! (it sounds kind of like 'bonn zhu' not how it's written.

We are approaching the end of another summer. Where did the time go? Labor day is upon us and I hope you have a chance to spend some quality time with your family and love ones. Time waits for no one and remember, tomorrow is not promised, so live today to its fullest. Hug your children, kiss your significant other, call someone you have not talked to in while and tell her you were thinking about her. Don't put it off! Do something today to put a smile on someone face.

Text Box:  Suppliers we will are finalizing the next edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide so contact us immediately to be included. I have enclosed the invitation and reservation forms. Don't miss this opportunity to put your company's information directly in the hands of decisions makers at background screening firms that buy your services. We will be distributing the Suppliers Buyers Guide to the more than 1,600 background screening firms in our database. Company Profiles (up to 100 words) are complimentary to our Platinum Members. Contact me today to reserve your space.

We have launched our new web site,, and the response has been fantastic. Our goal is to create a magnificent background screening information portal that will become the hub for Human Resource professionals and others involved in the hiring process who are seeking information about background screening. The new site has been designed to make it easy for visitors to find the specific information and services they are looking for. Over time this will increase the value to background screening firms by facilitating greater SEO opportunities and driving our site towards becoming the premier backlink for background screening firms.

One opportunity that we are making available immediately to all our subscribers is the ability to post articles, white papers, press releases, announcements, etc. to our new Background Screening Knowledge Center . You may include hyperlinks to your web site, thus driving more traffic to you site. We are making this opportunity available to you at no charge as a way of saying thank you for subscribing to The Background Buzz.

We have also re-invented our International Background Screening Resource Center to become the premier source for information on International background screening. It will become the 'go to' source for human resource professionals and anyone else seeking information about international background screening.

Our goal is to help firms in the background screening industry to maximize their marketing efforts to help them achieve their revenue goals.

Please note that we are once again featuring the Liars' Index.® Jude Werra, the author of the Liars' Index® is now "searching" for a firm to take over his internationally known Liars' Index ® survey. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity click here.

Thanks again for joining us this month, have some fun and stay safe!

PS - Mauritian creole is spoken by 90% of Mauritians.

Volume 9, Edition 8, August 2013




Text Box:  A Star Walks Among Us

Lucia Bone, Founder and Executive Director of C.A.U.S.E., was invited to interview with TODAY's Jeff Rossen last week. Of course she jumped at the opportunity. Lucia was asked to share Sue's story, and is incredibly thankful that the nation will hear it and learn from it. As a non-profit pushing for significant change on a national level, a platform like the TODAY show could very well be our best and only shot. It is our sincere hope that viewers will change the way they hire service workers, vow to never be home alone while service workers are in or around their homes, and share Sue's story and its significance with their loved ones.


TV Installer Accused of Child Sex Assault in Paterson, N. J.

A man working as a TV installer has been charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year old girl in in Paterson, New Jersey. The suspect is 38-year old Arcadio "Junior" Nova, is an independent contractor employed as a DirecTV installer. Prosecutors say the alleged incident occurred on July 3 while Nova was preparing to install the service in the girl's home.

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Federal Grants to Expunge Criminal Convictions

Within the next two years, more than 5,000 U.S. minors and young adults could have their criminal records expunged with the help of $26 million in federal grants, which means that their future employers may never know about their convictions. Expungement removes from the justice system all information about criminal history-including fingerprints, trial records, and related electronic files or paperwork. Judges decide who's eligible for the program, and even offenders with violent criminal histories may be considered. The EEOC guidance doesn't speak specifically to expunged records, and that makes employers' responsibilities in this area murky. Some cities and states have laws forbidding employers from asking about expunged records. And no matter where they live, job candidates who are asked about past convictions can legally answer no if the conviction's been expunged. Still, about 92% of organizations subject all or some potential employees to criminal background checks and convictions may still show up on the Web even if they have been expunged. Employers are advised not to ask follow-up questions about an expunged conviction, even if an applicant reveals the conviction. Companies should also make sure that background agencies check only court records for accurate information.

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Dallas-Area Man, Erbie Lee Bowser, Arrested In Killings of 4 Women Had His RECORD WIPED CLEAN

Bowser had a history of domestic violence, but it isn't in his criminal record because he completed the Dallas County court program for veterans in the summer of 2012. Bowser entered the Veterans Court after attacking Zina Bowser at their home on Galleria in January 2011. She had filed for divorce and wanted him to move out, according to a protective order application she signed.

Bowser served in the Army from 1991 to 2000. Those who enter Veterans Court must demonstrate that their time in combat caused them to commit whatever crime they are accused of.

The grenade-wielding man who police say shot two mothers and their daughters to death Wednesday had a history of family violence. But his criminal record was wiped clean after he'd graduated from a special program for veterans trying to get their lives back on track, and he may have lied to get into the program. Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, faces multiple capital murder charges after authorities say he killed his former girlfriend and her teenage daughter in southwest Dallas around 10:30 p.m. and then drove about 7 miles to DeSoto to kill his estranged wife and her daughter,

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Jude M. Werra & Associates, LLC updates its “Liars Index®” on a semiannual basis. The firm is dedicated to
bringing clarity to Directors and Officers executive assessment, search and selection across North America.

