Hooray! Spring is here. Good riddance to one of the worst winters we have in many years in many parts of the country. Cheers to many sun shiny days to come.

I wanted to let you know we are working for you even when you don't know it. We promoted the 2013-14 Buyers Guide at the recent HR Star Conference in Los Angeles, at the Professionals in H.R. Association (PIHRA) meeting on 'Hire for Attitude,' (PIHRA is the largest SHRM Chapter in the western states) and I will be distributing in the Recruitment & Selection class I teach to HR professionals at California State University - Long Beach next week. We distribute the Buyers Guide as often as possible to keep promoting our clients.

Here comes the 'Best Advertising Awards' competition for suppliers to the background screening industry that have placed an advertisement in any of our background screening related publications. Our judges are close to completing the decisions and we hope to announce the finalist at the NAPBS Mid-Year Conference. Come by our booth at the conference to see if your firm is one of the finalist!.

The Background Bistro section on has gone live. Check it out today!

Text Box:  20,000 HR Managers are waiting to find out about your company!

We will be distributing the 2014-15 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide to more than 20, 000 HR Managers starting with our launch of the Guide at the SHRM Annual Conference in June. If you are attending the NAPBS Mid-Year Conference come by our booth to find out about a conference special we are offering.

Click here to learn how your firm will benefit from being in the 2014-15 Guide and how we can help you reach HR decision makers.

Thanks to all of the firms that have contributed to our new Background Screening Knowledge Center. The Knowledge Center continues to grow with your help and is emerging as a major information portal for the HR community.

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

Thanks for joining us again this month. We genuinely appreciate your patronage.

Stay healthy and safe!

P.S. – Alo is hello in Bislama, the national language of Republic of Vanuatu. With more than 100 local languages along with English and French, Bislama (Pidgin English) is used as a vital communications tool. It allows the 40% who were educated in French to talk with the 60% who were educated in English. The colourful language reflects the friendliness of the people as well as the fact that it has to exist with only 2500 words (English and French each have more than 35,000 words). It's pretty much a phonetic language, so try saying the words out loud to get the feel of it.


Volume 10, Edition 3, March 2014




Some Members of Civil-Rights Panel Accuse EEOC of Overreach on Racism

Some members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights say that a federal panel is, in the interest of fighting racism, engaging in bureaucratic overreach and making it harder for businesses to avoid hiring felons. The panel's report, targets the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over its guidelines for businesses conducting background checks of potential employees. The guidelines warn businesses that such checks could expose them to racial discrimination claims. The EEOC's 2012 Guidance states that any employment policy that disfavors persons with criminal records "disproportionally affects racial and ethnic minorities, particularly black or Hispanic with criminal records nationwide," and then instructs them on ways to avoid rejecting those applicants based on a race or ethnic group's "higher than average likelihood of a criminal history." But some members of the civil rights panel argue in a 350-page report that the EEOC's guidelines are "deeply flawed" and so vague as to be useless. It also argues that the EEOC's language and arguments would confuse laymen more than clarify questions and put employers in a no-win situation regarding lawsuits - either they will be sued for racism if they use background checks or be held accountable for ex-felons' on-the-job actions if they don't.

Read more

Read the full report

Background Check Firms Sign Deal on Automatic Rejections in New York

Four background check companies signed agreements in New York State to avoid illegal hiring practices, the New York State Attorney General's Office announced Thursday. The background check firms include HireRight Inc., First Advantage, General Information Services Inc. and Sterling Infosystems.

The deals prohibit the agencies from automatically disqualifying applicants with criminal records, according to the Attorney General's Office. The deals also call for the agencies to defer hiring decisions to employers, who must conduct an individualized consideration of candidates in accordance with New York law.

The background check firms specifically agreed not to issue automatic rejection letters to job applicants because of a conviction on behalf of employers to ensure the employers conduct individualized assessments of the candidates, according to the Attorney General's Office.

"New Yorkers who have paid their debt to society deserve a fair shot at employment opportunities," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "Background check agencies that implement blanket bans on hiring ex-offenders are violating New York State law."

Read more

What's a Predictive Score?

Most consumers know that creditors use information about them and their credit experiences - like the number and type of accounts they have, their bill paying history, and whether they pay their bills on time - to create a credit score, which helps predict how creditworthy they are. What most consumers don't know is that data brokers offer companies scores for other purposes unrelated to credit - for example, for marketing, advertising, identity verification, and fraud prevention. Businesses use these scores to decide which transactions require further scrutiny, what offers and prices to offer certain consumers, and even in what order to answer customer service calls.

Some have raised concerns about consumers' awareness about what's going on and the accuracy of the data used to create these predictive scores. Others wonder how these scores might be used in the future. To explore these questions, the FTC held a seminar, continuing its Spring Privacy Series on March 19, 2014, with a seminar on Alternative Scoring Products . Topics included:

· What kinds of predictive scores are being used now? What are they used for? How will they be used in the future?

· What kind of information is used to create these scores? How accurate is this information?

· What are the benefits of these predictive scores?

· Are there privacy concerns associated with these scores?

· What consumer protections should be provided; for example, should consumers have access to these scores and the underlying data used to create them?

