Click here for a description of the Guide and available advertising opportunities. Click here for a reservation form.

The 2013 Best Advertisers Awards (for Suppliers) are coming! Learn more.

In case you missed the January Special International edition, click here to get your copy.

Thanks again for joining us this month, enjoy your celebration of the Chinese New Year and we look forward to seeing you next month.

P.S. - Nambariza? (How are you?) in Comorian (or Shikomor) which is a Bantu language closely related to Swahili. It is by far the most spoken language in the country.

Volume 10, Edition 1, January 2014




Calculating the Dollar Costs of a Bad or Weak-performing Employee

Almost every manager, when asked, readily agrees that weak employees underperform average employees by a significant amount. From a talent management perspective, if the "performance differential" between the average employee and the worst employee is 33% or more, it makes clear business sense to invest in great performance management and recruiting in order to fix or replace weak performers. First, consult with the CFO's office (the king of metrics) and the COO's office with the goal of getting them to partner with you throughout the calculation process. With their help, you can avoid any major calculation errors and use their credibility in order to avoid any future criticism from finance professionals. Then, follow these six calculation steps: Determine what an average employee is worth; Determine the "weak performer differential" between an average employee and a weak employee in the same job; Quantify the value of the "weak performer differential" percentage; Determine the "weak performer differential" for other jobs; Add other "weak performer costs" to the calculation; and Determine whether weak performers can be improved quickly and inexpensively. It is surprising that only a few firms have taken the time to calculate the positive performance differential that is provided by top performers and the negative performance differential that the organization suffers because it keeps weak performers. The best approach is one that is customized and acceptable to your CFO and your executives.

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Facebook Isn't Actually a Good Way to Judge Potential Employees, Say Researchers

A new study from researchers at Florida State University, Old Dominion University, Clemson University, and Accenture, suggests Facebook is bunk as a job performance predictor. The study involved the recruitment of 416 college students who were applying for full-time jobs and agreed to let the researchers capture screenshots of their Facebook Walls, Info Pages, Photos and Interests. The researchers asked 86 recruiters who attended the university's career fair to review the Facebook pages, judge the fresh-faced seniors' personality traits and rate how employable they seemed. Each recruiter looked at just five of the candidates, and got no other information about them. A year later, the researchers followed up with the now-graduates' supervisors and asked them to review their job performance. "Recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles correlate essentially zero with job performance," write the researchers. The recruiters looking at Facebook profiles tended to rate women higher than men, and white individuals higher than African-American and Hispanic candidates. But those ratings were not predictors of their actual job performance. "Our results suggest that Blacks and Hispanics might be adversely impacted by use of Facebook ratings," says researcher Philip Roth of Clemson. (The equally disturbing possibility here is that we'd see the same thing when those recruiters interviewed those people in person.) Roth says that human resources staff should warn managers away from using Facebook to review their applicants.

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A New Handy Guide to Global DPAs

DLA Piper has attacked the problem of surveying the world's data protection laws and regulations with a handy online and interactive guidebook for which they've released version 2.0 just in time for Data Privacy Day. It begins with a map of the world, with countries colored to indicate the strength of their privacy laws (red=heavy regulation; green=not so much), and then you have tabbed options for turning the page to see a specific country's law, regulator contact information and then specifics on how a country regulates anything from infosecurity to breaches to electronic marketing. It's also possible to set two countries side by side and compare the way they regulate date protection. They offer a mobile interface, or you can download all of the information in a readable PDF. "People are saying, 'You're crazy to give away this kind of information,'" said DLA Piper Partner Patrick Van Eecke, "but our strategy is that we can give away this kind of information because we want to get into more complex legal situations like developing strategies for data protection. It's not interesting just advising on what you have to do in one country vs. another. We don't want to make our money with that." There are 65 different jurisdictions covered in the tool, and the PDF runs to some 360 pages of information. As a living, breathing online organism, it will require almost constant updates so as not to become quickly outdated.

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Security Check Firm Said to Have Defrauded U.S.

The company that conducted a background investigation on the contractor Edward J. Snowden fraudulently signed off on hundreds of thousands of incomplete security checks in recent years, the Justice Department said. The government said the company, U.S. Investigations Services, defrauded the government of millions of dollars by submitting more than 650,000 investigations that had not been completed. The government uses those reports to help make hiring decisions and decide who gets access to national security secrets. In addition to Snowden, the company performed the background check for Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard last year. The accusations highlight not just how reliant the government is on contractors to perform national security functions, but also how screening those contractors requires even more contractors. U.S. Investigations Service, now known as USIS, is the largest outside investigator for government security clearances. It is one of many companies that has found lucrative government work during the expansion of national security in the last decade. The government made the accusations in a 25-page complaint filed in United States District Court in Montgomery, Ala., where USIS has been the subject of a whistle-blower lawsuit since 2011. "These allegations relate to a small group of individuals over a specific time period and are inconsistent with the strong service record we have earned since our inception in 1996," said a spokesman for USIS.