Texas Colleges & Universities Initiate Dorm Background Checks

Colleges and universities across Texas have been given approval by Governor Rick Perry to dig deeper into students' backgrounds if they want to live on campus. Campus police at Grayson College say safety is the number one priority, especially for those living on campus. "They're here 24/7 just like us. So, our primary goal is to make sure we have a safe environment o live in," said the Campus Police Chief. Only those applying to live on campus will be subject to the checks. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) website will show pending charges and convictions, and only a housing administrator or campus police chief will be allowed access to the records. The new law doesn't require public universities and colleges to perform the background checks. That is up to each institution to decide.

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U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Under Pressure

Despite the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor agreement's apparent success at facilitating cross-border data transfers since its adoption in 2000, it's in danger. MEP Jan-Phillip Albrecht recommended in his report earlier this year that the mechanism be discontinued, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations have indicated discontent with the current framework. As such, organizations certified under Safe Harbor should closely monitor the EU's legislative process and the TTIP for indications about Safe Harbor's future. Under Safe Harbor, U.S. organizations certify to the U.S. Department of Commerce that they provide certain protections for personal data. Those protections are designed to ensure that organizations meet EU data protection requirements. Criticisms of Safe Harbor and other mechanisms that allow data to be transferred from the EU to the U.S. have, in many instances, been blind to the nature of government surveillance in EU countries. The outcry over U.S. government surveillance has apparently reenergized EU data protection reform efforts and could spell trouble for Safe Harbor.

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Dallas Hired Tech Manager Based On Phony Résumé; Now He's Charged With Theft

Based on his résumé, Antoine Deon Flowers was just the sort of promising young manager the city of Dallas needed to help its information services department recover from a massive hiring scandal. A former Army officer who worked for NASA as a software engineer, Flowers was an education director at a Virginia college. He spoke and wrote Spanish and was working on a master's degree in math from Southern Methodist University. According to investigators, Flowers is charged with stealing $10,000 worth of iPads,- just three months after he started his $83,000-a-year job with the city. More troubling, a review of Flowers' résumé by The Dallas Morning News shows that it is largely a work of fiction. It's clear the city did little to check references on Flowers' résumé - something called for under the city's hiring guidelines.

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Did You Know?

According to the U.S. Department of Justice more than 92 million Americans or approximately one in three have some sort of criminal history.

Source: HR Morning


The Business Need to Re-screen

In today's regulatory environment, due diligence in the form of comprehensive screening of clients, third parties, and transactions is essential to managing business risk and crucial to demonstrating that the risk is being managed. It should be clear that businesses need to adopt a policy and practice of re-screening in order to protect their business, demonstrate good corporate governance, and to satisfy the anti-financial crime expectations of their regulator, law enforcement, customers, and other interested and influential parties. It is important that all senior management understand that screening and re-screening ensures that your business does not take the wrong sales opportunities that lead to short-term income but long-term loss. Reasons to screen: 1. Change of a government, by election or by force; 2. National or international sanctions; 3. Economic crises; 4. Criminal investigations or convictions; 5. Media focus/public concern; 6. Administrative changes to clients'/suppliers' details; 7. Other key changes relevant to your business. Once you know your risks and vulnerabilities it's advisable to have a comprehensive and updated database of client details and the ability to screen and re-screen using a reliable business intelligence provider.

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State AGs Warn the EEOC: Your "Misguided" Position on Criminal Background Screens is "Gross Federal Overreach"

Nine state attorney generals recently sent a joint letter to the EEOC claiming that the lawsuits and application of the law regarding criminal background checks is "misguided and a quintessential example of gross federal overreach." The letter blasts the EEOC on its position that "employers' use of bright-line criminal background checks in the hiring process violates Title VII…" The EEOC believes that a neutral policy of using prior criminal convictions as a job screen has a "disparate impact" on minorities and it crystallized its position in guidance it issued in April 2012. The EEOC's position on background checks has been roundly criticized by courts, scholars, and employers alike. Undeterred, the EEOC continues to file federal lawsuits accusing employers who consider criminal histories in hiring of violating Title VII. The letter urges the EEOC to "reconsider [their] position, rescind the EEOC Enforcement Guidance... and dismiss the [pending lawsuits]." This letter may be the most stinging rebuke to the EEOC on the subject to date. Employers insisting on clarity and predictability with regard to their criminal background check policies may have to await the outcome of pending lawsuits; in the interim, they can take heart that they have allies in state governments.

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The Risks of Pre-Employment Social Media Screening

An increasing number of states have recently passed laws that prohibit employers from obtaining passwords to a job applicant's social media accounts. Such legislation highlights companies' interest in finding out as much as they can about potential and even current employees. Despite the temptation to screen social media, it is much easier for an organization to defend against a discrimination claim when it never knew of the discriminatory grounds in the first place. To minimize the risks, some employers have sought to allow only non-decision-makers to do such searches. In these cases the searcher will gather the online information and pass on to the decision-makers only that which is permissible for consideration. This strategy provides the organization with the legitimately helpful facts while arguably protecting it from a discrimination claim. However, the strategy isn't without risks, as an applicant could argue that the employee completing the investigation tainted the process. Employers should also realize that there is a fine line between a background check and a pre-employment social media screening. If the latter qualifies as a background check, then the company needs to comply with the FCRA, including providing applicants with a disclosure that a background check will be performed and obtaining their authorization to proceed.

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Are Criminal Background Checks Illegal?

