women killing in the workplace have occurred in the past few years.

  • February 2010: A female professor was accused of killing three colleagues and wounding three others after being denied tenure at a university in Alabama.
  • March 2010: A female supermarket worker in Florida fired for threatening to kill a coworker returned to work and made good on her threat.
  • January 2006: A female former U.S. Postal Service employee killed six colleagues and then herself at a mail-sorting plant in California.

These past cases, combined with the most recent case in Philadelphia, could indicate a possible trend emerging of women committing more acts of workplace violence, according to some experts on the subject.

A teacher at the FBI Academy and author of books on crisis management and violence is quoted as asking “Is it too early to call it a trend, or is it just an anomaly?” in the Inquirer story, adding that he “cannot recall a one- or two-year period in which we’ve had as many women with multiple victims.”

In addition, a study by the University of Tennessee included in the story found that women – although they make up more than half the U.S. population – committed only 15 percent of homicides,  showing that they are much less likely to kill than men. When women do kill, the same study also found they are more likely to choose more “personal” targets such as spouses, intimate acquaintances, or relatives.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 521 workplace killings in the United States in 2009, 420 of them committed by gunfire. The bureau did not have information on how many were committed by women.

While the term  “workplace violence” is appropriate for a quick definition or diagnosis of a problem, fully defining all aspects of  “workplace violence” can be nebulous at best. Many employers loosely define workplace violence as:

  • Assaults, other violent acts, or threats which occur in or are related to the workplace and entail a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to individuals, or damage to company resources or capabilities.

While this definition covers a fair degree of actions, a better interpretation should be used in order to create an effective, defensible policy for employers. A better definition of workplace violence should account for the type of offense, circumstance — where and when an incident occurs, and whether it is considered to be “on-the-job” — and party or parties involved. Workplace violence can take place anywhere employees are required to carry out a business-related function.

While many acts of workplace violence are caused by external parties, such as robbery in the workplace by a stranger, recent concerns over workplace violence center on workplace violence carried out by existing employees. These internal incidents of workplace violence leave employers largely liable for any problems that occur in the workplace under the “Negligent Hiring Doctrine” dictating that employers can be held liable for damages if they knowingly employ persons known to pose a potential threat to co-workers or the public.

That said, the question arises — how can an employer identify a potentially problematic employee? The problem is that there is no magic formula that tells an employer in advance who will and will not be violent. Predicting future violence is a matter of considerable controversy. However, experts have found some factors that are present in many cases of workplace violence. One important factor is a history of past violence.  For that reason, pre-employment background checks are widely regarded as an effective screening procedure because the process serves three major functions:

  • First, screening job applicants can bring to light problems in a potential hire’s past such as a history of violence, harassment, or extremely inappropriate behavior.
  • Second, by making it standard policy to screen all job applicants on their way into the company, employers demonstrate due diligence, showing that all reasonable efforts have been made in determining whether or not the applicant poses a threat to the company or to the public.
  • Third, pro-actively communicated background screening practices cause applicants to opt-out by discouraging prospective jobseekers with criminal or problematic backgrounds from applying.

However, there is more to preventing workplace problems than screening at the door. Lives of employees can change. A person who checked out in an initial screen may over time develop the traits or behaviors indicative of a potentially violent employee. It is up to the employer to maintain a constant eye on conditions and events in the workplace — to stay aware of employee attitudes and concerns in order to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.

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

Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/102713124.html

Family of Michael Jackson Files Suit Claiming Death of Singer Caused by Negligent Hiring and Retention of Doctor

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

According to a post on The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog, the family of deceased singer Michael Jackson has filed a lawsuit against event production company AEG Live and others claiming they are responsible for the pop idol’s death because his contract with AEG for the planned “This Is It” tour created a legal duty to keep him healthy. 
 
As part of the lawsuit, the Jackson family accuses AEG of the “negligent hiring” and retention of Dr. Conrad Murray to care for Jackson in advance of the concerts instead of his usual doctor, the blog notes. Murray later allegedly administered the drug Propofol to Jackson without necessary resuscitation equipment or nursing support, and the singer died with the drug in his system.

With regard to the ‘Negligent Hiring’ cause of action, the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of the family includes verbiage claiming that:

  • In undertaking to hire Murray, AEG performed absolutely no diligence in investigating or checking into Murray’s background, specialties, ability, or even whether he was insured, which it had a duty to do. In choosing to hire and employ a physician to treat Jackson, AEG undertook to act, and it needed to do so reasonably. AEG did not act reasonably and breached its duty.
  • During the course of Murray’s treatment, it became clear to AEG that Jackson was not doing well at all. AEG did nothing to terminate Murray and instead negligently retained him as an employee, and in so doing violated its duty of care.  AEG insisted that Jackson continue treatment with Murray and receive no treatment from other physicians, a further breach of its duty of supervision.

Along with negligent hiring, training and supervision, the complaint calls for unspecified damages for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The matter is still pending in court.

According to ‘The Safe Hiring Manual – How To Keep Criminals, Terrorists, and Imposters Out of Your Workplace’ by Lester Rosen, founder of San Francisco area background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), every employer carries the obligation – the duty – to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others when hiring. The legal description of the duty of care – “due diligence” means the employer must consider if a potential new employee represents a risk to others in view of the nature of the job.

