A new day is dawning! The redesigned and super easy to navigate new web site for has launched and so far the feedback has been very positive. Our goal was to create site that is easy to navigate and get visitors quickly to the information they are seeking. Visitors are greeted on the landing page with the following:

How May We Help You?

We also set out to create an information portal with comprehensive information on background screening and our Background Screening Knowledge Center accomplishes this. It includes our new International Background Screening Resource Center which is one of the most extensive collection of information on international background checks anywhere. It includes information on worldwide data protection & privacy laws, terrorist search information, laws dealing with vulnerable populations, information on country holidays, time zones, demographics and much more. There is also an extensive Background Screening Article Library that is searchable. It’s a resource you will want to bookmark for use again and again.  

A major change that we made to our operating model to better support our client’s SEO and Internet marketing efforts is to point all Platinum Member logos directly to your web site which will drive more traffic to you to start the selling process. Our goal has changed from a focus on driving HR professionals to your listing in the directory to driving them directly to your web site.  

As those of you who have created or revised your web sites know, they are a ‘work in progress’ and accordingly, we invite you share any issues or suggestions for how we can make the site even better.  

As we move closer to our goal to provide you a broader array of services that support increasing your sales opportunities I would like to introduce you to ‘Santa’ Ed Taylor, Internet Marketing Guru. Don’t take my word that he is a guru. Check him out online and decide for yourself. I am sure you will come to the same conclusion that I did. Ed has agreed to provide a monthly column offering tips on Internet Marketing to you. In addition, Ed has agreed to provide up to a 30 minute consultation once to interested persons at no charge to you to answer any question you have about Internet Marketing. This is a prime opportunity to get expert advice on your SEO or other Internet marketing efforts at no charge to you. Let me know what you think about the column.

We are very pleased to have Larry Henry back as a contributor to our Legal Challenge column. Go ahead and test your knowledge.

We are also happy to report that we received 376 responses to our Annual Employers Background Screening Survey at the SHRM Conference which resulted in 208 leads being provided to our Platinum Members.

We are in full gear working on the 2013 Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. Platinum Members be sure to send in your complimentary Company Profile immediately. If you would like to become a Platinum Member we can still get you into this edition which will be distributed to more than 1,600 background screening firms.  

Have you recently hired a new Marketing or Sales person that would benefit from staying current on what is happening in the industry? Sign them up for a complimentary subscription to The Background Buzz by email me at

Thanks for reading this issue and enjoy the rest of your summer.  

PS – Tadiyass is hello in Amharic which is the national language of Ethiopia. It belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family which includes Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian.
Volume 9, Edition 7, July 2013




2013 Employers Background Screening Survey Results

This years survey was conducted at the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference held in Chicago in June. We received a total of 376 completed surveys up from 325 last year.

The key findings included:

  • Once again, 'timeliness, cost and accuracy' were rated as the top three challenges that end users face with background screening in that order.
  • The top innovations sought by end users that responded to the survey remained identical to the top ranked responses in 2012: Quick Turnaround, Online Web Based Capability and Better Integration with HRIS and 'Ease of Use' pulled into a tie for the third spot with 'Better Integration with HRIS.'
  • In response to the new EEOC Guidance we added a new question regarding the 'Use of arrest and criminal record.' Unsurprisingly the leading answer was 'Decreased Use' at 56% and interestingly 6% actually indicated they 'Increased Use.'
  • Overall, the satisfaction level (Extremely Satisfied and Very Satisfied) remain exactly the same as last year at 62%. Barely Satisfied also remained the same at 26%.
  • The number of firms indicating they definitely will seek a new provider rose 6 percentage points and the number of firms that were 'Undecided' remained virtually the same as last year.

Read the full report

EEOC Lawyers Discuss Misconceptions, Guidance About Criminal History Checks

Tanisha Wilburn, senior attorney adviser at the commission's Office of Legal Counsel, addressed three misconceptions that have emerged in the media at an event offered by the EEOC Training Institute. She stated that especially in editorials, about the guidance these misconceptions have been promulgated. For example, she challenged the notion that the agency is restricting employers from obtaining or using criminal records to screen its applicants and employees. She stressed that the guidance does not prohibit employers from using criminal history when making employment decisions. Another inaccurate interpretation about the guidance Wilburn said she has heard is that employers are required to hire job applicants with criminal records who are unsuitable for certain jobs. She said the guidance "does not require companies to hire anyone," but simply "advises employers how they can avoid Title VII liability if they use applicants' or employees' criminal records to make employment decisions." The third misconception she cited is that the policy imposes new Title VII requirements on employers. Applying Title VII analysis to the use of criminal records in employment decisions is well-established at the commission, according to Wilburn.

In 1987 and 1990, the commission released three policy statements on this issue explaining the Title VII analysis, Wilburn said. "The truth of the matter is that the EEOC has been applying Title VII analysis to the use of criminal records for a long time."

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Employment Discrimination Pushes Felons Onto Food Stamp Rolls, Increasing Program's Costs

By refusing to hire people who have been convicted of crimes, employers may be adding billions of dollars to the total cost of the country's ballooning food assistance program. Citing data from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimated that about 2 million workers are shut out of the economy each year as a result of a felony conviction or a prison record. Assuming these ex-offenders then rely on food assistance, and that half of them have an average of two kids, their economic struggles cost taxpayers about $4 billion a year in food stamps alone. Baker acknowledged that this estimate is crude, and said the weak job market overall is what's largely responsible for a recent jump in federal food stamp spending. But the true number of ex-offenders receiving food stamps might be even higher; Baker's calculations don't account for the many ex-offenders who do find jobs but earn such low wages that they rely on food stamps anyway. Republicans in the House of Representatives are trying to reduce spending on the program, but they haven't yet succeeded in passing legislation. Meanwhile, the Senate has passed a bill that would deny food stamps to people convicted of certain sexual and violent crimes.

