Yak spravy? ( how are you?)

With the end of February, spring is just around the corner. I know our colleagues in the mid-west, parts of the south and north east will be glad to get a break from the frigid weather and snow storms. It has been a very harsh winter in many parts of the country.

The NAPBS Mid-Year Conference is also right around the corner. It is shaping up to be a very good conference with an impressive line up of government agency presentations, including the Chair of the EEOC. You definitely want to be 'in the house' for this important conference. Visit for more information.

Text Box:  Would it be beneficial to introduce your company to 20,000 HR Managers?

We can make that happen with our 2014-15 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. Take advantage of the early bird discount. Read about it here and reserve your space today to get the best placements. Premium ads are selling out fast so don't delay.

Thanks to the latest contributors to the Background Screening Knowledge Center : Les Rosen/ESR Resources; CrewRevu and CoreLogic NBD. The Knowledge Center is an information rich resource for HR and background screening professionals offering information on a wide array of topics relevant to background screening.

You are invited to post articles, press releases, announcements, white papers, the Knowledge Center. We invite you to include hyperlinks to your web site and/or a registration form to capture leads. Submit Article to the Background Screening Knowledge Center. This is a complimentary service to the background screening industry.

Text Box:  We are very pleased to report that our Diamond Sponsors: OPENonline, HireRight and Peopletrails each contributed an article to the ' Inside Background Screening' column in our sister publication, The Workplace Violence Prevention eReport , which is distributed to the human resources and security community. We also added all of our Diamond Sponsors to the eReport's Resource Center to provide them with additional visibility. The Diamond Sponsors are prominently displayed on the home page of

In the next edition we will be launching The Accreditation Profile which will feature a Diamond Sponsor that has earned NAPBS accreditation. Learn more about the Diamond Sponsorship .

I am excited to announce that we will be adding the interviews from the very popular column – The Background Bistro – to our web site, Be sure to visit this new section in the Vendor Showcase.

Watch for the ‘Best Advertising Awards’ competition top nominees soon. All advertisements by suppliers to the background screening industry that have been placed in any of our background screening related publications have been automatically included. The judges are currently reviewing the ads.

Stay healthy and safe!

P.S. - Belarusian ( беларуская мова , BGN/PCGN:byelaruskaya mova,Scientific:belaruskaja mova, łac.:biełaruskaja mova), sometimes referred to as White Ruthenian, is the language of theBelarusian people. It is an official language of Belarus.


Volume 10, Edition 2, February 2014




Credit Checks Are Kicking the Jobless When They're Down

Credit checks have become a routine part of the hiring process. Nearly half of all companies run them on potential employees, according to SHRM. One in four Americans say they have been told that they missed out on a job because of their credit history. And yet, as Richard Tonowski, chief psychologist for the EEOC testified, there is "very little evidence that credit history is indicative of who can do the job better." Indeed, credit problems are more a symptom of bad luck than of bad character nowadays. Many people were propelled into unmanageable debt by the housing bubble, the subprime mortgage boom or the surging unemployment of the Great Recession. In short, when employers make hiring decisions based on credit checks, it's an institutionalized form of kicking people who are already down. It's also a practice that compounds the enormous damage already inflicted on millions of Americans by a reckless financial industry. In addition, despite their critical importance to the financial lives of Americans, credit reports contain unacceptable numbers of errors, which can be exhaustingly hard to correct. According to a 2013 study by the FTC, the reports of more than 20% of U.S. consumers include confirmed mistakes.

Read more

Are You Screening Your Background Data Provider? If Not, You Should Be.

There has been much ado about screening companies that are slow to update data, have incomplete information or flat-out violate privacy standards as outlined by the FCRA and EEOC. Today's growing companies (read: your clients) don't want the legal liability associated with making hiring decisions based on outdated or inaccurate information-or the stiff fines associated with failing to comply with ever-changing guidelines. Background screening companies are increasingly being held accountable for the information they deliver, which makes it critical that the criminal and conviction data you provide is as complete, accurate and up-to-date as it can be. From quick turnaround and the ability to cross county lines to FCRA and EEOC filters, it's time to build the strongest data foundation you've ever had. Here's how.

Read more

Ex-NSA Chief Details Snowden's Hiring at Agency, Booz Allen

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked information about the agency's surveillance program, targeted Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. for employment because of its access to national security contracts, said company vice chairman, Mike McConnell. McConnell recounted how Snowden washed out at his NSA job but then got a position with Booz Allen, were he could access millions of documents and then release them to the world. "Snowden has compromised more capability than any spy in U.S. history," said McConnell. "And this will have impact on our ability to do our mission for the next 20 to 30 years." McConnell talked candidly about where both the agency and the company made their mistakes in the vetting process. Since unveiling the top-secret information in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, Snowden has been heralded as a free-speech hero by some and decried by others as a high-risk traitor. McConnell said Snowden was hired because the government had vetted him. Booz Allen also vetted him but things were missing in his record that became known in hindsight. Shortly after Snowden's leak was revealed, Booz Allen said that it had fired him "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy."