Criminal background checks can be a valuable resource for employers when recruiting new employees. Over time, laws have developed that require employers to thoroughly investigate job candidates before hiring them. An employer who fails to implement appropriate background checks can be held liable for "negligent hiring" if a new employee later becomes a problem. Criminal background checks often provide necessary protections for employers, but they also carry risks. In two recently filed lawsuits, the EEOC has taken the position that criminal background checks should have limited use in the hiring process. In both lawsuits, the EEOC alleged that an employer engaged in unlawful discrimination by refusing to hire any job candidate with a criminal conviction. The outcome of these lawsuits will seriously impact how employers conduct pre-hiring background checks on employees in the future. For now, employers utilizing criminal background checks in their pre-hiring decisions should ensure that their criminal background investigations are lawful. Employers are encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by the EEOC when utilizing criminal background checks in the hiring process.

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Welcome to the U.S. Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:

As the background screening industry continues to get more competitive the firms that will ultimately succeed will be those that create competitive advantage through their people by offering continuous learning opportunities to heightened their knowledge and capabilities. We believe that having employees that are very knowledgeable about the legal landscape of background screening is essential to continued success.

We are grateful to Larry D. Henry who began his law career with the Army JAGC where he tried over 2,000 cases. After the Army he relocated to Tulsa. In 1981, the founder of DAC Services contacted Mr. Henry's firm for assistance in creating a background screening company. Since Mr. Henry's practice was employment law, the firm believed this fell within his area and as they say: "the rest is history". His practice has kept him in continual contact with the background screening industry, and he is a nationally recognized expert in the area of background screening.

Mr. Henry's practice is concentrated on employment law and in specific, background screening of employees. He represents consumer reporting agencies throughout the United States and two national trade associations. He is the author of the Criminal Records Manual and the on line reference, and he is a frequent presenter across the country on various topics dealing with background screening.

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

A debt collection business approaches you about becoming a customer. Is debt collection a "permissible purpose" so as to allow this business to obtain a consumer report under the FCRA?

A. Yes.

B. Yes, so long as the company does not use the consumer report for any other purpose.

C. Yes, but only if the debts are credit debts.

D. No.

 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

Illinois Becomes 20th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. The law provides for a four-year pilot program allowing individuals with certain medical conditions - including cancer and multiple sclerosis - access to medical marijuana, pending approval by their doctors and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The law goes into effect January 1, 2014. The Illinois bill specifically prohibits employers from "penalizing" an individual for "his or her status as a registered qualifying patient." However, no cause of action will exist against an employer who terminates or disciplines an employee who, based upon the employer's good faith belief, used or possessed marijuana on the employer's premises and/or was impaired while working on the employer's premises. While it is too soon to tell how Illinois courts will interpret these provisions, Illinois employers with drug testing programs should consult with legal counsel to discuss how this provision may affect future testing.

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Court Dismisses EEOC's Background Check Lawsuit Based on its Reliance on "Laughable" and "Unreliable" Expert Report Filled of "Errors and Analytical Fallacies"

In a scathing opinion issued in the EEOC v. Freeman case, Judge Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed a nationwide pattern or practice lawsuit brought by the EEOC that alleged that Freeman, Inc., a service provider for corporate events, unlawfully relied upon credit and criminal background checks that caused a disparate impact against African-American, Hispanic, and male job applicants. This decision marks yet another blow to the EEOC's use of systemic lawsuits to challenge employers' reliance on background checks in making hiring decisions. Judge Titus noted: "Because of the higher rate of incarceration of African-Americans than Caucasians, indiscriminate use of criminal history information might have the predictable result of excluding African-Americans at a higher rate than Caucasian. Indeed, the higher rate might cause one to fear that any use of criminal history information would be in violation of Title VII. However, this is simply not the case." The defeat of the EEOC's case is significant. Judge Titus' decision is yet another favorable opinion for employers who fall victim to the EEOC's "do as I say, not as I do" litigation tactics, especially in pattern or practice cases that rely heavily on the use of statistical analysis.

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 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

"Second Chance" in Indiana Part Deux: Law Restricts Use of Sealed and Expunged Criminal Records

The latest changes to the Indiana "Second Chance" law went into effect on July 1, 2013, and were brought about by Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482 (the "Act" ), and signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May 2013. The new law applies to both Indiana-based employers as well as employers who hire workers in the State of Indiana. In addition to outlining the conditions and process by which ex-offenders can request the expungement or sealing of records, the law also has a direct impact on whichcriminal records employers can and cannot consider in the background screening process. Here are some highlights:

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"Do I Have to Hire a Criminal With Bad Credit?"

Two recently filed lawsuits by the EEOC alleging that employers' criminal-conviction policies resulted in race discrimination are a recent reminder that using a one-size-fits-all approach to criminal backgrounds is risky. The EEOC's basic allegation is that the employers' facially-neutral policies violated federal discrimination law because the policies excluded more minority candidates based on their disproportionately higher rate of arrests and convictions. Their position is that the use of criminal-background information should be used to exclude applicants and employees only if the employer conducts an individualized assessment of the information gathered. That individual assessment should include: consideration of the nature and gravity of the crimes, the age of the convictions, and the nature of the applicant's or employee's position. The same rationale applies to credit checks. To ensure that your hiring and screening practices are appropriately tailored, are based on sound reasoning, and are able to survive claims of discrimination from the EEOC, individual litigants, and potential class-action claims, ask yourself: Is all available information equally relevant?; Do you have valid reasons to conduct background checks?; and Are you making tailored assessments of unsuitability?