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The Truth Behind "Ban the Box"!

At its most basic, "Ban the Box" means removing the "box" on any application that asks whether the person has a prior criminal history. In removing this box, it is believed that the possibility of immediate discrimination towards those with a past criminal record would be eliminated. It is also thought that by banning this box that the "disparate discrimination" against minorities will be lessened. "Ban the Box" legislation restricts an employer from asking about a candidate's criminal history prior to or during the application process. It is only after making a conditional offer of employment that an employer would be permitted to consider the candidate's criminal history. It is still crucial for a company to be aware of their obligations to their existing employees and customers. Hiring a good background check company is a great step in this direction. Qualified background check companies help in this process by staying on top of all EEOC guidelines and state and federal laws. A professional background check company will also go to the source and check all criminal records found during the background check process with the courts. "Ban the Box" does not have to give an advantage solely to the applicant. If done right, it also provides an employer with the ability to protect themselves while still allowing the opportunity for a "second chance".

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Is Your Background Screener Doing the Job? Here's How to Tell

Choosing and monitoring your background screening vendor is as important - and maybe more so even - than the interview you conduct with candidates. "The worst thing you can do," says Fred Giles, chair of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, "is to treat it (your background screening) like a commodity and choose the lowest bidder." Once you have made a selection, monitoring the performance and maintaining regular contact is also a must. And, says Giles, "Most significant, most important, is that employers make sure to review the process, their process … Have a clearly defined process for evaluating the results … and an opportunity for the candidate to explain (any negatives)." In the wake of revelations that the nation's leading security clearance background firm may have shortcut its procedures, now is a good time for all employers using a background vendor to review how the work is being done. Says Giles, "It is not unreasonable to ask that the work being done be documented." Especially for certain types of employment - education, for instance - ask that the names of all contacts be included in the report. It's also acceptable to have the vendor audit their work." However, the best insurance, says Nick Fishman, an executive with EmployeeScreenIQ, is to be diligent in the selection of a background vendor.

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VerticalRent Teams Up with Experian to Launch No Cost Tenant Screening Platform

Innovative cloud-based solution hit the market in early July. Landlords and Property Managers can screen UNLIMITED tenants with VerticalRent. It's free to use with UNLIMITED units. No restrictions. Next month we're releasing FREE online rent collection with our ProfitStars partnership. Sign up today and help spread the word.

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Seattle Latest City to "Ban the Box" for Private Employers

On June 20, 2013, the Mayor of Seattle signed an ordinance to "ban the box" and otherwise restrict the use of arrest and conviction records in the hiring and personnel decisions of most private employers and of the City itself. Under the new Seattle ordinance, employers may not advertise, publicize or implement any policy or practice automatically or categorically excluding all individuals with any arrest or conviction record from any employment position to be performed in at least substantial part (at least 50% of the time) within the City of Seattle. Notwithstanding this prohibition, an employer may perform a criminal background check or require a job applicant to provide criminal history information after the employer has completed the initial screening of applications or resumes to eliminate unqualified applicants, subject to limitations. In addition, employers in Seattle and across the country should take note of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions, to ensure that they are conducting background checks in compliance with the Fair Credit Recording Act (and its state equivalents) and any federal, state or local laws limiting the use of criminal records in hiring and personnel decisions.

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Now, More Than Ever: Make Sure Your Criminal Background Policy is "Individualized" Enough

The recently announced class action filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Dollar General highlights the importance for employers of making sure that they don't act too "automatically" in rejecting applicants or terminating current employees based on criminal convictions. In its June 11 press release announcing the lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that the retail chain's policy of conditioning job offers on criminal background checks had a disparate impact on African-American applicants and employees. An employer may be liable for violating Title VII even if its policy requires criminal background checks of all applicants, offerees, or employees, without regard to race or sex. If the effect of such a neutral policy is to exclude members of certain protected groups, and if the employer cannot make a showing that the policy or practice is job-related and consistent with business necessity, then the employer could be liable for discrimination. There is no question that the EEOC is aggressively pursuing disparate impact claims against employers who use criminal backgrounds or credit histories as screening devices, so employers should be cautious.

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International: FATCA Compliance Pushed to 1 July 2014

The US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced a six-month extension (to 1 July 2014) to the start of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) withholding and due diligence requirements in order to allow 'more time to complete agreements with foreign jurisdictions'. The extension will also provide foreign financial institutions (FFIs) with more time to comply with FATCA 'while helping to ensure efficient implementation of the law'. Enacted by Congress in 2010, FATCA introduced new customer identification, documentation, reporting and withholding procedures with the objective of targeting perceived tax abuse by US citizens through the use of offshore bank accounts. FFIs will be required to provide information on US accounts with a value exceeding $50,000, or be obliged to either terminate their relationship with the account holder or pay a 30% withholding tax applicable to the account holder's income. The Treasury has collaborated with foreign governments to develop two alternative model intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to help implement FATCA, particularly as regards compliance with national data protection laws. To date, the Treasury has signed nine IGAs, and 'is engaged in related conversations' with more than 80 other jurisdictions.

