As Daylight Savings time heads into the sunset and you plan to take the kids or perhaps yourself out ‘trick or treating’ have fun, but try not to eat too much candy. Also say a prayer for our colleagues and their families that have been impacted by the super storm Sandy and wish them well in the days to come.

Thanks again to our Platinum Members for joining us in the 2012 Fall edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide and for helping us to sell out the Premium advertisements.

The Suppliers' Guide will be distributed to the 1,600 background screening in our database. have sent out invitations to the Platinum Members that advertised in the 2012 edition for the upcoming 2013 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide since they get first choice to advertise. We will open the process to all background screening firms in December so if you are interested be sure to budget for participation. We are adding two new sections to the 2013 Buyer Guide:

  • Drug Testing
  • E-verify & Immigration Services

You can submit a reservation now to position your firm early in the queue. Click here to access the Advertising Reservation Form.

To get an electronic copy of the 2012 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide click here or if you would like a hardcopy version please email me at

We know many of you have started your budget planning for 2013 and we would like you to consider our specialized marketing services for the background screening industry. See our focused Marketing Portfolios below to see how our specialized marketing services designed specifically for the background screening industry can help you create additional sales opportunities so that you can meet your sales goals.

Would it benefit your Sales Staff to know what the hot button issues are in the industry when they go about their job of selling your services? Subscribe them to The Background Buzz so they will have the latest news and information about what’s happening in the industry. Click here to subscribe.

Are you involved with International Background Checks or regularly dealing with international clients? A great resource to help you with scheduling meetings at the right time is the Time Zone Converter – Time Difference Calculator. It helps you easily convert from your time to the time anywhere in the world. Its saves you time, gets it right and doesn’t cost a penny. Click here to try it out.

We appreciate you reading our newsletter and invite you to let us know what is on your mind and to give us your input. Thanks for joining us this month and have a great Thanksgiving celebration.

As usual, “be happy, don’t worry and stay safe.”

P.S. – Ublaahatkut is good morning in Inuktitut the language spoken by 85% of the inhabitants of Baffin Island, the worlds’ largest island.

Volume 8, Edition 10, October 2012




Rockefeller Seeks Detailed Information From Data Brokers

The chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee has sent letters to Reed-Elsevier (Lexis-Nexis), Spokeo, Experian and a half dozen other data brokers seeking detailed info on how they compile and sell consumer information.

"Collecting, storing and selling information about Americans raises all types of questions that require careful scrutiny," said Rockefeller. "While these practices may offer some benefits to consumers, they deserve to know what's being collected about them and how companies profit from their information," Rockefeller said in a statement Wednesday.

To read the full article click here and to see a copy of the letter click here

Three years of the Baker's Dozen Rankings

Compare the listings of the top ranked background screening firms according to HRO Today.

Employment Screening 2011

1. Universal Background Screening
2.FirstPoint Background Screening Resources
6. General Information Services
7. Global HR Research (GHRR)
8. Employment Background Investigations
9.Corporate Screening Services
10.Orange Tree Screening
11. HR Plus
12. Verifications
13.Sterling Infosystems

To see all three years rankings go to

The Catch-22 of Criminal-Background-Check Guidance

Though employers have had a few months now to become familiar with the U.S. Equal Employment Occupation Commission's guidance on the use of criminal background checks, questions and confusion about how best to respond have only grown.

The guidance, issued April 25, is broad in its scope and specificity, essentially recommending that employers now only ask to see criminal records when such inquiries can be proven to be job-related. What this has created -- especially in this presidential election year, when a November Republican victory could change the tone and direction of many directives coming out of Washington -- "is a very tough Catch-22," says Gerald L. Maatman Jr., partner at Chicago-based employment law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

"You either hire someone who could hurt your workforce, or you get in trouble for not complying with the EEOC mandate and EEOC enforcement." "I think the jury's out on just how possible this [revamping of all hiring practices and training] really is," he says. "A lot of my clients are saying, 'I could comply if I had buckets of money to spend to administer this.' "

In some cases, employers are simply refusing to follow the guideline for fear it will either put them out of business -- considering this new cost of training -- or create an unsafe working environment, says William Tate, president of Chicago-based HR Plus, a screening-solutions provider.

To read more click here

Half of All Employers Have Hired Workers With a Record

While having a run-in with the law can have long-term repercussions for job hunting, a new study from CareerBuilder shows organizations are open to giving people second chances. Fifty-one percent of Human Resource managers reported that their organizations have hired someone with a criminal record. The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human resource.

"The number one recommendation hiring managers have is to own your past and focus on what you learned from it to grow professionally and personally," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "You also want to stay active. Taking classes, volunteering and tapping into social networks can be good ways to help overcome obstacles associated with job hunting with a criminal past."

