Background Checks: The Devil Is In The Detail

January 16, 2015

Summertime – What’s Hot in Background Screening News

July 28, 2014

Nokomis Beach

Having trouble keeping up with all there is to know about employee background screening?

We can help.

FYI Screening stays on top of the latest industry news, trends and relevant compliance issues.  We are a powerful source of advice, information, and experience.

One of the best ways to tap into our vast source of information is to follow us on Twitter @fyiscreening.

Here are some of the helpful articles we’ve been sharing…

7 Privacy Rights You’re Losing At Work

“The workplace is becoming ever more micro-managed at the expense of personal privacy. Here are just a few examples of how these protections we used to take for granted have been taken away in recent years.” – marketwatch.com

Background Checks For Consumer Safety (pdf) 

Testimony of Lucia Bone (@SueWeaverCAUSE) before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.  Sue Weaver CAUSE is a nonprofit, founded in memory of Lucia Bone’s sister, Sue Weaver. Promoting background checks for consumer safety. - SueWeaverCAUSE.org

Home Depot Becomes Latest Retailer Sued for Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

“The employment application process has become increasingly complex and a growing source of litigation for retailers and other employers. Home Depot Inc. was recently slapped with a lawsuit alleging that the behemoth retailer runs background checks on employees and job applicants without properly notifying them or providing copies of the reports before taking adverse action against them over the reports’ findings.” – fashioncounsel.com

Background Screening Report Reveals Retail Industry Trends

“The report takes an in-depth look at retailers’ background check habits including what checks are run, what positions are screened and how retailers are reacting to EEOC guidance and ban-the-box laws.  Retailers were asked to rank their various reasons for performing background checks, showing that safety is their biggest concern.” – lpportal.com

1. Safer work environment
2. Hire better employees
3. Customer safety
4. Shrink reduction
5. Protect brand and image

Crime Victims, Small Businesses Blast EEOC’s Background Checks Guidance

“Small businesses contend the EEOC’s guidance on using criminal background checks is so confusing that they could still be sued by the agency even if they tried to follow it.” – bizjournals.com

Want To Read Uber’s Background Check Policy?

“The background check process for drivers working for the popular ridesharing app Uber has been in the news lately. The $17 billion startup has been plagued by accusations that safety is not enough of a priority. Uber recently announced that it would subject itself to an audit, to be carried out by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.” – uber.com

Illinois Joins Other States Restricting Employer Use Of Criminal Background Checks

“Illinois now joins increasingly numerous jurisdictions that restrict employers’ use of criminal background checks in hiring. More specifically, in restricting employers’ use of criminal history, Illinois joins Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, plus numerous municipalities including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattle, Buffalo, Newark, San Francisco and Louisville.” -  seyfarth.com

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

“A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.” -propublica.org

About FYI Screening

Founded in 1994, FYI Screening provides reliable, in-depth, and compliant background checks for organizations of every size.  We offer a simple but powerful web-based background screening system, backed by in-depth expertise, and great customer service.  FYI Screening provides you with everything you need to create a compliant and effective background screening process for your company.

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Legislative Alert – Maryland HB175 Seeks to Limit Use of Credit Reports by Employers

February 3, 2010

We just received this alert from The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

Maryland HB175 Seeks to Limit Use of Credit Reports by Employers

Maryland House Bill 175 would prohibit an employer from using an applicant’s or employee’s credit report or credit history in determining whether to deny employment to the applicant, discharge the employee or determine compensation or terms, conditions, or privileges employment; authorizing an employer to request or consider an applicant’s credit report or credit history under specified circumstances; authorizing an applicant or employee to bring an action for injunctive relief, damages, or other relief for a violation of a specified provision of law; etc.

We urge you to participate in this action alert to communicate the impact this will have on employers in Maryland and on companies providing background screening services both in Maryland and nationally.

Here is the letter that we’ve sent:

Dereck Davis, Chairman,   House Economic Matters Committee

Re:  MD House Bill 175

I am writing in opposition to House Bill 175 – Credit Reports and Credit Histories of Applicants and Employees.  This bill, if enacted, would effectively prohibit employers from utilizing credit history in hiring prospective employees.

We are a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) which represents over 700 members and their respective companies.  Our company is a national provider of background check and credential verification information for employers. Our clients are representative of the more than 88% of companies in the US who perform background checks on their employees across the country.  Our information products protect employers from liability and ensure that newly hired employees pose no financial risk.

Credit reports are integral to the hiring process because employers must determine the accuracy and completeness of a job application. Credit reports are used for employment checks to show former addresses, former employment, and the financial situation of a prospective employee. By using credit reports in the hiring process, employers avoid wasting resources on recruiting, hiring, and training new employees, only to find out later that the hiring decision was based on incomplete or falsified information. Also, employers use credit reports to safeguard against internal theft that can be a result of employees who can not meet their monthly financial obligations.

