Check here for valuable background screening tips that could save you time and thousands of dollars as well as help you never make another bad hiring decision.

5 Ways to Get the Most out of your Background Screening Program

Deters claims of discrimination and limits litigation. Employers that hire for a multitude of positions really need to take a step back and evaluate what type of searches are appropriate for each job they are trying to fill. By conducting a credit report on the staff accountant as oppose to the delivery driver will explicitly…

University Acceptance Scandal: The Importance of Verifying Credentials

We should all learn an important lesson in the wake of the celebrity college cheating scam, in case you have been stuck under a rock a group of individuals (predominantly celebrities and the wealthy) paid large sums of money to a middle man acting as a tutor to cheat on college entry exams like the…

FBI Fingerprint Background Checks Is it really the “Gold Standard”?

If you are a fan of true crime television like Law and Order or NCIS, I’m sure you have seen the episode where they pull a fingerprint off a gun, or car door analyze it and instantly get a full description of the suspect, which enables them to solve the case!  In a perfect world…

Ninth Circuit Court Decision Further Complicates the Disclosure and Authorization Form

Signed Consent Forms One of the main protections offered to consumers/applicants when a background check is procured on them is requiring the employer to get their signed consent and authorization on a “standalone” disclosure and “clear and conspicuous” disclosure requirements pursuit to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Up until last year the “standalone” disclosure…

Questions Employers Should Ask Their Background Screening Provider

What Questions Should Employers Be Asking Their Background Screening Provider? When employers elect to engage a background screening provider for compliant background checks, there are certain questions they must ask their new vendor. How do you keep your clients aware of new laws and regulations affecting the background screening industry? Employment background checks are a…

3 Strategies for Hiring the Right Seasonal Employees

Strategies for Hiring the Right Seasonal Employees As we approach the holidays, employers will start to ramp up seasonal and temporary hiring for the rush season. Due to constant changes in employment screening laws, employers that utilize a seasonal and/or temporary workforce should adhere to our three strategies for hiring the right seasonal employees: Treating…

HR Must Know These Three Laws When Screening Applicants

Three Crucial Laws Governing Background Screening Any seasoned or fairly new human resource professional will tell you their main purpose or duty is to enforce policies and procedures as well as stay compliant with changing laws governing background screening that affect their industry. There are three major movements that have evolved into laws affecting employers…

Top Five Mistakes Employers Make When Hiring

How to Easily Avoid Crucial Hiring Mistakes Vague Job Postings Just like any first impression, second chances are not given. For this reason, employers must be clever and transparent when posting a job listing to ensure that they are not leaving anything up for interpretation. One of the most crucial hiring mistakes to avoid would…

Explanation of Third-Party Verification Fees for Employment and Education Checks

Third-Party Verification Fees for Employment and Education Checks Employers that elect to conduct background checks on their new hires would be best served to tailor the searches around the duties and responsibilities of the position being sought. For example, if the position requires that the employee drive during the course of their workday, the company…

Top 4 Reasons for Delayed Background Checks

Top 4 Reasons for Delayed Background Checks There are many factors that may result in delayed background checks received from a consumer reporting agency (CRA). The most common reasons include international screening, employment and education verification, validation of public records, and required searches such as live scan and fingerprint. 1. International Screening It is important…

What GDPR is and How It Affects Employers

What GDPR is and How It Affects Employers The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first proposed in 2012; however, it was not enacted by the European Union (EU) Parliament and Council until December 2016. It became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR puts forward a policy for data protection with enhanced obligations for…

5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sued for Violating the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA)

5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sued for Violating the FCRA With an increase in litigation brought against employers for violating the FCRA, it is necessary to identify five common themes employers slip up on when conducting backgrounds checks pursuant to the FCRA. 1.) Compliant Disclosures and Authorizations Recently, PepsiCo, Inc. was held liable with over…

