zâo chén h ǎo ( morning greeting used in the People's Republic of China)
Welcome to the new Background Buzz!
We've added a new Technology Talk column. Our goal is to create an interactive forum to discuss technology issues impacting the industry so please send us your technology related questions to get the discussion going.
Also see our special 2014 Year End Report which highlights the top stories and issues of 2014.
Let us know what you think about the new look.
I would like to extend a very happy new year to our Chinese colleagues and to all who follow the Chinese Zodiac. 2015 is the year of Sheep and starts on February 19th. The Sheep (Goat) is a Yin energy, a symbol of peace, harmonious co-existence and tranquility. That is the primary and fundamental mood for this year. If you were born in any of the following years 1943, 1955,1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 your Chinese Zodiac sign is the Sheep. Just in case you were wondering, my Chinese Zodiac sign is the Ox.
As a marketing firm we are often asked about the value of brand advertising and awareness campaigns since most firms tend to primarily focus on the holy grail of marketing - leads generation. One indicator of the value of brand awareness is sighted in a study of the HR marketplace. In response to the question 'When assembling your short list of vendors to include in an RFP, how important is it that you are already familiar with the vendor's brand? A whopping 92.9% of respondents indicated familiarity with a vendor's brand was important (32.5% said very important and 60.4% said somewhat important). "Solution providers that don't have strong brand recognition are fighting an uphill battle, as they are at a disadvantage against those that are well known." (Source: The 2014 HR Buying Trends Report, HRmarketer.com )
Welcome new Platinum Members:
Is your firm Accredited? Our Accreditation Profile is designed to promote your accredited status. We only have two placements remaining for 2015. If you want to 'announce' to the world your accredited status let us help you by featuring your firm in our Accredited Profile. For more information see PreemploymentDirectory.com's Accreditation Profile.
ATTENTION BACKGROUND SCREENING FIRMS! Its time to get into the 2015-16 Background Screening Industry Resource Guide which we are pleased to announce will be distributed to 30,000 HR Managers this year. We will launch the Resource Guide at the SHRM Annual Conference. Now's your chance to get into the premier publication for the background screening industry. Learn more
ATTENTION ALL SUPPLIERS! We are working on the 2015-16 Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. Click here to learn how your firm can participate.
Watch for our new e-magazine, The Global Background Screener, next month.
Thanks for joining us this month. We appreciate your patronage. Stay safe until next time.
IN THIS EDITION
CRIMINAL RECORDS COULD BE HAVING A HUGE IMPACT ON LABOR-FORCE PARTICIPATION
For years, we've seen a decline in the labor force participation rate (LFPR). That's the number of people available for work as a percentage of the total population of working-age people. JP Morgan's David Kelly has a post on the five reasons he thinks the LFPR is declining. "While some of this decline may be cyclical, we believe most of it is structural," Kelly writes. "In particular, the aging of the baby boomers, a rise in the number of Americans receiving disability benefits, and an increase in criminal records and background checks all seem to have played a role in depressing the employment rate."
If the LFPR really is being depressed by companies that won't hire people with criminal records, that cuts a huge chunk of the population off from a lot of job options - they are more likely to get discouraged, and more likely to never return to the labor force if they are unemployed.
Just how many people does it affect?
Based on recent Justice Department data the number of people with some sort of criminal record that may be impacted is now likely above 70 million when filtered for a number of factors. That count includes people with all types of criminal records, from violent felonies to minor charges. In some cases, even people who were arrested but never convicted still have a criminal record.
Commercial truck drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08 g/dL, which is currently the legal threshold for individuals to be considered driving while drunk throughout the nation cause 78 completely preventable deaths and 2,080 completely preventable injuries annually.
To prevent this kind of tragedy from occurring each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed that a commercial driver clearinghouse be created. It would monitor drivers and ensure that they are not engaging in risky behaviors like drinking and using drugs before or during their employment as a commercial driver. Although federal laws have been in place for years prohibiting these practices, no system has been created to allow trucking companies the ability to find whether or not their drivers or potential hires have been guilty of breaking the laws.
A special Year End Report on the top issues that impacted background screening in 2014. The report takes a look at the top stories and news items that appeared in The Background Buzz, and itemizes the most significant issues. At the top of the list was the growing number of state and local jurisdictions passing Ban the Box laws followed by class action lawsuits alleging violations of the FCRA. Other top issues included laws passed that restrict employer's accessing applicants' and employees' social media account passwords, laws passed that restrict the use of credit reports for employment purposes and USCIS enforcement of immigration E-verify requirements.
