Namaste! (Nah-MAH-stay)

I sincerely hope that you and your family are enjoying a great holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or another holiday. Its truly a great time of year. As we go into the new year, I give thanks to GOD for having blessed me and my family with good health and a positive outlook on life for the future. I also give thanks to each of you for having contributed to our success and I pray that GOD will bless you in 2015 by fulfilling all that you desire.

I am excited about 2015 and we have really cool things coming down the pike.

We are rebranding the Special international Edition of The Background Buzz which we have been beta testing for some time now and will launch as a new e-magazine called The Global Background Screener. The e-magazine will cater to international readers and will alsol present a great opportunity for firms that provide international services to reach international prospects. The new e-magazine will be published every other month. Click here for information on advertising.

In January we will debut the Technology Talk column which will provide a forum for members of the background screening industry to discuss current technology issues and the impact of emerging technologies. Our goal is for the column to be interactive so please send us your technology related questions to get the discussion going.

Is your firm Accredited? Our Accreditation Profile designed to promote your accredited status has been extremely well received. All our profile placements for 2015 have been sold except two. If you want to 'announce' to the world your accredited status let us know quickly before these final two spaces are gone for the rest of the year. Visit our's Accreditation Profile?

ATTENTION ALL SUPPLIERS! We are working on the 2015-16 Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. Click here to see the invitation to participate information.

Its not to late to add us to your 2015 Budget! Please see our 2015 Marketing Portfolios and select any of our targeted marketing services:

"There's a new Buzz in the air." Watch for it!

Thanks for joining us again this month and for subscribing this year. We genuinely appreciate your patronage and wish you a most prosperous New Year!

Stay healthy and safe!

P.S. - Namaste. Is hello in Nepali or Nepalese which is anIndo-Aryan language. It is the official language andde facto lingua franca of Nepal.

P.S.S - For the Jazz buffs Namaste is also the name of one the songs on Kenny G & Rahul Sharma | Álbum Completo



Volume 10, Edition 12, December 2014




FTC, CFPB Join Forces to Interpret FCRA's Reporting Period for Non-Conviction Records

In a reversal from their earlier guidance on the issue, the FTC joined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the "CFPB"), in a joint amicus brief filed by the Federal Trade Commission The agencies advocated for the seven-year reporting period for non-conviction records found in the FCRA to begin on date of the charge or filing. This position -- reflects a shift in the agency's stance that could impact entities covered by the statute.

Section 605(a) of the FCRA prohibits consumer reporting agencies from including obsolete information in consumer reports. Under the statute, an "adverse item of information" is reportable only if it "antedates the report" by seven years or less.

While the amicus brief does not carry the weight of the law, it lays out the position of both federal agencies tasked with enforcement of the FCRA, and their potential future rulemaking that the seven-year reporting period for non-conviction records starts on the date of the filing or charge and not on the date of the last action in the case.

To read the amicus brief jointly filed by the FTC and the CFPB, click here.

Source: Scherzer Insider | Scherzer International, December 19, 2014

FBI Database Is Anything but a Gold Standard for Employment Screening | Commentary

Melissa Sorenson, Executive Director, The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) wrote "while applauding Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., for their commitment to protecting vulnerable populations from predators through stringent background screening (" Keeping Our Kids Safe From Predators: A Challenge With a Bipartisan Solution ," Roll Call, Nov. 17). She added, "We take issue, however, with their editorial in which they characterize the FBI's fingerprint database as the "gold standard" for use in employment or volunteer screening." In reality, the FBI database is far from perfect, is not universal, nor considered reliable as a single source for background screening purposes and should never be regarded as the most reliable source for comprehensive and accurate background screening.

She explains that in a 2006 report, the FBI acknowledged its fingerprint-based repository is limited; it is missing disposition information in about 50 percent of its records. This low number exists because many counties don't consistently report their records to state law enforcement and the manner by which states report information to the FBI varies as well.

Read more

Trainer Who Worked with Local Cheerleaders is Sex Offender

In Waco, TX, after La Vega ISD officials discovered possible criminal offenses that were missed because of improper background checking on an athletic trainer who was brought in to work with the cheerleaders the volunteer was barred from school property.