Tax Lien Information Removed by Major Credit Bureaus

Tax Lien Information Removed by Three Major Credit Bureaus The National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) was implemented by NCRAs such as Experian, Equifax, and Transunion last year in trying to enhance standards placed on credit bureaus reporting public record information from third parties. This plan called for the NCRAs to remove all civil judgments and…

Top 4 Reasons Why Employers Should Implement Pre-Employment Physicals

Top 4 Reasons Why Employers Should Implement Pre-Employment Physicals 1.) Labor Intensive Positions With the evolution of automation and robotics, the majority of manual labor positions have been eliminated. There are certain positions within industries, however, that still require a physically able employee to perform (i.e. construction, manufacturing, and janitorial). In order for an employer…

Employers Must Do These 4 Things When Drug Screening for New Hires

Top 4 Things Employers Must Do When Drug Screening for New Hires Expedited Expiration for Chain of Custody Forms (CCF) Employers that send applicants out for drug testing must provide a chain of custody form explaining the type of test to be conducted along with applicant identifiable information, and specimen ID. The CCF form can…

Evaluating Employee Background Checks and Drug Screening Policies

Revisiting Background and Drug Screening Policies In light of legislation enforced at the beginning of this year, employers that utilize employment background checks should conduct a “check-up” on their current employment and substance abuse screening policies to ensure compliance. Revisiting background and drug screening policies is highly encouraged for all organizations of different sizes and…

Applicant Tracking Systems Improve the Quality of New Hires

What are Applicant Tracking Systems? Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) exist to help organizations with their most pressing business challenges. This is done by sourcing and retaining qualified individuals, providing comprehensive technology solutions, as well as enabling clients to save time and reduce the administrative burdens associated with high-volume employee recruiting, selection, development, and retention. Applicant…

AB 168 Prohibits Questions About Previous Compensation

Questions About Previous Compensation in Employment Applications and Interviews Prohibited by AB 168 Trends that seems to be following “ban the box” laws are questions pertaining to previous compensation for job applications that are now being prohibited. This means that employers are no longer allowed to ask job applicants about previous wages that they have…

Wright v. Lincoln Property Company’s Federal Court Decision

Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Federal Court Decision on Wright v. Lincoln Property Company A recent federal court decision out of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Wright v. Lincoln Property Company dealt with how employers can comply with the adverse action process (pursuant to the FCRA) if it relies on an initial background report before revoking…

Dishonest Job Applicants Should Not Be Hired

A recent study uncovered that 85% of individuals in the market for new employment opportunities are dishonest job applicants. The percentage of job applicants that fabricate the information on their resumes these days is higher than the 66% statistic that was reported five years ago. Due to record low unemployment rates, there should be a seemingly lower…

Do Not “DIY” Background Checks

In the age of big data, “fly by night companies” have been developed to provide consumers with dirt cheap rates for instant, “reliable” public record information. It is time to uncover the truth about these online databases that encourage employers to use their website and conduct their own background checks. Accuracy of Information Problem: The…

Does Your Drug Screening Test for Synthetic Urine?

There is no disputing that drug abuse in the workplace is climbing to the highest numbers we have ever seen. Employers also face the growing number of states passing recreational marijuana laws (which contradict federal law that states marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug). As a result, employers must review their drug abuse…

Temporary Employees Should Be Screened Like Direct Hires

Temporary Employees Should Be Screened Like Direct Hires Former DHL warehouse worker, Walter Pickett, is a temporary employee that filed a class action lawsuit claiming the logistics conglomerate discriminated against him for having a criminal history. Mr. Pickett wanted to transition as a full-time employee of DHL to take advantage of benefits and job security.…

Best Practices When Conducting Current Employment Verification

One of the services employers retain us to provide is employment verification. This service is conducted to verify the accuracy of information that an applicant provided on a job application and/or resume submitted to an employer to ensure the applicant is trustworthy and has the experience needed for the specific position being sought. Applicants sometimes…