To read more click here


Background Checks Too Expensive for All Contractors, Bloomberg Says

Background checks that would prevent ex-cons from getting lucrative city sub-contracts are too expensive, said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Currently, the city doesn't require agencies to conduct background checks when they're awarding sub-contracts for less than $100,000. That means ex-cons like Nicholas Analitis, who served three years in prison for passing bad checks and ripping off banks, was able to land hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contracts, despite his history. Analitis is now accused of swindling his workers out of tens of thousands of dollars by paying them with phony checks. But Bloomberg said that requiring background checks on every person looking to do business with the city wouldn't be worth the cost. Analitis found a loophole in the Vendex questionnaire provided by the Mayor's Office of Contract Services, which is required when applying for work in the city. Since the contracts were less than $100,000, Analitis was approved without a background check. Ironically, the Vendex system was created to weed out businesses linked to criminals or organized crime and prevent them from getting taxpayer-funded projects.

To read more, click here

Hiring Ex-Offenders: Time For a Different Approach

Obtaining and maintaining employment is one of three dominant factors (along with marriage and military service) in explaining desistance - why and how people stop committing crimes. The search for effective recidivism reduction strategies has increased, despite their lack of success. In many cases, recidivism was not reduced, and in some instances it increased. Recognizing the criminal mindset or "criminal thinking" is important, for it must be addressed and changed if the offender is to have a decent shot at obtaining and keeping a good job. Job retention is often a bigger challenge than the securing of a job. This mindset is generally not supportive of legitimate employment and the behaviors required to sustain it over the long term. The risk that we run when taking the approach of jobs first is that we will send offenders to work without the preparation and skills they need to cope with the contemporary workplace. In addition to vocational counseling and job preparation services, we need to expend the resources and take the time to ensure that the offender we send out to work is as ready as possible and has the right mindset to succeed in the workplace.

To read more, click here

Conduct Thorough Background Checks on Travel Agents

People have been urged to conduct thorough background checks on travel agents. Consumer Council of Fiji has received 91 complaints against travel agents in the last three and a half years and 13 complaints up until September this year. Chief Executive Officer Premila Kumar said that there are bogus travel agents who demand lump sum of money after promising consumers work permits, migration visas and permanent residency in overseas countries. Kumar said it has been brought to the Council's attention that some of these travel agents close overnight and people have no idea what to do. The Council is concerned that such cases will continue to rise, as there is no proper monitoring system in place and no monitoring authority to look into this problem. The Council has resolved some cases through mediation held at the Council where the travel agents agree to refund partially or the full amount, however most of the cases however have been referred to CID for investigations.

To read more, click here

RSA 2012: U.S. Lobbying Hard to Alter EU Data Protection Law

The American government wants European data protection proposals changed, and is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to lobby the EU to alter them. The European Commission proposed a fresh directive and a new regulation on data protection last year that came under fire for introducing a number of "overbearing" proposals, including fines of up to two percent of the global annual turnover of a company for severe security events, a 24-hour data breach disclosure rule, a stipulation to make companies with more than 250 employees appoint a data protection officer, and the need to implement "privacy by design". Adam Schlosser, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's senior manager for global regulatory cooperation said the Chamber of Commerce had made incremental progress, and that the business community will need sustained and continued efforts to develop a pragmatic approach that considers how a final regulation can actually work in the real world. Schlosser noted that some of the biggest concerns are providing flexibility for different business models, allowing for compliance with existing legal obligations (such as anti-fraud) both in the EU and in third countries, and creating a 'one-stop shop' that is predictable and consistent.

To read more, click here

10 Ways Electronically Stored Information is Changing the Investigative Industry

Discovering the answers needed for an effective background checks client requires delivering on your promise to gather intelligence on the subject you are investigating. Increasingly the investigative industry is more interested in Electronically Stored Information (ESI) than many of the old methods of collecting data.. Whether the information comes from private data sources (e.g. CLEAR, TLO, and IRB), from public records, or from electronic evidence (e.g. email records and internet log files), the availability of large volumes of intelligence in an electronic format is appealing. Modern investigators seize the opportunity to access this information with apparent simplicity, efficiency and convenience while leveraging the intel into more valuable case results. Here are 10 ways that electronically stored information is changing the investigative industry today:

To read more click here

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board To Hold First Public Meeting

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will hold its first public meeting this month, according to a notice in the Federal Register. The board, which aims to provide privacy oversight on U.S. surveillance and security measures in the fight against terrorism, had remained dormant since 2007, inciting widespread criticism. President Barack Obama appointed new members to the board in 2011, and the Senate confirmed four of five nominees earlier this year. The aim of next Tuesday's meeting is to gather feedback from nongovernmental organizations and members of the public on priorities the board should consider on its forthcoming agenda. The public portion of the meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on October 30 in Washington, DC.