The district was apparently not aware of that he is a registered sex offender who served a five-year prison sentence after he was convicted of indecency with a child by exposure in Bell County until discovering that he didn't undergo the screening required for volunteers, the source said.


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Background Check Did Not Show Prior Arrests For Janitor Accused of Raping a Baton Rouge Student

Adrian Wright Jr., 31, a former school janitor in Baton Rouge, was booked on a count of forcible rape of a 14 year old girl. On that Saturday, Wright allegedly pushed the girl, a student at North Banks Middle School, into a classroom and then raped her. She did not report the incident until months later and had by then transferred to another school.

Wright underwent a criminal background screening when he was first hired in summer 2011, but company and school officials say they were not aware of his other arrests because the screen came up clean.


Read more


Ex-Employee Sues over Faulty Background Check

A Kansas man, who allegedly lost his job after a background check mistakenly showed two felonies and three misdemeanors on his record, has filed a proposed class action against the largest staffing company in the nation for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read the complaint here.

Plaintiff Michael Mitchell alleges he was let go on Nov. 30, 2012, from his new position at United Healthcare Services Inc., three weeks after he started there, because a background report -- which he wasn't given a chance to review -- included the charges, even though he never has been arrested or charged with any crime, according to the complaint in Mitchell v. Aerotek, filed Nov. 25 in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.


Read more

Lawsuits Grow Under "Old" Pennsylvania Background Check Law

A growing number of states and localities have enacted laws that restrict employers from considering certain types of criminal records in hiring and other personnel decisions. Though many of these laws are more recent, Pennsylvania's Criminal History Record Information Act ("CHRIA") has been on the books for more than three decades. The law, which prevents employers from considering applicant convictions that do not reasonably relate to the position, has increasingly been the subject of litigation in the last year.

Pennsylvania employers should continue to exercise caution when making employment decisions regarding job applicants and employees with criminal records given the recent rise in CHRIA cases.


Read more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Constitutionality of California's Reporting Agencies Law

Is California's Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act ("ICRAA") constitutional? The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is poised to hear oral argument on the question on February 2, 2015.

California created two separate laws when enacting a state analogue to the FCRA. The Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act ("CCRAA") governs "consumer credit reports," defined as "any written, oral or other communication of any information by a consumer credit reporting agency bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity."

The second statute, ICRAA, covers "investigative consumer reports," defined to include "information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living ... obtained through any means."

The statutes provide consumers with different rights and as a general rule, ICRAA contains stricter duties and more severe penalties than the CCRAA.

The federal court dismissed the suit in two orders (the first order tossed the state law claims while the second did away with the FCRA allegations). Addressing the ICRAA claims, the court found the statute unconstitutionally vague as it applied to tenant screening reports containing criminal history information because a person of reasonable intelligence could not discern whether criminal information constituted "character" information under the ICRAA or "creditworthiness" governed by the CCRAA.

To read the first dismissal order on the ICRAA issues, click here .

To read the second order on the FCRA issues, click here .

Read full article

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:


CRA, Inc. receives a subpoena from an attorney in an ongoing court case. The subpoena requires CRA to release a copy of a consumer report it previously provided to one of its clients. How should CRA respond?

a. The subpoena is insufficient under the FCRA so CRA should respond in writing to the attorney who issued the subpoena advising that the subpoena is insufficient.

b. The subpoena is insufficient under the FCRA so CRA should not do anything.

c. The subpoena is an official court document, so CRA should provide the information requested by the subpoena after first notifying its client of the request.

d. The subpoena is an official court document, so CRA should provide the information requested by the subpoena and nothing further.

 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

San Francisco Issues Guidance for Employers and Contractors on Fair Chance Ordinance

San Francisco recently posted FAQs describing key provisions of the city's Fair Chance Ordinance ("Ordinance"), which took effect on August 13, 2014. The "bans the box," Ordinance prohibits most private employers and contractors in the city from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until after the first interview or following a conditional offer of employment. In addition, the Ordinance restricts the types of criminal offenses about which employers and contractors may inquire or otherwise may consider when making hiring and personnel decisions. And, the Ordinance affords expansive anti-retaliation protections to employees who complain of violations, and imposes various notice, posting, and record-retention obligations on employers and contractors in connection with criminal background inquiries.