Read more


Reprinted with permission of ®2014 Jude M. Werra & Associates, LLC

Read the full report

Interested in purchasing the rights to the Liars Index? Contact Jude M. Werra & Associates, LLC at

262-797-9166 or

Investigation Exposes Lack of County Criminal Background Checks

Not everyone who works for the Hidalgo County gets a criminal background check before being hired. Jaime Longoria, executive administrator for county Judge Ramon Garcia's office, said Hidalgo County has never had a written policy about background checks, but it's known they don't require one for every single position. There is a section that asks if the person applying has been convicted of a felony, and the employer takes it on good faith that the prospect isn't lying. But there's been at least one employee who slipped through the cracks and since his position didn't require a background check, the convicted sex offender started working in the streets of Hidalgo County under county commissioner AC Cuellar. Action 4 News first alerted commissioner Cuellar after a concerned viewer questioned the man's employment since he was convicted back in 2002 for raping a child. He is now filling potholes and doing other maintenance work on roads across the county, in neighborhoods, and near schools. A criminal background check would have picked up on his offense. "It's just too expensive to do background checks on everybody," said Cuellar. "We have thousands of employees and we can't check all of them."

Read more


Gaps in Some Ride-sharing Firms' Background Checks

Chicago's new ride-sharing services market their drivers as friendly and safe, asserting they have passed stringent criminal background checks. But a Tribune investigation revealed that one of the companies, Uber, did not check some of the criminal records of its drivers, allowing thousands of drivers to ferry passengers for months, despite not knowing whether or not they had felony convictions. The company's lack of oversight came to light when the Tribune contacted it to profile its drivers. Uber presented one driver as an example, but declined to give the Tribune a complete list of its drivers. The Tribune later determined that the driver had a 2010 Cook County felony conviction for residential burglary, which should have barred him from partnering with the company. After the Tribune asked about the driver's record, company officials "deactivated" him and acknowledged their multistate background checks have missed an "unknown" number of county-level criminal convictions. Uber said it now has an expanded policy on background checks that would include federal and county-level reviews for new and existing drivers, a process that will involve redoing thousands of screenings. Uber also issued an apology statement and posted its expanded background check policy online.

Read more

School Workers in Mass. Get New Scrutiny

After months of delays, Massachusetts school districts have started fingerprinting teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and other employees, and forwarding the information to the FBI for national background checks. Massachusetts is the last state to fingerprint school employees to more fully search for past criminal activity. The FBI will run submitted prints through its databases, enabling schools for the first time to receive criminal histories from jurisdictions outside Massachusetts and enhancing the chances of identifying any staff member with a criminal past. Previously, local districts only had access to Massachusetts criminal records. "It's a little overdue," said Jeff Wulfson, a deputy commissioner at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The most contentious part of the new requirement has been the cost. Staff members must pay the processing fee, $55 for licensed educators and $35 for other employees. However, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts is pushing legislation that would shift the cost onto school districts instead. "The district's highest priority is to provide a safe atmosphere for all of our students and staff and we believe that this measure is a valuable tool towards ensuring that," said Brian Ballou, spokesman for the Boston public schools.

Read more


Background Check Firm's Slipup Could Cost It

A company that provides background checks must face claims from a man whom it allegedly incorrectly described as a sex offender, costing him work, a federal judge ruled. Harold Charles Meyer claims that National Tenant Network (NTN) sent an inaccurate consumer report to Meyer's prospective employer and landlord, Shorewood RV Park, claiming he had "three criminal sex offense record, which were listed as 'violent sex offender, fail to register,' 'sexual battery' and 'aggravated oral sexual battery.'" Both Harold and Phyllis Meyer, who had applied with him for the assistant resident manager position, were then denied employment and residence at Shorewood. The couple contacted the NTN for copies of Harold's file but the defendant allegedly never responded to their requests. They blamed the inaccurate sex-offender designation on NTN having mistakenly relied on the consumer reports of several other individuals with similar names. One surviving count alleges that NTN improperly bars those whom it provides with consumer reports, like Shorewood, from disclosing the contents of those reports to the subjects, like the Meyers. However, the Meyers failed to allege that "NTN either knew or should have known that the report it furnished to Shorewood was for employment purposes," according to the ruling.

Read more

NCRA Believe Proposed Washington StateTenant Screening Laws May Violate FCRA

There have been reports of some consumers who have experienced delays in obtaining rental housing due to the costs associated with consumer reports obtained by property managers to qualify the consumer’s tenancy. The state of Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RLTA), which regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants, acknowledges that screening reports are an important part of this relationship. Further, the Washington State Legislature has “…found and declares comprehensive tenant screening reports are a necessary and fair solution for both applicants and landlords.

Despite the importance of these documents to all parties, legislation now pending H.B. 2537 would both lower accuracy and increase the potential for fraud in these documents, exposing both landlords and the prospective tenants to incorrect housing decisions.

Furthermore, the legislation may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The good intentions of this bill must be carefully evaluated alongside the actual risk associated with the concept of a 30-day portable consumer report. Consumer reports are designed to allow landlords and creditors of all types to have the latest information for making informed lending and rental decisions. At the heart of the FCRA is the requirement that consumer reporting agencies use “reasonable procedures for maximum possible accuracy in producing consumer credit reports.”

Poor decisions made as a result of inaccurate or outdated information can cause a host of problems for everyone connected to the transaction. While the proposed legislation correctly states that the data is “largely the same,” that standard falls short of the standard set in the FCRA.

Read more


Health Care Worker Drug Testing Bill Advances in New Hampshire

The first law in the nation to require the widespread drug testing of health care employees may be on its way to passage, as the New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed by a vote of 289-48, without debate, "an Act relative to the drug-free workplaces for licensed health care facilities and providers." It seeks to foster the safety and protection of patients and health care workers "by promoting and maintaining a substance-free work environment and discouraging the illegal use and diversion of controlled substances by health care workers." The measure (H.B. 597-FN) would mandate that licensed entities establish "procedures for drug testing which shall include, at a minimum, testing where reasonable suspicion exists," as part of a broader "drug misuse and diversion prevention policy" providing for the "prevention, detection, and resolution of controlled substance abuse, misuse and diversion." The facility would have to designate an employee or interdisciplinary team of employees to be responsible for the policy. The bill is intended to offer flexibility to health care facilities and providers "to develop and adopt a workplace standard appropriate to its size, the nature of the services provided, and its particular setting."