To read more click here

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 Ann Cun, Counsel and Principal Editor at LawLogix, Inc for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact Ann Cun, Counsel and Principal Editor, LawLogix Group, Inc. at (602) 357-4240 and for more information about LawLogix e-verify and immigration support services please visit

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

When can employers require all or some of its new hires to be U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents?

a. When the a government contract requires this restriction

b. Federal law requiring it

c. State law requiring it

d. Local law requiring it

e. All of the above.


New Requirements for NJ Employers and for Employers Conducting Business in Newark, NJ

The State of New Jersey has introduced a new requirement for employers with 50 or more employees in New Jersey to post and distribute to employees a notice that State and federal law provides for gender pay equity and prohibits wage discrimination based on gender. The law goes into effect in November. Effective November 18, 2012, the City of Newark will impose restrictions on employers conducting hiring in the City with regard to the use of criminal background checks for job applicants. Employers are prohibited from (1) conducting pre-application criminal background checks and inquiries and (2) denying employment based on the results of a criminal background check conducted post-offer unless the employer first conducted an individualized analysis of the criminal background using factors listed in the new Ordinance. An employer may discuss an applicant's criminal background pre-offer if the applicant discloses his/her criminal history voluntarily and without solicitation. Penalties will range between $500 and $1000 per violation.

To read more, click here

May Employers Require Job Applicants To Provide Home Addresses?

Some employment applications require job applicants to provide a physical home address, and state that a P.O. Box will not be accepted. This may be (or soon become) illegal under the latest development in employment law: laws prohibiting discrimination against the homeless. Earlier this year, Rhode Island passed into law the first "Homeless Bill of Rights" which makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee or applicant "due to his or her lack of a permanent mailing address, or his or her mailing address being that of a shelter or social service provider." In other words, an applicant cannot be refused employment simply because he or she does not provide an actual home address. Homeless advocates are pushing for similar legislation in other states. For instance, a California town recently passed a resolution urging the state legislature to enact a law that incorporates Rhode Island's protections, but goes a step further by expressly prohibiting discrimination against an applicant or employee for providing a P.O. Box as his or her address.

To read more, click here


Invest a Few Minutes Screening Now, and Save Thousands of Dollars and Extra Work Later

Not all tenant screening companies were created equally, and as such, it is important to research the companies that provide you with the information that directly affects your investment and community. A good place to start is with the company that actually supplies the reports; not necessarily the tenant screening company (as in most cases they are authorized resellers of the data). It is important to know the name of the company, how long they have been in business, and if they offer criminal checks on a national level. Getting a national background check for a few dollars more could save you thousands in damages or court fees later on. And keep in mind - if you are charging applicants an application or screening fee, the money won't be coming from your budget. Make sure you spend at least 7-10 minutes to input an application into the system because you want to have as much information as possible. Don't just screen your residents - make sure you understand what you are getting in your reports, and exactly where they are coming from.

To read more, click here

New Jersey Township Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Disparate Impact Claims are Available Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA)

The Township of Mount Holly, New Jersey has filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court raising the issue of whether disparate impact claims are available under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The issues raised in the Mount Holly petition are virtually a carbon-copy of those in Magner v. Gallagher, the case that would have decided the disparate impact issue but for the City of Saint Paul's last-minute decision to dismiss its appeal. The Consumer

Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), joined by HUD and the Department of Justice, has insisted that disparate impact claims are viable under the FHA and ECOA. If the Court agrees to hear the Mount Holly case, these agencies will have the opportunity to test their interpretations of these statutes against the plain text of the statutes themselves. It is predicted that the Supreme Court will find an absence of any plain-language support for disparate impact claims, and will not defer to the government's views on this issue. This case will present yet another opportunity for HUD's proposed disparate impact rule under the Fair Housing Act to interact with the Court's decision on granting certiorari.

To read more, click here


Beige Book: Economy Continues to Grow Modestly

The economy grew modestly in late August and early September, with activity picking up in 10 of 12 districts, the Federal Reserve said in a report. The Fed's beige book, named for the color of its cover, was slightly more tempered than the report on the previous six-week period, which showed modest or moderate growth in nine of 12 Federal Reserve bank districts. Uncertainty about looming tax increases and spending cuts, the presidential election and the European financial crisis all restrained hiring. At the same time, employers in several areas said they were having trouble finding skilled employees. Consumer spending was up only slightly, manufacturing was mixed and the job market was little changed. On the bright side, the housing market showed widespread improvement with all 12 districts reporting stronger existing home sales, in some cases substantially. The commercial real estate market - typically a barometer of the job market - softened in the Northeast and picked up some in Atlanta, Minneapolis and San Francisco. Rising gasoline prices, weather and "political uncertainty" damped sales, and Atlanta and San Francisco reported that discounters are doing better than department stores. The European financial crisis and recession have hurt U.S. exports, particularly manufacturers.