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EEOC and Blanket Prohibitions Against Hiring Individuals with Conviction Records

On June 28th, the EEOC announced a settlement agreement with J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. - a transportation company - to resolve allegations that the company discriminated against an African-American candidate for a truck driver position, because J.B. Hunt's hiring policy considers criminal convictions that are unrelated to the duties of the job. The EEOC stated that blanket prohibitions against hiring individuals with conviction records is not in accordance with the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions (April 2012). Under the terms of the agreement, J.B. Hunt will review and/or revise its hiring policy as well as provide any additional training to company employees about the hiring and selection process. No civil penalties were announced as part of the agreement. Employers with policies that categorically deny job applicants from a position because of a criminal history - referred to as a blanket prohibition - need to be aware that the EEOC is charging such as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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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:

Is a CRA required to follow a State's laws, which are inconsistent with requirements under the FCRA, related to what can be provided to its customers on a consumer report?

A. Yes.

B. Yes, but only if the State law was enacted prior to September 30, 1996.

C. No.

D. It depends on if the CRA is located in the State whose law is at issue.

 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

'Ban the Box': a Major Milepost on a Long Road

On May 13 Gov. Mark Dayton signed "Ban the box" legislation, requiring private employers in Minnesota to wait until someone is selected for an interview before asking about criminal records; a major milepost in the road to restoration: a road not only for people with criminal records seeking employment, but for us as a society. Over the last several decades, the number of Minnesotans throughout the state with some type of a criminal record has increased to an estimated 1 million, or one in five. Some estimates put it even higher. Minnesota has the eighth highest percentage in the nation of its citizens incarcerated or currently on some type of supervision - in 1982 it was one in 98, today it is one in 26. With new and easier access to these records through electronic databases, many Minnesotans are turned away from employment for which they are qualified even though their record may be unrelated to the job, from long ago, or even inaccurate; oftentimes a job denial may be simply based on an applicant's answer to a confusing question about criminal records on the initial employment application. "Ban the box" is just one policy solution to this problem, although an important and game-changing one.

Read more

Background Checks Help Screen Workers But Could Also Expose Employer to Liability

The most common rationale for conducting background checks is that employers and staffing agencies face liability if they do not. If a business engages someone who ends up harming someone else, the business faces potential liability. Liability depends on whether the business was negligent, and the elements of a claim of negligent hiring or supervision vary from state to state. But not all screening practices are equal. Along with ensuring job qualifications, the use of background checks can help protect an employer against liability for negligent hiring, supervision or retention. At the same time, these policies may also expose an employer to liability if they run afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)'s guidelines. It is essential for staffing firms and client companies to be aware of and remain in compliance with any applicable state or federal law that may be implicated by use of arrest or conviction information, or credit checks, in making employment decisions.

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Rhode Island Enacts "Ban the Box" Law Prohibiting Employment Application Criminal History Inquiries Until the First Job Interview

Effective January 1, 2014, a recent amendment to Rhode Island law will restrict the timing of pre-employment inquiries by Rhode Island employers about a job applicant's criminal past. Employers who are covered by the law may not inquire about an applicant's prior criminal history until during or after the first interview with the applicant. The amendment to Rhode Island's Fair Employment Practices law reflects the trend toward so-called "Ban the Box" laws that have been enacted in other jurisdictions. Exempt from the prohibition are applications for law enforcement agency positions or positions related to law enforcement agencies. Aggrieved individuals may file an administrative charge with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (RICHR) or a civil action alleging a violation of the Fair Employment Practices law. The RICHR and Rhode Island courts have the authority to award an aggrieved applicant with a range of remedies including back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees and costs. Rhode Island and multi-state employers need to make sure that their current job application complies with applicable law, including this new law. Given the recent attention on background checks by the EEOC, state and local fair employment agencies, and plaintiffs' lawyers, this is an excellent opportunity for employers to review their application and hiring processes.

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 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

Workzone: Indiscriminate Use Of Background Checks Can Rile Authorities

Recent lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offer a warning for employers -- be careful about using background checks. While there has been an EEOC policy against the blanket use of criminal background checks in the hiring of workers since the 1980s, this spring the commission issued new guidelines to help better explain how such checks can be used.

The problem starts with the disparate enforcement of laws. Research by the EEOC found that in 2010 African-Americans were the subjects of 28 percent of all arrests, even though African-Americans make up only 14 percent of the nation's population.

The effect that all of those extra arrests and subsequent convictions have on future employment if employers use criminal background checks for every job is that it puts African-Americans at a disadvantage for getting work.

The EEOC's guidance on the matter is that criminal background checks should be used as a fine brush for painting pictures of prospective employees, not as rollers that cover the whole canvas.

Read more


10 Steps to a Quality Privacy Program: Part One

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

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Synthetic Drug Threats

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

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

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

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Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN


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

For more information contact Michael Sankey at or visit


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

For more information contact Michael Sankey at or visit


Florida's Suspicionless Drug Testing of Public Employees Allowed to Continue for Some Workers

A federal district court erroneously enjoined Florida Governor Rick Scott's (R-Fl) Executive Order (No. 11-58) mandating pre-employment drug testing for all prospective new hires and random drug testing of all state employees within each agency, the US Court of Appeals in Atlanta has held. The Executive Order allowed Florida's 85,000 state employees to be tested at least quarterly. The district court granted an injunction against the random testing of all state employees, although it did not inquire into which employees, if any, might be employed in "safety-sensitive jobs," . . . and despite the fact that the union which, brought the challenge conceded that at least one of the 85,000 was engaged in a "high-risk safety-sensitive job." (It did not address the pre-employment testing.) The Court of Appeals said that such a facial challenge to the Executive Order was justifiable only if there were no circumstances in which it could be applied in a constitutional manner. Otherwise, the Court said, the challenge would have had to been brought on an "as applied" basis - examining each job to see whether suspicionless, random drug testing might be warranted on a "special needs" basis, generally meaning that the job is safety-sensitive.