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Study: Employers May Be Using Social Media to Discriminate

According to a new study from Carnegie Mellon University, employers may be using their social media research of potential applicants to discriminate. Using fake profiles on popular social networking sites, the researchers found that Muslim applicants were less likely to be called back for an interview than applicants with a profile suggesting they were Christian. The findings demonstrate the dangers for employers of consulting sources like Facebook and the potential for relying upon illegal information like religion when making a hiring decision. Even seemingly innocuous information - a quote from a specific religious text, for example - could lead employers to consider off-limit topics like religion and open themselves to liability.

Disclosures about sexuality had no impact on early interest from employers, the study found.

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Commission Gives U.S. 13 Ways to Save Safe Harbor

The European Commission has released its report on EU-U.S. data flows, including a critique of the widely-criticized Safe Harbor framework, which makes 13 recommendations to improve the data-transfer mechanism. The commission says U.S. authorities have until summer of 2014 to implement the recommendations, at which point it will revisit the review. The recommendations call for self-certified companies to disclose their privacy policies and any privacy conditions based on relationships with third-party vendors; improved facilitation to redress methods, including links on certified companies' privacy policies to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers; notification to EU authorities when complaints are filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and for the national security exception-which allows law enforcement access to data-to be used "only to an extent that is strictly necessary or proportionate." There is also a call for self-certified companies to include, within their privacy policies, information on "the extent to which U.S. law allows public authorities to collect and process data transferred under the Safe Harbor." Dutch MEP Sophie in' t Veld, vice president of Parliament's Civil Liberties and Home Affairs Committee, said she's glad the commission is taking steps, but, "We've been calling for an evaluation or even suspension action for many years, so this report is overdue." She said the report is a signal that things are starting to shift.

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How Can Youth Service Providers Keep Sex Offenders Out?

Most all youth-serving organizations rely upon criminal background checks (CBC) to filter out applicants with sex offenses. According to Michael Johnson, youth protection director of the Boy Scouts of America, a complete reliance on CBCs, however, could be a major error. "Bottom line? You should do them," he said, "but the expectation -- and that is, the be-all, end-all -- is a big, humongous mistake." Johnson said criminal background checks themselves may be one of the reasons why some child predators end up in youth-service positions. Perhaps the largest downside to relying on CBCs, Johnson said, is that it only filters out sex offenders who have been arrested and convicted. "The vast majority of offenders who are actively sexually abusing haven't been arrested and haven't been convicted, so criminal background checks are very limited in what that information can provide you." Various forms of background checks are available, and online sex offender registries are improving. However, there are still many challenges facing youth-serving organizations; among them, he said, were state-by-state variance in sex offender classifications. Resources provided by organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely the best places for youth service providers to turn to for information on background checks and standards pertaining to sex offenders. Other common protective measures include leadership selection, interviews, reference checks and the monitoring of staffer and volunteer behavior.

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2014 Brings Change to Oregon Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlords and renters alike stand to benefit from the Landlord-Tenant Omnibus Bill (Senate Bill 91), which took effect Jan. 1. Noncompliance fees are changing and for the first time, Oregon landlords can require tenants to maintain rental insurance. It also introduces Section 8 Vouchers as a Protected Class. Renters can no longer be turned down solely due to their dependence on government assistance for housing. The legislation still allows landlords to conduct a tenant background check for criminal records and eviction history. The law also places new limits on tenant screening, limiting the scope of tenant screening and how a landlord can evaluate a rental applicant's criminal records check. "With Senate Bill 91, a landlord may not consider a previous arrest of the applicant, if the arrest did not result in a conviction," said Christi Lawson, partner at Foley and Lardner LLP. In addition, Oregon is the first state to implement a 5-year rule about reporting eviction records. "This is a big change for the tenant screening industry," said Caryn Bennett, Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC) compliance manager. "For a long time tenant screening included using an applicant's current and previous addresses to run a report. "Now, with the changes in Oregon, our filters and algorithms need to take into consideration where a prospective tenant is moving," she added. The algorithms and filters provide landlords with comprehensive tenant screening reports, allowing them to make informed rental decisions, while maintaining compliance with the latest legislative changes.

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Kenmore Representative David Frockt cosponsors tenants' rights legislation

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, are co-sponsoring legislation that would support tenants' rights and make housing more affordable to renters in Washington.

If enacted, SB 6291 would streamline the process of tenant screenings by potential landlords by allowing a prospective tenant to obtain a single standardized comprehensive screening report and use it when applying to rent housing for up to 30 days without being charged a tenant screening fee by the landlord. The comprehensive report would include consumer, criminal and eviction history. If a landlord wished to use a different report, the landlord would have to pay the expense themselves.

SB 6292 would require notice of rent increases 90 days prior, up from 30 days currently, as well as provide tenant relocation assistance to a broader base of renters.