For more information

Employment Background Checks: FTC, EEOC Offer Tips for Employers and Job Applicants

Hiring decisions are among the most important choices for any employer, but the process can be complex. For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have co-published two short guides on employment background checks that explain the rights and responsibilities of the people on both sides of the desk.

The FTC and the EEOC want employers to know that they need written permission from job applicants before getting background reports about them from a company in the business of compiling background information. Employers also should know that it's illegal to discriminate based on a person's race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or age (40 or older) when requesting or using background information for employment.

At the same time, the agencies want job applicants to know that it's not illegal for potential employers to ask someone about their background as long as the employer does not unlawfully discriminate. Job applicants also should know that if they've been turned down for a job or denied a promotion based on information in a background report, they have a right to review the report for accuracy.

Find more tips in the brochures, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know .

Read more


U. S. Chamber, NAPBS and CDIA Event Highlights Ongoing Concerns with EEOC Guidance on Criminal History

On Thursday March 6th, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce together with NAPBS and the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) hosted an event highlighting the importance of background checks and the continued challenges posed by EEOC's 2012 criminal history Guidance.

The day included CDIA's president, Stuart Pratt, offering statistics from a recent survey regarding consumer perceptions of the use of background checks by employers. The survey of consumers indicated that there continues to be widespread support for employers continuing to rely on screens to make informed hiring decisions. The day also included a panel discussion that included several large employers and a small business.

Following the employer panel, attendees were treated to a thoughtful interview of former EEOC General Counsel Don Livingston by Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal.

Finally, a panel of legal experts discussed the impact the Guidance has had on the EEOC's enforcement practices.

"In response to the Guidance, employers have made substantial investments in time and resources to ensure compliance," said Judy Gootkind, NAPBS Board Chair. "Yet there is a serious disparity among businesses based on size. The reality is that small businesses are hard-pressed to afford a compliance adjudicator and even large companies that have the resources aren't seeing a return on their investment when they try to comply with an EEOC that has simply failed to adequately and clearly define disparate impact."

Read more

An Honest Recap on Safe Harbor

The recent vote at the European Parliament-by an overwhelming majority of 544 to 78 members-calling for the immediate suspension of Safe Harbor has sent some powerful shockwaves across the business and legal communities in the EU and beyond. This should not have come as a surprise, but it is still a chilling reminder of the uncertainty surrounding the scheme-possibly the most widely relied upon mechanism to legitimise data flows between the EU and the U.S. The big question that remains is whether EU-based organisations that rely on Safe Harbor as the legal basis for transferring data to either their own corporate group entities or service providers operating in the U.S. are doing the right thing or should be looking for alternatives. One thing is clear: Safe Harbor is not a silver bullet for compliance. It should be regarded as a well-established set of principles that can act as the basis for a fully-fledged global privacy programme. What really matters is to be able to show, both internally within an organisation and externally to third parties, that beyond the words and the paperwork, there is real evidence of commitment to the protection of personal information.

Read more

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, 'Friend' Requests and Workplace Investigations

A recent survey of hiring managers and HR professionals reports that more than two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. This interest in social networking does not end when the candidate is hired. In fact, companies are seeking to leverage the personal social media networks of their existing employees, as well as to inspect personal social media in workplace investigations. As employer social media practices continue to evolve, individuals and privacy advocacy groups have grown increasingly concerned about employers intruding upon applicants' or employees' privacy by viewing restricted access social media accounts. A dozen states already have passed special laws restricting employer access to personal social media accounts of applicants and employees, and similar legislation is pending in at least 26 states. Federal legislation is also under discussion. These state social media laws restrict an employer's ability to access personal social media accounts of applicants or employees, to ask an employee to "friend" a supervisor or other employer representative and to inspect employees' personal social media. However, while state laws differ significantly, the general message is clear: employers must evaluate their current practices and policies to ensure compliance with these laws.

Read more

American Camp Association Urges National System for Employee Background Checks

As summer camp season approaches, the American Camp Association is urging passage of a law that would make the screening of potential employees and volunteers more possible. "A gaping hole" exists in federal law that keeps camps and other youth organizations from accessing federal criminal background checks, said Peg Smith, chief executive of the American Camp Association. "Most parents assume there's a national system and there's not," she said. She urges passage of the Child Protection Improvements Act introduced in the Senate in July by Sen. Charles Schumer. The bill would set up a single clearinghouse to process background checks - either within the FBI or overseen by the FBI. Currently, the federal system is accessible in fewer than half of states, said Elena Rocha, director of youth development policy and partnerships for YMCA of the USA. "FBI checks are a critical part of an effective screening strategy," she said. Under the Schumer legislation, a clearinghouse would approve organizations that could use the service. Potential employees or volunteers would be able to see their history and challenge the accuracy of it.