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EBI Receives ISO27001 Certification for Information Security

Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI), a global leader in employment background screening and drug testing, announces certification in accordance with the ISO27001:2005 Standard for information security. EBI has established an information security policy which is designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and information assets that contain EBI information by preventing and reducing the potential impact of security incidents. EBI manages assets and the risks to those assets and maintains an Information Security Management System (ISMS) in accordance with the ISO27001:2005 Standard in both its Background Screening and Occupational Healthcare Divisions.

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GoodHire Partners with ZipRecruiter to Offer Pre-employment Background Reports

GoodHire, a rapidly growing pre-employment background reporting platform finalized a partnership with ZipRecruiter, a leading job distribution service. GoodHire's web-based self-service model allows companies to conduct legally compliant employment background checks without the hassle of speaking to salespeople or soliciting Requests For Proposals (RFP). GoodHire is the first and only FCRA-compliant background checking service to be offered to all ZipRecruiter clients.

GoodHire's platform for pre-employment background checks is ideal for small-to-medium sized businesses but is also scalable for larger organizations. GoodHire was built with the needs of small business owners and hiring managers in mind. Although hiring employees while abiding by local and federal employment laws can be overwhelming, GoodHire helps streamline this process with straightforward tools and advice needed to make the process easier. GoodHire's focus on speed allows customers to create an account and start ordering reports right away while their business information is verified. Customers are updated in real-time as reports are completed so they can make decisions quickly and secure the best talent. GoodHire's partnership with employment law firm Fusion Legal allows customers to receive free, basic legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer.

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 One Site! Many Suppliers!



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

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

Suppliers to the Background Screening industry Guide Now Available!

Click here or on image to get a copy

Contact Barry Nixon at for information on getting your firm listed in the

 ANNOUNCEMENTS - continued

Brenda Lawrence Joins Edge Information, Inc. as Drug Screening Supervisor

Edge Information Management, Inc., a prominent provider of employment and drug screening services, is excited to announce Brenda Lawrence as the Drug Screening Supervisor for Edge's Drug Screening Department and their Melbourne, Florida collection site, as it continues to expand.

"We are very excited to have Brenda join the Edge team. Her industry knowledge and attitude will help us sustain the continued growth Edge has experienced in the last few years." Norm Gagnon, Vice President of Compliance & Operations commented. "Brenda's sincere desire to provide various solutions and educational resources to all current and future clients will solidify Edge's commitment to exceptional service."

Brenda Lawrence is an active member of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), the Substance Abuse Programs Administrators Association (SAPAA), a Certified Professional Collector Trainer (CPCT), and a Certified Professional Collector (CPC).

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ADP Reports Job Growth Up Across All Regions

The South Atlantic, West South Central and Pacific regions had the most private sector job growth in May, according to a new report by payroll giant ADP, with Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and North Carolina leading the way. The company's new report showed private sector job growth increasing across all nine U.S. Census Bureau Divisions of the country last month.

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CEO Confidence Moves Higher

CEO confidence, which increased in the first quarter of 2013, improved again in the second quarter, according to The Conference Board's measure of CEO confidence. The measure rose to a reading of 62 in the second quarter from a reading of 54 in the first quarter. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.

"CEO confidence, much like consumer confidence, posted a strong gain in the second quarter," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "

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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.


Global PEO Market Expanding Internationally and May be Worth $8.8 Billion

The potential international professional employer organization (PEO) market is estimated to be worth about $8.8 billion per year, according to new research from Stipenda, a Boston-based company that supports U.S. PEOs.

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) estimates that around 2.5 million people across the U.S. are currently part of a PEO arrangement. "The international employment market has been largely untapped by PEOs so far, but I expect that to change," said Solomon Williams, CEO."

Source: Staffing Industry Analyst, Daily News, July 09 2013

Read more


Traffic Building and SEO are the Gateway to Increasing Business, but Conversion is the Secret Sauce

Text Box:  Getting high quality visitors to your website and then getting those visitors to convert into customers lies at the heart of Internet marketing.

In this and future articles, I will share timely and proven strategies and tactics you can use to improve both the "traffic building" and the "conversion improvement" elements of your website.

The focus today is traffic building, more specifically a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. In my experience most businesses, especially small businesses don't focus on nearly enough keywords. Casting a wide net around dozens, and even hundreds, of keywords is an easy way to attract more highly qualified visitors to your website. The new is a perfect example. In working with Barry I suggested he target hundreds of geographic keywords and now, even though the new site has only been live for a few weeks, we already have dozens of top 10 Google rankings on keywords from "background screening companies in Illinois" to "background screening companies in Philippines" and yes, these keywords are brining high quality visitors to the site every day.

Here are some tips for finding your best Keywords.

First write down all of the keywords you can think of that people who are looking for the products or services you offer may be Googling on. Put yourself in the shoes of your typical new customer, what would they have Googled on?

The next step is to go to the Google Keyword Tool:

Enter in the keyword phrases you thought of when you were listing possible combinations. You'll be able to see how many people searched for those phrases and how much competition there is surrounding those keywords.

You'll also see similar keywords that you might want to target in your SEO strategy.

I am sure I don't have to tell you that background screening is competitive and given the number of background screening firms choosing effective keywords is no less competitive, however, you can still succeed with the right focus, intelligence and good ole hard work.

About the Author:
Ed Taylor founded the Internet Marketing Group in 1995. Today he is one of the country's most sought after Internet marketing coaches and speakers. Ed provides a FREE assessment of your SEO simple call 541-482-4840 or email him You can also access his free Internet marketing course at-

Special Bonus for Our Readers
Ed has agreed to provide up to a 30 minute consultation once to interested persons at no charge to you to answer any question you have about Internet Marketing. This is a prime opportunity to get expert advice on your SEO or other Internet marketing efforts at no charge to you. Let me know what you think about the column.