New Tenant Protection Bills Include Background Screening Relief, 90-Day Rent Hike Notice
The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance announced that Washington legislators introduced several bills intended to help renters deal with the spiraling costs and increasing challenges of being a tenant in the state's current housing market
43rd District Rep. Brady Walkinshaw's introduced a bill that would ensure renters only pay an application fee once by requiring landlords to accept a submitted background screening as long as it was prepared within 30 days of the application date. Landlords may choose to do their own background screening, but if one is already provided to them they cannot pass that fee onto prospective tenants.
Another bill introduced is designed to ensure better accuracy in evictions reporting.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memorandum December 29, 2014 regarding the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The memorandum states that the manufacture, distribution or possession of marijuana is illegal under federal law even if it is permitted under state law for medical or recreational purpose.
Owners of federally assisted housing must deny admission to any household with a member who the owner determines is, at the time of application for admission, illegally using a controlled substance, e.g., marijuana, as defined by the CSA.
Genesis Healthcare improperly uses background checks, federal lawsuit charges
Genesis Healthcare hired plaintiff Doris Ramos in July 2014 to work as an occupational therapist, then rescinded the job offer after a background check, the complaint states. Ramos contends that Genesis never provided her with a copy of the background check and a statement of her rights, as called for by the FCRA, Law360 reported. The FCRA governs the collection and distribution of consumer information, including background checks as well as credit reporting.
Ramos also claims that the background check inaccurately said that she had a felony conviction. Because of this alleged error, Ramos also has brought a claim against General Information Services Inc., charging that the consumer reporting firm contracted by Genesis does not take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.
Heightened Scrutiny of Brokers - SEC Approves
In recent years, questions have been raised in many quarters about how brokers with questionable backgrounds have been able to move among firms and remain in the industry. FINRA has responded by enhancing a broker dealer's obligations for reviewing the backgrounds of its newly hired brokers.
The SEC recently approved proposed FINRA Rule 3110(e), which requires FINRA member firms to verify the information in Form U4 within 30 calendar days of filing. The proposed rule, which will take effect on July 31, 2015, is intended to improve the information that winds up in FINRA's Central Registration Depository (CRD) and BrokerCheck. FINRA's 2015 Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter (January 6, 2015) discusses its concern with "high-risk and recidivist brokers," including firms' due diligence on prospective hires, and highlights the proposed rule with respect to investor protection.
Source: Morrison & Foerster LLP
Misrepresentation on Employment Application May Override State Criminal Background Check Law
Most employers understand the importance of compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as it applies to background checks and applicant records. However, employers also must recognize the interplay of state law restrictions on the use of background checks in the application and employment process.
Recently, a federal district court in Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of an employer who withdrew an offer of employment after that employer found a discrepancy between background check records and information reported directly by the applicant to the company. McCorkle v. Schenker Logistics, Inc., MDPA, 1:13-cv-03077, October 8, 2014.
On January 1, a new Michigan law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment. Louisiana , Georgia , Tennessee, and Texas recently passed similar laws.
law specifically provides that, in an action seeking damages for personal
injury, property damage, or wrongful death, a "certificate of employability"
may be introduced as evidence of an employer's due care in hiring
or retaining an ex-offender (so long as the employer knew of the certificate
at the time of the decision). And, where the claim requires proof
that the employer was negligent in hiring by disregarding a prior
criminal conviction, a certificate of employability conclusively establishes
that the employer was not negligent (so long as the employer knew
of the certificate at the time of hire).
Act 153 of 2014: Criminal Background Checks and Child Abuse Clearances
The Pennsylvania General Assembly amended the Child Protective Services Law (the CPSL) several times over the past year. The most recent changes were through Act 153 of 2014. Although there are sweeping changes made to the CPSL, even in just Act 153, this Alert only focuses on criminal background checks and child abuse clearances (collectively "clearances").
As it relates to clearances, Act 153 requires all prospective employees, current employees, independent contractors and volunteers to get and renew criminal background checks and child abuse clearances on a three-year cycle.
Paramount Slapped With Class Action Over Credit Reports For Job Applicants
Looks like there was something prickly buried in the fine print for one prospective employee and maybe many more. Paramount Pictures has been hit with a lawsuit over allegedly not telling job applicants exactly how deep into their past it intends to look. "This class action alleges that certain policies and practices followed by Defendants Paramount Pictures Corporation and the Doe Defendants in furnishing, using, procuring, and/or causing to be procured consumer reports for employment purposes violate the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act," said the complaint from Michael Peikoff filed in federal court Wednesday ( read it here ).