Read more

Is FCRA's Prohibition on CRAs from Disclosing Truthful Public Information Constitutional? The Government to Defend its Position

The Southern District of California has granted the United States' motion to intervene in Dowell v. General Information Services, Inc. (GIS), to defend the constitutionality of 15 U.S.C. § 1681c, a provision of the FCRA. GIS contends that subsections (a)(2) and (a)(5) of the provision, which generally prohibit CRAs from disclosing public information regarding an individual's non-conviction criminal history more than seven years old, is unconstitutional under Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 131 S. Ct. 2653. The case stems from a purported class action complaint filed by three plaintiffs, alleging that GIS provided non-conviction data over seven years old in a report to a private company that regulates access and provides employee registration for military base personnel. For background screening providers, if GIS is successful in its argument, the restriction on reporting older, non-conviction criminal history would cease to exist under federal law. Where the EEOC has issued guidance stating that an arrest alone is not grounds for denying an employment opportunity, even the EEOC recognizes that an employer may make a decision based on the underlying conduct if the conduct makes the individual unfit for the position in question.

Read more

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors "Bans The Box" and Further Complicates Criminal History Checks by the City's Employers

The San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is ready to "ban the box," the widely used criminal history check box on employment applications. This would make San Francisco the ninth jurisdiction to enact the legislation. In addition, the new San Francisco legislation imposes a host of additional new restrictions on the use of criminal history for employment purposes. These restrictions supplement those already imposed by the federal FCRA and arguably make San Francisco the toughest jurisdiction in the U.S. for employers to use criminal history. To comply, San Francisco employers with more than 20 employees should take the following steps: Review their employment application to remove questions about criminal history; Revise their hiring procedures to delay inquiry about criminal history until after the first live interview; Develop a criminal history questionnaire; Establish a procedure for documenting evidence of rehabilitation and mitigating factors received from applicants and for considering that information before making an adverse employment decision; Establish a minimum seven-day waiting period before sending a final adverse action notice; Revise job advertisements to include required language; Post the required poster after the OLSE publishes it; and Retain all documents demonstrating compliance with the Ordinance for at least three years.

Read more

Tommy Wells' 'Ban the Box' Bill Gets Strong Support

D.C. Council member Tommy Wells introduced "ban-the-box" legislation that would bar employers from inquiring about job applicants' criminal records, a practice he says hinders employment opportunities for returning citizens. "The bill would only allow employers to ask about an applicant's record of conviction once a conditional offer of employment has been extended," he said. "The bill would continue our efforts to address the challenges facing our returning citizens." District government statistics show that about 60,000 residents have criminal records. Each year, an estimated 8,000 residents return to the city after serving prison sentences and roughly 50% are incarcerated again within three years. While most on hand supported the bill, Kathy Hollinger, the president of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, argued that small businesses will essentially have to use valuable time on paperwork to justify not hiring a returning citizen. Rowe countered that Wells' legislation will not require a business to hire anyone but will give returning citizens a fair chance to be employed. Businesses will not be required to hire someone who has committed a crime in the arena in which the business specializes.

Read more

Whole Foods Sued Over Worker Background-Check Procedure

Whole Foods Market California Inc. was slapped with a proposed nationwide class action accusing the company of using a legally invalid form to get job applicants to consent to background checks as part of the hiring process. The complaint claims that the form Whole Foods uses as part of its online application to get permission from applicants to carry out consumer reports, including criminal background checks, credit checks and other similar reports, is facially invalid under the FCRA. The complaint alleges that Whole Food's online authorization form contains language releasing those who obtained the consumer reports from all liability, in violation of the FCRA's requirement that the authorizations be pristine documents that contain nothing other than the required disclosures and the requested authorization. "It's not only illegal but also has a lot of negative ramifications when companies don't properly comply with the law," said Craig J. Ackermann of Ackermann & Tilajef PC, who represents the plaintiff. The suit alleges that the use of the invalid form constitutes a willful violation of FCRA's requirement that the authorization forms be set forth in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.

Read more

Background Check Forms Face Increased Scrutiny in Federal Court

Businesses should check their background check consent forms and their pre-adverse action waiting periods, after a recent federal court decision. In Reardon v. Closetmaid Corporation, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of a class of more than 1,800 job applicants. The Court ruled that the employer's consent and disclosure form was improper because it contained a waiver of liability, even though the inclusion of such waiver language is commonplace. The Court also granted summary judgment to a subclass of job applicants who were properly sent a pre-adverse action notification form, as required under the FCRA, but whose applications were then denied within fewer days than what this Court considered a "reasonable time period." Because the Court also determined that the employer's background check procedures were unreasonable, the company faces statutory liability of $100 to $1,000 per applicant, plus punitive damages and attorneys' fees. Yet, there is no indication that any of the class members suffered any injury whatsoever. As a result, cautious employers should consider removing from their consent and disclosure forms any waiver language, and implementing an internal policy of waiting five business days between sending a pre-adverse action notice and taking any adverse action.