Read more

Background Check Didn't Show Accused Child Molester's Past Sex Crime Accusation

Brian Dean taught Bible classes at Kingspoint Christian School up until he resigned. The school principal says he reported an incident involving a 13-year-old girl. Now he's charged with a felony sex crime and it's the second time he was investigated for questionable behavior around young girls. The first time didn't show up on a state-operated website for background checks and a software loophole could be to blame. Washington Access to Criminal History is run by the State Patrol and allows a subscriber access to the criminal record of anyone in the state. The case file shows Dean gave a group of young girls a naked photo of himself when they came to his door soliciting donations. The prosecutor didn't think it met the standard for indecent exposure, and charges were never filed. "Someone can be arrested in the state of Washington, charged with a crime, but it's never prosecuted or they're never convicted of that crime, in that case, it would not show on the website database," said Trooper Chris Thorson. State agencies utilize the database as well, which could leave a gaping loophole for those accused, but never convicted.

Read more

Welcome to the U.S. Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:

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

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

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

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:


ABC consumer reporting agency provided XYZ a consumer report regarding applicant John Doe. There were reports of past criminal acts of a sexual nature in the consumer report that ABC should have known would likely have an adverse effect upon Mr. Doe's application - which it does. ABC did not send Mr. Doe a notice at the time it sent the report to XYZ. Has ABC exposed itself to a violation of the FCRA?

a. There is not adequate information provided to determine this issue.

b. Yes

c. No

d. It depends on whether Mr. Doe requested a copy of the report at the time of the application.



Background Checks Stalled as Firefighter Arrests Mount

Nine D.C. fire department employees came forward in response to an agency call to report undisclosed prior arrests and driving infractions ahead of a plan to conduct criminal-background checks on 1,800 first responders. But those background checks are now on hold as agency officials and the firefighters union wrangle over the manner in which they are conducted. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe called for the criminal-background checks in order to identify those who failed to disclose prior charges amid a series of employee arrests that has now reached 14 since October. In response to the series of arrests, Chief Ellerbe issued a special order in January that gave employees 10 days to report any prior infractions from the past three years or face termination if infractions were later uncovered. "The majority of the members who self-reported disclosed traffic-related offenses that impacted their driver's licenses," said fire department spokesman, Tim Wilson. Chief Ellerbe's special order did not specify how or when the background checks would be conducted. Edward Smith, president of the D.C. Fire Fighters Association, expressed concern over the type of information - including personal financial data - that could be unearthed during background checks and who would have access to it.

Read more

State Board of Education Approves Background Checks for All Teachers

All teachers will now have to undergo background checks, under a policy approved 9 to 1 by the State Board of Education. The policy requires all people renewing teaching licenses to be fingerprinted. Since 2002, all applicants for new teaching license or those wanting to renew an expired license, had to submit fingerprints for background information from KBI and FBI. "The significance is that this bill will create more fingerprints and backgrounds," said Scott Gordon, Kansas State Department of Education. "They will be able to get access from every teacher licensed in the state of Kansas and it will comply with the Senate bill recently passed." Board members say the new background checks will create a systematic process for ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks.

Read more

South Dakota Panel OKs Background Checks for Economic Agency

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee has passed a bill to require background checks of officers and employees of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Representatives voted unanimously to support the measure. An amendment introduced in the committee hearing replaced the entire content of the bill. It previously called for the Legislature to oversee economic activities in the state without any specifics. The economic development agency has been under federal and state investigation because of allegations of misconduct. The bill would require criminal background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Any employees of the agency who have access to account numbers or authorize financial assistance would be subject to the background checks.

Read more

Official Says Principal Accused of Torching School Came Recommended, Passed Background Checks

A principal accused of setting fire to the North Dakota high school where he worked had passed background checks and came recommended by clergy and mentors in other states. Thomas Sander is charged with felony arson and endangering by fire or explosion after a fire that heavily damaged Trinity High School and forced its closure. He remained jailed in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond. "He's a graduate of a well-known and prestigious prep school in St. Louis. He has graduate degrees in administration," said Monsignor Patrick Schumacher, the board chairman for Dickinson Catholic Schools. "With his qualifications, recommendations and work ethic, we made the decision to hire him." The Dickinson job was Sander's first full-time principal position, according to Schumacher. He said Sander had a good work ethic but did make some mistakes. "I will not say there were no issues. But I will say there's no way in my mind the issues could have added up to this." He declined to say if Sander was sanctioned for any reason during his tenure. "There's a lot of speculation as to how this may have happened," he said. "There are no answers." Classes were called off for the week.

Read more


Text Box:
Providing Private Database-Only Criminal Records

By Derek Hinton

I'm telling you, every time I run across a CRA that is providing private database-only searches without verification, I get a sickly premonition akin to watching old footage of Patsy Cline singing "I Fall to Pieces."

This practice of database-only criminal record reporting made news again recently in Chicago. A Chicago Tribune report revealed that a new ride sharing company, Uber, "did not check some of the criminal records of its drivers, allowing thousands of drivers to ferry passengers for months, despite not knowing whether or not they had felony convictions."

The Tribune later determined that "the driver had a 2010 Cook County felony conviction for residential burglary, which should have barred him from partnering with the company." Uber acknowledged their multistate background checks have missed an "unknown" number of county-level criminal convictions, including the Chicago ride-share driver's felony.

Missing critical information is one thing that can go wrong for a CRA or employer when employing a database-only search. The other thing that can go wrong, the other side of the coin, is not missing offenses, but reporting information that should not be reported. To be clear, providing a database-only criminal record is not illegal if contemporaneous notice is provided to the applicant at the time of the reporting. However, that doesn't make it a good idea even if everyone agrees on the definition of contemporaneous.