If an employer fails to exercise due diligence in the hiring process and a person is harmed by an employee, that employer can be sued for damages in a civil lawsuit for failure to perform a legal duty. The name of the legal action is called “negligent hiring,” which is the flip side of “due diligence.” If an employer hires someone who they either knew or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known was dangerous, unfit, or not qualified for the position, the employer can be sued for negligent hiring if injuries or death occur.

While most employers obviously will not hire applicants they know are dangerous or unfit for a job, it is the “should have known” part that gets employers into difficulties.

For more information about due diligence and negligent hiring, visit the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) website at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Sources:
http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/09/michael-jackson-lawsuit-aeg.html
http://reporter.blogs.com/files/jackson-2.pdf

Due Diligence Checklist Employers Can Use for Employment Screening Process

By Lester Rosen, ESR President

The following Due Diligence Checklist contains questions employers can use to find out if an employment screening company is utilizing due diligence in its employment screening process. A .PDF version of this Due Diligence Checklist that employers can download and print is located at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/Extras/ESRDueDiligenceCheckUp.pdf.

  • Have there been any material changes in the past year that would adversely affect your ability to provide industry standard employment screening reports?
  • Is all work performed in the USA to protect privacy and control quality (i.e., nothing sent offshore to India or other places)?
  • Are all employment and education checks conducted by professionals in a controlled, call center type environment, so that nothing is sent to at-home workers?
  • For employment verifications, are anti-fraud procedures in place, such as independent verifications of all past employer phone numbers instead of relying upon an applicant supplied number?
  • For education verifications, are steps taken to verify if a college or university is accredited and to watch out for Diploma Mills?
  • Are criminal searches conducted using the most accurate means, which normally means on-site (no database substitutes)?
  • Do you search for both felonies and misdemeanors when available?
  • When a criminal hit is reported, does a knowledgeable person in your firm review the findings to determine if there are any legal issues in reporting the findings (as opposed to having the information entered by a court researcher)?
  • When there is a criminal hit, do you contact the employer immediately to advise that there is a potential problem?
  • Does your firm take measures to ensure that ALL legal and relevant criminal records are searched, as opposed to just going back “seven” years?
  • If a client orders a “multi-jurisdictional” database, do you re-verify any criminal “hit” at the courthouse level for maximum accuracy, instead of relying on notifying the applicant of a potential hit?
  • Do you notify your clients of changes in the FCRA and other applicable laws?
  • Do you at least, on a yearly basis, do an internal FCRA compliance audit?
  • Do you offer international background checks?
  • Is your firm “Safe Harbor Certified” to perform screenings of applicants from the EU (European Union)?
  • Do you have data protection, privacy security and data breach policies?
  • Are you a member of the background screening trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and does your firm actively participate and support professionalism in the screening industry?
  • What is your average turn-around time?
  • If there is a delay for reasons that are out of your control, are your clients notified online with in-depth notes and the anticipated ETA of information?
  • Are your clients provided with written documentation and resources on safe hiring, due diligence and legal compliance issues?
  • Are your clients provided with upgrades in technology that would enhance workflow, such as the ability to have applicants consent online or integration with an ATS or HRIS system?
  • Can you describe your initial training program for team members and ongoing training?

For more information on employment screening and due diligence, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.esrcheck.com.

Kentucky Case Uncovers Holes in Background Checks for Nursing Home Employees

by Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

A case against a Kentucky nursing home may reveal holes in laws meant to protect nursing home residents since the state only requires criminal background checks for employees caring directly for nursing home residents but not background checks for nursing home support staff like maintenance workers.

According to a story by the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader posted on Kentucky.com, a lawsuit filed against a nursing home in the state indicates that the nursing home hired a maintenance worker without a criminal background check after he had been arrested for sexual solicitation of a minor and retained his services even after he was placed on Kentucky’s sex offender registry.

The Herald-Leader reported that a former nurse’s aide at the nursing home said in a lawsuit filed that the maintenance worker in question — who underwent a credit check but not a criminal background check — sexually harassed her and stalked her before he was suspended by the nursing home. The maintenance worker’s status as a registered sex offender also put nursing home residents at risk, according to the lawsuit.

While there are no state law specifically calls for criminal background checks for all nursing home employees, there are state and federal regulations that nursing home facilities shall not employ individuals who have been convicted of abusing, neglecting, or mistreating individuals, according to the Herald-Leader.

In addition, the Herald-Leader reports that the lawsuit alleges that nursing home officials could easily have found out about the maintenance worker’s past before they hired him, since the Kentucky State Police had announced that the man had been arrested for unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor in January 2008 before the facility hired him in July 2008.

The founder of an advocacy group called Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform is quoted in the story as saying he thinks all nursing home employees should have criminal background checks.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading provider of background checks, believes due diligence for an effective Safe Hiring Program (SHP) requires that all employees at a business who may have contact with co-workers and the public, from Management to maintenance, should undergo criminal background checks.

Employment Screening Resources ESR Home Health Care Check provides background screening services specializing in home health care workers in private homes or elder care facitlites. For more information, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/services/homehealthcare.php.

For more information about background checks in general, including background checks for nursing home employees, visit ESR at http://www.esrcheck.com.

Source:

http://www.kentucky.com/2010/07/16/1352563/not-all-nursing-home-workers-get.html