Read more

More Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks

California appears to be the latest state to join the criminal-background-restriction bandwagon. A new law enacted last month amends the California Labor Code to prohibit public and private employers from asking job applicants about criminal records that have been expunged, sealed or dismissed. "The good news is that [the law] doesn't break entirely new ground, but instead modifies existing law," says Brian Inamine, a LeClairRyan labor and employment attorney. "The bad news is that it represents one more hurdle that businesses have to contend with."

To date, 43 cities, counties and municipalities, and 10 states have passed "ban the box" legislation for public-only or public and private employers, making questions about criminal convictions on job applications illegal.

Read more

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:


ABC consumer reporting agency provided XYZ a consumer r
eport regarding tenant applicant John Doe. XYZ declined tenancy to Mr. Doe. There were reports of past criminal acts of a sexual nature in the consumer report. Mr. Doe contacts ABC to obtain a copy of his consumer report within a month after furnishing the report to XYZ. No information is provided to Mr. Doe because no information is currently
contained in his file maintained by ABC. Subsequent requests were made and eventually some information is provided to Mr. Doe, but it does not include information regarding the past criminal acts . Is ABC’s response to Mr. Doe adequate?

a. Yes, because Section 1681g(a) only requires ABC to “clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer all information in the consumer’s file at the time of the request.”

b. It depends on whether or not ABC treats all consumer files similarly and it would not have the information for any consumer who requested the in formation within that same period of time.

c. No, ABC is required to maintain the information on Mr. Doe for a reasonable period of time in order to allow him an opportunity to contest the report.

d. Mr. Doe will likely be able to bring a lawsuit against ABC based on its response because it is hard to believe that no information is available wi
thin one month, but then some becomes available later. Plus the absence of the information reported about the criminal charges is the
real issue for Mr. Doe and the failure to provide this information will likely be considered a potential violation of Section 1681g(a).


 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Legality of Retail Theft Databases in California for Background Checks

Les Rosen

The use of a "Retail Theft Contributory Database" in California is being challenged in a class action lawsuit filed in federal Court in San Francisco on January 31, 2013. The lawsuit alleges that this type of database violates both federal and state laws by providing information to retailers about detentions for suspicion of theft or fraud but did not result in a conviction. The lawsuit seeks damages of up to $1,000 for every California consumer that was the subject of a negative report within the last two years where there was not a conviction, as well as legal fees and other damages.

According to the Complaint filed in Court, the background screening firm that is subject of the class action lawsuit sold memberships to retail merchants that required each merchant to contribute suspected theft or shoplifting records of employees or customers to a database shared by all members, essentially creating a retail employment blacklist.

This case was filed in United States District Court, Northern District of California, on January 31, 2014 (CV 14-0493).

Read more

Proposal Would Force All Kansas Teachers To Be Fingerprinted

A new plan to require criminal background checks for all Kansas educators is generating a lot of buzz across the state. The proposal would require teachers to be fingerprinted in order to renew their teaching licenses. For teachers who were hired after 2002, the plan doesn't involve anything new for them. Fingerprints have been part of the requirements to get an initial teaching license for the past 12 years.

The Kansas Department of Education estimated about 35,000 teachers were hired before those rules were in place.

Read more

Colorado Supreme Court to review "lawful" use of medical marijuana

The Colorado Supreme Court agreed on January 27, 2014 to review a case holding that an employer did not violate the state's "legal activities" law when it dismissed an employee who used "medical marijuana" while off duty. Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (CO. Jan. 27, 2014). For a detailed discussion of the facts of the case and the appellate court's decision, see the article on our website, Colorado Court Rules Use of 'Medical Marijuana' Not 'Lawful' under State's 'Legal Activities' Law.

Read more

U.S. Congress Ready to Enact Data Security and Breach Notification Rules After Recent Consumer Data Breaches

In view of the recent spate of cyber attacks on retailers and the patchwork of existing laws that greatly complicate a company's data breach response, Congress appears ready to create a national data protection and breach notification law that, in theory, would increase the security of consumers' personal information and simplify the data breach notification process.

Statements made publicly during Congressional hearings this past week evidence a tacit agreement between Democrats and Republicans that a national data protection and breach notification law should not mandate a particular security standard, given that technology is rapidly advancing and that every data breach is factually distinct.

Read more

FTC Has Scrutiny of Alternative Scoring Products on Their Agenda

Many data brokers offer companies scores to predict trends and the behavior of their customers. Companies are using predictive scores for a variety of purposes, ranging from identity verification and fraud prevention to marketing and advertising.

For example, companies are using scores to predict the likelihood that a person has committed identity fraud; the likelihood that a certain transaction will result in fraud; the credit risk associated with certain mortgage loan applications; whether contacting a consumer by mail or phone will lead to successful debt collection; whether sending a catalog to a certain address will result in an in-store or online purchase; the likelihood that an individual is taking his or her medication; a person’s presence on the Internet and his or her influence over others; or whether a customer is pregnant, and if so, when the baby is due.

According to media reports, these scores are determining whether transactions trigger further scrutiny.
Consumers are largely unaware of these scores, and have little to no access to the underlying data that comprises the scores. As a result, these predictive scores raise a variety of potential privacy concerns and questions.

Read more

Don’t Pay The Price Of Keeping Your FCRA Disclosures Hidden In The Closet

On December 2, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania opined on when employers’ deficient disclosures can make them liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) in Reardon v. ClosetMaid Corporation, No. 2:08-CV-01730, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169821 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 2, 2013).