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Second Circuit Sets Reasonable Care Duty For Driver Privacy Act Reseller Disclosures

A U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that companies that resell personal information from motor vehicle records are subject to a "duty of reasonable care before disclosing such information pursuant to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)." The court ruled in Gordon v. Softeach Int'l that "Given the nature of information available through motor vehicle records-e.g., Social Security number, medical or disability information and home address-the DPPA's purpose would be severely undermined if resellers' disclosures were not subject to a duty of reasonable inquiry." The DPPA generally prohibits private citizens and entities from obtaining, disclosing, and reselling personal information from motor vehicle records. Section 2721(b), however, delineates fourteen permissible uses of such information, such as use by a "licensed private investigative agency" or specific uses by an insurer. In a separate opinion, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs concurred in part and dissented in part. He said that the majority, by requiring resellers to confirm the identities of customers and perform additional investigations, imposes "a negligence standard, and it is judicial invention that alters the nature of the industry's service and its economics, and thereby upsets the balance of the Act." He found it "reasonable for Congress to draw the line at a knowing violation…"

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Stuck in a Background Check Catch-22? Texas Has Your Back

Employers seem to be caught in an impossible catch-22 these days: run a background check on a job candidate and risk a potential discrimination lawsuit or forego this procedure and risk exposing the company to potential liability for negligent hiring or supervision. This is the position that the EEOC seems to be putting employers in by its aggressive interpretation of Title VII as prohibiting blanket rules against hiring applicants with criminal backgrounds. The Texas Legislature has taken an important step to help protect employers who are willing to give applicants with a criminal record a second chance. House Bill 1188 will limit the liability of employers who hire applicants with a criminal record. The new law provides that a "cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, based on evidence that the employee has been convicted of an offense." HB 1188 will benefit both employers and those with criminal records who are seeking employment, who often have difficulty finding a job. While the new Texas law will ease many employers' concerns of potential liability for hiring applicants with criminal records, it will not completely insulate employers from all claims of negligent hiring or supervision resulting from employment of such individuals.

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Illinois Amends Social Media Law Enacted Just Last Year

On August 1, 2012, Illinois became only the second state (after Maryland) to restrict employer access to an applicant's or employee's social media account. Since then, nine other states have enacted similar laws - California, Michigan, Utah, New Mexico (which ostensibly applies to prospective employees only), Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. A number of these newer laws more sharply defined the scope of their coverage and included broader exceptions, perhaps prompting Illinois to amend its existing social media law on August 16, 2013.

In short, the amendments clarify that the law's proscriptions only apply to "personal accounts" used exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purposes of the employer, and not "professional accounts" used for business purposes of the employer. Moreover, Illinois' amended law adds an exception that other state social media laws have adopted in one form or another. That is, where the password, account information, or access sought by the employer relates to a professional account, nothing restricts an employer from complying with a duty to screen employees or applicants prior to hiring, or to monitor or retain employee communications as required under Illinois insurance laws, federal law, or by a self-regulatory organization as defined by the Securities Exchange Act (such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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10 Steps to a Quality Privacy Program: Part One

This is the first of a series of articles that will drill down on each recommended step in an effort to help those just getting started on or revamping existing policies. Step 1: Creating Roadmaps of Regulatory and/or Contractual Requirements. In order to have a sound compliance or privacy program, one first must know the rules. Creating a map of these requirements will help ensure that organizations are aware of the rules that apply to them and will create a method for showing them how they should comply with each provision. Once the requirements have been identified and included in the map, the next step is to document how the organization complies with each of those provisions. On the roadmap or crosswalk, the organization will want to identify each policy, procedure, communication, training and monitoring activity related to each provision identified to show how they comply. The creation of such a tool gives the organization a baseline to audit and monitor against, helps avoid scrambling to collect documentation when responding to complaints and audit requests and enhances the organization's ability to identify risk and program maturity progression. This practice can be easily adopted and customized for all organizational models, regardless of size, complexity, industry and scale of business.

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Synthetic Drug Threats

To the drugs of abuse commonly plaguing employers, synthetic cannabinoids, such as K2 and Spice, and synthetic cathinodes, often labeled as bath salts, will have to be reckoned with. Legislation in 2009 and 2010 targeted specific versions of the drugs. However, minor changes to the chemical make-up of these substances can create new but very similar drugs not covered in the law. In response, 2011 and 2012 legislation targets entire classes of substances and aims to prevent new formulations of synthetic drugs from remaining unregulated, while still allowing the substances for approved medical and research purposes. Although the overwhelming majority of states have outlawed K2, Spice and bath salts, and although they have been added by legislation to Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, it is important to remind employers that detecting them is not a given. Employers need to check whether the laboratories they are using to analyze drug test results have the ability to test for these substances. The conventional tests used by laboratories to test for natural cannabis will not detect these synthetics. A spokesperson for a HR consulting group in the area reportedly added, "The expansion of this type of testing is going to be a substantial tool for employers. If they can't control the sale, they can at least deter the use."

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Public Policy Against Illegal Drugs Supports Firing of Public School Aide Despite Arbitrator's Reinstatement

An elementary public school classroom assistant was properly terminated for workplace drug abuse despite her 23 years of unblemished service and an arbitrator's award reinstating her subject to various conditions because, a Pennsylvania appellate court has held, the award ran afoul of a "well-defined documented public policy of protecting children in school from the damages of illicit drugs and drug use." The court vacated the award. In March 2001, the Grievant was found unconscious in the school's restroom as a result of a drug overdose and was subsequently fired. The Grievant's union took her case to arbitration, claiming the employer lacked "just cause" for the firing because her conduct did not amount to "immorality" under the Commonwealth's Public School Code. The arbitrator sustained the grievance with conditions. However, applying Philadelphia Housing Authority, the Commonwealth Court concluded that, "the Arbitrator's award of reinstatement, even with the conditions imposed, would violate the public policy of this Commonwealth." The Grievant's immediate reinstatement to the classroom while she attempted rehabilitation "eviscerated" the employer's ability to enforce the dominant public policy. Given the lengthy history of litigation in this case, a request for State Supreme Court review could occur.

