Håfa Adai!

As we approach the summer I hope each of you are planning a great vacation or some ways to have some fun with your family and love ones.

My granddaughter, who is a senior in college, just spent a week with me and it was great. She wore me out with shopping, art shows, amusement parks and finding new ways to spend money. It was a great week and I am glad she wanted to hang out with the ole' man. Tomorrow is not promised, so make the most of today and let the folks you care about know how much you love them.

We are getting ready for the SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago in a couple of weeks. If you will be attending please come by and say hello to us at booth #3852 and get a copy of the newly released 2013 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide.

A big thank you to all of the advertisers who joined us in the 2013 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Text Box:  Suppliers we will be starting to work on the Summer edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide shortly so now is the time to make sure you are included. I have enclosed the invitation and reservation forms. Don't miss this opportunity to put your company's information directly in the hands of decisions makers at background screening firms that buy your services. We will be distributing the Suppliers Buyers Guide to the more than 1,600 background screening firms in our database. Company Profiles (up to 100 words) are complimentary to our Platinum Members. Contact me today to reserve your space.

We are putting the final touches on our new web site which we will launch in June. Our goal is to create a magnificent background screening information portal that will become the hub for Human Resource professionals and others involved in the hiring process who are seeking information about background screening. The new site has been designed to make it easy for visitors to find the specific information and services that they are looking for.

To begin with will now stand on its' own and will be removed from being under the auspices of the web site. Over time this will increase the value to background screening firms by facilitating greater SEO opportunities and driving our site towards becoming the premier backlink for background screening firms.

One opportunity that is immediately available to our Platinum Members is the ability to post articles, white papers, press releases, announcements, etc. to our new Background Screening Knowledge Center that will have hyperlinks to their respective web sites, thus driving more traffic to their site. In addition, we are pleased to announce that starting with the launch of the new site we will be linking our Platinum Members logos directly to their web sites with the goal to support your SEO efforts.

We have also re-invented our International Resource Center to become the premier source for information on International background screening. It will become the 'go to' source for human resource professionals and anyone else seeking information about international background screening.

Our goal is to help firms in the background screening industry to maximize their marketing efforts to help them achieve their revenue goals.

Thanks again for joining us this month, have some fun and stay safe!

PS - Chamorro (Chamorro: Fino' Chamoru or simply Chamoru) is a Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language spoken in theMariana Islands (including Guam)

Volume 9, Edition 5, May 2013




More Than Half of Companies in the Top Ten World Economies Have Been Affected By a Bad Hire

A new study from CareerBuilder shows that hiring the wrong person can have serious implications for companies. More than half of employers in each of the ten largest world economies said that a bad hire (someone who turned out not to be a good fit for the job or did not perform it well) has negatively impacted their business, pointing to a significant loss in revenue or productivity or challenges with employee morale and client relations.

For example, among those reporting having had a bad hire, 27 percent of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost more than $50,000. In the Eurozone, bad hires were most expensive in Germany, with 29 percent reporting costs of 50,000 euros ($65,231) or more. In the U.K., 27 percent of companies say bad hire costs more than 50,000 British pounds. Three in ten Indian employers (29 percent) reported the average bad hire cost more than 2 million Indian rupees ($37,150), and nearly half of surveyed employers in China (48 percent) reported costs exceeding 300,000 CNY ($48,734).

The global survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012, included more than 6,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals in countries with the largest gross domestic product.

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Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring

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Hiring new employees is a critically important function in any business, government agency, or non-profit organization. Every hiring decision represents a major investment that employers must make with limited information. Checking criminal history is just a small part of this process, which may also include verifying education, prior employment and other reference information. The Best Practice Standards will help employers properly weigh adverse personal history to find those applicants who will contribute most to the productivity of the organization.

Download a copy

The Long Shadow of Bad Credit in a Job Search

Nearly half (47%) of employers use credit checks when making a hiring decision, according to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Most businesses use credit checks only to screen for certain positions, but one in eight, the survey found, does a credit check before every hire. Chi Chi Wu, a staff lawyer at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, believes that using credit checks in the hiring process is a Catch-22 that can be a kind of backdoor job discrimination. "Someone loses their job, so they can't pay their bills - and now they can't get a job because they couldn't pay their bills because they lost a job?" said Wu. Experian, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus, states in its marketing materials, "Credit information provides insight into an applicant's integrity and responsibility toward his or her financial obligations." But to Wu and others, a credit report says more about a person's economic circumstances than his or her moral character. So far, nine states have adopted legislation that curbs the use of credit reports to judge prospective hires.