In this FCRA class action, Plaintiffs, a group of former job applicants, alleged that ClosetMaid had a standard practice of disqualifying job applicants for employment on the basis of their consumer reports in violation of the FCRA. Plaintiffs specifically alleged, among other things, that ClosetMaid did not send them a standalone FCRA disclosure. Instead, most Plaintiffs received a combined FCRA disclosure/authorization that contained a liability waiver. The Court agreed with Plaintiffs that the company’s failure to utilize a standalone FCRA disclosure could, and in this case did, violate the FCRA.

This opinion is important for two reasons. First, Reardon is the second published decision to address whether the inclusion of a liability waiver in an FCRA disclosure invalidates the disclosure. After Reardon, two federal district courts have now held that liability waivers invalidate FCRA disclosures as a matter of law. Only one federal district court has held otherwise. Second, the Reardon case shows how such a simple mistake could subject a large employer that receives thousands of applications and conducts thousands of background checks to significant liability on a class-wide basis.

Read more

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

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Bill Would Prevent Employers from Asking About Arrests in Initial Job Applications

These days, a common question on job applications is whether you've ever been arrested. But a growing number of states, including Minnesota and Massachusetts, have adopted laws to remove questions about criminal history from initial job applications. Sponsors of a bill in Olympia hope to add Washington to that list. House Bill 2545 would prevent employers from asking for non-conviction information in initial job applications.

Among the bill's supporters is Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke, who for years presided over drug court and currently serves as the president of the Washington State Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Read more

"I Did It…But Don't Tell!" Rejected Job Applicant Says Background Report Should Have Excluded his Admission of Fraud against Former Employer

Tsang, a plaintiff, sued the operator of the Esteem criminal background database-LexisNexis and First Advantage-alleging that they gave prohibited information to potential employers, which ultimately barred him from getting a job. Tsang v. LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Inc. , No. CV-14-0493 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2014). Tsang explains in his complaint that his former employer investigated and ultimately terminated him for refund fraud after he admitted guilt. He claims, however, that he was coerced into signing an admission statement, and he was never formally convicted of the crime. Nevertheless, his forced admission made its way into the Esteem database and was ultimately reported to prospective employers.

Tsang claims that, because he was never convicted of a crime, the Esteem database should not have included any information related to the refund fraud-despite his admission of guilt.

Read more


2014 Data Protection and Breach Readiness Guide

2014 Breach Report Highlights:

  • 89% of breaches and data loss incidents could have been prevented
  • 740 million records disclosed
  • 31% of insiders were due to insider threats or mistakes
  • 21% of the incidents were the result of physical loss (PC, drive, notebooks, paper documents..)
  • 40% of the top breaches recorded to-date occurred in 2013
  • 76% of breaches were the result of weak or stolen account credentials
  • 29% of compromises were via social engineering

Get the full report


Health Care Worker Drug Testing Bill Advances in New Hampshire

The first law in the nation to require the widespread drug testing of health care employees may be on its way to passage, as the New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed by a vote of 289-48, without debate, "An Act relative to the drug-free workplaces for licensed health care facilities and providers," on January 22. The measure (H.B. 597-FN) would mandate that licensed entities establish "procedures for drug testing which shall include, at a minimum, testing where reasonable suspicion exists," as part of a broader "drug misuse and diversion prevention policy" providing for the "prevention, detection, and resolution of controlled substance abuse, misuse and diversion." The policy would apply to "employees, contractors, and agents of the facility who provide direct or hands on care to clients when acting within the scope of their employment or representation"; the facility would have to designate an employee or interdisciplinary team of employees to be responsible for the policy.

Read more


Accurate Background Attains U.S. EU Safe Harbor Status and Earns TRUSTe Certified Privacy

Accurate Background, Inc., a leader in the background screening industry, announced its participation in the TRUSTe® U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Certification program and its certification to display the TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal. This further demonstrates Accurate Background's global commitment to dependability, integrity and client satisfaction, and serves as the foundation of online privacy. Accurate Background joins more than 5,000 TRUSTe-certified businesses in recognizing privacy's ability to accelerate commerce and information exchange.

Participation in TRUSTe privacy program signifies that a business is compliant with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework -- a legal safe harbor established by the Department of Commerce that allows U.S. companies to satisfy EU privacy directives protecting the personal information of European citizens. TRUSTe awards its seal to companies that complete TRUSTe certification, submit to ongoing site monitoring, and participate in the TRUSTe Dispute Resolution process.

Read more

Data Facts, Inc Announces CEO Induction into the Society of Entreprenuers

Daphne Large, CEO of Data Facts, Inc. will be inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs in Memphis TN. Some of the esteemed members calling Memphis their home include Fred Smith (FedEx), Pitt Hyde (Auto Zone), Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Cookies) along with the late Kemmons Wilson (Holiday Inns), Abe Plough (Schering-Plough Corp) and Clarence Saunders (Piggly Wiggly Co.).

Pearson Crutcher, the Society of Entrepreneur's Executive Director, is confident Daphne will make a great addition. "Daphne is a wonderful example of all of the characteristics needed to be selected as a member of the Society of Entrepreneurs - personal business achievement, self-direction, leadership, personal integrity, determination, creativity and the ability to transform a vision into a dynamic business achievement. I am so proud of Daphne and all that she has accomplished!"

Daphne is honored by the opportunity to be inducted into the Society. "It is awe inspiring to be associated with this group of entrepreneurs. I am excited to be able to represent Data Facts in this prestigious organization."