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Texas Employer

A Texas law firm recently landed a 1.2 million verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit. The case involved a man named Jacob Matthew Cadriel who was shot by a coworker at his workplace, Indchem, which is a subsidiary of Woven Metal Products. The offense against Jacob Matthew Cadriel was committed by his coworker Steven Damien…

New I-9 Form is Coming, Be Prepared

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released an update version of the form I-9. Pursuant to federal law immigration, employers MUST maintain a compliant properly completed form I-9 for ALL employees hire in the U.S. after November 6, 1986. The new form which takes effect on January 22, 2017 has added the following…

Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations Made by Employers

Now more than ever, employers must adhere to specific federal and state laws when conducting employment background checks. There has been an increase in class action lawsuits brought against employers for violating such laws, especially the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Here ways employers may easily fall prey to noncompliance with the Fair Credit Reporting…

Three Reasons Why Employers Should Conduct the Background Screening Check Post-Offer

One of the most common questions we get from hiring executives is, “When do I run the background check, before I hire the person or after?”. The paradigm has shifted to post-offer background check with the recent “ban the box” legislation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforcement. We will look at three reasons…

Compliance Assessment of Background Screening Programs

In order to ensure your organization is in full compliance with all the recent state and federal changes related to employment background checks, Employers Choice Screening will conduct a free, no obligation compliance assessment of your current background screening program to ensure that your organization is using the proper documentation and following the correct procedures. This…

Developing Your Company’s Drug Policy

What to Consider When Developing Your Company’s Drug Policy: Maintaining a 100% drug free work place should be the driving factor in developing your company’s drug policy. Mandated compliance with federal law? States with medical/recreational marijuana laws? Does the company have “safety” sensitive positions? How are positive tests for marijuana handled? Do not only test…

Drug Testing – Time is of the Essence

When employers conduct drug testing as part of the employment screening check, it is vital that they maintain reasonable control of the entire process. If an employer conducts lab-based drug testing, they must provide a Chain of Custody Form (CCF) to the applicant. The applicant will then proceed to the designated collection site to submit…

Early Notification of Applicant Background Screening Policies

Early Notification of Applicant Background Screening Policies Posting signs in your office can be an effective tool for screening applicants before they even fill out a background disclosure form. An early notification of applicant background screening policies sign in your lobby and front office areas that inform applicants of your background screening policies can save…

Using a Social Security Trace Properly

The only way to ensure that you are performing an accurate county-level criminal records search is to search in every jurisdiction the applicant has resided in during a specified period of time (usually 7 years). But how do you know which jurisdictions should be searched? This is where a Social Security number trace comes to…

TB Testing

We constantly stress to our clients and all employers the importance of performing specific searches that need to be conducted on applicants seeking specific positions, such as credit checks on an all applicants applying for positions that involve fiduciary duties. But certain specific searches should also be conducted based upon the needs for specific industries.…

Social Security Verification vs. E-Verify

There is some confusion as to the difference between verifying a social security number, and authorizing one’s eligibility to work in the United States (E-Verify). Due to the increased number of “e-raids” that the Department of Homeland Security is conducting on businesses, organizations must ensure that they’re employing applicants who are authorized to work in…

Employment Physicals

Certain industries require specific background searches to be conducted on prospective employees. Employers Choice Screening, for example, stresses the importance of screening applicants for tuberculosis if they will be handling food, caring for the elderly, or managing children. Employment physicals are also recommended for organizations with job duties that require labor intensive tasks such as construction,…

Seasonal Hires and Temporary Staff

Certain industries require specific searches to be conducted on prospective employees. For instance, we stress the importance of screening applicants that will be handling food, or caring for the elderly/children, for tuberculosis. We also recommend employment physicals for companies that are in labor intensive industries, like construction, public safety, and manufacturing. Employers can’t ask about…