Read more


FBI Balks at Pot Background Checks in Washington but Conducted Checks in Colorado

The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado -- a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that's long been illegal under federal law. Washington state has been asking for nearly a year if the FBI would conduct background checks on its applicants, to no avail. The bureau's refusal raises the possibility that people with troublesome criminal histories could wind up with pot licenses in the state -- undermining the department's own priorities in ensuring that states keep a tight rein on the nascent industry. The Obama administration has said it wants the states to make sure pot revenue doesn't go to organized crime and that state marijuana industries don't become a cover for the trafficking of other illegal drugs. At the same time, it might be tough for the FBI to stomach conducting such background checks -- essentially helping the states violate federal law. The Justice Department declined to explain why it isn't conducting the checks in Washington when it has in Colorado.

Read more

Cruise Lines Don't Conduct Background Checks of Their Crew Members

Cruise lines don't vet their crew members. The foreign flagged, foreign incorporated cruise industry delegates the obligation to third-party foreign hiring agents to try and screen the applicants. Countries like Indonesia, India, and the countries in the Caribbean & Central America have no computerized electronic database of criminals, sex offenders, or pedophiles which can be carefully cross referenced with social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and passport numbers. There is no infrastructure in a place like Nicaragua or Goa to search to make certain that the prospective employee isn't a sociopath. There are no U.S. HR specialists involved. It's a random, unsophisticated, "hit-or-miss" task conducted (or not) by hiring agents far-far-away who make money when they place people from around the world on U.S. based cruise ships. The system is often based on bribery. Falsification of a resume is not only a common practice, it's often required by the cruise lines' hiring agents. Think your cabin attendant is carefully screened? No country in Central America or the Far East has a state-of-the-art database tied to someone's criminal history. If a pedophile shows up with a certificate from who knows where that he is not a criminal, he's welcome aboard.

Read more


Background Check Firm's Slipup Could Cost It

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

Read more


Bill to Drug Test Pharma Employees Filed in U.S. House of Representatives

A bill introduced February 18, 2014 in the U.S. House of Representatives would require registered manufacturers and distributors of controlled substances identified under the Controlled Substances Act to perform criminal background checks and drug testing for employees with access to controlled substances. The measure, "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013" (H.R. 4069), would require registrants, as a condition of registration, "(A) to obtain a criminal background check on each of the registrant's employees who has or will have access to facility areas where controlled substances under the registrant's possession or control are stored, such as a cage, vault, or safe; and (B) to perform drug testing on each such employee in accordance with the Federal and State law." The background checks would have to be conducted at least every two years, and upon hire, once the bill was enacted. Civil penalty provisions for failing to comply with the new mandates are included in the law. The Attorney General would have authority to issue regulations and guidelines to carry out the amendments. The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary Committees.

Read more

Child Care Workers Must Complete Criminal Background Checks Under Senate Bill

The Senate has voted 96-2 to reauthorize a $5 billion annual grant program that provides childcare for 1.6 million children. It includes a new requirement that all providers who care for children with federal funding complete criminal background checks and learn first aid. The bill includes amendments added by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La. and David Vitter, R-La. Landrieu's amendment requires states to develop disaster plans for childcare centers. Vitter's amendment requires enforcement of a long-established requirement of the childcare grants that priority be given to parents of children with special needs. Vitter's amendment would require the Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General to submit an annual report to the secretary about compliance. Vitter's provision would also cut grants by five percent for states that don't have a system in place to comply with the mandate. Currently, 23 states don't comply with the requirement. Louisiana is one of five states that is in full compliance. Sharon Hennessey, executive director of People First of Louisiana, said it's time for Congress to put some teeth into the law's special needs mandate. "There needs to be a push to bring the 23 states that don't comply into compliance," Hennessey said.

Read more

"Ban the Box" and Beyond: San Francisco Joins Growing List of Jurisdictions Restricting Employment-Related Criminal Record Inquiries

San Francisco recently joined the ranks of "ban the box" jurisdictions that restrict the criminal record information a private employer can request. Others include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Hawaii, and the cities of Philadelphia, PA, Buffalo, NY, Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA. The San Francisco ordinance will become operative on August 13, 2014. It applies to all employers located or doing business in San Francisco, that have 20 or more employees regardless of their location. However, the restrictions apply only to employment or prospective employment that is wholly or in substantial part within San Francisco city limits. The San Francisco ordinance is in some respects duplicative of other laws, though it is more restrictive and imposes additional obligations. San Francisco employers who are subject to this ordinance should review their job advertisements, employment applications, hiring policies and practices, and record retention programs to confirm they are in compliance. Given the patchwork of laws now in place and the anticipation that additional laws are likely to emerge, employers should consider taking a holistic approach in lieu of viewing this as involving only one jurisdiction or only the format of their employment application forms.