Substance Abuse in the Workplace

In January 2013, PolEcon Research issued its report of a study commissioned by the advocacy group, New Futures, whose stated goal is to "reduce alcohol and other drug problems in New Hampshire." The research findings were startling to many. In addition to increases in the numbers of employees whose lives are affected by alcoholism, the state has seen large increases in those abusing prescription medications. New Hampshire has the second highest level in the US of young adults age 18-25 who report abusing prescription pain relievers (16.78% vs. 11.94%). Nationally, there was a 40% increase in employees testing positive for prescription narcotic use between 2005 and 2009. In 2010 Oxycodone became the second most abused drug after alcohol of those entering state funded substance abuse treatment. The fact is that substance abuse affects individuals in all walks of life and in all age groups, and it affects not only those who are abusing but also their families, friends and co-workers. It is important for employers to take a proactive approach to substance abuse in order to safeguard their businesses and to reduce legal risk. There is also clearly a need to balance the rights of the impaired employee with the best interests of the company and its other workers.

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Supreme Court Rules on Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

In CEP, Local 30 v Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd a divided Supreme Court has ruled for the first time on the issue of drug and alcohol testing in unionized workplaces. The case involved a random alcohol testing policy established by Irving Pulp & Paper in the exercise of its management rights. The policy applied to employees in safety-sensitive positions in a craft paper mill that constituted an admittedly dangerous work environment. An employee selected for random alcohol testing objected and the union filed a grievance against the policy. The Supreme Court majority decision endorsed a line of arbitral case law that permits testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions in dangerous work environments for cause and, in limited circumstances, for alcohol impairment on a random basis. The majority decision emphasized that in a unionized environment, an employer must either negotiate a drug and alcohol testing policy with the union or bring any policy established as an exercise of management rights within the tests for reasonableness in the exercise of management rights set out in KVP Co. The majority concluded that if random testing imposed by an employer in a dangerous workplace "represents a proportionate response in light of both legitimate safety concerns and privacy interests, it may well be justified".

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 Did you Know?

  • In 2011, 15.9% of the U.S. labor force was foreign born.
  • The fastest growing demographic group on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket with 79% growth rate since 2012. Its' not just for the teenie boppers anymore.


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.


At the EEOC

Last month, The Washington Report focused considerable attention on the EEOC, including congressional hearings and the EEOC's announcement that the agency had filed suit against both BMW and Dollar General alleging that those companies had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a result of background screening policies that had disparate impacts on a minority protected class. The EEOC also announced that transportation company J.B. Hunt has agreed to a conciliation agreement with the EEOC to settle EEOC allegations that J.B. Hunt denied an African-American job candidate a position in 2009 based on a criminal conviction record.

At the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term which may lead to a ruling from the Court on the extent to which "disparate impact" suits can be brought under the federal Fair Housing Act. The case, Mount Holly v. Mount Holly Gardens Citizens in Action Inc., has nothing to do with background screening-either for employment or tenant purposes-but the case merits close attention because a ruling could impact the ability of the EEOC, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or other agencies or litigants to bring actions on the basis of disparate impact.

At the FTC

In her key-note address at the 23rd Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference the Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner,used part of her address to announce what she refers to as her "Reclaim Your Name" initiative. As part of this initiative, Commissioner Brill has asked data brokers-a term she uses to include consumer reporting agencies-to give consumers the knowledge and technological tools "to reassert some control over their personal data - to be the ones to decide how much to share, with whom, and for what purpose-to reclaim their names

President Obama has nominated Terrell McSweeny to fill the current vacancy at the FTC. Upon confirmation, Ms. McSweeny would give the Democrats a 3-2 majority on the Commission.

Read the full report

 Cost of a Bad Hire

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hire can cost 30% of an individuals' first year potential earnings.

According to information reported by Robert Half:

  • 41% of hiring managers and Human Resources professionals surveyed that had made a bad hire estimate the cost in thousands of dollars.
  • 35% of hiring managers say that a bad hire greatly affects team morale.


Free the Reference Check from its Bonds

Reference checks have been neglected, ostracized and even banned in some companies. It appears that reference checks are increasingly perceived as a liability to an organization, which has resulted in a direct contradiction; "We want to receive references but we won't give them." A reference check is the final step to ensure a great decision is made and well-structured reference checks can make that difference to the bottom line of the company. If they save a company one poor hire per year, they are well worth the time. Executives are not the only people who can make or break a company's name. A poor customer service representative has the potential to drive a bunch of clients away before their poor customer relations practices are caught. Just as in the financial due diligence process and the interviewing process, there is the right way to conduct reference checks and the wrong way. While providing interviewing training, also provide reference check training. A truly effective reference conversation is an interview of the former manager to understand where the candidate was effective while reporting to them; and where they may need some additional coaching to be successful in their new position. In order for the former manager to give pertinent information, it is important for them to receive a quick understanding of the new position and what challenges that person may face.

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We invite you to pull up a chair, grab your latte and take a break while you join us for this month’s issue of The Background Bistro. This week’s guest is Tim Brothers, Director of National Sales for Innovative Enterprises. started by saying that his coming to the background screening industry was “a happy accident.” “I was looking for an IT job, and found a company that provided software to the credit reporting industry. Shortly after I arrived, that company started modifying its technology to fit the needs of the background screening industry. It was easy for me to stay, because I saw there was a strong connection between what I was doing and creating safer communities across the nation.”