San Francisco employers should carefully review the guidance described in this post and take any necessary additional measures to ensure compliance with the Ordinance.


Read more

Whole Foods Hit With Illegal Background Check Class Action

Colin Speer hit Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. with a class action lawsuit in a Florida federal court alleging that the grocery store chain performs illegal background checks on prospective and existing employees in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Speer claims that the company performed a background check on him and other employees and job applicants without following the guidelines laid out in the FCRA, he explains in his Whole Foods class action lawsuit filed on Dec. 4.

The class action lawsuit claims Whole Foods fail to disclose to its employees the intent to obtain a consumer report on them for employment purposes and also alleges that Whole Foods unlawfully inserted liability release provisions into forms purporting to grant [Whole Foods] authority to obtain and use consumer report information for employment purposes."

Case - Colin Speer v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.


Read more

 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

Michaels Hit with Background Check Class Action Lawsuit

On Dec. 4,2014 Christina Graham, a resident of New Jersey, filed a background check class action lawsuit against Michaels Stores Inc., lawsuit alleging the retailer did not disclose to her and other job applicants that the company runs background checks-criminal records and consumer reports-as a standard part of the Michaels employment screening process.

By not clearly and properly displaying the background check disclosure agreement, Graham alleges Michaels violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and the New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act, which require "that before procuring a consumer report for employment purposes a prospective employer must disclose that the employer may procure a consumer report for employment purposes in a document that 'consists solely of the disclosure.'

Case - Graham v. Michaels Stores Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-07563, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.


Read more

Role Reversal! EEOC Must Disclose its Own Background Check Policy to the Employer it's Suing

The EEOC has been ordered by a federal court to turn over its own background check policy to an employer whom it is suing for a criminal background check policy that allegedly had a disparate impact on black employees.

The employer had moved to compel to produce "[a]ll documents that constitute, contain, describe, reflect, mention, or refer or relate to any policy, guideline, standard, or practice utilized by the EEOC in assessing the criminal conviction record of applicants for employment with the EEOC." In granting the employer's motion to compel, the court concluded that the EEOC policies may be admissible or relevant and the employer did not have the accept the EEOC's say-so that they weren't.


Read more

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

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Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

BRB PUBLICATIONS LAUNCHES CriminalRecordSources (CRS) is your authoritative reference about criminal records. CRS tells you the pros and cons of searching different record repositories. CRS is your information source for:

  • Where: The locations of criminal records - from both government agencies
    and vendors;
  • How: The ways criminal records may be directly accessed;
  • Accuracy: The accuracy and value of a criminal record will vary by location.

CRS will help anyone involved with the use of criminal records including private investigators, attorney firms and
law libraries, background screening firms, HR, journalists and the news media, risk management and corporate
compliance divisions, trade associations, legislative staff, and government agencies to name a few.

For more information visit


The Public Record Retrieval Network (PRRN) is one of the largest U.S. trade organizations representing professionals in the public record industry. With more than 500 members in 45+ states who retrieve documents from local government agencies in over 2,000 counties nationwide, PRRN Members are recognized as the nation's leaders in local public record searching and document retrieval.

What Do PRRN Members Do?

Simply put, PRRN Members are professionals who visit government agencies on-site-such as local, federal, and state courts or recorder's offices-to do name searches and/or obtain copies of file documents. Retrievers are often hired in conjunction with the pre-employment screening, investigations, lending, litigation, or for legal compliance (e.g., incorporations).

As recognized leaders in local public record searching and document retrieval, PRRN Members agree to follow standards of professional conduct for local searching and document retrieval procedures and to follow the highest standards of ethics and conduct in all their dealings with other members and with clients.

For more information click here.