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CIC's Partnership with Experian Delivers Free Tenant Screening to Real Estate Agents

CIC, a nationwide leader in tenant screening for the multifamily housing industry, recently partnered with Experian to launch ApplyConnect, a free tenant screening solution for real estate agents. ApplyConnect builds on a process created by Experian whereby credit reports can be requested and viewed on an individual basis and combines it with CIC's industry leading tenant screening products.

ApplyConnect combines a comprehensive tenant background check that provides a complete credit report with the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model. The tenant screening report includes a nationwide criminal records search, including the sex offender registry, and eviction history provided by the most comprehensive eviction records database in the U.S.

By simplifying the process, real estate agents no longer have to deal with the hassles of traditional tenant screening. Applicants and real estate agents can now quickly share tenant screening reports through a secure online system. Not only does ApplyConnect simplify tenant screening, but as a consumer-initiated product, it is the first of its kind to deliver all the elements needed to evaluate a potential renter's credit report and background check with zero impact on the applicant's credit score. The credit check is considered a soft inquiry as the applicant chooses to share their credit report with a real estate agent.

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FCRA Violations Against Background Screener Results In $18.6 Million Settlement

Plaintiffs' counsel filed a Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Proposed Class Action Settlement against two Verisk Analytics companies - Intellicorp Records, Inc. and InsuranceInformation Exchange, LLC - for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). The matter is pending in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio and the consolidated case number is Case No. 1:12-cv-02288.

The motion alleges that Intellicorp Records, Inc. ("Intellicorp"), a background screening company, allegedly violated the FCRA. The settlement provides substantial monetary and non-monetary relief, including cash disbursements totaling $18.6 million and the monetary value of free consumer reports to all Class Members upon request (there are approximately 545,000 class members).

Judge James Gwin signed the Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement November 25, 2013. A hearing to decide on Final Approval will take place May 23, 2014.

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Congress Approves Bill to Help Strengthen Government Background Checks

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would increase oversight into how the government conducts background investigations. The bill, H.R. 2860, the OPM IG Act (Office of Personnel Management Inspector General Act), will give the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) inspector general's office access to new funding to conduct audits, investigations, and other oversight activities. A nearly identical bill, the Security Clearance Oversight and Reform Enhancement (SCORE) Act, passed the Senate in October. Both bills were written partly due to reports about inconsistencies and lack of thoroughness in the background checking process. They were also written due to questions about background checks resulting from some recent high profile cases. The bill would provide oversight of the $2 billion OPM revolving fund that federal agencies pay into for human resources services, including conducting background checks. "For many years, there have been increased referrals of alleged fraud within the revolving fund operations, including in the background investigations used to determine an individuals' eligibility for a security clearance," said Rep. Blake Farenthold. "That's a big problem with serious national security implications." The House and Senate bills "will increase oversight and empower watchdogs to make our nation safer and our government more efficient," said Sen. Jon Tester after the House approved its version of the bill.

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Welcome to the U.S. Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:

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

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

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

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:


ABC consumer reporting agency provided XYZ a consumer report regarding applicant John Doe. XYZ declined to hire John Doe. There were reports of past criminal acts of a sexual nature in the consumer report. ABC and XYZ's contract prohibits XYZ from disclosing the consumer report to Mr. Doe. Is this prohibition permissible?

a. Yes.

b. Yes, so long as Mr. Doe is made aware of the fact he can obtain the report from ABC.

c. It depends on whether XYZ made its decision based on any information from the report.

d. No


New Jersey Legislature Introduces "Ban The Box" Bill

The New Jersey Legislature recently introduced the Opportunity to Compete Act that would impose significant restrictions on criminal background checks in connection with the hiring process. The law would prohibit employers from making inquiries into a candidate's criminal history during the application process and would restrict inquiries concerning a candidate's criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment is made. Even then, the employer would have to provide a standard written notification of rights to the candidate's consent to do so.

Substantively, the Act outlines what types of criminal history could be considered. Employers would not be permitted to consider: non-pending arrests that did not result in a conviction; any record that has been erased, expunged, or pardoned; and any adjudication of delinquency of a juvenile. Finally, employers would be required to consider: information concerning rehabilitation; information concerning the accuracy of the criminal record produced by the candidate; the amount of time since the conviction; and the relationship of the crime to the position sought.

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights would be charged with enforcement of the Act.