Tim continued, “As far as joining Innovative Enterprises is concerned, I just asked. Over the past few years, I always spent quite a bit of time with Cliff Williams at tradeshows and other industry related events, and always admired what he was doing. Last year, I finally decided, ’I want to work for this guy!’ and asked him if there was a place in his organization for someone like me. He was kind enough to oblige, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to learn about another facet of the industry I’ve been a part of for almost 20 years. At the same time I like to think that I bring a unique and beneficial set of experiences to the table for Innovative as well. The result has been nothing short of a great fit!”

Are you ready for this? Tim was a full time musician touring a Midwest club circuit 200-250 nights per year. “I had been playing in a rock and roll band as a way to avoid flipping burgers during high school and college. Though I never had plans to play full time, once I graduated from Bellarmine University, I realized I was making a living doing something that was a whole lot of fun, so I continued on for a couple of years after graduation. In fact, I still play 4 or 5 times a month. Once you get that kind of thing in your blood, it’s hard to walk away from it entirely. It also provides a way for me to do some good, as the people I play with generally put together 4-6 charity benefits per year for charitable causes like The Center for Women and Families, Coat a Kid, Race for a Cure, and others.”

Focusing back on the background screening industry, Tim said one of the things he really enjoys about the industry is spending time with the people. “If you think about it, the background screening industry is a really diverse group of personalities. From starched suits and ties representing publicly traded companies to individual entrepreneurs in Hawaiian shirts and flip flops, from highly technical programming wonks to bean counters, we have someone in this industry that represents a unique persona. That makes for some very interesting conversation!”

Many of these conversations lead to the vision of Innovative Enterprises which is to represent the Gold Standard in the background screening business. “We accomplish this by building lifetime relationships through the act of delivering more than is required, doing what we say we will do, and anticipating our clients’ needs, and on that note, we have some big news to share in the very near future so be sure to ask your readers to make time to visit with us at the NAPBS Annual Conference in Scottsdale.”

Tim added that Innoavtive’s goal is to create an ever evolving and improving set of services that is powered by the very best available data, along with the best tools and technology to deliver that data in the most efficient way possible to their screening partners. “Bill Bollinger, our Executive Vice President, has told me more than once that we want to provide the canvas, paint and brushes and empower our customers to paint their own picture. I think we have done that and continue to improve upon those capabilities for our customers. Our customers have the unique ability to turn the dial and we provide the results they expect.”

“In addition, we have a team at Innovative that shares an unmistakable passion for the background screening space, which is demonstrated in our commitment to our customers and to the industry as a whole. Three of our employees have served NAPBS as members of its Board of Directors (Cliff Williams, Dean Carras, and myself), and many more have volunteered their time to various committees and sub-committees. This kind of passion generates an overwhelming level of trust and expertise, which allows us to take care of our customers better than anyone else in the business.” Tim smiled and continues, “What else is there to say?”

Looking toward the future of the industry Tim remarked, “I see very uneven change throughout the industry as different states along with the federal government continue to modify the rules of the road.” He expects to see these changes continuing without any real unified plan by those agencies that are calling the shots. “This uneven change will create confusion for those who decide to bury their head in the sand, but for those of us who are up to the challenge and anticipate those changes in advance, there will be great opportunity to innovate and lead in the marketplace.” His enthusiasm regarding Innovative’s position in the future is contagious.

Before closing, I asked Tim about any interesting reading lately and he offered, “‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking is a really interesting book that I just recently re-read. It’s an older book as far as physics goes, but it takes concepts like string theory that are really hard to get your head around and makes easy reading out of them.”

He also said that the most interesting people he would have liked to have spent time with would have been Lewis and Clark during their expedition west. “The world is fast becoming a place where there are no secrets or mysteries. But back then the majority of the map of what is now the United States was a big question mark. To travel with the two explorers that unlocked the American West, venturing into the unknown and making it back alive, would be something I would have liked to have experienced.”

Finally, Tim closed with his favorite quote, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks, Tim for a great interview.


Small Businesses Say U.S. Background-Check System Has Drawbacks

E-Verify matches job applicants' Social Security numbers and other identification against a national database kept by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a federal agency under Homeland Security. Those who return a mismatch are deemed to be unauthorized to work. The government's effort to mandate E-Verify's use is part of a broader immigration overhaul by federal lawmakers that could legalize most of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US. That has the potential to level the playing field for job applicants and help employers struggling with E-Verify mismatches. Meanwhile, though, a close look at early E-Verify system users illustrates some of the challenges facing business owners who liked the old way-generally, simply asking job seekers to fill out federal paperwork, known as I-9 forms, and trusting that any proof of identity they provide is legitimate. Specifically, since using the E-Verify system, many owners of small firms say it has become far more difficult to fill open positions, and recruitment costs are rising. Others point out that using the system requires some employers to hire extra staff or upgrade computer equipment to manage the online process. The system is strictly voluntary for most other employers across the country. But that may change soon.

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The Impact of OCAHO Decisions on Employers

OCAHO is issuing a record number of decisions (on pace to triple their decisions concerning alleged I-9 form violations from 2012) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting a record number of Notice of Inspections (NOI). Employers should know these enforcement activities will, at some point, impact their own I-9 compliance and recordkeeping. More NOIs means more Notices of Intent to Fine (NIF) are issued. If employers opt to contest the NIFs, then the matter must be set for litigation. A little unknown fact though, is that ICE can realistically only afford to litigate a limited number of cases per year. For employers, this opens up the opportunities to negotiate the penalty amounts with ICE though ICE would not readily admit to this. With the severe reductions in penalties that OCAHO has provided employers recently, ICE may be at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations. Other methods for reducing penalties include reviewing violations that occurred beyond the five-year statute of limitations; violations that are technical, not substantive, errors; instances where an employee is hired before November 7, 1986 and does not require a Form I-9; instances where an employee was hired but worked less than three days and the alleged violation concerned Section 2; and instances where the individual was not an employee. OCAHO has also found that an employer's poor financial condition, ability to pay and the disproportionately large penalties have all been important factors in reducing penalties.