Read more

City Manager Ron Carlee Decides to "Ban the Box"

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee has officially "banned the box". Applicants for city jobs will now no longer see a question about prior convictions on the initial application. The exception will be for public safety jobs. Applicants will be asked about criminal history much later in the process -- in some departments after several rounds of interviews. "Nothing will change with our criminal background checking process," said Cheryl Brown, the city's human resources director. "We haven't in any way lowered the standards by removing any of those steps. The only thing that we've made a significant change with is the removal of the question." Last year, city council members voted to have the council's economic development committee review the city's application process and decided to leave the decision on whether to remove this question to city manager Ron Carlee. Brown says she expects the number of applications for city jobs to increase as a result of Carlee's decision. Currently about eight to ten percent of the approximately 6,800 city employees have been convicted of crimes greater than minor traffic violations.

Read more

'Ban the Box' Moves Forward in Louisville Despite Fischer Administration's Objections

A Louisville Metro Council committee has approved a measure prohibiting the city and its private contractors from asking about an applicant's criminal history until the job is offered. But members of Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer's administration joined council Republicans to voice concerns about the bill and its additional burden on local businesses. Council Democrats and community activists argue the so-called "ban the box" ordinance helps even the playing field for residents who deserve a second chance and are seeking gainful employment. During the committee hearing, GOP members asked about the cost and had concerns about mandatory provisions, such as conducting a background check. The Fischer administration also raised questions about the proposal, saying city vendors already frustrated by the application process don't look forward to having another burden. Officials with the Fischer administration argue the city already has a similar screening process where they conduct background checks after agencies interview and identify job applicants they'd like to hire. But council Democrats pushing the bill say the policy isn't codified and should be required to protect potential employees against discrimination.

Read more

Bill Mandates Background, Credit Checks for Health Site Navigators in Kansas

A bill requiring background and credit checks for the navigators who help people sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act won initial approval in the Kansas Senate. Republican supporters say Senate Bill 362 would ensure that consumers can trust the people with whom they are share sensitive health information. But Democrats say the bill is a politically motivated attack on the health care act and would make it more difficult to sign up Kansans for coverage. "The federal government ignored protection of the consumer and left them open to serious risks of fraud and identity theft," said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, who carried the legislation. She cited an October report from the conservative news site the Daily Caller that a navigator in Lawrence had an outstanding arrest warrant. But Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said that if the bill's intent was solely to protect consumers, it would merely require a background check and not a credit check, which she said is invasive. The bill also requires navigators to pay an application fee of $100 and an annual filing fee of $250. Kelly said these provisions are meant to discourage people from becoming navigators.

Read more

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN


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

Other items available at this site that you can download include:

  • PRRN Logos - For Both Web and Print
  • Compliant Form
  • Model Agreement Between a Researcher and a Background Screening Firm (CRA)
  • Researcher Client Forms
  • Public Record Retrieval Industry Standards Manual

For more information contact Michael Sankey at or visit


The PRRN Membership Directory is Your Guide to Finding a Professional On-Site Researcher Who Can:

  • Search Court Dockets in Person
  • View and Copy Pages From Case Files
  • Obtain Probate Documents
  • Obtain Copies of Liens and Judgments
  • Search Real Estate Records
  • Search All Local Recorded Documents

The Directory is conveniently organized into two sections. The first allows you to search for a retriever by state and county, indicating the types of records these on-site retrievers search. The second section provides a full profile of each member including contact information, local retrieval areas, types of records retrieved, billing terms, turnaround times and additional information.

Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN) is the organization that has set the industry standards for the retrieval of public record documents and with a Code of Professional Conduct.

Please call or email Mike Sankey if you have any questions at 800-929-3811 or

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Rhode Island Bill Expands Background Checks for Third-party School Employees

Scott Sanford worked closely enough with East Greenwich schoolchildren to give them treats on the school bus. But the friendly bus monitor was not a "school employee." This meant he was not legally required to pass a national criminal background check before he started working with East Greenwich schoolchildren, including the son of a state lawmaker. Sanford's employment with a third-party contractor drew attention in November when the 35-year-old town resident was arrested by state police on child pornography charges. The father of the 11-year-old boy who rode on the bus with Sanford, testified before state lawmakers in a bid to expand the state law on criminal background checks. "What this bill does is it simply tightens up the existing law that we have," Rep. Antonio Giarrusso, R-East Greenwich, told the House Committee on Health Education and Welfare. The bill adds employees of third-party vendors and contract employees who work at schools to the list of individuals who must pass a national criminal background check under state law, said Special Assistant Attorney General Joee M. Lindbeck. That new language and other changes would give greater protection to children, Lindbeck said.

Read more

State Bill Would Regulate Health Care Navigators

Arizona has joined several other states considering measures that would require extra licensing and background checks for health exchange navigators who help people buy coverage. The state House approved a bill that would require navigators to get a license through the state Department of Insurance and to pass a criminal background check. Proponents say the requirements protect consumers who share private information such as Social Security numbers from identity theft. But Democrats say the bill is an attempt to slow down enrollment and that it's unnecessary because navigators already have contracts with the federal government. "What we're doing here is we're just handling the background checks and licensing to make sure we're protecting our consumers," Arizona Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, said. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix, said Arizona gave up its right to license navigators when it failed to adopt its own state insurance exchange program. She said the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has already established guidelines that regulate navigators, and that a judge struck down a similar law in Missouri. The Arizona bill would not impose a fee or extra training but it would bar anyone convicted of a misdemeanor involving fraud or dishonesty from becoming a navigator.