Education Verification

Make sure when you hire high level managers or executives, you are conducting education verification on any and all education they are claiming. Remember background screening companies can only “verify” education and not “investigate” an applicant’s educational history. If the position requirements call for a specific educational background or field of study, ensure they have…

Nationwide Sex Offender Registries vs. Statewide Sex Offender Registries

A sex offender registry is a common search that background screening companies provide as part of an employment background check. Most background screening companies advertise what is called a “Nationwide Sex Offender Registry Search”, which will search for level II and III convicted sex offenders nationwide. However, the nationwide sex offender registry misses around 20%…

Employment Decision from Pending Background Checks

The responsibilities of hiring managers are finding the right applicants for the right positions, and making a well-informed employment decision. In some cases, organizations have lost out on valuable, high-level applicants because the background check conducted on them took too long to complete. This has prompted Human Resource (HR) professionals to make their employment decision…

When to Screen Current Employees

We constantly get inquiries from our clients regarding when and if it’s appropriate to conduct background checks on current employees. Our first response is to ask if a background screening policy is already in place (having an existing policy limits the employer’s exposure to discrimination claims), and specifically is language exists in that policy pertaining…

Disclosure on Website that Background Checks are Conducted

The majority of employers now allow applicants to complete formal job applications online. We feel it would be ideal to include a written disclosure on their websites which states that the organization conducts background checks. We always encourage our clients to post signage in their offices, preferably in areas where applicants complete their applications. Not…

Pre-Adverse/Adverse Action Compliance

Remember to follow the pre-adverse/adverse action process to ensure your compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Recently a large background screening firm was slapped with a $2.6 million civil penalty by the Federal Trade Commission for violating FCRA regulations. One of the crucial sections of the FCRA they were found to have violated…

Running a Nationwide Criminal Search in Conjunction with a County Level Criminal Search

Conducting a cursory nationwide criminal database search on its own, independent of any other searches should never be considered a proper criminal background check. However, running a nationwide criminal search in conjunction with a county level criminal search could reveal additional criminal offenses that may otherwise have been missed. When A Social Security number address…

Employers Must Review Entire Background Check Report

Employers are required to review all completed reports provided by their Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) provider to validate that the information received is accurate and up to date. Most importantly, employers must look for any adverse information that could potentially prevent the subject of the report from being hired for the position A Credit Reporting…

Tip #1: Are Background Checks Legal?

When an employer decides to hire or promote an employee they should have a non-discriminatory legally compliant background screening program in place. Not only does this help employers ensure they are hiring the right person for the position, it also limits exposure to negligent hiring claims. For this month we will focus on the question,…

Why Is It A Good Idea To Do Background Checks?

For each “tip of the month” this year we will focus on 12 different recommendations for creating a non-discriminatory employment background screening program. When an employer decides to hire or promote an employee they should have a non-discriminatory legally compliant background screening program in place. Not only does this help employers ensure they are hiring…

Will The Applicant Know About A Background Check?

For each “tip of the month” this year we will focus on 12 different recommendations for creating a non-discriminatory employment background screening program. When an employer decides to hire or promote an employee they should have a non-discriminatory legally compliant background screening program in place. Not only does this help employers ensure they are hiring…

What are the Legal Ramifications or Restrictions for Conducting Background Checks?

For each “tip of the month” this year we will focus on 12 different recommendations for creating a non-discriminatory employment background screening program. When an employer decides to hire or promote an employee they should have a non-discriminatory legally compliant background screening program in place. Not only does this help employers ensure they are hiring…

Five Steps to Challenge Social Media Screening

The use of social media profiles by employers as a screening tool has evolved over the last few years. Certain states have implemented laws prohibiting employers from asking job applicants to provide their personal Facebook account login information. Employers now have to craft their own policy pertaining to these types of searches, not to mention…

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The intent is to provide information of value to attorneys, human resource, security, and risk management professionals. The information contained in this e-mail alert is intended to provide useful information on the topics covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Your comments via email are appreciated.