Public Record Retriever Network -
The CRA Help Desk -
Motor Vehicle Record Decoder -
BRB's Public Record Blog -
BRB's Bookstore -


New Designer Drug on the Radar

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised concerns about a relatively new and deadly designer drug, acetyl fentanyl. a variant of fentanyl (a powerful prescription painkiller). The drug, which is not authorized for medical use, nor specifically regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, can be five times more potent than heroin, and sixteen times more potent than morphine. The CDC first issued a health alert last year.

Use of acetyl fentanyl cannot be detected with a standard laboratory-based testing panel (5, 7, 9, or 10). To detect fentanyl use (or its analogs, including acetyl fentanyl), employers must test separately for fentanyl, or add fentanyl testing to a currently used standard panel. If the initial screening result is positive, confirmation analysis using standard gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) testing will confirm or rule out fentanyl and its analogs, including acetyl fentanyl.


Read more

Drug Testing In Your Non-U.S. Operations

Employers face a much different landscape for drug testing once leaving U.S. borders. What works here may not necessarily work in other countries, and in fact, could result in sanctions or legal action. Before beginning international operations, be aware of the legal landscape of the countries in which you will operate.

Pre-employment screening is permissible in some countries, but is strictly limited in others. In fact, drug and alcohol testing is strictly limited in most European countries, as well as many other countries around the world, including countries as diverse as Chile, Colombia, and South Africa.

Although drug and alcohol testing requirements vary by country, there are some common-sense protections for all employers to consider implementing:

Source: Fisher & Phillips, LLP

Read more

Drug-Testing Policy for Prescription Meds May Not Violate ADA

According to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, an employer's policy of drug testing all employees for prescription drugs that are packaged with warnings about operating machinery may not constitute an improper medical examination or an improper disability inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Dura Automotive Systems, began testing employees in 2007 at its manufacturing facility for certain substances appearing in both illegal drugs and prescription medications packaged with warnings about operating machinery. Dura used a third-party company called Freedom From Self (FFS) to administer the drug tests.

Dura instructed employees who tested positive to bring their medications to FFS for documentation. Dura then informed these employees that they would be terminated if they continued to use the medications.

The employees who were terminated for failing to discontinue use of medications packaged with warnings about operating machinery brought a lawsuit asserting claims under the ADA.

Case - Bates v. Dura Auto. Sys. Inc., 6th Cir., No. 11-6088 (Aug. 26, 2014).


Read more

Do DOT-Regulated Employees Have A Privacy Interest In Their Positive Drug and Alcohol Test Results? Maybe Not.

According to a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. employees subject to U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") drug and alcohol testing regulations may have limited privacy interests in their positive drug and alcohol test results of their positive drug and alcohol tests.

Plaintiff Daniel McTimmonds filed suit against national drug and alcohol testing company Alcohol and Drug Testing Services, LLC ("ADTS"), alleging he suffered severe emotional distress as a result of ADTS' actions during a DOT-mandated random drug and alcohol test.

Plaintiff's alleged, an ADTS technician administered his breathalyzer test in a public room, in the presence of Plaintiff's coworkers. After reviewing the results of the breathalyzer test a positive result was recorded and the ADTS technician "very loudly and publicly" questioned Plaintiff as to whether he had "been drinking this morning." Still in the presence of his coworkers, Plaintiff denied he had drank any alcohol, to which the ADTS technician responded, "Well, this says you have been!"

Case - United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. McTimmonds v. Alcohol and Drug Testing Services, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167656 (E.D.Ca. Dec. 2, 2014)


Read more


What 'Ban the Box' means for employers (Minnesota)

County bans the (criminal background) box (Allegheny County , Pa)

Banning the Box is good for all (Tuscon, Az)

Rochester Issues FAQs on Newly Effective "Ban the Box" Ordinance

Legislative Updates - Ban the Box Laws Gathering Momentum (Illinois)

Columbia City Council gives 'ban the box' unanimous OK; tables ride-sharing rules (Missouri)

Syracuse city council passes Ban the Box ordinance (NY)

Mobile City Council supports second chance 'Ban the Box' employment initiative, readers not so sure (Al)


Inc 5,000 CEOs Betting on a Very Strong 2015

According to a survey of the Inc 5,000 Business Owners, 57 percent of CEOs rate the prospects for their business over the next twelve months as 'excellent.' 26 percent of CEOs were 'Very Confident' that the U.S. economy will be strong over the next twelve months versus 10 percent with this same view last year at this time. 86 percent plan reported they plan to expand company headcount over the next twelve months.