Read more


Privacy Industry Index (PII): Data Breach Vendors

Protecting data has value and you have to invest to make sure that data is properly protected. Businesses must work with a large collection of vendors from a variety of disciplines to reach their privacy goals. From the legal advisors to the insurance companies to the IT services and software, the IAPP has sought to wrap its arms around the industry of privacy to get a handle on the universe of privacy vendors. This is IAPP's first attempt at defining a subset of the industry, step one of many to come.

Read more


FMCSA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

On February 12th, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") to establish a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial driver's license ("CDL") holders. The public comment period ends on April 21, 2014.

The proposed rule would, among other things, "establish the terms of access to the database, including the conditions under which information would be submitted, accessed, maintained, updated, removed, and released to prospective employers, current employers, and other authorized entities."The NPRM's Executive Summary states, "[t]his proposed rule would . . . require employers and service agents to search the database for current and prospective employees' positive drug and alcohol test results, and refusals to test, as a condition of permitting those employees to perform safety-sensitive functions." 3 FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro explained, "We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers. This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere."

Read more

Bringing Your Employees Down From Their High: Drug Testing and Legalized Marijuana

Over the years, most employers have implemented policies that prohibit the use of illegal drugs during work hours or while on work-related business. Many other employers have made drug testing part of the standard onboarding process for all new employees. With the legalization of marijuana in some states, a difficult conflict exists regarding the applicability, enforceability and wisdom of those policies as they regard employees who may use marijuana legally. First, an employer should pay special attention to the specific language within its drug use and testing policies. Second, employers would be wise to pay special attention to what goals they are trying to accomplish with their policy. Third, the employer should consider carefully its willingness to discipline employees who may use marijuana off the clock or while not on company business. Finally, if drug testing is a part of the management of their workforce, employers should take special steps to ensure that the policies are compliant with local drug testing laws, and that the policies are uniform in application so as not to trigger unwanted scrutiny from the EEOC or other regulatory agencies.

Read more

Cross-Border Employers Must Take Care Before Implementing Drug-and-Alcohol-Testing Policies at Non-U.S. Operations

Many U.S.-based employers perform pre-employment, post-accident, or random drug testing, and with some exceptions, are generally permitted wide latitude in deciding when to conduct such tests. The U.S. attitude toward drug testing does not necessarily translate to other countries, however, where there may be different attitudes toward employee privacy, in particular. U.S.-based employers can run into trouble when attempting to impose those same testing requirements on a foreign division or subsidiary. Before beginning international operations, employers should consider that other countries may have a different perspective on the employment relationship itself. It is not uncommon for employers just beginning cross-border operations to import wholesale their U.S. policies and practices, including employee handbooks, EEO policies (including citing U.S. law!), hiring, firing, and leave policies. When it comes to drug-testing policies, however, employers should carefully consider the legal landscape of the countries in which they operate prior to implementing U.S.-based policies. Random drug and alcohol testing may not be permissible in other jurisdictions. Unjustified testing can result in fines, and even criminal sanctions in several European countries. In general, employers should always check the law in each particular jurisdiction in which they operate.

Read more

Pre-Offer Drug Tests Violated Americans with Disabilities Act

Pre-offer drug tests to determine the use of both legal and illegal drugs violated the Americans with Disabilities Act's prohibition on pre-offer medical inquiries, a federal court in Pennsylvania held on March 6, 2014. EEOC v. Grane Healthcare Co. and Ebensburg Care Center, LLC, d/b/a Cambria Care Center , CV No. 3:10-250 (W. Dist. Pa. Mar. 6, 2014) .

Defendants conducted pre-offer medical examinations along with drug tests. Although the purpose of the drug tests was to determine illegal drug use (which is permissible under the ADA), four applicants who tested positive testified that their positive drug test results were due to the use of lawful prescription medications. The Court held that the tests in this case clearly qualified as medical examinations under the ADA, particularly because each applicant's urine specimen was tested not only for drugs but for other medical purposes - such as for glucose. For this reason, the drug tests did not fall within the ADA's exception for tests "to determine the illegal use of drugs."

Read more

Drug Testing Index™ Reports Drug Use Among American Workers Declined 74% Over the Past 25 Years, Finds Unprecedented Analysis of More Than 125 Million Workplace Urine Tests

Drug use among American workers declined dramatically over the past 25 years, although the rate of positive test results for certain drugs, including amphetamine and opiates, continues to climb, according to a landmark analysis of workplace drug test results released by Quest Diagnostics.

"Today's Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index provides the best evidence to date that the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the public and private initiatives it helped to spur have led to steep declines in drug use among much of the American workforce," said Laura Shelton, executive director, Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). "While more needs to be done to reduce illicit drug use by workers, we should take heart from the tremendous progress employers have made to create safer workplaces for millions of Americans."

The DTI analysis examined more than 125 million urine drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics forensic toxicology laboratories across the United States as a service for government and private employers between 1988 and 2012. The analysis examined the annual positivity rate for employees in positions subject to certain federal safety regulations, such as truck drivers, train operators, airline and nuclear power plant workers (federally mandated safety-sensitive workers); workers primarily from private companies (U.S. general workforce); and the results of both groups together (combined U.S. workforce).