New Minnesota Expungement Law Helps Protect Employers from Liability
A new Minnesota law that took effect on January 1 expands the opportunities for ex-offenders to expunge their criminal records. In an effort to protect employers who hire employees with expunged records, the new law provides that such records "may not be introduced as evidence in a civil litigation against a private employer . . . that is based on the conduct of the employee" (such as in a negligent hiring suit).
Rhode Island Tops In Use of Marijuana and Illicit Drugs, Survey Finds / Interactive
In addition, Rhode Islanders also led the nation in consuming illegal drugs, excluding marijuana. About 4.3 percent reported having taken them in the month before being surveyed.
District of Columbia Bans Pot Testing of Job Applicants
The D.C. Council unanimously passed a bill prohibiting employers from testing job applicants for marijuana until after they've made a conditional job offer. The bill would allow employers to test for pot after they offer someone a job as well as during employment. Because it's a local law, it doesn't apply to the federal government or to federal contractors.
Politician's Fingerprint Cloned From Photos By Hacker
Jan Krissler, a member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) hacker network says he replicated the fingerprint of defence minister Ursula von der Leyen using pictures taken with a "standard photo camera." Mr Krissler had no physical print from Ms von der Leyen.
He told the audience he had obtained a close-up of a photo of Ms von der Leyen's thumb and had also used other pictures taken at different angles during a press event that the minister had spoken at in October.
Fingerprint identification is used as a security measure on both Apple and Samsung devices, and was used to identify voters at polling stations in Brazil's presidential election this year, but it is not considered to be particularly secure, experts say.
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in December. The index now stands at 128.43, up from 127.83 in November. This represents a 7.5 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.
"The Employment Trends Index increased in every single month of 2014, capping the year off with strong growth, 2.3 percent, in the final quarter," said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. "The strengthening in the ETI suggests that rapid job growth is likely to continue throughout the first half of 2015. And as the labor market tightens further, acceleration in wage growth is soon to follow."
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First Advantage Expands Global Operations with New Dubai Office
has opened a new office in Dubai with Vera Gondard appointed as Director
of Account Management UAE to head up the operation.
Orange Tree Employment Screening Granted Continuing NAPBS Accreditation
Orange Tree Employment
Screening announced that the NAPBS has awarded Orange Tree continued
accreditation by the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council
(BSCC). The continued accreditation is the result of Orange Tree's
successful completion of an interim surveillance audit and the BSCC's
approval of the findings of that audit. Orange Tree was originally
accredited by the BSCC in 2011 for a five year term.
Personnel Screening Helpdesk (PSH)
To support screening professionals to conduct background checks on a routine basis, Personnel Screening Helpdesk (PSH) was launched in December 2014. This new initiative was created by Beijing Orient and several screening firms in Southeast Asia.
Verification is the best method to detect any misrepresentation of academic and professional credentials. In the PSH website http://personnelscreening.org/, you can find the procedures to run degree verification with many of the top universities in the world. The database is updated regularly to reflect any changes in the verification procedures.
The goal of PSH is to connect users (e.g. employers and HR professionals) directly to the right resources and service providers. It would help to increase cost/ time efficiency, and achieve accurate screening results.
Learn more, visit http://personnelscreening.org/
Managing Director, Kersey Immigration Compliance, LLC
Nicole A. ("Nici") Kersey is an attorney whose practice is dedicated to employment-based immigration, with a focus on the Form I-9, E-Verify, and related immigration compliance issues. Nici represents employers before, during, and after Form I-9 inspections by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), providing practical advice to and serving as an advocate for employers during negotiations and litigation relating to fines for I-9 violations. She is a frequent trainer and speaker on I-9 and E-Verify issues. Nici is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and provides pro bono representation to the spouses of U.S. soldiers and to arts organizations.
The Challenge Question:
What is the deadline for completing the Form I-9?
I am confused. Some sources say that the whole I-9 has to be done on the first day of work. Others say it can be done before that. Others say that I have three, or even four days to do the form. What is the actual rule?
Form I-9 Verification Process Update
E-Verify: Employee Re-verification - At present, employers are unable to re-verify an existing employee's work authorization in E-Verify, and in fact, must not do so. USCIS is working on developing a re-verification process for E-Verify.
E-Verify: Employee Rehire - In cases where an employee is rehired, but did not previously have his or her employment authorization verified through E-Verify or, if verified, did not receive an employment authorized result, the employer must create an E-Verify case for the rehired employee.