Source: 'State of Small Business, Future Perfect,' Inc. Magazine, December 2014.

U.S. Economy Posts Strongest Growth in More Than a Decade

The U.S. economy posted its strongest growth in 11 years during the third quarter, supported by robust consumer spending and business investment. The Commerce Department reported that the Gross domestic product, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5% in the third quarter. That was up from the second quarter's growth rate of 4.6% and the strongest pace since the third quarter of 2003, when GDP grew at a 6.9% pace.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Read more (Subscription may be necessary)


6 Data Breach Trends To Watch In 2015

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), reports that there have been over 700 data breaches recorded in the U.S. so far this year, a 26 percent increase over the same time period in 2013. The Target breach that occurred late last year appears to have been a watershed moment that has led to a domino effect of intrusions that have continued throughout 2014. Does 2015 stand poised to eclipse the breadth and scope of data breaches that have been reported this year?

Experian released its "Second Annual Data Breach Industry Forecast," which highlighted six different trends to watch in 2015.

Click here to download a full copy of the 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast.

Read more

New State Privacy Laws Go Into Effect on Jan. 1, 2015

California and Delaware legislators have recently passed bills that impose new data security and privacy requirements on companies nationwide. The laws include new data breach notification requirements, marketing restrictions, and data destruction rules. Read an overview of the new laws and amendments that will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Read more

1 In 5 Employees Going Rogue With Corporate Data

A recent SailPoint survey conducted by Vanson Bourne results amplified concerns of companies around the world about the use of cloud applications to share mission-critical information. In fact, 20% of employees, as in, 1 in 5 employees, has uploaded proprietary corporate data to a cloud application, such as Dropbox or Google Docs, with the specific intent of sharing it outside of the company.

The survey also found a clear disconnect between cloud usage across the business and existing IT controls with an alarming two third of users able to access those cloud storage applications after they had terminated their employment with the company.

Despite that 60% of employees stated they were aware that their employer strictly forbids taking intellectual property after leaving the company, 1 in 4 admitted they would take copies of corporate data with them when leaving a company.


Read more


C:\WBN Documents\WV\WV\Product Lines\Pre-Employment\Product Lines\\Clients\Client Direct Providers\Platinum\SterlingBackcheck\Logo\SterlingBackcheck_logo July 2014.jpg SterlingBackcheck Announces The Appointment Of Clare Hart As CEO

SterlingBackcheck announced that Clare Hart, the company's current president, will assume the role of chief executive officer and become a member of the company's board of directors effective January 1, 2015. William Greenblatt, SterlingBackcheck's current CEO, will become chairman, overseeing the company's growth and strategy. Greenblatt has led the company for 39 years since its founding. The planned CEO transition is part of the company's multiyear strategy of domestic and global expansion.

"Since Clare came on board as president, she has had a transformational impact on the business," said William Greenblatt. "Her business acumen and keen sense of strategy and organizational development has led to dramatic increases in service for our customers worldwide and continued to reinforce our position as the industry leader. Between Clare and the senior management team we have put into place over the past few years, the future is extremely bright for SterlingBackcheck and I am now able to step back from the day-to-day operations and transition to a more strategic role."

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C:\WBN Documents\WV\WV\Associations\NAPBS\logo\NAPBS_Color_Logo_with_Tagline.png NAPBS Partners with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP for Advocacy and Legislative Support

NAPBS announced it will begin a new Government Relations partnership with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Akin Gump). They will represent all of NAPBS' needs with respect to federal and state advocacy, lobbying, Legislative and Regulatory Conference, and management of the annual day of advocacy on Capitol Hill.