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Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN


For the MOST COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE describing all access methods, restrictions, fees, and search procedures on over 26,000 government and private agencies visit the Public Record Research System (PRRS-Web) . We provide the extensive details and in-depth data you will not find doing a Google search!

For more information contact Michael Sankey at or visit


Compliance with the myriad of state laws is a complex subject affecting CRAs and their clients. The State Rules Register provides an uncomplicated explanation in plain English of state laws for what is reportable to the client, usable by the client, and the necessary steps to take to be in compliance with state laws. Also included are best practices, practical tips, and ongoing notification when state and federal laws change. Create your own matrix reports. Use the special Resource Tabs of Guidelines and Special Instructions.

For more information contact Michael Sankey at or visit


Text Box:
NAPBS 10th Annual Conference
September 15 - 17, 2013 Phoenix, Ariz.

The NAPBS Annual Conference is the place for industry specific education. Educational session topics include: Overview of the State and Federal Legislative and Regulatory Climate, Mexico Data Privacy Introduction - Essentials for US and Global Screening Compliance, Navigating through Volunteer Screening, Risk Mitigation/Litigation Avoidance for CRAs, The New Gold Standard: Hair and Oral Fluid Drug Testing, and much more.

For the full, tentative schedule click here. Register here and SmartRecruiters Integrate Hiring Solutions to Cut Cycle Time and Improve Quality of Hire, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based Predictive Talent Selection™ solutions, and SmartRecruiters, the hiring platform, today announced an integrated assessment-based hiring solution with ChequedReference™. Through this unique alliance, customers will utilize automated reference checking to improve candidate quality and further streamline their talent acquisition processes to generate the greatest Return on Hire™.

"This integration of reference assessment content excellence within the SmartRecruiters hiring platform is a win-win for customers. By embedding automated reference checking tools into the hiring flow, organizations have one of the greatest opportunities to improve candidate fit, which minimizes turnover and maximizes productivity. We look forward to making reference checks easy for all hiring businesses." The integration brings ChequedReference™ Predictive Talent Selection™ assessment-based solution to SmartRecruiters' all-encompassing hiring platform, which provides more than 45,000 social enterprises the ability to source, engage and hire top talent.

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U.S. CFO Economic Optimism Improves Entering Second Half of 2013

Top financial decision makers in the U.S. share an optimistic outlook towards the sustained economic recovery and opportunities for their businesses, according to findings from the most recent survey of Chief Financial Officers conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College'sZicklin School of Business. Despite concerns about the risks and costs associated with healthcare, CFOs maintain a more positive perspective as they enter the second half of 2013 than they did previously, especially towards hiring and employment opportunities.

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Corporate Directors Predict Economic Growth in 2014

An ongoing survey by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) shows corporate directors continue to feel positive about the economy and in hiring in 2014. NACD's Board Confidence Index (BCI), which takes the economic pulse of the director community quarterly, showed a score of 63.1-a score above 50 indicates a positive outlook on the markets.

The view on hiring follows suit with the steady positive economic outlook, with 34 percent of respondents expecting to increase their workforce in the next three months compared with 32 percent in Q1. "Although the economy is still recovering, the relatively stable director confidence in the markets and in hiring are encouraging signs," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD.

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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 for more information.


For Hire: Professional Liars for Job Seekers

Paladin Deception Services, founded by former private detective Timothy Green, claims to run a company in Forest Lake, MN that will lie to anyone about anything, advertising its services for $54 per month. Green says customers run the gamut -- from cheating spouses in need of alibis to people playing hooky from work. But the real demand comes from job seekers, making up more than 60% of what he says are its 250 to 300 monthly clients. "We can replace a supervisor with a fictitious one, alter your work history, provide you with a positive employment reputation, and give you the glowing reference that you need," Paladin's website states. Green is adamant that nothing his company does is illegal., The Reference Store, and Fake Your Job are also in the business of offering fake references for job seekers. But the lies these companies pitch could have serious ramifications for a job seeker. Many hiring departments already take additional steps to verify references listed by applicants. And even if a fibber does get hired, it's hard to keep up the act. Coworkers find out the truth or a boss realizes that the employee's skills don't match the qualifications that the fictitious reference raved about. And while it's unlikely the employee would face legal action if they are discovered, they can count on being fired.

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How Employers Can Fight Back Against Fake Job References

Many businesses now offer fake job reference services to people looking to fudge the truth when searching for employment. Clearly, many businesses still rely heavily on references when they are evaluating potential hires, and there are lots of fake references being listed. According to a study by employment services company CareerBuilder, about 30% of employers surveyed reported that they have caught a fake reference on a candidate's application. In addition, 80% of employers reported that they contact references when evaluating potential employees, and 16% contact references even before they call the candidate for a job interview. One obvious thing companies can do to avoid the problem of fake references is to not place so much importance in the references candidates provide when they apply for a job. References can be easily manipulated and are mostly positive because people don't like to give critical feedback for legal reasons. Experts say recruiters and HR departments should take advantage of legitimate online resources such as LinkedIn and other business social media sites. Another way to vet references is to engage a reputable background vetting service.