To read more, click here

SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®)




In October, the hiring rate will rise in both sectors compared with a year ago.




Forrester: Most Data Breaches Caused by Employees

Most data breaches are caused by mundane events such as employees losing, having stolen or simply unwittingly misusing corporate assets, a Forrester Research report has found. After questioning over 7,000 IT executives and ordinary employees across North America and Europe, 31% cited simple loss or theft as the explanation for data breaches they had experienced, ahead of inadvertent misuse by an employee (27%). Additionally, external attacks accounted for 25% of cases, and abuse by malicious insiders only 12%. Predictably, the arrival of mobile devices and the consumerization of IT hasn't helped matters. Most organizations formulate policies for securing mobile devices but, paradoxically, lack enough tools to enforce them. Thirty-nine percent worried about a lack of data leak prevention on mobile devices, with half concerned about the consequences of old-fashioned theft. The most common form of mobile device security is password entry plus remote lock and wipe with almost a quarter admitting they haven't started using any form of data protection at all.

To read more, click here

Internal Fraud on the Rise

The level of corporate fraud committed by insiders has increased for the second year in a row, according to figures from the Kroll Advisory Solutions Global Fraud Report. The report revealed that company employees committed 67% of corporate frauds in 2011, up from 54% a year earlier. Less than two-thirds (63%) of European companies were knowingly affected by fraud in 2011, while 56% said their exposure had increased over that time. Interestingly, the report highlighted data theft as one of the most prominent categories of fraud for European companies after 18% fell victim to it in the past year. Expansion into new and emerging markets was listed as one of the main causes of increased exposure to fraud. Other key global findings include: concern about fraud is dropping faster than fraud itself and developed markets reported significant levels of fraud.

"Increasingly, fraud exhibits industry-specific and regional characteristics, which require detailed knowledge of a market, sector, business process or culture to unearth, redress and prevent," said Kroll Advisory Solutions chairman, Tommy Helsby. "Companies that get complacent about it do so at their own peril."

To read more, click here

Fraud Prevention in a Bad Economy

Recently the Kansas City Business Journal reported on an intriguing study about the importance of corporate image. In light of heightened concern about ethical standards and conduct in the business and professional world, Fleishman Hillard, a public relations firm, and the World Economic Forum, surveyed 132 delegates about corporate reputation. Seventy-seven percent of the business leaders responded corporate reputation - its need to maintain a strong, positive image - has become more important recently. This increased focus on reputation has stimulated a renewed interest in integrity. Whether we realize it or not, we all have a code of ethics we live by; unfortunately, many have no strong moral foundation. Any risk assessment and advice on loss prevention should cover the following aspects and each area should be unpacked to understand the actual risk the organization faces, the strengths or weaknesses in the existing system and then recommendations on how to manage risk going forward: physical security; people security - including employees and third-party employees; the security of systems and procedures; technology; and the management of security.

To read more, click here


LawLogix Wins IT Department of the Year at the American Business Awards

Team EBI Joins Maryland Supporters for this Year's Race for the Cure

On Sunday, October 21, 2012, the staff of Employment Background Investigations, Inc (EBI) joined thousands of other racers to support the Komen Maryland Race for the Cure®. This year marks the sixth consecutive year EBI has supported this great cause as a commitment to our family, friends and co-workers that are inflicted with breast cancer. Our encouragement and dedication is again driven from our co-worker and teammate, Heather Garner who lost her life to breast cancer just over a year ago in August of 2011. Her fond memory is still with us as she continues to be the driving spirit alongside our team.

To read more click here


Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings

This report presents a first look at results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years old or older. The report and detailed tables present national estimates of rates of use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products. The report and detailed tables focus on trends between 2010 and 2011 and from 2002 to 2011, as well as differences across population subgroups in 2011. NSDUH estimates related to mental health, which were included in national findings reports prior to 2009, are not included in this 2011 report but will be available by late 2012 in another report and set of detailed tables. Also included below is a link to a set of tables assessing the effects on estimates from using 2010 census-based control totals in the 2011 NSDUH weighting process since NSDUH estimates for 2002 to 2010 were based on weights developed using 2000 census-based control totals.

To read more click here

Point-of-Collection Option Grows

Technologies for an on-site drug testing option that has proven extremely convenient in criminal justice settings continue to become more readily available to addiction treatment programs, though many treatment centers still wrestle with whether it makes sense for them to devote the in-house time needed to process their own testing of clients and analysis of test results. Bill Current, president of WFC & Associates, who oversees the Ultimate Guide to State Drug Testing Laws subscription service, says there are currently 50 million tests a year being conducted and only 10% use point-of-collection devices. While three states prohibit these devices, most others states have restrictions in place, such as those statutes that allow point-of-collection testing only for pre-employment screening purposes.