To read the key findings from the analysis


Text Box:
Innovative Enterprises Introduces ACE™Real Time Criminal Court Search Solution

Innovative Enterprises, Inc., a strategic partner to the background screening industry and expert provider of court research information products, smart data solutions and ancillary services, announced the official release of ACE™ Automated Criminal Extraction™, a comprehensive criminal court research solution custom engineered to serve the needs of professional background screening firms.

Designed and developed exclusively by Innovative, ACE™ leverages the fastest growing library of full data extraction sources in the industry to automate the collection of criminal court record information from available online sources. Using highly advanced matching and analysis algorithms, ACE™ provides a much deeper inspection of records than previously possible, enabling users to specify a degree of precision down to a single character or digit found anywhere within a name or identifier, delivering fewer false positives and more actionable results. Built on rock solid technology and delivered via a fully redundant, dynamically scalable infrastructure, ACE™ intuitively responds to increased customer demand to ensure high availability and industry-leading response times, even during peak hours.

"ACE™ represents the next generation of automated criminal court record research solutions, built by us from the ground up," stated Clifford J. Williams, Innovative's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Unlike many competing products which rely upon third-party software or reseller arrangements, we manage the process from start to finish. This gives our customers the flexibility to determine precisely how the product behaves and responds, while affording us the unique opportunity to deliver a superior solution at a better value."

ACE™ is available to qualified entities via direct web services integration, through Innovative's secure web portal and through select industry software provider partners.

For more information, please visit

CIC Enters Mutual Marketing Partnership with Co-Signer, Inc.

CIC, the nation's fastest growing tenant screening company, is pleased to announce today, that the firm has entered into a mutual marketing partnership with, the premier provider of residential rent assurance and subsidiary of Co-Signer, Inc.

Text Box:  With over 28 years of experience in the multifamily housing industry and an extensive national client base, CIC will offer's Residential Rent Guarantee Program nationwide to existing clients, on its website and throughout the industry. Co-Signer's program will help property managers fill vacancies with potential tenants that may have been previously underqualified. will market CIC's extensive list of solutions including tenant screening services, uniquely tailored for property managers, real estate agents, and independent rental owners; as well as wholesale data, and pre-employment screening by engaging their client base through its new media and telemarketing channels.

Read more

Text Box:

Christina Marotta Joins FRS as Manager of Client Services

FRS is very excited to welcome Christina Marotta to its team as Manager of Client Services. Marotta joins FRS with more than 10 years of experience in supporting the talent acquisition process for large Fortune 100 firms at LexisNexis and most recently with First Advantage. In this newly created role at FRS, Marotta will use her proven success methodologies in managing high profile organizations to lead FRS's support team in providing unmatched client support to their 200+ CRA clients.

Marotta was selected because she is a leader with a proven track record of achievement in business client services. Her extensive experience and credentials in management, along with her knowledge of compliance requirements will enhance FRS's ability to serve their clients in this environment where compliance requirements change rapidly.

"We were very patient in our search for Christina to assist us and our CRA client base in their strategic growth. She brings the right combination of knowledge and experience that adds the next dimension in our team dynamic" stated Vice President of Operations, Sam McLamb. "We are very pleased to have her joining our team!"

Read more


Jobless Claims in U.S. Held Last Week Near Four-Month Low

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits held last week near the lowest level in almost four months, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen. Jobless claims increased by 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 322,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to the lowest level since late November.

A slowdown in dismissals may pave the way for employers to take on more workers once demand accelerates. Federal Reserve policymakers said yesterday in a statement there is "sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing improvement in labor-market conditions," even as economic activity slowed during the winter months.

Read more


How Painful Can it Get? Recent Penalties for Noncompliance with Immigration Law

Compliance-minded companies always want to know, "What's the risk of non-compliance?" Or, put another way, "How much will it hurt if we don't get it right?" For those companies still wondering whether spending a little now to implement a solid immigration compliance program is a sound investment, some of the recent immigration-related penalties provide compelling reasons to invest in training and compliance. Remember − all employers have immigration-related compliance obligations regardless of whether they employ any foreign nationals. Some of the companies suffering significant penalties never even had any unauthorized workers in their workforce, but merely fell short on their obligation to verify employment eligibility (the Form I-9 process) or discriminated against certain individuals during the Form I-9 process. Penalties imposed in any given case are always fact-dependent, and the employer's response to the investigation can significantly impact the outcome of any investigation. Taking a look at the recent penalties imposed provides a good perspective of the risk. For example, after a Form I-9 inspection in 2009, American Apparel lost 40% of its workforce and suffered significant financial losses that it attributed to lost productivity, causing its stock to drop 41% after reporting losses in the second quarter of 2010.

Read more

Record Settlement for Allegations of Systemic Visa Fraud and Abuse of Immigration Processes

Infosys Corporation, an Indian company involved in consulting, technology, and outsourcing, has agreed to a civil settlement of allegations of systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes by paying a record settlement amount and agreeing to enhanced corporate compliance measures, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales. The $34 million payment made by Infosys as a result of these allegations represents the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

Infosys is located in thirty countries including the United States, and in 17 cities in the United States, including a location in Plano, Texas. The Plano location is responsible for handling the immigration practices and procedures for the United States operations of Infosys. Infosys brings foreign nationals into the United States in order to perform work and fulfill contracts with its customers under two visa classification programs relevant to this matter, H-1B and B-1.