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( Click here for a copy of the proposed law )

New Policy on School Volunteer Background Checks Stalled

The school board looked to the state for guidance during a workshop on how to revise the district's policy on criminal background checks for volunteers. The problem is the state has only detailed strict background screening guidelines for employees and less-strict guidelines for contractors through the Jessica Lunsford Act. "There is simply no clear statute that says what is the criteria for a volunteer," said board attorney, Dennis Alfonso. "The law leaves it to you to draw the line." The district's policy on criminal background checks for volunteers is historically more stringent than that for contractors who might have little or no student contact. The challenge is to find a way to align the district's policy with state law without barring suitable volunteers over minor criminal offenses, or allowing non-suitable volunteers to slip through the cracks. Neither option appears to be without potential lawsuits, board members said, due in part to "loopholes" in the Jessica Lunsford Act. Safety and Security Coordinator Mario Littman said he has been working with an out-of-state contractor to ameliorate the problem, close loopholes in the Jessica Lunsford Act, and bring Hernando county Schools to a more uniform standard for volunteer criminal background screens. "Our job isn't to bar people; our job is to get them through," said Littman. In light of additional revisions needed, another copy of the draft will be presented again to the board in late February, and considered at that time for potential approval.

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USA: Safe Harbor 'Has Teeth'; Enforcement a 'Commission Priority'

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced - on 21 January 2014 - that 12 US businesses from a wide range of sectors, including accounting, health and pharmaceutical, data security and mobile app developers, have agreed to settle charges that they deceptively claimed to be adhering to the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework. "Enforcement of the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework is a Commission priority," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "These 12 cases help ensure the integrity of the [Framework] and send the signal to companies that they cannot falsely claim participation in the program." Damon Greer, former Director of the Safe Harbor Framework said, "I suspect, though not certain, that internal pressures mounted within the FTC and administration to take affirmative action to prove that the enforcement component of Safe Harbor has teeth." The FTC recognised that the businesses had certified with Safe Harbor, however they were charged with deceptively representing that they held Safe Harbor certifications when in fact they had allowed these certifications to lapse, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. They have entered into 20-year consent agreements with the FTC, and are prohibited from misrepresenting participation in any privacy or data security program. "Given the current attention to Safe Harbor […] I would be surprised if the FTC is not currently investigating substantive violations of Safe Harbor," said Christopher Wolf, Partner at Hogan Lovells.

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FTC Settles with Twelve Companies Falsely Claiming to Comply with International Safe Harbor Privacy Framework

Twelve U.S. businesses have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they falsely claimed they were abiding by an international privacy framework known as the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor that enables U.S. companies to transfer consumer data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with EU law.

The companies settling with the FTC represent a cross-section of industries, including retail, professional sports, laboratory science, data broker, debt collection, and information security. The companies handle a variety of consumer information, including in some instances sensitive data about health and employment.

"Enforcement of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework is a Commission priority. These twelve cases help ensure the integrity of the Safe Harbor Framework and send the signal to companies that they cannot falsely claim participation in the program," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

The FTC complaints charge each company with representing, through statements in their privacy policies or display of the Safe Harbor certification mark, that they held current Safe Harbor certifications, even though the companies had allowed their certifications to lapse. The Commission alleged that this conduct violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. However, this does not necessarily mean that the company committed any substantive violations of the privacy principles of the Safe Harbor frameworks.

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Criminal Background Checks: Reviewing the Year in FCRA Class Action Settlements

While much attention has been paid this year to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC's") agenda and litigation over criminal background checks (the agency asserts such background checks have a disparate impact on minority groups), a parallel challenge kept pace in the form of private class action litigation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). 2013 saw a number of significant class action settlements against both employers and consumer reporting agencies ("CRAs") for alleged violations of the FCRA in the use of criminal background checks.

2013 also has seen a number of new FCRA class action lawsuits, including a high-profile lawsuit filed against the Walt Disney Company, as well as class actions against two different national transportation and trucking companies, a national home improvement retailer, a broadcast company, and several large CRAs. It seems clear that the trends in FCRA litigation will continue.

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Workplace Privacy 2014: What's New and What Employers May Expect

New laws that went into effect on January 1, 2014, are a harbinger of what employers may expect to see in the coming year regarding workplace privacy: more restrictions on access to applicants' and employees' criminal history, credit information, and personal social media content. Employers will now be required to grapple with next-generation issues raised by the use of social media as a business tool and the increasing adoption of "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) programs. The ever-shifting balance between employer prerogative and employee privacy likely will continue to move in a direction that favors employee privacy. First, legislators, enforcement agencies, and the plaintiffs' bar will likely continue their efforts to narrow the scope of information that employers can consider when making employment decisions about applicants and employees. Second, technology will continue to blur the lines between work and personal life, with personal life expanding into work life - not the other way around. However, the widening scope of the NLRA and the increasing number of countries with broad data protection laws will compel employers to tolerate this "intrusion" of personal life into work. Employers should: Review existing practices for collecting and using information; Implement a social media policy; Require that all U.S. employees execute a BYOD user agreement; and Evaluate whether local law will permit the employer to take the necessary steps to safeguard corporate and customer data before rolling out a BYOD program to non-U.S. employees.

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FTC Reaches Settlement With Accretive Health on Inadequate Data Security

On December 31, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Accretive Health, Inc. ("Accretive") has agreed to settle charges that the company's inadequate data security measures unfairly exposed sensitive consumer information to the risk of theft or misuse. Accretive experienced a breach in July 2011 that involved the protected health information of more than 23,000 patients.