Read more As you can see, the Accio Enterprise platform is constantly evolving to become even more powerful and flexible. How can you keep up? Join us for Accio University. On the second Wednesday of each month Ryan Jones, Accio's Director of Customer Experience, will show current customers some of the best ways to use the platform.
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Data Facts Inc Donates Thousands to Charities in 2013

Data Facts Inc. has long been a leader in charitable contributions in both national and local communities they serve. In 2013, Data Facts, Inc. contributed thousands of dollars to local and national charities through its "Data Facts Gives Back" Program. These contributions included donations raised in partnership with their customers, supplemented with matching donations by Data Facts, Inc.

Data Facts' aim is to be a positive and productive member of their community by not only contributing and dedicating financial resources, but also through the employee volunteerism program. "We're proud of our associates who help make our giving possible. Thanks to them, we're making a difference!" says Daphne Large, President of Data Facts, Inc. This is just one way Data Facts has brought a positive and lasting change to not only the communities they serve, but also to their diverse staff.

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SEC Awards Parker Tide Contract for Background Investigation Services

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently awarded Parker Tide a one year contract with four option years to provide background investigation and adjudication support services. Under the contract, Parker Tide will specifically provide assistance managing workflow of scheduling background investigations, performing suitability risk assessments, adjudicating background investigations, and identifying and sponsoring HSPD-12 credentialing badge renewals. These functions include collecting personal information, processing investigations, conducting additional criminal history research as needed, performing adjudications, and managing related records.

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myHRdesk Strengthens Its Marketing with Seasoned Veteran

myHRdesk, Inc., a leading provider of software which permits Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to uniquely utilize Human Resource centric features announced today that it has entered into a marketing agreement with Connex Services, Inc. of Conroe, TX to market its products and services to the Background Screening Industry.

Tony Cordaro, President and CEO of Connex Services will be the primary liaison representing myHRdesk to the Background Screening Industry. Cordaro, with over 30 years of marketing experience stated, "myHRdesk brings unique opportunities to the clients of the background screening companies that will add significant value into the mix without having to expand their client base."

Shawn Matthews, COO of myHRdesk stated, "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Tony Cordaro and the Connex Service's team. They bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge that will be a great resource in presenting our products and services to the background screening industry."

For more information contact Tony at


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in January to 99.5 (2004 = 100), following no change in December, and a 0.9 percent increase in November.

"The U.S. Leading Economic Index continues to fluctuate on a monthly basis, but the six-month average growth rate has been relatively stable in recent months, which suggests that the economy will remain resilient in the first half of 2014 and underlying economic conditions should continue to improve," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. "Correspondingly, the U.S. Coincident Economic Index, which measures current conditions, has continued rising steadily."

"The increase in the Leading Economic Index reflects an economy that is expanding moderately, although the pace is somewhat held back by persistent and severe inclement weather in most parts of the country," said Economist Ken Goldstein. "If the economy is going to move on to a faster track in 2014 compared to last year, consumer demand and especially investment will need to pick up significantly from their current trends.

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New Social Media Tool Pushes Employment Screening Frontier

Employment screening company JD Palatine is rolling out a new social tool for executive-level job seekers. Job Seeker Insight (JSI), a subsidiary of JD Palatine, is launching its powerful new tool that allows executives and thought leaders to control the employment screening process.

LinkedIn users will be especially excited as Job Seeker Insight allows them to include a "Digital Verification Badge" on their profile which will allow employers to access and view a pre-prepared background check. Executive-level candidates will have the power to control who accesses their confidential information while impressing potential employers with the confidence that comes with taking the initiative in the pre-employment screening process.

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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.

 What Can We Do For You in 2014 To Help You Exceed Your Revenue Goals?


Targeted Marketing Support Services for the Background Screening Industry

Online background screening directory featuring background screening firms and suppliers to the background screening industry. Basic, Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels of advertising are available. Target audience is the Human Resources, Talent Acquisition and Recruiting community.

New Opportunities:

Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide

An annual print and electronic publication featuring U.S. and international background screening firms, and timely informative articles. The Guide is launched annually in June at the SHRM Annual Conference and distributed to 20,000 plus human resources professionals.

Annual Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide

An annual print and electronic publication featuring suppliers to the background screening industry. The Suppliers guide is distributed to our database of more than 1,600 background screening firms and at relevant professional trade shows.

The Background Buzz

A monthly e-newsletter distributed to the worldwide background screening industry that offers comprehensive coverage of information and news relevant to the screening industry. The e-newsletter is distributed to more than 1,600 firms in the background screening industry and accordingly, is an exceptional advertising venue to reach background screening firms.

The Special International Edition of The Background Buzz

A supplement to the regular edition of The Background Buzz that is published on a bi- monthly basis featuring global information and news on background screening around the world.

eDirect Mail Campaigns

On demand e-blast service sent to our database of more than 1,600 firms in the background screening industry. Each e-blast includes your advertisement and one relevant article.

Media Releases and Announcements

On demand releases and announcements to targeted media outlets in the background screening and recruiting industry.

Private Label Newsletter Service

Custom designed e-newsletter service. We create a custom designed e-newsletter including recommending the name, designing the header, template and providing the content. Distribution frequency options include monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly.

See the Marketing Portfolio that matches your market segment :

1. U.S. Background Screening Industry Marketing Portfolio

2. International Background Screening Industry Marketing Portfolio

3. Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Marketing Portfolio


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.


February 2014

Last year's Navy Yard shootings and the performance of USIS in the government screening process continues to receive attention in Washington. As we reported in last month's edition ofThe Washington Report, the Justice Department filed a complaint against USIS on January 22 nd alleging that the company made false claims and false statements, as well as breached its contract with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the course of its conduct of background checks conducted for the government, allegedly resulting in millions of dollars in payments and performance bonuses to USIS that the company otherwise would not have received.