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Data Brokers Urged to Review Privacy Practices After FTC Warnings

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to ten data broker companies warning that their practices could violate privacy rules set out under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Following an undercover test-shopping operation led in collaboration with the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), the FTC indicated that the data brokers concerned were willing to sell consumer information contrary to FCRA requirements. "If you're in a similar line of work and didn't get a letter, it's still a good time for a compliance check-up," said Lesley Fair, Senior Attorney at the FTC. "One place to start: the FTC's credit reporting page." The warning letters are part of an ongoing international effort spearheaded by GPEN. These warning letters are similar to those recently sent by the FTC to six websites that share information about consumers' rental histories. Though the FTC enforces several laws and rules imposing data security, it has limited power to regulate data brokers. Following failed industry efforts to self-regulate, the FTC has increased its enforcement efforts concerning consumer privacy through the FCRA.

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Feds Propose Stronger Child Care Standards

A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would strengthen standards for the 1.6 million children who are served by providers that get money from the Child Care and Development Fund, a federal program to aid low-income children under the age of 13. The administration claims that current regulations resemble a patchwork of regulations for childcare centers, with state laws varying on whether providers need background checks or first aid and CPR training. One in 10 children who are served by the program are cared for in totally unregulated facilities, the department asserts in the proposal, which "can leave children in unsafe conditions, even as their care is being funded with public dollars." The department's proposal would require that providers receive background checks, are monitored on-site and complete health and safety training. It also mandates that states set up websites to tell parents about different child care providers, their licenses and possible past violations, which would cost state agencies about $2 million.

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Retailers Use Employee-theft Databases to Combat Shrink

To counteract big losses from employee theft, some loss prevention experts in the retail industry are turning to mammoth databases to track employees accused of stealing retail merchandise. While information and background check companies are the custodians of the information, it is retailers themselves who amass the data and submit it to such companies when an employee or consumer commits retail theft. In 2011, employee theft drained an estimated $15 billion from the retail sector and comprised about 45% of total retail "shrink," according to Rich Mellor, vice president of loss prevention at the National Retail Federation. These figures have compelled some retailers to use the databases to weed out potentially problematic employees from the industry. Currently, an estimated 10,000 retailers (only 20-30% of all retailers) use employee-theft databases to verify if a prospective employee has been terminated or prosecuted for a previous instance of retail theft. While governed by the rules and regulations of the FCRA, the databases, despite having compliance guidelines, have not been immune to criticism, or in some cases, legal action. For retailers, legal risk is non-existent as long as they comply with these guidelines.

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Office of Inspector General (OIG) Issues Special Advisory Bulletin Regarding Exclusions and Sanctions on Individuals and Entities

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a "Special Advisory Bulletin on the Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Federal Health Care Programs" on May 8, 2013-the first in over ten years. The OIG originally published a Special Advisory Bulletin in September 1999. The updated 2013 bulletin expands the OIG's exclusion authority.

Key Considerations from the 2013 OIG Exclusion Screening Advisory Bulletin

· Providers should check the OIG List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) upon hire and periodically for employees and contractors. It also notes that the OIG updates the LEIE exclusion list monthly.

· The prohibition for payment applies to administrators such as executives, human resources, information technology, accounting, general counsel and office managers who are on the OIG exclusion list.

· A hospital contracting with a staffing agency is required to ensure that the staffing agency has conducted OIG LEIE exclusion list searches on such staff.

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Governor Signs Four Hobbs' Bills into Law, Including Part 2 of Fair Tenant Screening Act

Four bills sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs were signed into law headlined by Senate Bill 5568, which will help victims of domestic violence have fair and equal access to housing. SB 5568, the Fair Tenant Screening Act Part 2, expands the original act to include protections for victims of domestic violence. Currently, tenant screening reports are allowed to contain information about domestic violence protection orders and eviction lawsuits. The bill will remove that information from those reports.

"My hope is that this bill will help the transition away from domestic violence just a little less difficult," Hobbs said. "Victims of domestic violence have been through more than many of us can imagine already. There's no reason to relive that horror while looking for a home."