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Top Ten Ways Employers Run Afoul of Minnesota's Drug And Alcohol Testing Statute

Minnesota has a uniquely complicated statute governing drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Minn. Stat. Section 181.950-957. The statute can be a surprise for out of state employers with employees in Minnesota, as well as Minnesota-based companies. And non-compliance can be expensive. Employees who are tested in violation of the statutory requirements can potentially seek damages for lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

Read more about how employers run into trouble:

The Top 10 International Drug Policy Stories of 2013

What a year in drug reform! 2013 saw a historic breakthrough on the international front, as well as evidence that powerful currents are shifting inexorably away from the prohibitionist consensus of the last half-century. There were also new, innovative approaches to regulating drugs and new, innovative approaches to buying and selling them illegally.

But on the other hand, there were also continuities. Major drug producing regions kept producing drugs, major drug-related conflicts continued, and the global drug war continues to grind on. A bullet-point Top 10 list can't hope to offer a comprehensive review of the year on drugs internationally, but it can illuminate some key events and important trends. With apologies in advance for all those important stories that didn't make the cut, here is Drug War Chronicle top ten global drug policy-related stories of 2013:

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Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

  Important Facts to Know About Searching Government Records

There are four important truths about searching public records online from government agencies-

  • Less than 70% of government maintained public records are found online. For example, only 65% of the state and local courts place access to felony data online.
  • Government sites can be free or fee-based. Generally, the fee-based sites are more robust.
  • Most free government public record websites contain no personal identifiers beyond the name. This can be a problem when researching a common name.
  • Depending on the type of record, often the searchable and viewable information found online is limited to name indexes and summary data rather than document images. Most access sites - especially the free access sites - permit the former, not the latter.

Keep these four truths in mind and your public record searching will lead to better results.

If you are looking for the more than a links list - please check out BRB's Public Record Research System (PRRS).

  Larry Henry and BRB Publications Launch New HR Version of the State Rules Register

Mr. Larry Henry and BRB Publications launch a new product The HR Version of the State Rules Register. It is designed very similar to a private label product. Access is unlimited from the CRA's site - no log-in is needed.

A CRA can now provide their clients with an easy-to-use and up-to-date tool showing individual state restrictions placed on HR, hiring managers, and landlords.

See for details!


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


Text Box:
deverus Sets New Bar for System Uptime Standards in Background Check Industry

Background screenings play a pivotal, time-sensitive role for employers seeking to bring new staff on board as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Aiming to increase system uptime levels for background check companies that serve those employers, deverus, Inc., announced the opening of its new backup data center in Dallas-a move that company leaders and industry experts agree is likely to shake things up in the background check industry.

Officials at deverus, the leading provider of mission-critical workflow solutions to the background check industry, expect this increased level of service to set more rigorous industry standards for system reliability, bringing background screening companies more in line with other industries, including global banks, credit card companies, and major online retailers.

"This new, redundant data center will enable us to offer an unprecedented level of uptime due to having mirrored data and applications running at two independent sites," said deverus CEO Shane Long. " Our objective is to achieve the 'four nines,' or 99.99 percent system uptime. While such an unprecedented level of service availability has required a substantial investment, we are excited to move toward offering this superior level of system reliability and greater peace of mind to our clients." In addition to the increased uptime levels, Long says deverus's use of dual, co-located, ISO-9001 data centers will also provide background check companies with new security features, including advanced technologies to guard against hacking, viruses and other risks. Moreover, the geographic separation of deverus's Dallas and Austin data centers will ensure greater preparedness and minimize service interruptions in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen catastrophic event.

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Text Box:  Straight Line International Donates $5K for Chamber Golf Tournament

Straight Line International donated $5,000.00 for the sixth annual golf tournament hosted by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce for their scholarship fund. Straight Line International/The HR Screener, doing business as The Background Investigator, is operated by Steven Brownstein, who has been a member of the chamber since 2005.This year's tournament was called '"2013 Saipan Chamber of Commerce/Steve Brownstein Golf Classic and was held at the LaoLao Golf Resort.

Source: The Background Investigator

Adam Townsend Named Chief Operation Officer of Infomart

InfoMart's president and chair, Tammy Cohen, announced that Adam Townsend has been promoted to chief operating officer (COO). In this role, Townsend will continue to oversee the processing of InfoMart's core services, customer service, and legal compliance. "Adam is a proven company leader, and has emerged as one of the most respected voices in the background screening industry," Cohen said. "He has been instrumental in the continued growth of our operations team, and we are proud to recognize his contributions to our success."

Townsend has a long history with InfoMart and more than a decade of experience in screening and investigations.

For more information about InfoMart, please visit or call (770) 984-2727.