On February 11th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on the Navy Yard shooting entitled "DC Navy Yard Shooting: Fixing the Security Clearance Process." Witnesses included, among others, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the CEO of USIS.

On February 10th, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD introduced H.R. 4022, the "Security Clearance Reform Act of 2014. The bill would, "Implement a continuous evaluation and monitoring system across the federal government so that we can immediately identify and address red flags that arise in a security clearance holder's background."

The USIS hearings and litigation to date have not been focused on Fair Credit Reporting Act issues or background screening generally. The focus of the House Oversight and Government Reform minority report on how outsourcing screening functions "may impact national security", however, could have implications for the broader employment and tenant screening communities over the longer term. The Washington Report will continue to monitor developments in this area.

Read the full report

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Grab a latte and pull up a chair and join us for a great interview with John Wither, Managing Director, Intercity Reliant Limited t/a Priority Investigations.

Text Box:  

I started our dialogue by asking John about how he got into the business. He sat back in his chair, smiled and said "I come from an Investigative family with many relatives having Police/Military service and/or working in Private Investigation industry. Our family business has been in this sector since 1960 and my fathers frontline retirement led me back into the industry in 2012 whereupon I took control of the Priority Group (Priority Investigations, Priority International & Intercity Reliant) in April 2013. The primary focus of our business since the late 90's has been providing national and international services in the background screening industry."

Prior to returning to the business John worked in Antarctica for 10 years, where he was a Base Commander for the UK Governments, British Antarctic Survey and a British Antarctic Territory Magistrate from 2005 to 2012.

He paused, and then beamed as he shared that in 2013 he was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen for services to the United Kingdom in the Antarctic.

John, noted that in his former role he spent many months each year with recruitment, short listing, interviewing and hiring. He fully appreciates the work and effort that it takes to complete a recruitment campaign and the absolute need to ensure that the appropriate candidates are matched to the appropriate role. This whole process is based upon the hirer having all of the correct and verified information to hand on each applicant so that a fully informed decision can be made. He said, he now gets great satisfaction in providing his clients the information that they need to make their business decisions and to play a part in the continued success and growth of their enterprises.

Turning our conversation to the company, he shared that the company's mission is to maintain and build upon the many relationships that have been developed over the 50 years of work in this sector. We strive to pace ourselves with the fast changing and shrinking business world to ensure that we continually provide our partners accurate information to enable them to make their business decisions.

He mentioned that the United Kingdom and Ireland are due to introduce the regulation of the Investigative Sector over the next 12 months, bringing both countries into line with most of the European Union Market. The regulation does appear to include the Screening Sector in some aspects, and it is vitally important to educate the clients to the advantages of entrusting their assignments to licensed service providers wherever possible.

One point John really emphasized is that over the many years the company has been in the investigative and screening sectors they have developed a wide international base of entrusted and affiliated resources, enabling them to provide a truly global reach for their clients. He emphatically added that the advantages of both time and cost saving by utilizing Priority cannot be over stated.

He went on to say that they work hard at understanding their client's needs, and strive to find answers to all challenges or problems in a speedy, yet economic way and in accordance with all local controlling legislation plus full compliance with our Company and Association's ethical codes.

He pondered as I asked him my favorite question about 'having a crystal ball and projecting what is coming down the road for the background screening industry.' He said without a doubt, technology is making the world smaller and allowing businesses to expand their operations faster and easier. This trend which he sees accelerating will increase the ability for staff/contractors/suppliers/clients to be based worldwide and this will emphasize the need for reliable international screening to make informed business decisions.

Before ending our discussion, I asked if he had read any interesting books recently to which he responded he recently finished reading 'Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War' by Margaret MacMillan. He thought it was a fascinating look at the peace conference after World War 1, that in his opinion shows where the foundations were laid for some of the world's recent conflicts.

The person he would have really like to have met revealed a lot about John. He smiled as he said, the Polar Explorer in him (this explains the picture) would have relished the opportunity to meet Sir Ernest Shackleton, a truly great leader.

My final question was 'do you have a favorite quote' and he shared, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

On that note, I want to thank John for a very interesting interview. If you would like to chat with John he can be reached For more information about Priority Investigations visit

John Withers MCMI FRGS
Managing Director
Intercity Reliant Limited t/a Priority Investigations
Head Office, PO Box 266
Belfast, BT5 4AQ
United Kingdom
T: + 44 (0) 28 9442 8284




Employers To Receive More Access To Cross-Tasman Criminal History Checks

Australian and New Zealand employers are to have greater access to respective national criminal history checks for employment vetting purposes. The move follows a successful trial of criminal history information sharing between Queensland and New Zealand.

"As the movement of workers between Australia and New Zealand has grown it makes sense that employers in both Australia and New Zealand have access to the type of background information that is available for local workers," Senator Brandis said.

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Pharma Sector Battling With Fraud Among Job Applicants: Report

It's not just the US Food & Drug Administration that the Indian pharmaceutical sector is wary of, but it has a rather unusual problem to deal with back home. A staggering 35 out of every 100 job applicants in the pharmaceutical or clinical trial space are lying about their credentials either by furnishing incorrect educational information or, what's even worse, creating fake companies, the highest among any other sector, according to a report released by AuthBridge, a Delhi-based employee screening firm.