Akin Gump is a leading global law firm with one of the largest and most diverse public law and policy practices of any major law firm in the world representing over three decades of experience. Akin is renowned as one of D.C.'s top policy, government relations and lobbying firms and also provides both legal services as well as business solutions through their team of over 850 attorneys. The firm prides itself on its bi-partisan team of both lawyers and non-lawyer advisors. The history, breadth, expertise in our profession and bi-partisan leadership made Akin a perfect fit for NAPBS. Leading the NAPBS' core team will be Jamie Tucker who brings with him over 15 years of political and policy experience including work as legislative counsel to Rep. Bob Inglis and as an aide to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Jamie also served on several presidential campaigns. In addition to Jamie, NAPBS' core team at Akin will include Don Livingston, known to many of us for his work on the Freeman case and his participation in past NAPBS conferences, Francine Friedman, Ed Pagano, Valerie Morse White and Tony Curry. Look for more information to come on Akin Gump and its team.

Source: NAPBS

C:\WBN Documents\WV\WV\Product Lines\Pre-Employment\Product Lines\\Clients\Client Suppliers\ClearStar\Logo\Clearstar Logo.png ClearStar A cquires SingleSource Services

US background check industry technology and service provider ClearStar has bought all the assets of SingleSource Services Corp, a Florida-based background screening company.

According to a statement from ClearStar, it paid a total cash consideration of up to $4m (£2.5m), which is being funded by the company's own resources.

SingleSource founder Don Dymer will act as a consultant for 12 months to help the integration process.

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C:\WBN Documents\WV\WV\Product Lines\Pre-Employment\Product Lines\\Clients\Client Direct Providers\Platinum\Accurate Background\Logo\2011\March 2011AB_Corporate_Logo.jpg HighBank serves as exclusive financial advisor to Hirease, Inc. on its sale to Accurate Background, Inc. a portfolio company of Boathouse Capital

HighBank Advisors ("HighBank"), a Baltimore, Maryland based middle market investment bank, announces that it was the exclusive financial advisor to Hirease, Inc. ("Hirease" or the "Company") on its sale to Accurate Background, Inc. a portfolio company of Boathouse Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hirease is a five time Inc. 500/5000 award winning human resources solutions provider serving clients across the United States. A founding NAPBS member that has earned the coveted background screeners BSCC Accreditation, Hirease provides accredited background screening services to over 1,500 corporate and enterprise clients nationwide. The acquisition will combine the strengths of two industry leaders and leverage Accurate Background's global network and resources and Hirease's industry solutions.

Read more

Welcome to the eVerify Challenge Question!

Sponsored By: A. Kersey
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:

My employee presented a receipt for a replacement document. How do I handle this in E-Verify?
I know that employees can, when completing the Form I-9, present receipts for replacement documents when the originals were lost, stolen, or damaged. But how to I complete E-Verify queries for these employees?

A. Wait to run a query until the original document is presented.

B. E-Verify users cannot accept receipts for I-9 purposes.

C. Run the query as though the original document had been presented.

D. Call E-Verify to have the E-Verify official push the query through for you.


Human Resources' Conundrum - Reconciling New Immigration Legal Status Conferred by President Obama with I-9 Recordkeeping Realities

An estimated 4.4 million undocumented individuals will benefit from President Obama's expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program by gaining work permits. Soon many Human Resources professionals will face long-term employees "coming out of the shadows" with possibly new identities and work authorization.

How should an employer respond when an employee presents new identity and new work authorization? What about The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and Form I-9 requirements? What about a company's "honesty" policy?

The current version of the USCIS' Handbook Employers ("Handbook") already provides guidance on "new identity" situations: If the identity information relied on for a previous Form I-9 and/or E-Verify verification has materially changed, then the employer should re-run with the new identity information.

The Handbook also states that while there may be other legal, contractual, or company policy considerations, "where an employee has worked for you using a false identity but [comes forward with a new, true identity and] is currently work authorized, the I-9 rules do not require termination of employment."