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Kevin Coy is a Partner in the Washington DC office of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. Kevin advises background screening companies and other clients on a wide range of privacy and consumer regulatory issues, including Fair Credit Reporting Act, Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Drivers' Privacy Protection Act, and Dodd Frank Act compliance issues, as well as data breach matters. Kevin also represents clients with matters before the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other consumer protection agencies.

Kevin can be contacted at or 202-677-4034.

Read the full report

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Real-Time References

Reference checking is the bane of many an HR professional's existence. A solution, online reference checking, is now at hand. Every human resource executive is well aware of the problems related to reference checking -- the seemingly interminable phone tag, the equivocal responses, and the difficulty comparing references coming from different referrers of different candidates. In addition to shortening the time frame, online reference checking also seems to result in more honest appraisals. Many talent-acquisition professionals and analysts say online reference checking is fixing a process that had been broken for years, but no one knew what to do about it. The online process is virtually automatic for the hiring company, easy for the candidate and quick for the reference. Many people no longer pick up their phones unless they expect a call, they don't have the time or inclination for free-form reference questions and they're worried about angering the candidate or inviting litigation if they give a less-than-stellar rating. So, any HR executive who finds those problems of telephonic checking familiar might consider an online service as an effective and easy-to-implement solution. While online reference checking may not be a good fit for all companies, and certainly not for all hires, many HR professionals find them much more effective than telephone reference checking.

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For more information about FRS go to contact Phil at

North Carolina Joins Growing List of States Mandating Employer Use of Federal E-Verify System

In light of growing dissatisfaction with the federal immigration system, various states have taken matters into their own hands in an attempt to limit employment of unauthorized aliens. North Carolina has joined the fray, and on July 1, 2013, its E-Verify requirement went into effect for all private employers of 25 or more employees. These employers must now use the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system to check work authorization for all new hires. Use of E-Verify offers employers a safe harbor against a later finding that a worker was in fact unauthorized. But there is a catch: before using E-Verify, an employer must sign a non-negotiable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DHS. In the MOU, the employer waives its right to a three-day advance notice of an I-9 audit. This means an employer faces the risk of an unannounced visit from ICE without the ability to prepare in advance. Maintaining compliance in North Carolina will require employers to retain verification records during each employee's employment and for one year after employment ends. Employers do not need to verify work authorization for seasonal or temporary employees who are employed for 90 or fewer days during a 12-month period. The law provides for penalties for employers who fail to use E-Verify, starting with $10,000 for the first violation, with additional penalties for subsequent violations.

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Google says mobile websites must load in 1 second
Google wants to deliver the best websites for the people who use their search engine. This is true both of traditional websites and of mobile sites. Below I have provided you links to 2 pages. One will help you understand what Google is looking for and the other will help you to get it done. Here [...] Read More>>>

If you have any questions about this post, getting help with your Internet marketing or anything at please send Ed Taylor an e-mail or call us at 541-482-4840.

You can also access his free Internet marketing course at-




IBM Gets Certified Under APEC Privacy Rules

IBM has announced it has achieved certification under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR), the first company to do so, according to a press release. The CBPR system is designed to facilitate data flows between the U.S. and the other APEC member economies, through voluntary, enforceable codes of conduct. IBM Chief Privacy Officer Christina Peters, CIPP/US, said, "CBPR rules will become the foundation of a globally accepted system that enables data to be shared throughout different regions with strong and trustworthy privacy protections." Hogan Lovell's Partner Christopher Wolf told The Daily Dashboard, "APEC CBPRs, containing enforceable commitments for the protection of personal data, are a lot like BCRs (binding corporate rules) that the EU recognizes as sufficient for cross-border transfers. Their adoption and effectiveness suggests that the EU should move its focus from the adequacy of the U.S. legal framework to whether personal data is being adequately protected through mechanisms like the CBPRs."

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Adverse Action Update: The Privacy Act Did Not Give a Worker a "Workplace Right"

In the case, Austin v Honeywell Ltd, the Federal Circuit Court determined that the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is not a "workplace law" for the purpose of protecting a person against adverse action under section 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act). However, the judge conceded that a provision within an Act or regulation could regulate the relationship between employers and employees even though the Act or the regulations as a whole did not do so. In any case, the Judge found that the employer had discharged the onus of proving that it had terminated her employment because of her attitude to her manager and not because she had commenced an adverse action claim. Not all statutory rights amount to workplace rights granting protection against adverse action. Whether a workplace right exists depends on whether the provision or Act is aimed at regulating the relationship between employers and employees. The Privacy Act was held not to be a workplace law, therefore it did not give rise to a workplace right.

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The Case for Hiring Ex-offenders

According to management expert James Adonis, there are pros and cons to hiring those with a criminal record. On the one hand, he points out the perils to society if managers universally refused to do so. "The result would be that convicted criminals, or at least those who've been to jail, would either remain on perpetual welfare or fall into the recidivism trap," said Adonis. And on the other hand, he sympathises with those who would have concerns hiring an ex-offender. "Being in business is risky - hiring employees even riskier - and so it makes sense, in a way, to minimise that risk by disqualifying those with a crooked history." One example of a successful rehabilitation programme that Adonis highlighted is run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Under this scheme, some prisoners undertake an animal training course to learn how to work with dogs that have behavioural problems. They earn nationally recognised qualifications and vocational skills that will assist them in finding employment once they have left prison. "The success of the programme demonstrates that with the right training and supervision prisoners have the potential to become fine workers." The rate of recidivism in Australia sits at 60%, but the Australian Institute of Criminology has said that the figure can be halved if prisoners are given vocational education and are assisted into employment.