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Do's and Don'ts When Using Internet to Screen Tenants

In the midst of legal uncertainties, many landlords are wondering how they can safely use the Internet to vet prospective tenants. The problem with social media screening, however, is that you're apt to come upon information that is not only not true, but if true, should have no bearing on your decision as to whether to rent to this person. Making rental decisions based on the race, religion, ethnicity, etc. of the applicant (or the applicant's associates) would be a violation of the federal fair housing laws. Therefore, the critical thing is to separate the social media searcher from the person who makes the decisions, so that any irrelevant information discovered in the course of the search never gets to the person making the hiring or renting solution. One way to do this is to hire a third party, a screening firm, who will pass on to you only the information that you can legally rely on when screening applicants. When you do that, the firm complies with the disclosure and reporting requirements of the FCRA. Another tack is to have someone on your staff do the screening and report to you, keeping back irrelevant information. It's essential that you train this person on the legalities of screening and fair housing laws.

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New Indiana Law Restricts Use of Criminal Records

Effective July 1, 2013, Indiana will permit the expungement of certain criminal records and prohibit employer discrimination based on the expungement of any current or prospective employee's conviction or arrest record. The new law allows people who have committed crimes in the past to receive a clean slate. Persons who have been charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor in Indiana may petition the court for expungement of those records after five years following the conviction, and the court must expunge the crime so long as: the petitioner has no charges pending against him/her, has not been convicted of a crime during the five-year period since the conviction, does not have a driver's license suspension existing or pending, and has successfully completed all parts of the criminal sentence. The same law provides that persons convicted of Class D felonies may follow the same procedure for expungement of those felonies after eight years following the conviction. The law does not provide for expungement of certain violent and sexual crimes. Indiana employers should review their application and interview procedures to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

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Proposed New York City Bill Would Ban Credit Checks from Hiring Process

The New York City Council's Committee on Civil Rights recently debated a proposed bill that would ban employers from using credit checks to evaluate prospective employees. The bill, called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (the SCDEA), would create a blanket ban on using credit information for hiring purposes, with a narrow exception only where employers are required to use such information by state or federal law. Proponents of the SCDEA believe it will curb employers' discriminatory use of credit information, which they contend prevents potentially qualified individuals from being hired. Those who oppose the bill caution that it will impair employers' ability to insure the integrity of certain positions, such as those in finance and insurance. The proposed bill must still be passed by the Committee on Civil Rights and then approved by the heavily Democratic City Council. If passed, employers who currently rely on credit information may be forced to alter hiring practices and seek alternative methods for ensuring the hiring of qualified employees.

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Welcome to the U.S. Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:

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

We are grateful to Nicole A. ("Nici") Kersey, the Managing Director of Kersey Immigration Compliance, LLC sharing her expertise with our readers and providing this month's question and answer. She is an attorney whose practice focuses on the Form I-9, E-Verify, and related immigration compliance issues. Ms. Kersey partners with law firms, businesses, and other employers to provide advice, project management, and consulting services to organizations of all sizes to help them avoid civil and criminal penalties, as well as ancillary damage to reputation, caused by weaknesses in their immigration-related hiring and record-keeping practices. She provides training, policies, and auditing services and represents employers during I-9 inspections and settlement negotiations.

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

Which of the following Social Security cards are acceptable proof of employment authorization for Form I-9 purposes?

a) Only those with no dates or notations on the front.

b) Those that state "Valid only with DHS authorization" on the front.

c) Those that have not been signed.

d) Those that have been laminated.

e) C & D.

 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

Arkansas Gets a Workplace Social Media Privacy Law

Arkansas has a new social media privacy law, which prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting that a current or prospective employee do any of the following: 1. Disclose his/her username or password for a social media account; 2. Add a co-worker "to the list or contacts associated" with the account; and 3. Change his/her account privacy settings. The Arkansas law carves-out some exceptions and unties HR's hands, allowing it to conduct effective investigations should the need to access social media accounts arise. In addition, the Arkansas
law prevents an employer from complying with the requirements of federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations or the rules or regulations of self-regulatory organizations. It also allows an employer to request an employee to disclose his or her username and password for the purpose of accessing a social media account if the employee's social media account activity is reasonably believed to be relevant to a formal investigation or related proceeding by the employer of allegations of an employee's violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations or of the employer's written policies.