"When most state drug testing laws were written, 10 years ago or more, they were geared specifically for the workplace market," said Current. "Therefore, the answer to the question of whether any state restrictions on point-of-collection testing apply to addiction treatment organizations must be researched on a state-by-state basis, with a close examination of statute language."

To read more, click here

$750,000 EEOC Settlement Highlights Pitfalls of Drug Testing for Prescription Medications by Employers

An auto parts manufacturer has entered into a consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requiring it to pay $750,000 to a group of current and former employees at its Lawrenceburg, Tennessee facility based on allegations that company drug testing practices violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC alleged that the company tested all of its employees for 12 substances, including certain legally prescribed drugs, in violation of the ADA. It also alleged that the company required those employees who tested positive for legally prescribed medications to disclose the medical conditions for which they were taking the medications and to cease taking them. The company then suspended employees until they stopped taking their prescription medications and fired those who were unable to perform their job duties without the benefit of the medications. Employers must ensure that testing for prescription medications is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Also, employers should not have blanket rules prohibiting employees from using certain prescription medications without undertaking an individualized assessment of the particular employee's situation.

To read more, click here

Substance Abuse: Workplace Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that substance abuse by workers is a problem at U.S. workplaces. According to OSHA, 12.9 million of the 17.2 million illegal drug users age 18 or older were employed either full or part time in 2005. In addition, the agency says between 10 and 20% of workers who die on the job tested positive for alcohol or other drugs. Drug use by employees can have financial ramifications as well. The Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House states that the economic cost of drug abuse in the U.S. was estimated at $193 billion in 2007, including $120 billion in lost productivity. Drug use by employees also resulted in $11 billion in healthcare costs in 2007. Some of these costs may be a result of workers with substance abuse problems who move from one job to another in a relatively short period of time, and full time workers with a drug or alcohol problem who are more prone to miss work due to illness or injury. OSHA says that businesses can help address the avoidable problem of employee drug abuse by implementing drug-free workplace programs aimed at helping workers maintain their safety and health.

To read more, click here

Social Media Overload

You see it. In fact, you can’t avoid it. Like the rest of us, you are being bombarded with social media. You understand the game is changing. But there is so much information, where do you even start? Or if you have started, are you investing your efforts in the best places and the most effective ways? Download this new whitepaper, 10 Ways to Effectively Market Your Business With Social Media, from HR influencer and marketing expert John Sumser of HRxAnalysts. You’ll learn10 simple ways to harness social media to get more visibility for your product and grow your company.


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.


Google Plus Basics for Your Investigations Firm

Many private investigators are already aware of the advantages of being a member of the many social networks on the web. They serve as important tools for marketing, education, networking with colleagues and clients, skip tracing, people locates, and more. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo already have active communities of private investigators, but Google's social network, Google Plus, hosts some unique features and benefits that make it an important network for every private investigator to join. Google Plus is different than other social media sites in its unique features like Hangouts and Circles as well as in benefits like personal branding and local search optimization. A clean and easy-to-use interface makes navigating profiles and posting information easy, and with an educated and tech-savvy user base, Google Plus is already gaining popularity within the industry. For private investigators, having circles means that you can discuss software and industry issues with colleagues without your clients seeing, and conversely offer deals to your clients that your competitors won't see. Additionally, if you want to share photos of your vacation with family and friends, you can do so without those posts overlapping into your professional life.

to read more click here


Background Screening & Hiring Costs

Employers conduct checks of job applicants' background to mitigate risk, reduce liability, improve the quality of new hires, promote workplace safety, and meet regulatory compliance requirements. The process has been simplified in recent years by the rapid growth in the professional background screening industry-and most companies take advantage of these firms' services, according to respondents. Only 21 percent of companies rely exclusively on in-house staff to conduct security background checks on new hires, and those that do tend to be smaller employers. In addition to ease of use, cost is another motivation to utilize outside firms to conduct background checks. The median cost for conducting a security background check is 25 percent less when utilizing an outside agency than exclusive use of in-house staff, according to respondents. Interestingly, companies that leverage the different strengths of both in-house staff and contract firms in their background check process report paying the least-just $62.50 per new hire.

The lure of using an outside firm to conduct background checks can't blind organizations to their limitations, however. These firms may inflate the extent of their databases, and security teams need to assess what they cover and how frequently the provider updates them. Tests of online screening firms have shown that applicants with criminal histories can slip through, and companies should conduct their own tests-by periodically sending in a name for which a criminal history is known-to see whether the provider accurately identifies it.