The company sifted through data for the last three years' applicants and studied over 500 companies which put out an offer to hire and discovered that pharma/clinical trials, hospitality/airlines and manufacturing had the highest employee discrepancies while the BPO/IT, financial services and management consulting applicants had the lowest.

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Should Employee's Criminal Past Be Taken Into Consideration In Decision To Hire?

A regional marketer at a non-profit lottery organisation submitted his candidacy for the same position in a new tender published by the lottery. However, his candidacy was rejected after it became known that he was being investigated on suspicion of bribery in connection with a previous tender published by the lottery. While his candidacy was being considered by the committee, the candidate received an unofficial notice that the case against him had been closed due to lack of evidence. Nevertheless, his candidacy was rejected.

The candidate appealed to the courts, hoping that the lottery's decision would be overruled, but his claim was dismissed. The court argued that the fact that the investigation was pending and no decision had yet been taken to file an indictment did not render such suspicion irrelevant.

On its face, this ruling seems to be simple and obvious, since an employer clearly has a legitimate interest in hiring persons with a clean record, when forced to choose between two candidates with equal qualifications, except for the fact that one has a criminal record and the other does not, a rational employer would most likely prefer the latter candidate.

However, at what point should a repentant criminal who has paid his debt to society cease to be punished further. Therefore, the challenge is to strike the correct balance between an employer's legitimate interests in protecting its business from candidates who are convicted criminals and society's legitimate interests in facilitating the rehabilitation of repentant criminals.

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Complexity of Background Screening Across Latin America

For Latin American hires, HR department are increasingly adopting background screening practices into their standard recruiting processes. This task is particularly complex for companies considering candidates with cross-regional profiles, including professional experiences and education, from different countries and jurisdictions, as available information for background checks varies from country to country. For an HR department hiring people across Latin America, the differences between conducting searches in Mexico and Brazil and the rest of the region are clear. Mexico and Brazil both have the largest number of crimes in absolute terms and, therefore, the ones with more records in this area. In both countries there is one federal criminal law and different local criminal codes establishing whether local or federal authorities are in charge of the crimes depending on the type. In both Mexico and Brazil there can be differences in the time period for which litigation records are available for there are divergences in technology access and transparency policies across the different states. Larger populations mean higher levels of difficulty and complexity in the internal organization of a country. HR Departments need to take this fact into account for it greatly affects the operation process, costs and times of their work.

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Sixty People Lose Childcare Jobs after Screening

So far 60 people have lost their official authorisation to work with children since continuous background checks were introduced in March, according to social affairs ministry figures.

Most of the crimes relate to partners of official child-minders. In 28 cases, the crime was of a violent nature, but 13 involved sex-related crimes.

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Lie Detector Tests For Job Applicants

Polygraph, or lie detector, tests are now being offered to New Zealand companies and recruitment agencies for use in pre-employment checks. The test is part of a growing industry in background checking of new staff, as employers become more aware of the need to make sure they are hiring the correct person. But critics claim the data collection - which can include checks into a person's ACC history, with their permission - are excessive and take advantage of desperate job seekers. Resume Check owner James Sutherland, whose company offers comprehensive background check packages - including a person's ACC history - said most candidates were accepting of the process. It is important that the information collected be relevant to the role. Lie Detector New Zealand director Barry Newman, said demand in the pre-employment area had been low, with employers unsure about using the technology in the workplace. "Before shelling out for a highly intrusive service like polygraph testing, common sense as well as privacy rules mean you should check that it's something that you really need and that you have a really good case which can be justified under the Privacy Act," said Assistant privacy commissioner Katrine Evans.

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Student Visa System 'Abused' to Gain Illegal Entry to UK

Home Secretary, Theresa May, has launched a clamp down on alleged abuses of student visas after an investigation found the system was providing a "free for all" for illegal entry to the UK. May suspended English language tests set by a major exam board in the UK and temporarily withdrew accreditation from a series of colleges and immigration advisers amid evidence of a thriving market in fraudulent visas. The move came after an undercover investigation by BBC One's Panorama revealed a network of agents was helping overseas students pass English language exams, obtain false documents and doctor their academic records. In one case, an immigration agency is seen offering a package of fake documents needed to secure a one-year visa extension. "For too long many colleges, particularly private or further education colleges, have been selling visas and not education," said May. "It is time for them to face up to their responsibilities as purveyors of education and not abuse." Students need to show they can speak the language, display an appropriate academic record, provide a bank statement to prove they have the necessary funds and win acceptance on to a course run by a Home Office-approved college or university.

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Organisations Hiring More Overseas Talent But Failing To Adequately Check CV's

More than one third of UK organisations do not have an adequate screening process in place to check the claims of international job candidates, according to research conducted by HireRight, Ltd. The correct measures have not been established despite more than three-quarters of people involved in recruiting from abroad, admitting that it is more difficult to effectively background screen potential employees from other countries.

The research is based on questioning 200 people involved in UK HR and recruitment.

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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,



The Background Buzz is a service of, the premier listing of Preemployment Background Screening companies on the Internet for employers to search for a firm to meet their preemployment background checking needs. The Background Buzz is published by the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. All logos highlighted in ‘New Featured Clients' and 'Advertisers in this edition' are the sole property of the companies named and copyright protected by the respectively named company. Please direct questions, feedback or request to be added to or deleted from our distribution list to

Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide professional or legal advise regarding actions to take in any situation. Advertisements are presented for information and marketing purposes only and the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. makes no representations for any products or services that are promoted and accepts no responsibility for any actions or consequences that occur as a result of any purchases from advertisers.