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Lost in the Privacy Landscape

Australia's privacy and data protection laws are hard to explain and often poorly understood. The first challenge is to explain that the Australian Privacy Commissioner sits in the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and applies laws that the Australian parliament has misleadingly called 'principles'. The second challenge is describing how to read principles as laws and fit them together with other provisions in the Privacy Act that clearly are drafted as laws. And then there's the difficulty of trying to interpret these provisions when dealing with novel issues such as cross-border cloud deployment and access to personal information held in another jurisdiction (or jurisdictions unknown), geo-tracking of devices, data warehouses, virtualised servers, big data and customer data analytics. Privacy and data protection in Australia has become a confusing landscape, with forests of regulation to get lost in, unexplored corners and many poorly understood rules. At a time when privacy and information security is becoming a major area of concern for governments, businesses and consumers, it is unfortunate that Australia has created such a confusing thicket of regulation and quasi regulation.

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Tread Carefully When Checking Civil Litigation History

Checking publicly available civil litigation information may ensure organisations safeguard themselves against hiring people found negligent or liable by a civil court, but involves a whole host of limitations and risks.

Last year, Queensland Health was held to account over having employed an IT manager for five years who had previously been the head of an internet services company which was ordered to pay $210,000 worth of damages for using pirated software in 2001. (Related article: Disclosure of civil law breaches in question ). A check of litigation records may have allowed it to avoid getting into this difficult situation. However, checks of civil proceedings may identify cases that would be considered a 'spent conviction' in a criminal history search, and therefore cannot be considered by an employer.

Background screening firm Verify said court record checks are in their infancy and databases only list more high-profile cases, writs, summons, things such as credit defaults, and cases not marked as private."Court records are not as foolproof as we'd like them to be and need to be strengthened with other searches. There is no central database for court record information and each court processes information differently," manager Hosay Mangal from Verify said.

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New Amendments to Austrian Data Protection Law

The Austrian Data Protection Act (DPA) has been substantially revised for the first time since becoming effective in 2000. The revised DPA introduced a "data breach notification duty" to the Austrian data protection regime, which is similar to the respective obligations under U.S. and UK data privacy laws. With this, Austria (in addition to Germany) is one of the first Member States to implement such an information duty. In a nutshell, this obligation requires every data controller in Austria to inform data subjects properly if he becomes aware of a systematic and seriously unlawful misuse of their data. The revised DPA also provides for new provisions about the processing of personal data in the course of videotaping / video monitoring, the data subjects' rights of data access, and a new approach of self registration through the data controller combined with a massive extension of the authority's competencies. The administrative fines for breaches of the DPA were also raised to a maximum penalty of EUR 25,000 for deliberate violation of those provisions and EUR 10,000 for violation of the notification and information obligations of the DPA.

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Mid-Employment Checks in Canada Legal but Complicated

In the aftermath of a recent decision by a Canadian government institution to perform mid-employment background checks, Canadian HR professionals are saying that while the practice is legal, companies conducting such checks should proceed with caution. "…it opens the door for discrimination," said an HR business advisor based in Toronto. "Depending on the purpose and how it is applied, it might discriminate on long-term employees with good performance, sometimes with minor records that have no effect on their work." Canada Post announced in March 2013 that it would implement the new screening practice for its employees, which would allow them to perform background checks on current employees every 10 years and gives the organization authority to change the frequency of employee screenings at any point. "The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) opposes this policy of mid-employment checks primarily because it's a breach of members' privacy and also because Canada Post has not been clear and specific about the scope, requirements, process or intent of the checks," said Gayle Bossenberry, CUPW's first national vice president. The impact of the mid-employment background check on current Canada Post employees depends on how the postal service implements a review program with its employees and how it plans to take action on the results.

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Employer's Random Alcohol Testing Policy Constitutes Unreasonable Invasion of Employees' Rights to Privacy

An employee's right to ensure workplace safety versus an employee's right to privacy, have been competing rights present in the workplace for many years. In Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Limited, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently weighed in on how to balance these rights in the context of an employer implementing a drug and alcohol testing policy. In this case, a majority of the SCC favoured employees' privacy rights. Key in the majority's decision was that the employer could not demonstrate the necessary safety concerns to justify the random alcohol testing component of its policy made on employee privacy. As such, the testing was found to be unlawful. While Irving does not produce an ideal result for employers who understandably see the safety and deterrence benefits that random alcohol testing provides, it is important to stress that Canada's highest court has not prohibited such testing in its entirety. Rather, employers with dangerous operations who wish to unilaterally impose such a policy must adequately justify and substantiate the policy's reasonableness through verifiable evidence that the workplace in question has problems with alcohol use.