To read more click here

BRB Update

Sponsored by:

BRB Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

  Important to Illinois Public Record Searchers

The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation recently issued a "cease and desist" letter to a PRRN (Public Record Retriever Network - ) member based in Illinois for performing public record research and not having a private investigator's license. The Department interpreted that the act of researching public records is considered to be performing an "investigation." This is regardless if the PRRN Member was merely researching and reporting to a attorney, private investigator, or consumer reporting agency (CRA) what is found in a court's public record docket.

The licensing of Private Investigators is governed by 225 ILCS §447. Article 5 defines, in part, that a private investigator is someone who "...engages in the business of, accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to make or makes investigations for a fee or other consideration..." Articles 10 and 15 list exemptions. See the statute at

At present the only state in the U.S. that requires a pure public record researcher to have a PI license is Nevada. Of course, if a researcher or document retriever is openly advertising the he/she provides background investigations or provides criminal background checks, then in some states (including IL) a PI license may very well be required. Also it should be noted that some states, such as Nebraska, require title abstractors to be licensed as an abstractor.

Interestingly, similar situations occured several years ago in Arizona and Texas. The states had similar laws to IL. A PRRN members was actually thrown in jail in Texas. But the issues were resolved and the end result is that public record researchers are not required to be licensed as PIs when simply hired by private investigators or Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA) to report facts in the public records.

If this issue is of interest, there is an older, but still applicable article titled "The Trouble With PI Licensing Statutes" written by Carl Ernst, found on the BRB Publications site at .

Printed with permission of BRB Publications


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

 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.

2012 Fall Edition of 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 Summer Edition.


ICE Releases Guidance on Evaluating Electronic I-9 Systems

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released the first-ever official guidance document for evaluating electronically generated and stored I-9 records during an audit. The document provides guidance to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and auditors on what information they should collect from employers using electronic I-9 systems as well the minimum electronic audit trail requirements for use in determining I-9 related fines. The regulations require that whenever an electronic I-9 is created, completed, updated, modified, altered or corrected, an electronic I-9 system must create a secure and permanent record that establishes the date accessed, who accessed it, and what action was taken. Employers storing electronic I-9s are also required to maintain an "indexing system" and to "reproduce legible and readable hardcopies" of the electronically completed and retained I-9 forms. Employers are well advised to partner with a vendor that takes the most conservative approach to audit trails (and the regulations) in designing their software.

To read more, click here

Recent Study Reveals E-Verify Shortcomings

The CATO institute released a highly critical report on the actual impact E-verify has on employers in Arizona. The 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) required statewide businesses to enroll and use the E-Verify system by January of 2008. Arizona industries, including construction, agriculture and real estate, have suffered significantly not only as a result of the economy, but also from the effects of LAWA. While LAWA decreased the unauthorized resident population by 36% between 2008 and 2010, it also suppressed housing sale prices and raised the cost of conducting business, preventing employers from expanding or hiring more workers. In addition, the E-Verify system produces a 4.1% inaccuracy rate for workers, 3.3% of those initially found to be unauthorized actually are authorized to work, and it fails to identify 54% of unauthorized workers, due primarily to employment-based identity-fraud. It is evident that improving the accuracy rate of E-Verify is an essential step towards widespread adoption by businesses. Favorable adoption by businesses of the E-Verify will increase only when the cost of adoption by employers is outweighed by the benefits.

To read more, click here

Employers Not Immune from Punishment by OSC for E-Verify Violations

The Justice Department has entered into a settlement agreement with Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC, a provider of janitorial and facilities maintenance services based in Tampa, Florida. This is one of the first publicized cases where OSC investigates discrimination based on an employer's conduct related to the use of E-Verify. The employer told the employee in question about her tentative non-confirmation that was generated as a result of data mismatch. The employee was unable to correct her data because she was lacking the proper E-verify paperwork and the E-Verify system ultimately produced an erroneous final non-confirmation. After being fired, the employee called the E-verify hotline, where the OSC informed her she was authorized to work. However, the employer refused to reinstate her. The employee subsequently filed a complaint with the OSC on account that she had asserted her right to work under the INA provisions for anti-discrimination and that the employer had retaliated against her when she exercised this legal right. Before any further legal action was taken the employer agreed to settle the case with the Justice Department, which resulted in fines and additional training requirements.

To read more, click here

USCIS Launches Spanish-language I-9 Central on

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a Spanish-language version of I-9 Central, an online resource center designed to provide information and assistance related to the most frequently accessed form on Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification. This free, easy-to-use website provides employers and employees simple one-click access to resources, tips and guidance to properly complete Form I-9 and better understand the Form I-9 process. The launch of the Spanish I-9 Central is the most recent in a series of resource guides related to USCIS employment-related forms and processes. These resources include E-Verify Self Check, a service that allows workers and job seekers in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status online, and an updated "Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (M-274). Both are also offered in Spanish.