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Colorado Ninth State to Prohibit Credit Checks for Employment Purposes

Colorado's governor has signed S.B. 18 to prohibit employers from considering an applicant's or employee's credit history in employment decisions. California, Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington, Oregon and Vermont, as well as at least one locality, the City of Chicago, also have similar laws. Moreover, the U.S. Congress and several more state legislatures are considering comparable legislation. The new Colorado law prohibits an employer from using consumer credit information for employment purposes unless the information is "substantially related to the employee's current or potential job." Employers should note that these obligations are in addition to the employer's disclosure and notice requirements under the FCRA. The new law empowers the Director of the Colorado Division of Labor in the Department of Labor and Employment to enforce its provisions. An aggrieved person may file a complaint with the Division, which is to promptly investigate the allegations and issue findings within thirty days after a hearing. The Division may award civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 to the prevailing party. The new Colorado law takes effect July 1, 2013, and applies to acts occurring on or after said date.

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Washington Adds to Flood of Social Media Password Protection Legislation

Washington State has joined the flood of password-protection legislation. The Washington bill (currently awaiting signature by Governor Inslee) broadly prohibits employers from accessing employees' and applicants' social networking accounts. Employers are prohibited from: (a) requiring disclosure of log-in information; (b) asking for access to the account in the employer's presence; (c) requiring the acceptance of a "friend" request from the employer; (d) requiring a change in privacy settings to make the account accessible to the employer; and (e) using log-in credentials inadvertently obtained through the employer's monitoring of corporate electronic resources. Employees or applicants subject to an unlawful demand can recover actual damages in a private lawsuit as well as a $500 penalty, and an award of attorney's fees and costs. Employers can only require that employees share content from their personal social media accounts in connection with an investigation into workplace misconduct if the investigation is undertaken in response to information received about the employee's personal social media content and the content is relevant to a factual determination made in the course of the investigation. However, even in that scenario, the employer may not ask for the employee's login information.

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Technology for Minding Your Compliance Ps and Qs: Spotlight on the FCPA

Despite increasing regulations, most companies have no system for monitoring high-risk third parties. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) into law, which makes it unlawful for U.S. companies, individuals and third-party intermediaries to pay foreign officials to retain or obtain business. Although the FCPA has existed for 35 years, its effects have been most felt over the past five years, thanks to the Obama administration's decision to make combating corruption one of its priorities. A recent poll of delegates attending a FCPA Conference revealed that more than 60% have no system in place for monitoring high-risk third parties after they've put a contract in place with them, while the majority of delegates (almost 90%) further indicated that they have no technology in place to help them assess, monitor, manage and report on the FCPA risk of their third parties. Moreover, in the event of an FCPA violation, evidence of an effective program may change the outcome of potential prosecution. Thankfully, technology exists that enables organizations to implement and enforce a consistent, objective and scalable FCPA program.

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Nationwide Efforts to "Ban the Box"

50 municipalities and 9 states have removed questions about criminal record from job applications, opting to ask later in interview process; a sign that the nationwide movement to reduce unfair barriers to employment for people with criminal records is gaining momentum. The commonsense ban-the-box policy postpones criminal history inquiries until later in the hiring process to give qualified workers with criminal records a fair shot at a job. Contributing to the momentum, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has endorsed the policy of removing the conviction history question from job applications as a best practice for all public and private employers. The nine states that have embraced the policy so far are: Colorado, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Hawaii. "With 50 local municipalities and nine states now on board, the ban-the-box movement is fast approaching the tipping point where it will be embraced and become an accepted practice for employers," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

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Minnesota Enacts "Ban the Box Law" Prohibiting Employment Application Criminal History Checkmark Boxes and Restricting Criminal Record Inquiries Until After Interviews or Conditional Job Offers

Effective January 1, 2014, recent amendments to Minnesota law will restrict the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most private employers into a candidate's criminal past. Employers who are not exempted from the law may not: (1) inquire into or consider or require disclosure of criminal record information until the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is not an interview, until a conditional job offer of employment has been extended to the applicant, and (2) use any form of employment application that seeks such criminal record information. Minnesota and multi-state employers need to consider whether their uniform job application and backgrounds check inquiries comply with applicable law, including Minnesota's new law. Given all of the recent attention on background checks by the EEOC, other agencies and plaintiffs' lawyers, this is also a good time for employers to review their application and hiring process. This process review should consider restrictions on use of criminal information under EEOC guidance and certain state laws and use of credit information under others and also should ensure federal and state FCRA compliance.