Accurate Background Appoints Tim Dowd to Board of Directors

Accurate Background, Inc., a leader in the background screening industry, announces the appointment of Tim Dowd, former Director of eScreen and President and CEO of Current Analysis, to its board of directors. Tim joins the ABI board following a successful board assignment with eScreen. Tim was a member of the eScreen board of directors from 2008 to its successful sale to Alere in 2012. During Tim's tenure at eScreen the business doubled revenues and tripled EBITDA. He was also instrumental to the Pembroke/eScreen merger in 2009.

"We are pleased to welcome Tim to the board of directors," Dave Dickerson, President and CEO of Accurate Background, said. "He brings to the board a wealth of knowledge and experience in the employment screening industry, and a proven record of successful business leadership to help our continued growth. We look forward to his contributions to the board."

For more information about Accurate Background call 800.784.3911 or visit their web site at

Text Box: Enters into Alliance to Offer Dexter Background Data, a leading provider of background screening solutions to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), has allied with Neno Research to offer Neno's flagship Dexter Background Data offering to clients. The cooperative between Neno Research and combines Dexter, an automated data retriever designed to help streamline the background checking process for screening companies, with's multi-jurisdictional criminal database. The combination of that database's coverage and Dexter's real-time integration court network offers unsurpassed coverage and timeliness to background screening companies. president, Craig Kessler, spoke highly of the alliance, saying "Dexter's product is truly unique. It helps CRAs drastically reduce turnaround time on county criminal history searches while maintaining the level of quality that CRAs need." Kessler continued, explaining that "by bundling Dexter and our database searches, our clients get the best of both worlds - a database known for its quality and coverage and court searches known for comprehensiveness and quick turnaround. These are the issues that matter to our clients."

For more information about and our offerings, please visit


Middle Market Expects to Create One Million Jobs in 2013

The nation's 200,000 middle market businesses are an economic engine driving the U.S. recovery, growing revenue at a rate of five percent during 2013, which was five times higher than the S&P 500. According to the National Center for the Middle Market's (NCMM) latest quarterly Middle Market Indicator (MMI) , mid-sized firms grew employment last year faster than small and large companies at a rate of 2.5 percent, which created 1.2 million jobs. The MMI also revealed that mid-market executives believe continued government uncertainty and concerns over compliance with certain federal regulations are moderating the segment's outlook for 2014, which projects 4.3 percent revenue and 2.2 percent employment growth over the next 12 months.

The U.S. middle market, made up of businesses with revenue between $10 million and $1 billion, contributes one-third of non-government U.S. GDP and accounts for 44.5 million jobs, or one-third of total U.S. employment. With a projected employment growth rate of 2.2 percent, the middle market could add as many as one million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2014. Although this outpaces national growth trends, the middle market would create 200,000 less jobs than last year.

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App, App and Away for Background Screening

South Africa's first mobile app for background screening has been released by Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE), Africa's leading background screening company. The app - dubbed MIE Touch - is available on Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. A Windows 8 version is in the pipeline and will be available soon.

The free app was designed and developed for employers, HR managers and recruiters who are constantly "on the go" and require real-time updates regarding background screening requests. The app saves them the hassle and inconvenience of having to carry a laptop, go online and download e-mails or login and navigate the Web site.

MIE's CEO, Ina van der Merwe, says MIE Touch gives users the edge in a highly competitive industry. "The app is like background screening on fast forward! Quick answers enable quick decision-making, which has a wide range of benefits for everyone involved in the recruitment cycle, including better flexibility, improved service levels, increased capacity and reduced risk."

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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


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Infosys I-9 Audit Results Likely to Trigger ICE Audits of Computer Consulting Firms

Infosys Limited's recent $34 million settlement with the U.S. Government resolved the threat of criminal charges against the company based on allegations of visa fraud. During the course of the investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audited the company's Form I-9 files and reported that more than 80% of the company's Forms I-9 contained "substantive" errors meriting civil money penalties. Using the company's reported U.S. headcount and turnover rate, this translates to roughly over 13,500 violations and total potential civil money penalties of over $12.6 M at a base penalty rate of $935 per violation according to the ICE fine-setting matrix. Infosys voluntarily made a substantial investment in a new electronic Form I-9 compliance system and companywide Form I-9 compliance training in an effort to demonstrate its commitment to immigration compliance. Further, as a condition of settlement, Infosys agreed to hire an independent monitor at its expense to audit 4% the company's I-9 forms annually and file I-9 compliance reports with ICE for two years, and to subject itself to unannounced reviews by ICE auditors. Consulting firms that are dependent on a U.S. workforce of temporary foreign workers would be well advised to invest in a confidential Form I-9 compliance audit to assess the weaknesses in their compliance systems and initiate corrective action before being served with a 3-day notice of inspection by ICE. Making such an investment could save a company millions of dollars in fines and penalties for paperwork violations.

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Is Your Organization Ready for an OSC Investigation?