To read more, click here


World Information Center:


Time Zone Converter – Time Difference Calculator
Find the time difference between several cities with the Time Difference Calculator.
Provides time zone conversions taking into account daylight saving time (DST), local time zone and accepts present, past or future dates.

Click here to convert a time right now


Caution Urged When Addressing Drug Issues

Social media and blurry work/life boundaries mean employers can learn a lot about employees' out-of-work activities, but employment lawyers warn they should be very cautious about addressing them. One of the most important things to remember when faced with an issue such as drug use is that the courts don't like employers delving into an employee's personal life where it is not affecting the workplace. If an employer is going to concern itself with an employee's drug or alcohol use, there really needs to be a nexus or a link to the employment. Any action taken by an employer should focus on performance (including misconduct), or safety. If an employee is regularly arriving at work late, or not completing their allocated tasks on time, employers should deal with them as they would any other under-performing employee. However, if an employee is attending work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they're inhibited from performing their duties, the employer can simply deal with that as a misconduct issue. Before taking any action about drug use, employers should check their policies, and employees' awards or agreements, to ensure they comply with any relevant provisions.

To read more, click here (Subscriber-only access)

Canadian, German Data Protection Watchdogs Join Forces

The German and Canadian data protection commissioners have signed an agreement that aims to ensure people's digital privacy will be better protected if data travels across borders via the Web. International cooperation could help put companies like Facebook and Google on a privacy leash. Both countries will inform each other about important events and complaints and will cooperate on specific cases. Peter Schaar, the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, said international cooperation is needed in cases dealing with companies like Google and Facebook. The Canadian government also highlighted the importance of coordinated privacy protection in the age of the Web. Both data protection agencies are striving to expand their coordination with

counterpart agencies around the world. Canada and Germany plan to discuss extending their cooperative agreement to more countries.

To read more, click here


To read more click here


To read more, click here


Source: Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. Excerpt of article ‘B.C. Ministry of Health fires 5 for privacy breach,


EU's Revamped Privacy Rules May Save Companies $3 Billion a Year

Companies could save as much as 2.3 billion euros ($3 billion) in administrative costs thanks to an overhaul of the European Union's data-protection rules. The proposed changes to the EU's 17-year-old data protection rules will allow companies to do business in Europe based on just one law. Companies will save a further 130 million euros every year by not having to notify authorities each and every time data is processed. Under the European Commission's January proposal, companies face fines as high as 2% of yearly global sales for mishandling or losing personal data. The plans would also reduce the number of regulators a company needs to contact for data-protection issues across the region as the regulator of its home base will become a one-stop shop. In practice, this will mean that Ireland's agency will be in charge of regulating companies like Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. (FB), which run their European operations from the country. Ireland will take over the rotating EU presidency for six months in January 2013.

To read more, click here


Criminal Past Checks to be Conducted on Taxi Drivers

Seoul City is planning to check every taxi driver to see whether they have a criminal record by next year as part of measures to protect passengers from crimes committed by cabbies. The plan, however, may bring controversy over human rights infringements, because drivers claim that the step treats all of them as potential criminals. In the past, only drivers with a newly obtained license were subject to having their records checked. The revised law, which took effect on August 2, expands the monitoring to all drivers. Officials of the city government said they are talking with police to see whether cabbies in the capital were previously convicted of certain felonies in order to cancel their licenses. The revised law also bans a former convict from driving taxis for 20 years after their release from prison ― a huge extension from the previous two years. But police said the monitoring is only available for drivers who obtained a license after the revised law's implementation. Taxi drivers have protested the plan, which they claim infringes on their human rights and is not a fundamental solution to prevent crime.

To read more, click here


Privacy Commissioner Wants Power to Police 'Data Brokers'
New Zealand's privacy commissioner is seeking additional powers to monitor companies that collect and sell personal data. Assistant Privacy Commissioner Blair Stewart, said the current version of the Privacy Act clears the way for enforcement only after a complaint is filed, but many citizens do not know of the existence of "data brokers". Data brokers collect publicly available information and personal details gathered by other means, including surveys doubling as prize giveaways. They may know details about you or your household, including ethnicity, property value, what foods you buy and how often you travel. The privacy commissioner has supported a Law Commission recommendation to update the law, giving the commissioner powers to serve compliance notices on organizations. The Government is expected to respond to the Law Commission's recommendations next month.

"People don't tend to complain about certain practices, if the sort of practices go on in the background and they can't see what's happening," said Stewart.