According to court documents, the government alleged instances of Infosys circumventing the requirements, limitations, and governmental oversight of the H-1B visa program by knowingly and unlawfully using B-1 visa holders to perform skilled labor in order to fill positions in the United States for employment that would otherwise be performed by United States citizens or require legitimate H-1B visa holders. The government also alleges that Infosys did so in order to increase profits, minimize costs of securing visas, increase flexibility of employee movement, obtain an unfair advantage over competitors, and avoid tax liabilities.

Read more

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?

Read the full report

The Background Buzz Subscription Services

· Have you moved?
· Changing positions?
· Got a question?

email us at

Did you know?

Criminologist Shawn Bushway of the University at Albany-SUNY, research shows that the type of crime a job applicant has committed is often less relevant than how long ago he committed it. Mr Bushway found that likelihood of committing a crime narrows to almost nothing after enough time-around 13 years.

Source: PI Magazine, November/December edition, Criminal Records Are Becoming the New Hot Potato

 One Site! Many Suppliers!



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

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

Click here or on image to get a copy

Read more

European Regulators, FTC Unveil Cross-Border Data Transfer Tool

After a year of collaboration on the effort, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), together with data protection authorities from around the world, held a press conference at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit to announce a joint agreement between the G29 and APEC countries aiming to aid companies in achieving compliance with global data transfers. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chairwoman of the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) and president of the Article 29 Working Party, said the tool, called a "referential," is a "very political and symbolic act" for companies seeking to obtain double certification under Europe's binding corporate rules (BCRs) and APEC's cross-border privacy rules (CBPRs). The referential is a pragmatic checklist that compares and identifies the common principles among BCRs and CBPRs and aims to help companies identify additional requirements they may need to comply with in order for their data transfers to be legal. Falque-Pierrotin specified, however, that the referential does not aim to create a mutual-recognition system. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the U.S. is committed to continuing working with the EU on data transfer mechanisms such as BCRs and Safe Harbor, and that's why this tool is an important step in the dialogue.

Read more


Brazil to Drop Local Data Storage Rule in Internet Bill

Brazil will drop a controversial provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on Brazilian users inside the country to shield them from U.S. spying. The rule was added last year to proposed Internet governance legislation after revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on the digital communications of Brazilians, including those of their President Dilma Rousseff and the country's biggest company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Instead, the legislation will say that companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc are subject to Brazilian laws in cases involving information on Brazilians even if the data is stored abroad, said congressional relations minister Ideli Salvatti. She said the bill, which is opposed by Rousseff allies in the lower chamber of Congress, has enough support to be put to the vote. Salvatti said the government will not negotiate a key provision in the bill on net neutrality, which has faced strong opposition from telecom companies in Brazil because it would bar them from introducing differential pricing according to Internet usage and speeds. The legislation dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution" protects freedom of expression, safeguards privacy and sets limits to the gathering and use of metadata on Internet users.

Read more


CV Fraud at Epidemic Levels

An Auckland private investigator claims 80 per cent of CVs his firm is called in to check turn out to be false in some way. Other private investigators and recruiters say while CV fraud is widespread, the number of CVs that prove to be either misleading or outright incorrect is more in the range of 15 to 20 per cent. They say private investigators often get called in once a company already has suspicions over a candidate.

It's a problem that has been around for many years and it reared its ugly head again last month when it was revealed Michael Vukcevic falsely claimed to have a law degree from Victoria University when he applied for the top job at multinational law and patent firm Baldwins.

PwC's 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, out last month, found human-resources fraud - which includes fake CVs - had for the first time become one of the big five frauds affecting Kiwi businesses.

Read more

Job Seekers Need Clear Privacy Law

The law is not always an ass, but it can produce an absurdity. The decision of the Human Rights Review Tribunal to make a company disclose to a failed job applicant the CVs and reference checks of others going for a job is an example.

The aggrieved party complained to the tribunal that he was discriminated against on the basis of age. He wants to see the credentials of others who applied or succeeded in the process. Under the court system's rules of "discovery," which the tribunal adopts, all information pertinent to an action needs to be handed over from the defendant to the plaintiff. The tribunal has dismissed an application from the company involved, Alpine Energy, to block that discovery under a section of the Evidence Act which covers confidentiality.

So Alpine and its recruitment agency must give the man the information it has on the successful candidate and those who contested and lost. This would include not only names, applications and CVs (although the tribunal and the failed job-seeker have agreed it need not include addresses and contact details) but also reference and perhaps security checks.

The tribunal recognised applicants would probably have expected their personal information to be kept confidential. This decision, should it stand, will put hurdles in the way of employers and would-be employees.

Read more


Background Screening Jobs

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


Feature Education:

FCRA Basic Certification Webinar Series Update

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

For more information

2014 Events (
Click Here to View full list of Events ) - Updated Monthly

SHRM State Conferences, visit

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

SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events,

CUPA-HR Conferences:

World Federation of People Management Associations, Events,



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

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