E-Verify: Correcting Typographical Errors - Where incorrect information is entered while creating a case in E-Verify, the employer will need to create a new case with the correct information for the employee. If the case is not yet closed, the employer should close the case by selecting the statement, "The case is invalid because the data entered is incorrect." If the case is already closed, the employer should make a note either on the E-Verify case details page or on the employee's Form I-9 explaining that a second case was created because the first case contained incorrect information.
Source: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP ,
M&A Transactional lawyers have to cover a lot of ground in their deals: employment, tax, commercial real estate, intellectual property, and ERISA laws to name a few and in many cases I-9 immigration compliance is not included.
When representing the acquirer, attorneys are advised to include an indemnification clause in the deal documents to protect their client from I-9 fines for forms they inherit that contain substantive violations. If representing the seller, be sure to add an expiration date for the indemnity clause. After the deal closes, the buyer can remediate I-9 forms with substantive violations, and you don't want your clients on the hook indefinitely if the acquiring company fails to do so in a timely manner.
In a recent case we discovered that a manufacturing firm being purchased did not use e-Verify and had inadvertently accepted fake identity documents from hundreds of hourly employees across seven states which meant they would likely have to be terminated. The likelihood of losing hundreds of skilled employees materially affected the price our client was willing to pay for the business they were acquiring. In the end, the deal closed, but the client paid a lot less for the assets of the business than they had originally planned.
In addition to vetting I-9 compliance of a target company during the acquisition due diligence, there are other related topics worth asking a question or two about that can save your client from big headaches down the road.
USCIS myE-Verify Program Now Available in More States
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) myE-Verify program provides a website from USCIS that gives U.S. job-seekers resources and tools to learn about and participate in the E-Verify process.
Currently, myE-Verify accounts are available in Arizona, Idaho, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
For more information about myE-Verify, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/mye-verify/about-mye-verify
IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET INTO THE
The Buyers Guide will be distributed to approximately 2,000 background screening firms.
Grab a latte and pull up a chair and join us for a great interview with Paul Hickman, CEO, Courthouse Concepts.
Once he started performing background checks Paul indicated he enjoyed helping his clients to make informed hiring decisions. He noted that "his job is not to judge folks and added that he believes people deserve a second chance, but, he believes honesty is everything."
conversation to the company he shared that his mission is to positively
impact his clients by providing them with quality information which
allow them to make informed decisions. He added that he really believes
that training and education, not only of his employees, but also his
clients, is a major key to success.
He also shared
that the company started an investigation and a security consulting
division two years ago and that they have provided services nationwide
to several business as well as to school districts.
Turning back to him personally, I asked if he had read any interesting books recently. He responded that he has recently read Seven Summits by Dick Bass, Frank Wells and Rick Ridgeway. The book takes you on the journey of Dick Bass and Frank Wells to be the first ones to climb the highest summits in each of the seven continents. Given his recent read of this book, his response regarding the most interesting person he would like to meet was very befitting. He said that given the chance he would like to meet Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary, along with Tenzing Norga, became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
We closed the interview with him sharing his favorite quote: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."(Mahatma Gandhi)
Thanks to Paul for a very interesting and insightful interview.
If you would like to speak with Paul or learn more about Courthouse Concepts please reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can help you have a high quality e-newsletter to help nurture your relationship with your clients and attract new clients. Our customized newsletter service will take over your newsletter task or create a new one for you. We can manage the creation of your newsletter for you.
We are constantly researching information to use for The Background Buzz and you can put our research to use for you. Using the information rich content from The Background Buzz (minus the ads and competitors information) we will create a custom newsletter for you.
Use your staff’s time to do more valuable work and save all the hassle of researching or writing articles, formatting and managing all the other ezine tasks with our customized ezine process.
Contact Barry Nixon at 949-770-5264 or at wbnixon@PreemploymentDirectory.com for more information.
Top Things You Think You Know About Data Privacy Compliance (But Maybe Don't)
Business opportunities are increasingly arising overseas, whether you're a fledgling start-up or a Fortune 500. As you venture into the larger world, it's worth to remember that at last count, over 80 countries have adopted data privacy laws. Laws and local attitudes about data privacy may be very different from your business as usual, wherever you call home.
Here are some of the common misperceptions about what data privacy compliance is and isn't.
1. Business Data and Documents may be Personal Data.
2. Public Data Is There To Use.
3. We're Compliant - We Have An IT Security Policy.
4. We're Compliant - We've Got Everyone's Consent.
6. We're Compliant - We're Following The Law.
Source: http:// dlapiper.com/
Durham Police Unveil New Guidelines For Criminal Background Checks
Durham Region Police have announced some welcome changes to the guidelines the force follows on criminal background checks. Starting Feb. 1, police will, in most cases, no longer release non-conviction records, meaning people applying for jobs or volunteer positions will no longer be adversely affected by any past involvement with police.