California employers must adhere to AB 263, California Labor Code §1024.6 which prohibits an employer from taking adverse action again an employee who updates or attempts to update his or her "personal information, unless the changes are directly related to the skill set, qualifications, or knowledge required for the job."

Employer's should view this as an opportunity to ensure a legal workforce without imposing punitive measures against the employee who now can benefit from immigration relief.


Read more

 One Site! Many Suppliers!



Looking for the Top Suppliers in the Industry? Need to find a new Supplier?

Visit our VENDOR SHOWCASE which features suppliers to the Background Screening Industry.

Click here or on image to get a copy



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.


December 2014

On Capitol Hill

As the 113th Congress finished its work, there were a few final actions of interest to background and tenant screeners.

On November 24th, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), ranking member of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, released a report on the activities of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) titled: "EEOC: An Agency on the Wrong Track? Litigation Failures, Misfocused Priorities, and Lack of Transparency Raise Concerns about Important Anti-Discrimination Agency

The hacking of Sony's systems has sparked renewed interest on data security issues on Capitol Hill. On December 19, House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) announced that the Committee would hold a series of hearings in 2015 on cybersecurity issues.

At the EEOC

On December 8th, the federal judge in the EEOC's suit against BMW-- EEOC v. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, 13-CV-1583 (D.S.C.)-- ordered the EEOC to turn over its own hiring policies to defendant BMW. The court did caution, however, that it was not making any decisions regarding the admissibility of the EEOC documents or that regarding their ultimate relevancy to the proceeding.

At the Department of Commerce

On December 19th, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for final rules governing access to the Death Master File (DMF). The final rule, once adopted, would replace the temporary certification program currently in place for access to the DMF.

On December 17th, NTIS also announced that the form necessary to request access to the DMF under the Interim Final Rule had been "reinstated" and that interested persons could once again apply to be certified for access. Those that were previously approved for access do not need to reapply at this time.

Read the full report

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2013 Best Advertisers of the Year Awards

Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry

Thank You to Our Subscribers that Voted in The 2013 Best Advertisers Award Competition!

The Following People Were Selected as Winners:

Five First place winners - Prize: Each wins a $100.00 AMEX gift card

Five Second place winners - Prize: Each wins a $50.00 AMEX gift card


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What To Know About Screening Tenants In Australia

Property owners who are new to investing will undoubtedly have concerns about who it is that will live in their asset. While problems with tenants causing damage are not as commonplace as some may have you believe, screening tenants will help you select a better qualified occupant and feel more at ease with your selection.

When you are screening tenants, even if you pick very carefully, there is always the possibility that they will not treat your property the way that you would have hoped for. Prepare adequately with the right insurances to provide yourself a safety net.

You are checking for two primary things when screening tenants:

1. Can they afford this property?

2. Will they look after the home?


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Five Things to Know About Drug Testing in Canada

In June2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against an employer's random alcohol testing program, concluding that it was unreasonable. In the 6-3 decision, the Court side with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which brought a grievance against Irving Pulp and Paper.

The Court based much of its decision on the earlier finds of an arbitration board and the fact tht there were zero positive test results over a 22 month period at the company's St. John, New Brunswick mill. ON behalf of the majority, Justice Rosalie Abella wrote as reported by CTV News: "In the end, the expected safety gains to the employer in this case were found by the board to range "from uncertain . . . to minimal at best" while the impact on employee privacy was found to be much more severe. "Consequently, the board concluded that the employer had not demonstrated the requisite problems with dangerousness or increased safety concerns as workplace alcohol use that would justify universal random testing.

Source: IFDAT Global Insider, Fall 2014

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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."


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EU Commits To Creating Single Data Protection Law Across The Continent

The new European commissioner with responsibility for data protection has outlined her desire to introduce the Data Protection Regulation that would create a single law covering the entire continent.

During a speech at the fifth Annual Data Protection and Privacy Conference in Brussels, the new commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, Věra Jourová, outlined her wish to continue the initiative begun by previous justice commissioner Viviane Reding. "The proposed Data Protection Regulation will do away with 28 differing national laws, and provide a single set of rules on data protection valid across the EU," she said.