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ICE Collects for Tardy I-9s

In July 2010, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent a notice to Anodizing Industries, a metal-finishing factory in Los Angeles, requiring the company to produce I-9 forms (employment eligibility verifications) for its employees. In response, Anodizing presented 26 I-9 forms. However, 21 of the forms were prepared in August 2010, about two weeks after the company had received the ICE notice and one day before it delivered them to ICE. The remaining I-9 forms also reflected that they'd been completed untimely (two used a version of the form that did not exist when the employees were hired). Although Anodizing had no undocumented workers, the I-9s showed discrepancies ranging from a few weeks to over two decades between the dates of hire and the dates of completion. As a result, the government charged Anodizing with violating the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) by hiring 26 employees without timely preparing I-9 forms. The government sought over $980 for each violation, for a total of $25,525.50 in penalties. A Justice Department Judge agreed that Anodizing owed a penalty for the violations, although it reduced the amount to $15,600.

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Georgia Employers Face More Aggressive Immigration Compliance Requirements Effective July 1, 2013

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently signed into law Senate Bill 160 (SB 160), a tough expansion of Georgia's 2011 Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act (HB 87 or the Georgia E-Verify law). The Georgia E-Verify law requires that private employers with 10 or more employees (as of January 1, 2013) start using the federal E-Verify system for new hires on July 1, 2013. Also starting July 1, 2013, SB 160 mandates the use of E-Verify not only for public contractors (including subcontractors and sub subcontractors) providing labor to public projects, but also those providing services of any kind (except for attorneys). This new measure expands the E-Verify requirement to thousands of small businesses that are contracted to perform labor or services in excess of $2,499.99, ranging from public construction to information technology and accounting services. Georgia employers would be well advised to review their employment verification policies/procedures immediately to ensure that their I-9, E-Verify and associated practices are fully compliant. Without compliant practices, an employer undoubtedly will face numerous issues in administering the E-Verify program since it relies on information taken directly from the Form I-9 and input into the online system.

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E-Verify Begins Checking Idaho Driver's Licenses

Effective July 14, 2013, Idaho is now the 3rd state to join the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) Program, which gives employers the ability to validate an employee's driver's license, driver's permit, or state-issued ID card (if presented during the I-9 process) against Motor Vehicle Agency (MVA) data. RIDE was designed to strengthen E-Verify's inability to detect certain types of document fraud. The process itself is fairly simple (and invisible) to the employer. Yet the larger question remains as to whether it will actually improve E-Verify's accuracy or just create another potential mismatch scenario for work-authorized individuals. If an employee presents a driver's license, driver's permit, or state-issued ID card during the I-9 process, the employer is prompted to enter the document number and expiration into the E-Verify system, which will automatically check against MVA records. Although the RIDE program does not actually display the driver's license photo, the system will check to see if the data itself is valid and issue a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) if there is a mismatch. As with any additional verification check, there is always a risk that more individuals will receive TNCs and FNCs due to data entry errors in the MVA system. It is therefore extremely important that employers strictly follow the TNC process instructions to avoid any possible issues of denied employment or even discrimination claims.

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If You're a Global Employer, You Need Global Employee Data Policies

If your company employs any international employees, it may have obligations under foreign laws to have specific safeguards in place. Failure to observe a jurisdiction's data protection laws can result in staff penalties and unwelcome press coverage. Although the European Union is leading the way with a proposed comprehensive new data protection law, other countries from China to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Qatar, Dubai, and several Latin American countries are developing, or have already enacted, their own data protection laws, with many based on the European model. Many multi-national employers have appointed data protection compliance officers to manage policy compliance. The policies should specify the types of personal data that will be held, how it will be stored, how and under what circumstances it will be transferred, shared with third parties, and destroyed or deleted. At a minimum, the data protection policies should address security measures that will be taken to safeguard personal information.

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Data Sovereignty: Are You Covered?

Cloud computing and the opportunities that come with it have quickly swept through the business world, and most organisations wouldn't be blamed if they weren't quite sure where the path leads. Although the concept of offshore data storage is anything but new, its recent proliferation has meant that an understanding of the laws and regulations involved may be further behind than anyone wants to admit. A recent whitepaper by UNSW, Aon, NEXTDC and Baker & McKenzie demonstrates the importance of understanding the laws that surround cloud data and the risks involved. NEXTDC found 88% of organisations experience at least one data breach each year, with between 36% and 62% stating the breaches involved a mistake by outsourcers, cloud providers, and other third parties. HR systems are being overhauled with cloud software, and data security is no longer just an IT responsibility in an organization. Of greatest importance is the understanding that the jurisdiction the data is stored in defines what laws apply to it. As such, understanding of privacy laws where data is stored is paramount to effectively reducing risk of data breaches.

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Is Your Drug and Alcohol Policy Enforceable?

