Proof positive as to why employers need to perform due diligence education verifications on job seekers during pre-employment background checks, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the new Chief Information Technology (IT) Officer of the State of Kansas recently introduced by Governor Sam Brownback has resigned after an earlier report in the newspaper raised questions about his college degree from an unaccredited school linked to diploma mills. Continue reading
As part of a series of webcasts for the Institute for Human Resources (IHR) Certification Program from HR.com, safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of nationwide background check provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a one hour webinar on the topic of ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification’ on Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET (10:00 AM to 11:00 PT). To register for this webcast, which is free to HR.com members and approved for 1.0 General credits through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), visit http://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/webcasts/upcoming_webcasts/legal-and-effective-reference-checking-and-educati_gpvaargk.html.
With a recent report revealing an astounding 48 percent increase worldwide in the number of known fake diploma mills in the past year, and a 20 percent increase in the United States alone, education verifications where employers verify the academic achievements and certifications claimed by job applicants have taken on an important role in employment screening background checks. Continue reading
Background check expert Lester Rosen, an Attorney at Law and President of nationwide background screening provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present an educational session at the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition titled ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification.’ The session will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, follow this link. Continue reading
Attorney and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), will present a session, ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification,’ at the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about the session presented by ESR President Lester Rosen, please visit:
http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/ESR-Speaks/Legal-and-Effective-Reference-Checking-and-Education-Verification-72/. Continue reading
With a new report from Europe’s leading background screening company revealing a 48 percent increase worldwide in the number of known diploma mills in the past year, some U.S. states have stepped up the fight against diploma mills defined in the report as “largely online entities whose degrees are worthless due to the lack of valid accreditation and recognition.”
According to the second annual Accredibase™ Report for 2011 from Verifile Limited, the United States was the world’s fake college capital and saw a 20 percent increase in known diploma mills, with the number rising from 810 to 1,008. More than 40 percent of U.S. diploma mills operated in four states: California, Hawaii, Washington, and Florida. Continue reading
A new report from Verifile Limited, Europe’s leading background screening company, has revealed an astounding 48 percent increase worldwide in the number of known fake diploma mills – which the report described as “largely online entities whose degrees are worthless due to the lack of valid accreditation and recognition” – in the past year.
According to the second annual Accredibase™ Report for 2011, the United States was the world’s fake college capital and saw a 20 percent increase in known diploma mills with the number rising from 810 to 1,008. The report also found more than 40 percent of U.S. diploma mills operate in four states: California, Hawaii, Washington, and Florida. Continue reading
According to a story that reflects a parent’s nightmare – ‘Mom says background checks are needed for college RAs’ – a mother in Tennessee wants a law that would require background checks on college resident assistants (RAs) after a University of Tennessee at (UT) Chattanooga student and former RA at the university was accused of placing surveillance cameras hidden in alarm clocks in the dorm rooms of her daughter and several other students. Police arrested the student – who was previously convicted on charges that included burglary, arson, harassment, and stalking – on more than a dozen charges. Continue reading
A six-month joint investigation by Sports Illustrated (SI) and CBS News that ran criminal background checks on nearly 3,000 players from the Top 25 ranked college football teams revealed that 7 percent of the players checked had criminal records, that only two of the schools performed background checks of their own, and that none of the schools checked juvenile records. Continue reading
The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report to the Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives that revealed high rates of employees in all sorts of positions at both public and private schools – including teachers, volunteers, aides, support staff, and contractors – who had records of inappropriate sexual conduct and convictions for sex-related crimes.
The GAO report dated December 2010 – ‘K-12 EDUCATION – Selected Cases of Public and Private Schools That Hired or Retained Individuals with Histories of Sexual Misconduct’ – examined 15 cases that showed that individuals with histories of sexual misconduct were hired or retained by public and private schools as teachers, support staff, volunteers, and contractors. At least 11 of these 15 cases involved sex offenders who previously targeted children, and at least 6 cases involved offenders who used their new positions as school employees or volunteers to abuse more children.
The GAO report revealed that the following factors contributed to hiring or retention of sex offenders:
- School officials allowed teachers who had engaged in sexual misconduct toward students to resign rather than face disciplinary action, often providing subsequent employers with positive references;
- Schools did not perform pre-employment criminal history checks;
- Even if schools did perform pre-employment criminal history checks, they may have been inadequate in that they were not national, fingerprint-based, or recurring; and
- Schools failed to inquire into troubling information regarding criminal histories on employment applications.
Some examples of cases from around the United States that the GAO examined for the report include:
- Ohio: A teacher forced to resign because of inappropriate conduct with female students received a letter of recommendation from the school superintendent calling him an “outstanding teacher.” After being subsequently hired at a neighboring district, he was convicted for sexual battery against a sixth grade girl.
- Louisiana: A teacher and registered sex offender whose Texas teaching certificate had been revoked was hired by several Louisiana schools without receiving a criminal history check. A warrant is currently out for his arrest on charges of engaging in sexual conversations with a student at one of these schools.
- Arizona: A school rushing to fill a position did not conduct a criminal history check before hiring a teacher who had been convicted for sexually abusing a minor, even though he disclosed on his application that he had committed a dangerous crime against a child. He was later convicted for having sexual contact with a young female student.
- California: A sex offender was convicted for molesting a minor in 2000 and the school where he worked was aware of his conviction but did not fire him. After the GAO referred the case to the California Attorney General, officials placed the sex offender, who has since resigned, on administrative leave.
The GAO report also found no federal laws regulating the employment of sex offenders in public or private schools and varying laws at the state level. While some states required a national, fingerprint-based criminal history checks for school employment, others states did not. State laws also varied as to whether past convictions would result in termination from school employment, revocation of a teaching license, or refusal to hire.
GAO performed the study after a 2004 Department of Education report estimated that millions of students are subjected to sexual misconduct by a school employee at some time between kindergarten and the twelfth grade (K-12). GAO was asked to:
- Examine the circumstances surrounding cases where K-12 schools hired or retained individuals with histories of sexual misconduct and determine the factors contributing to such employment actions and
- Provide an overview of selected federal and state laws related to the employment of convicted sex offenders in K-12 schools.
To identify case studies, the GAO compared recent data in employment databases from 19 states and the District of Columbia to the National Sex Offender Registry and also searched public records to identify cases where sexual misconduct by school employees resulted in a criminal conviction. GAO ultimately selected 15 cases from 11 states for further investigation.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading background check provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) performs sexual offender searches as well as criminal record searches around the United States supplemented by a national multi-jurisdictional search. Although no one search is perfect, ESR recommends a series of overlapping tools that must also include checking professional licenses and verifying past employment, especially looking for unexplained gaps in employment where an offender may try to hide past negative information.
For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.