"The consensus is that the odds of Europe adopting the Regulation in 2015 are very high, which will trigger the countdown to transposition," he said.


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No Automatic Presumption of Good Assessments In Employment References in Germany

Good news for all employers: The German Federal Labour Court has recently reversed the disastrous judgment of the Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg concerning the allocation of the burden of proof with regard to assessments in employment references.

In Germany, upon termination of the employment relationship employees can claim for a written employment reference that contains information about the nature and duration of their employment as well as about their performance and behavior. Normally, the overall assessment of the employee´s performance is made by using a common "school-grade system" (very good resp. A - good resp. B - satisfactory resp. C - adequate resp. D - inadequate resp. E).

The overriding principle that employers have to take into account when creating an employment reference is the principle of truthfulness.


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The Secret Behind Background Checks In India-And Why They Fail

The Uber rape case in New Delhi has revealed the murky underbelly of slapdash background checks in India. Uber is not alone. In a growing economy like India, companies are often seen in a mad rush to hire in the hundreds. Tight timelines for hiring and cost-consciousness often tempt recruiters to go easy on checks and verification.

And it is not hard to get fake documents in the country. There are close to 7500 companies in India, which operate just for providing fake employment and educational certificates, according to a report by First Advantage, a background screening company.

In India, the prevalent norm is for human resources (HR) to conduct a reference check from past employment based on the information provided by a candidate. The authentication of residential addresses, educational and criminal records is typically outsourced to third party background verification companies.

"About 90% of organized sector undertake some form of checks while 95% companies in the unorganized sector are still hiring without any background check," said Alka Dhingra, regional manager - IT at recruitment firm Teamlease Services.


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Police Do Away With Legwork For School Background Checks

Faced with a deluge of applications, Alok Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police, announced that the city police have simplified the procedure of verifying the background of school staff.

After a spate of child sexual abuse cases, the police made it mandatory for teaching and non-teaching staff to produce police no-objection certificates when they seek employment. "Earlier, the police had to visit each home and do their background verification. Now, once we receive an application, we will check our database. If the name does not figure on the list, we will issue a no-objection certificate," he said. The simplified procedure will help them clear pending applications quickly.


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THE NETHERLANDS-DPA Gets Power To Fine Controllers and Processors

A bill was sent to Parliament giving the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP) the power to fine controllers and processors for violation of the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act and any other laws containing data protection rules on Monday, 24 November.

Interestingly, the bill also allows the CBP to fine individual employees for failure to meet their confidentiality obligations (Art. 12 PDPA). This may be the case where employees intentionally disclose personal data to unauthorized persons, an act also punishable under criminal law, but also where employees have been grossly negligent causing a data breach.

Last but not least, the Dutch CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens) will change its name to the Personal Data Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens).


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Russian Data Localization Law May Now Come into Force One Year Ahead of Schedule, in September 2015

On 17 December, the State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament) passed legislation that would change the effective date of Russia's new law requiring the local storage in Russia of the personal data of Russian citizens (Data Localization Law) from 1 September 2016 to 1 September 2015. The legislation currently is subject to the Federation Council's (the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament) and president's approvals.

While impacted businesses had hoped that the Data Localization Law's effective date would remain 1 September 2016, after having various consultations with IT specialists, legislators decided to set a compromise date of 1 September 2015 The State Duma adopted the new date.


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New Rules To Stamp Out Illegal Tenants

Landlords in Swindon are being urged to be aware of new rules on screening tenants, which could soon be rolled out across the UK. Swindon-based Tenant Screening, which provides a vetting service to landlords and letting agents across the country, says the new Right to Rent scheme being piloted is likely to go nationwide soon and will have an impact on the rental sector.

The aim of the scheme is to clamp down on illegal immigrants living in private rental property. Similar to the Government's Right to Work legislation, the rules will ensure those who rent have a right to be in the country. "The onus is on the landlord to carry out certain checks on prospective tenants to see if they have a right to rent in this country. "If they don't, and a property is rented out, landlords could face a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant found to be living illegally."

The guide can be downloaded at


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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

2014 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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