Drug and alcohol testing policies that follow industry and Australian standards are more likely to be considered reasonable - and therefore enforceable - than those that depart from standard practice, according to employment lawyer, Erin Rice. The key issues to consider when drafting drug and alcohol testing policies include: what type of testing is most appropriate - for example, a urine test or a saliva test; what disciplinary actions are appropriate once a breach of policy is established; and the purpose of the regime - is the policy intended only to catch workers who are under the influence of a substance during work, or also to act as a vehicle for deterring and monitoring drug and alcohol use? Rice says drug and alcohol testing has become a widely accepted method for employers to meet safety obligations, especially in high-risk industries, but the level of intrusion into an employee's private life can be contentious. In drafting drug and alcohol policies, it can be helpful to mention that the purpose of the policy is not only to test for impairment, but also to allow the company to monitor drug and alcohol consumption for the purposes of meeting its safety obligations more broadly.

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New Approval Process for Data Transfer Agreements in Belgium

The Belgian Privacy Commission and Ministry of Justice have executed a protocol that puts in place a new approval process for data transfer agreements (DTA). For customized DTA, it brings considerable improvement, but unfortunately it also adds a layer of administrative burden in relation to the use of the EU Model Clauses. The Protocol now acknowledges that it is sometimes justified for data exporters to make (some) changes to the EU Model Clauses. In order to facilitate this, the approval process has therefore been streamlined. But while this is a big step forward, at the same time, it is a big step backwards when it comes to the use of EU Model Clauses. Prior to the Protocol, no formal approval was required when the EU Model Clauses were used in an unaltered form. A data exporter simply had to submit a copy to the Privacy Commission when filing the notification. This has now changed. It has come to light that the Belgian Privacy Commission did not intend to increase the administrative burden for the use of EU model clauses. While the Protocol clearly uses the word 'authorizing', this should not be interpreted as introducing a formal authorization requirement, but rather as a confirmation given to the data exporter that the DTA used does indeed comply with the EU model clauses.

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Battle Over Workplace Drug Tests Just Heating Up Following Court Ruling

More and more Canadians are being asked to prove, in the name of safety, that they are sober before clocking in at work. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first ruling on this invasion of personal privacy and opened the discussion about when it can be allowed. The high bench confirmed that drug-and-alcohol testing is lawful only under certain circumstances and it gave unions a means by which to challenge some of these policies by demanding better evidence of an existing problem. The court said an employer must establish a substance-abuse problem in a safety-sensitive work environment before such random screening can occur. The unions maintain employers like drug-testing programs because they give the impression that something decisive is being done about safety, but they don't work. "Privacy rights don't trump the employers' rights, but the court has placed a high value on them," said Ritu Mahil, a lawyer at Lawson Lundell specializing in employment law. "Now labour arbitrators will have to interpret that and apply it. They will have to assess what constitutes sufficient evidence, where are the workplace safety concerns and how do they balance against privacy rights."

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WP29: Carry Out PIAs Before Public Data Reuse

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) published - on 27 June 2013 - Opinion 06/2013 on open data and public sector information (PSI) reuse (WP207), which was adopted on 5 June 2013. WP29 recommends data protection impact assessments (PIAs) to be carried out before PSI is made available for reuse. 'The re-use of [PSI] may bring benefits to society, including greater transparency of the public sector and stimulating innovation', stated WP29. '[WP29] stresses that it is important to have a firm legal basis for making personal data publicly available, taking into account the relevant data protection rules, including the principles of proportionality, purpose limitation and data minimisation.' WP29 recommends public bodies to follow 'data protection by design and default' principles, and carry out PIAs before making any PSI containing personal data reusable, including anonymised datasets derived from personal data. A balanced approach needs to be followed and data protection law must help guide the selection process.

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German Data Protection Commissioners Push Government Towards Suspension of US - EU Safe Harbor Regime

German data protection commissioners have sent a letter to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking her to urge the European Union to suspend the US - EU Safe Harbor regime because of the recently disclosed NSA activities. The letter is signed by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Information Freedom and the State data protection commissioners. The officials argue that the European Union should suspend the Safe Harbor regime until the facts about NSA surveillance of European citizens are cleared. The official press release of the data protection commissioners expects "the Federal Government to do everything to protect the people in Germany against access to their data by third parties" and asks the Government "to negotiate a high level of data protection and regulation in Brussels which will prevent comprehensive and causeless surveillance by European and non-European authorities". The new move could have a significant impact if it is successful: all companies relying on Safe Harbor for the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US could suddenly face a situation where either such data transfers must be suspended or face fines by data protection authorities for unlawful processing of data.

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Job Interviews in Germany: No Right to Ask Applicants About Preliminary Investigations by Public Prosecution Office

The German Federal Labor Court recently passed a decision that dealt with what questions employers can and cannot ask in interviews with job applicants. Employers are entitled to ask job applicants questions as long and to the extent they have a "legitimate interest worth of approval and protection" in the response to such questions. It is required that the interest of the employer to obtain the requested information outweighs the interest of the employee to protect his personal privacy. By applying German data protection law, the Court ruled that companies do not have any legitimate interest to know about preliminary investigations that do not lead to criminal conviction. The new decision is another example for the growing sensibility among the German labor courts regarding the collection and use of personal data of employees, during the employment, but also prior to an employment. Respective limitations are not only prescribed by the courts with regard to the collection of personal data during interviews, they are also discussed with regard to the collection of personal data in publicly available Social Media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Companies are requested to carefully consider what information is in fact needed for the concrete position prior to entering into interviews with their candidates.

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Background Screening Jobs

Visit the Job Board for the Employment and Tenant Screening Industry. Here you will find resumes of people with industry experience and employers seeking applicants with experience in Employment and Tenant Screening and related businesses.


Feature Education:

FCRA Basic Certification Webinar Series Update

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

For more information

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

SHRM State Conferences, visit

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

SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events,

CUPA-HR Conferences:

World Federation of People Management Associations, Events,



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