The use of credit reports for employment decisions is governed and expressly allowed by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Under the FCRA, an employer must give the consumer notice that a credit report may be used in the hiring process and require the consumer’s written consent to access their credit report. The FCRA provides important consumer protections by requiring a notice by the employer if an adverse action is taken; i.e. the applicant is not hired. The notice includes the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting agency or credit reporting agency that supplied the report.  Additionally, under existing federal law, potential employees already receive certain protections relating to employer consideration of prior bankruptcy filings.

It is our hope that Maryland employers will be allowed the continued use of credit reports for hiring decisions.  If you have any questions concerning how credit reports are used by employers to make decisions, please feel free to contact me.   Thank you for your time and consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

Chris Miller

President

FYI Screening, Inc.

Q&A On Using Social Networks For Background Screening

January 26, 2010

social_media_icons

I found an excellent Q&A regarding employee background screening on Human Resource Executive Online.

Question:

Can you provide the parameters for HR in the use of information discovered on the Web, such as Facebook, as it applies to job applicants?

Answer:

Social networks and blogging sites can provide an inexpensive and easy way for employers to gather a plethora of information about potential job applicants. However, employers should think twice about using information found on social-networking sites to make employment decisions because the use of such information could lead to the potential risk of employer liability.

This is because these sites contain information about job applicants that employers would not be permitted to ask about during any job interview. Therefore, using, and in some cases, simply accessing these pages for employment purposes can result in violations of various anti-discrimination statutes, privacy laws, state “off-duty” conduct statutes, and federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Acts.

For the complete article click here.

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Photo Credit: webtreats

Employee Screening Articles For April 2009

May 4, 2009

In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for April, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening, Inc. offers a complete portfolio of employee screening services that will help you work smarter while providing the industry’s fastest turnaround and the highest quality results.

This will allow your company to focus on what really matters:

Hiring and Retaining The Best Employees Possible

Subscribe to our blog to stay current on all employee screening issues.

Enforcement Of The New “Red Flags Rule” Delayed Again

April 30, 2009

red-flags1

The Federal Trade Commission will delay enforcement of the new “Red Flags Rule” until August 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. For entities that have a low risk of identity theft, such as businesses that know their customers personally, the Commission will soon release a template to help them comply with the law. Today’s announcement does not affect other federal agencies’ enforcement of the original November 1, 2008 compliance deadline for institutions subject to their oversight.

“Given the ongoing debate about whether Congress wrote this provision too broadly, delaying enforcement of the Red Flags Rule will allow industries and associations to share guidance with their members, provide low-risk entities an opportunity to use the template in developing their programs, and give Congress time to consider the issue further,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

Are You Complying With The Red Flags Rule?

The Red Flags Rule requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs – or “red flags” – of identity theft in their day-to-day operations. Are you covered by the Red Flags Rule?

Download “Fighting Fraud with the Red Flags Rule: A How-To Guide for Business” here.

  • Find out if the rule applies to your business or organization
  • Get practical tips on spotting the red flags of identity theft, taking steps to prevent the crime, and mitigating the damage it inflicts
  • Learn how to put in place your written Identity Theft Prevention Program

By identifying red flags in advance, you’ll be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft. Take advantage of other resources on this site to educate your employees and colleagues about complying with the Red Flags Rule.

Subscribe to our blog to stay current and learn more about the “Red Flags Rule.”

Photo Credit: rvw

What You Need To Know About The FCRA

August 15, 2008

An important part of doing a background check on potential hires is accessing their credit information. While it’s not always the case, credit history can be an effective barometer of how responsible and trustworthy an employee will be once you hire him. That being said, the privacy rights of your potential hires are protected by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Today, I want to explain a few important points about the FCRA that you need to know.

Asking Job Candidates’ Permission

Before you access a job candidate’s consumer report (prepared specifically by a consumer reporting agency), you must notify him. Then, you need to receive written permission from the candidate to access the report. One of the provisions of the FCRA is that an employer must communicate to a job applicant that the consumer report may be used to make a hiring decision.

Notifying Candidates Of Adverse Actions

If you end up not hiring a job candidate because of what you discover on his consumer report, you need to tell him so. It can be done in writing, over the phone, or with an email. But, the adverse action has to be communicated.

Failing To Comply

If you fail to comply with the provisions of the FCRA, you may be held liable. If you don’t ask a potential employee for permission before accessing his consumer report, he can file a lawsuit against your company. Similarly, if you fail to notify him of any adverse action you’ve taken, he can also file a lawsuit.

Using The FCRA For Access

Reviewing a job applicant’s credit history can help you make good hiring decisions. While the FCRA was created to protect the privacy of individuals, it provides employers the opportunity to legally access applicants’ credit information. Its provisions require employers to follow certain rules in doing so. But, these hurdles should not prevent you from checking the credit history of potential employees. The hiring disasters you can avoid in the long-run makes it worthwhile.

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