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Colombia Adopts Regulations to Implement its Data Protection Laws

With the advent of new rules regulating the protection of personal data, companies with operations in Colombia must implement policies and practices to comply with Colombia's privacy law. In October 2012, Colombia enacted Law 1581 to regulate the protection of personal data and safeguard the constitutional right of privacy in the midst of the challenges posed by globalization and new technologies that enable the easy electronic transfer of personal data. On June 27, 2013, Colombia's executive branch issued Decree 1377 ,to implement various provisions of Law 1581 and went into effect immediately. Law 1581 is part of a growing trend in Latin America to establish broad data protection regimes. Under the Political Constitution of Colombia of 1991, all citizens have an inviolate fundamental right to personal and familial privacy and to the protection of their good name. It is expected that the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) will conduct inspections to monitor compliance, placing special focus on the health and financial industries, given these industries' reliance on collecting and processing personal data to conduct their activities. Therefore, employers must comply with the privacy law when collecting or processing personal data and to transfer it outside of Colombian borders.

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EU Needs 'German Standards' on Data Privacy

In response to the recent disclosures of the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programmes, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said EU data privacy rules should be as strict as those found in Germany. "High German data protection standards should be the rule," she said. "U.S. companies that do not uphold these standards should be banned from the European market." Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who has strongly criticized the scope of the U.S.' spying programme, noted that it should not be intelligence services that set the standards for data protection but rather "citizens' basic rights." The EU is currently updating its data privacy legislation with the draft rules under scrutiny in the European Parliament. "If a European data security sphere is to be created, then it needs stronger parliamentary control over secret services and regular, intensive information exchanges between supervisory committees," said Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. In Germany, where data privacy is highly valued, the issue has moved onto the political agenda ahead of elections in September.

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Consultation on the Conducting Privacy Impact Assessments Code of Practice

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a consultation on a new privacy impact assessment (PIA) code of practice and released a study on PIA and risk management. The ICO first announced the study, conducted by Trilateral Research & Consulting, was underway back in January. The new code of practice on conducting privacy impact assessments (PIAs) is intended to replace the current PIA Handbook. The aim of the new code is to produce a practical guide, which will help organisations conduct assessments of new projects that involve the use of personal information. The code explains the key principles behind a PIA and suggests how a PIA can be integrated with an organisation's project and risk management processes. The closing date for the consultation is 5 November 2013.

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Competition to Offer Privacy Protections Could Help Deflect Regulatory Action to Other Markets, Says ICO

Companies operating in markets in which businesses can gain a competitive advantage from offering enhanced privacy protections to customers are less likely to be the subject of enforcement action over breaches of data protection laws, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. The UK's data protection watchdog has published a Data Protection Regulatory Action Policy that sets out the factors it will take into account when deciding whether to initiate regulatory action. The ICO said that it will be selective about which breach cases to pursue regulatory action in and that "market factors" could influence its decision whether to take up an investigation. "Our approach will be driven by concerns about significant actual or potential detriment caused by non-compliance with data protection principles, the PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) or other relevant legal requirements," the ICO's Policy said. "The initial drivers will usually be: issues of general public concern; concerns that arise because of the novel or intrusive nature of particular activities; concerns raised with us in complaints that we receive; and concerns that become apparent through our other activities." Under its existing information rights strategy, the ICO pledged to focus its regulatory attention on organisations operating in the health, credit and finance, criminal justice, Internet and mobile services and security sectors.

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Employment Agency For Ex-Prisoners Launched

A temporary recruitment agency has been launched to help provide temporary employment opportunities for prisoners upon their release. Established by Kate Beech, who has 20 years' experience in recruitment, and Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Featherstone, the new company Chance (2013) Ltd. aims to support former prisoners into work. Beech said the level of skill and qualifications of many of the prisoners was often ignored due to their criminal background. During their time in prison, however, she said many of them had developed a strong desire to work and even in some cases start a new career. For some, they want to return to the jobs they successfully held before being convicted. "The relationship between [the] staff at Chance and [the] prisoners is built up over the final three months of their sentence so we are confident we [can] place them with the appropriate employer and within the right industry," said Beech. She adds: "This recruitment process means they will come out paying National Insurance and paying their own rent rather than relying on benefits until they find a job which may never happen on their own." Beech is also working with charities and rehabilitation groups to offer general support to the prisoners when they are released.

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Fraud Landscape Tips

Use of fake identity details, or the impersonation of an innocent victim (identity fraud) now accounts for 52% of all fraud. That is according to frauds recorded by cross-sector members of CIFAS - the UK fraud prevention trade association, during the past 12 months. "CIFAS has long highlighted that data is the cornerstone of the fraudster's trade," said Richard Hurley, CIFAS Communications Manager. "With two thirds of all recorded fraud now relating to the abuse of identity details, the message is clearer than ever,
said Hurley. "Organisations and individuals must develop new ways of safeguarding their personal data, otherwise they effectively provide the fraudster with a licence to steal money." CIFAS says that you can reduce the risk of your details falling into criminal hands by keeping your personal details to yourself. Here are some tips: Treat your personal details as something to be looked after. If you use social networking sites, limit the amount of information you give away and activate tough privacy settings. Only enter your personal details into secure websites belonging to organisations you know and trust. Make sure your computer has an up-to-date firewall and is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes. "Organisations must always play their part, and CIFAS always calls for them to invest in strong preventative measures to combat fraud," adds Hurley. "But there is much that individuals themselves can do to help."

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Background Screening Jobs

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.


Feature Education:

FCRA Basic Certification Webinar Series Update

The FCRA Basic Certification program series is now available for purchase.

For more information

2013 Events (
Click Here to View full list of Events ) - Updated Monthly

SHRM State Conferences, visit

Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), 2013 Training Course Schedule, visit

SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events,

CUPA-HR Conferences:

World Federation of People Management Associations, Events,



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