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is part of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. The OSC regularly investigate complaints, fielded by other agencies like the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS), or by complaining parties, like employees, former employees or job applicants about potential immigration-related violations. Unlike ICE, which audits I-9 records, the OSC is charged with investigating complaints about the way an employer has managed its I-9 or E-Verify process. Sometimes, the complaints are found to be without merit. In those cases though, employers typically still undergo training and some form of remedial measures, including OSC webinar trainings and/or E-Verify tutorial trainings. In the case of valid complaints, employers are subject to even more remedial measures. Where the complaints arose from employees (or former employees) who were harmed, it's common for employers to pay back wages to those employees, and reinstate those workers if the workers agree to be reinstated. The OSC provides a plethora of educational webinars that are free, to employers. The OSC can impose monetary penalties against employers who violate the law. Your organization should partner with an experienced immigration or employment attorney familiar with the laws that govern the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. These allies will provide you with a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, so that you can make an informed decision on when, or if, you should settle the case.

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Top 5 Common I-9 Errors as Seen Through the Eyes of OCAHO

In reviewing the numerous OCAHO decisions issued in 2013, there have been some fairly common violations that have gotten employers in a lot of trouble. The most common violation is the most basic: failure to prepare an I-9 form, especially failing to complete an I-9 Form until after being served with a Notice of Inspection (NOI). Unfortunately, ignorance of the law, even if it is the truth, is no excuse. The second most common violation is failure to ensure the proper completion of Section 1 of the I-9 Form. The responsibility for executing an error-free Form I-9 rests solely on an employer, even if Section 1 must be completed by an employee. A third, common I-9 error is the backdating of I-9 Forms. Backdating occurs when the form is signed and the date indicated is not the date the form was actually signed, but when the form should have been signed, days, months or even years prior. Often, this violation is committed in conjunction with the failure to complete the I-9 Forms until after the service of the NOI. Employers also commit a wide variety of errors in the completion of Section 2. The one violation that is rarely present in OCAHO decisions is knowingly hiring and/or employing unauthorized workers. This is probably because those employers who have knowingly hired and/or employed unauthorized workers are less likely to litigate a case before OCAHO, unless it had a strong argument it did not actually knowingly hire an unauthorized worker.

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What are the Form I-9 Penalty Trends from 2013 OCAHO Decisions?

The first thing that stands out about 2013 decisions from OCAHO is that there was a major uptick in the number of substantive decisions - 30, up from 11 in 2012. There were also eight decisions which involved Office of Special Counsel issues. Of the 30 substantive decisions concerning I-9 form violations, 29 of them involved the issue of the amount of penalties. One decision, Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc., was the acceptance of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming $173,250 in penalties. One of the most interesting points in these 28 decisions (discounting the Ketchikan case for the above reason) was the reduction in penalties assessed by OCAHO as compared with penalties actually sought by ICE. In 2012, OCAHO reduced penalties sought by ICE by an average of 45%, whereas in 2013, the average reduction increased to 46.5%. The primary reasons for the reductions were the poor financial conditions of the companies (20 decisions) and the court's belief that the ICE penalties sought were "unduly punitive" on small employers (13 decisions). This was consistent with the 2012 OCAHO decisions, in which these were the two primary factors for reducing the penalties. On a few occasions, employers were successful in prevailing on legal issues, which ultimately caused OCAHO to dismiss these allegations. Due to the fact that employers are getting so much relief from OCAHO (an average reduction in penalties of 46.5%), it is anticipated more employers will be challenging ICE's assessed penalties.

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A New Handy Guide to Global DPAs

DLA Piper has attacked the problem of surveying the world's data protection laws and regulations with a handy online and interactive guidebook for which they've released version 2.0 just in time for Data Privacy Day. It begins with a map of the world, with countries colored to indicate the strength of their privacy laws (red=heavy regulation; green=not so much), and then you have tabbed options for turning the page to see a specific country's law, regulator contact information and then specifics on how a country regulates anything from infosecurity to breaches to electronic marketing. It's also possible to set two countries side by side and compare the way they regulate date protection. They offer a mobile interface, or you can download all of the information in a readable PDF. "People are saying, 'You're crazy to give away this kind of information,'" said DLA Piper Partner Patrick Van Eecke, "but our strategy is that we can give away this kind of information because we want to get into more complex legal situations like developing strategies for data protection. It's not interesting just advising on what you have to do in one country vs. another. We don't want to make our money with that." There are 65 different jurisdictions covered in the tool, and the PDF runs to some 360 pages of information. As a living, breathing online organism, it will require almost constant updates so as not to become quickly outdated.

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Employment is The Top Discrepancy Type in APAC

According to the 'First Advantage Employment Screening Trends Report: Asia Pacific' results with a discrepancy in employment history have increased by 13.6% year-over-year in Asia Pacific.

In general, APAC employers have increased their use of background screening, with 40.4% of all cases subjected to at least six checks in Q1 2013, compared to 38.5% last year. The report found that employers who conduct six background checks or more were nearly nine times more likely to uncover an alert (26% discrepancy), compared to those who conducted only one or two checks (three per cent).