To read more, click here


Data Protection: Employers can be Liable for their Contractors' Mistakes

A recent fine imposed by the Information Commissioner on Scottish Borders Council demonstrates that employers can be liable for breach of data protection legislation by their contractors. All employers handling data about employees must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) and in particular, the eight data protection principles set out in that legislation. It is essential employers have streamlined and compliant arrangements in place to try to avoid incurring substantial fines due to the short comings of their outsourced service providers. As a minimum there should be a written agreement between their data controller and their data processor, which should contain warranties regarding compliance with the data protection principles and an indemnity for any breach of the Act to encourage best practice.

To read more, click here


Singapore Finally Passes Personal Data Protection Bill

The Singapore parliament finally passed the personal data protection bill that is designed to safeguard an individual's personal data against misuse. It encompasses a national Do-Not-Call registry and a new enforcement agency will be tasked to regulate the management of personal data by businesses and impose financial penalties. Singapore's personal data protection law will give individuals more control over their personal data, since they have to give consent and be informed of the purposes for which organizations collect, use, or disclose the information.

They can seek compensation for damages directly suffered from a breach of the data protection rules through private rights of action. The Bill applies to all organizations across the private sector, but does not cover the public sector, which already has its own set of data protection rules with which all public officers must comply. To give time for businesses to adjust, the data protection law will be implemented in a phased approach and will become official by January 2013.

To read more, click here

Breach Disclosure 'Inevitable' for Singapore Data Protection Law

Public disclosure and notification of companies' security breaches will "inevitably" be part of discussions in future amendments to Singapore's upcoming Data Protection Act, as the country looks to keep in line with more mature jurisdictions. Notification of security breaches by companies is already a part of several jurisdictions such as with the European data protection and America's data protection directive. Singapore is relatively new with its data protection bill not officially enacted yet, therefore it will look to countries with more mature laws for adequacy, or giving its citizens similar level of data protection. Currently, it is not mandatory for organizations to issue data breach notifications. For example, if a Singapore company with international operations is breached, they would have to disclose the breach in countries such as the U.S. where the data protection law states the company has to notify them. However, they do not have to disclose it in Singapore. This could affect companies and the way they do business because of differing regulations, while citizens may question inconsistencies between the local government and those abroad.

To read more, click here


Taiwan's New Personal Data Protection Act Becomes Effective on October 1, 2012

Taiwan's new Personal Data Protection Act ("PDPA") has gone into effect as of October 1, 2012, while two controversial articles remain pending. Under this new law, all government, non-government sectors, and individuals will be subject to the PDPA. The definition "Personal Data" is also expanded to a broad scope. The impacts of new PDPA include: (1) all enterprises and individuals that collect, process or use Personal Data are subject to the PDPA; (2) statutory requirements and procedures must be followed when collecting, processing or using Personal Data; (3) proper safety measures must be taken when retaining Personal Data files; (4) failure to comply with the PDPA will be subject to civil liabilities (up to NT$200M), administrative penalties (up to NT$500,000), and criminal liabilities (up to 5 years and/or NT$1M). All enterprises and individuals are advised to take the necessary steps, including amending contracts with related parties and setting up relevant policies and rules in order to comply.

To read more, click here


Unemployment Falls as Employment Reaches Record High

The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 50,000 to 2.53 million in the three months leading to August as employment reached a record high of almost 30 million, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. The number of people in employment has not been higher since records began in 1971, while the total level of unemployment is the lowest since spring 2011. Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits than in May 2010. Neil Owen, global practice director at recruiter Robert Half International, says: "While the long-term state of the economy is still unclear, today's labor market figures are positive and may signal the UK jobs market is finally turning a corner." The job numbers appear to be driven by flexible working; increases in temporary and part-time positions.

To read more, click here


The Public Voice" in Uruguay: WP 29 Chair Says Proposed EU Regulation is Not Tough Enough

Civil society organizations concerned with privacy and data protection are meeting as "The Public Voice" in Uruguay, in advance of the 34th Annual Meeting of Data Protection Authorities and Privacy Commissioners. At the opening panel of The Public Voice, Article 29 Working Party Chair Jacob Konstamm spoke in favor of strengthening the pending EU Data Protection Regulation, observing that he preferred the "leaked draft" that circulated before the official draft was unveiled in January. Konstamm lamented that government and business are not treated equally in one instrument under the current proposals, with government subject to a proposed non-self-executing Directive and business subject to the proposed Regulation. Explaining that negotiations between the EU Parliament and Council will begin in Spring 2013, Konstamm observed that there currently is "fierce lobbying" going on in Brussels by the U.S. government and the IT industry that "threatens to weaken" the proposed Regulation. Konstamm focused in particular on three issues he declared as critical in consideration of the EU Regulation: explicit consent; the definition of personal data; and purpose limitation.

To read more, click here (Subscriber-only access; complimentary registration )


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.


2012 Events ( Click Here to View full list of 2012 Events ) - Updated Monthly

SHRM State Conferences, visit

Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), 2012 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.