The changes came about after much-publicized accounts across Ontario of people who lost out on jobs or couldn't become volunteers due to disclosures in police background checks about past brushes with the law, even if there were no convictions or even charges. Information revealed on these checks included unproven charges, withdrawn charges and mental health calls to 911. These people's lives were disrupted by what police revealed to potential employers or volunteer organizations.
The new guidelines aim to strike a balance between providing information about individuals applying to work with vulnerable people and the rights of those applicants to privacy and the presumption of innocence, members of the Durham police services board were told recently.
Conducting background checks into the educational, employment, criminal or credit history of candidates for employment can form part of a company's recruitment processes. The article provides a brief overview of the Canadian legislation to be considered when implementing policies and procedures for background checking in Canada.
must be considered before conducting background checks?
and Educational/Professional Credentials Checks
(c) Credit History Checks2
Welder Sues Changan Ford, Saying Faulty Background Check Cost Him Job
Li Gang, has filed a lawsuit in Hangzhou against U.S. auto giant Ford Motor Co.'s China claiming the company refused to employ him even after offering him a job because he failed a background check. This is the first time a court in China has formally accepted an employment discrimination case of this kind.
The plaintiff, Li Gang, said Changan Ford Automobile Co.'s Hangzhou subsidiary tested and interviewed him for an experienced welder position, then offered him the job. He resigned from his previous job and moved to the city from a neighboring area in June to take the new post, but then the company refused to hire him because of an "unclean background check."
The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) recently sent a letter ('the Letter') to the Council of Europe (CoE) outlining its views on transborder access to personal data in criminal investigations. The Letter, addresses data protection implications of cross jurisdictional exchange of information for law enforcement purposes. Reform of the mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs), which set out the procedures for these information exchanges, was suggested by the WP29 as a solution to these concerns.
'We consider that MLATs must be compliant with fundamental rights and, therefore, with data protection requirements,' read the Letter.
"From a US perspective, the Letter from the WP29 only serves to exacerbate the underlying tension facing US companies. Ultimately, the competing demands of data protection laws and law enforcement authorities will only be resolved through a multi stake holder process that includes representatives from government, the private sector, law enforcement and other interested parties."
HANDBOOK ON EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION LAW
The handbook on European data protection law is jointly prepared by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Council of Europe together with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights. It is the third in a series of legal handbooks jointly prepared by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Council of Europe. The Handbook presents legal framework of the European Union and the Council of Europe, including the case law on personal data protection of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The aim of the handbook is to raise awareness and improve knowledge of data protection rules in European Union and Council of Europe member states by serving as the main point of reference to which readers can turn. It is designed for non-specialist legal professionals, judges, national data protection authorities and other persons working in the field of data protection.
is available on FRA website at:
Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner Issues Guidance on Cross-Border Data Transfers
On 29 December, 2014, Hong Kong's Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (the "Commissioner") published a guidance note concerning the potential implementation of section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (the "PDPO"), which would restrict the export of personal data from Hong Kong.
There has been no official announcement that the Hong Kong government intends to bring the provision into force
guidance may be found at: http://www.pcpd.org.hk/english/resources_centre/publications/guidance/files/GN_crossborder_e.pdf
of Offenders Act 1974 introduced the concept over 40 years ago that
ex-offenders sentenced to less serious penalties should, after a period
of time, be considered rehabilitated and not obliged to disclose previous
convictions which would be regarded as 'spent'. The Act also stated
that some occupations, for example, those involving working with children,
would be exempt from its protection, meaning that even spent convictions
for those wishing to undertake such roles would continue to be disclosable.
Visit the Job Board for the Employment and Tenant Screening Industry. Here you will find resumes of people with industry experience and employers seeking applicants with experience in Employment and Tenant Screening and related businesses.
2015 Events ( Click Here to View full list of Events ) - Updated Monthly
SHRM State Conferences, visit http://www.shrm.org/Conferences/StateAffilliateConferences/Pages/default.aspx
and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), 2013 Training Course
SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events, http://www.sapaa.com/
CUPA-HR Conferences: http://www.cupahr.org/
World Federation of People Management Associations, Events, http://www.wfpma.com/events/by-region#quicktabs-tab-view__events__page_3-4
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide professional or legal advise regarding actions to take in any situation. Advertisements are presented for information and marketing purposes only and the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. makes no representations for any products or services that are promoted and accepts no responsibility for any actions or consequences that occur as a result of any purchases from advertisers.