There has also been a growing trend toward "infinity screening."

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Australian Privacy Act Changes Smell SOXish

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 was introduced to the Australia Parliament in May 2012 and was passed in November that year. The new act includes a new set of harmonised privacy principles that regulate the handling of personal information by both Australian businesses and government agencies. Unfortunately, these commendable changes introduce problems that reflect the ambiguity of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation in the U.S. Enacted in 2002, the SOX law enhanced standards for U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms that required top management to individually certify the accuracy of financial information, applying much more severe penalties for fraudulent financial activity. While SOX has raised the compliance bar for corporate reporting, it has had the unintended impact of creating a lot of uncertainty because of its lack of precision. In fact, during the past decade, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance costs and complexity have run out of control in the U.S. From March, Australian organisations will face the same dilemma with the new Australian privacy law - they "must take reasonable steps" to demonstrate compliance with the new legislation without a clear understanding of exactly what is required. To successfully comply with the new Australian Privacy Principles without onerous costs and complexity, both public and private sector organisations need to take special note of key changes to the law and act now to prepare for March 2014.

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Mid Employment Checks - Legal but Complicated

The effects of a new rule placed by the Canadian government institution are beginning to come to the surface, especially now that Canada's Post Corp., its main postal service provider has changed its policy to match it. Its 71,000 employees will have to adhere to the new policy, which required background checks for mid-employment positions. Its main opposition comes from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), who are opposed to the new policy for several reasons, including the vague requirements outlines, the lack of disclosure about the purpose and scope and the risk of discrimination.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission assures employees that asking a current employee to sign a consent form for background checks is in no way a violation of their human rights.

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Employers' Obligations To Protect Workers' Information

In order to develop a fundamental constitutional right, the Habeas Data Law (1581/2012) was passed almost one year ago. The law develops and guarantees a person's right to know, update and correct the information held about him or her in a database. The main requirement when collecting employee information is to obtain their free, explicit, prior and informed consent, and retain a written copy of such consent.

The law established the Data Protection Department within the Industry and Commerce Superintendence, which has the power to monitor employers' databases in order to facilitate employees' right to know, update and correct the information held about them in those databases. It also has the power to punish an employer which fails to comply with the law with a fine of up to 2,000 times the statutory monthly minimum wage (Ps1.179 billion or $612,785).

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Liar for Hire? Fake CVs Floor Indian Job Market

Managers of an IT company in New Delhi were puzzled as they sifted through a pile of CVs - as many as 30 job seekers claimed to have worked previously for the same employer. Unwilling to take any chances, the managers approached a firm of professional sleuths that specializes in screening background information given by prospective employees. The "employer" turned out to be an owner of a dingy one-room mobile repair shop who was pretending to be an HR manager of a fake IT firm. In return for money, he answered verification calls and described how the candidates had worked for him previously doing data entry. Forging qualifications, faking experience, and inventing companies - desperate candidates are resorting to all sorts of fraud to land jobs in a tough Indian employment market. A survey by AuthBridge, which has screened millions of candidates, showed that nearly one in five had fudged some information on their CV in 2012-13 and as many as 51% submitted fake education documents. Background screening was hardly heard of in India until the turn of the millennium, and has been largely driven by the outsourcing and IT industry, one of India's biggest economic success stories. The Indian Association of Professional Background Screeners pegs the size of the industry at about $32 million annually and growing fast. "The need for background verifications will continue to grow as entities continue to fudge data and make false claims," said Tejas Sanghvi from Supersoft.

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Text Box:  Don't Let Employment Investigations in APAC be the Weakest Link in Your Background Screening Services.

The best designed background screening program is only as good as its weakest link. With more than 11 countries represented in the APAC Chapter of NAPBS our trusted members can help you meet your employment screening needs in the APAC region. Click here to see the countries represented.

To tap into some of the best employment screening firms in APAC advertise in the APAC Background Screening Report. It’s your source to access the APAC region to find a trusted employment screening partner.

Click here to see the APAC Background Screening Report Media Kit to strengthen your employment screening services today.

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New Zealand Data Protection Authority's Powers Held Back By Government Veto

The Privacy (Giving Privacy Commissioner Necessary Tools) Amendment Bill that would have given greater powers of control to the New Zealand data protection authority, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (the DPA), has been blocked by a negative vote in New Zealand Parliament.

The draft bill proposed by the Labour opposition party states, "At the moment, enforcement of the Privacy Act 1993 is complaints-driven. People can complain to the Privacy Commissioner about breaches of their privacy rights under the Act. But the Commissioner has only limited powers to take action about breaches of the Act of its own initiative. Such a system is not well suited to addressing underlying systematic problems."

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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:

OraSure Technologies is sponsoring a webinar on "The Marijuana Dilemma and What Employers Can Do About It," presented by Bill Current, WFC & Associates, LLC. Join us, February 12th, 2014 at 2:00pm EST. Click here to register or 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.