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 LEGAL ISSUES - continued

New Mexico Limits Employer Access To Job Applicants' Social Media Accounts

New Mexico recently became the latest state to prohibit employer access to social media accounts when S.B. 371 was signed into law. The law prohibits employers from requesting a password or otherwise demanding access to a job applicant's social media account. Interestingly, the bill does not prohibit employers from asking for passwords from current employees. Under the law, employers are allowed to obtain information about a prospective employee that is available in the public domain. The law takes effect June 14, 2013.

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Questioning Criminal Background Check Not Protected Activity Under Title VII

Last year, the EEOC issued an enforcement guidance cautioning employers about making employment decisions based on applicants' criminal histories. The EEOC stated that decisions based on criminal backgrounds may have a disparate impact on minority candidates, and that employers need to make individual decisions based on the particular offense and its relevance to the job at hand. In a recent case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the mere act of engaging in criminal background checks of applicants does not violate Title VII. The case was filed by a HR manager who claimed that she was terminated in retaliation for complaining that two minority candidates for positions with the town were required to undergo criminal background checks. She alleged at the time that such searches violated their civil rights. The court concluded that the plaintiff never alleged any actual discrimination against the applicants and the mere act of requiring criminal background checks or using such backgrounds as part of the decision making process for candidates does not violate Title VII. Only the use of this information when applied to actual hiring decisions raises the possibility of discrimination under Title VII.

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New Virginia Law Protects Personal Identifying Information Of Employees

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed into law H.B. 1931, which makes it unlawful to require an employer to release to third parties certain personal identifying information about current or former employees. In the bill, personal identifying information is defined as a home telephone number, mobile telephone number, email address, shift times or work schedule. The law creates an exception for the release of such information when required by federal law, pursuant to a court order, pursuant to a warrant or as required by a subpoena in a pending court case or discovery in a civil case. The law will become effective on July 1, 2013.

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You're fired! Employees Who Snoop Face Consequences

This issue of PrivacyScan considers some of the recent cases where employees have been terminated for committing privacy breaches. The vast majority of cases occur in the public sector and involve personal health information. One nurse stated that it is "common practice amongst physicians, amongst mental health nurses, amongst site clinical managers, to look up their own information, their family information, and whoever else they want to." This is every privacy manager's worst nightmare, as it suggests to the public a culture completely lacking in sensitivity towards privacy and confidentiality. All of the referenced cases involve intentional breaches (i.e., no lost USB keys or laptops) and many of the fired employees were simply accessing personal information out of curiosity, and not for any obvious personal gain. These cases - particularly those that result in judicial consideration (i.e., claims for wrongful dismissal) - can provide invaluable insight for employers who are faced with the tough challenge of dealing with employees who commit privacy breaches. They also emphasize the need for employers to institute practices to address the powerful desire of certain employees to snoop on sensitive personal information, including training, access management, and auditing of employee access.

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Cheers! Workplace Alcohol Testing Made Easier (And No More Effective)

A new finger-touch testing device is now ready for launch, which can give a red or green light for alcohol in the blood stream in just 10 seconds, allowing for the "processing" of up to 300 employees per hour. According to the manufacturers, users can set their own threshold levels and the device can be used for industries from transport and leisure to the National Health Service and banking. This device begs the question of what to do with an employee who got a red light. The problem lies in identifying what a red light actually means, and then establishing some connection between the alcohol level and the job. What dictates fitness to perform a role is not the precise level of alcohol in the system, but each individual's physiological response to it. Therefore, the employer may find that it is taking action against red-lighters who are far more physically capable than some greens who have only a few milligrams of alcohol less coursing round the system. Blood-alcohol readings may be affected by weight, body mass index, gender and parallel medications or oral contraceptives. Employers considering using the system as a deterrent will have to bear in mind that their own credibility and their ability to rely on the results will depend upon their setting a suitable threshold level. If set unrealistically low, you might as well not bother.

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All Hospitals Should Require Drug, Alcohol Tests for Physicians

To improve patient safety, hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use in much the same way other major industries in the U.S. do to protect their customers. The recommendation comes from two Johns Hopkins physicians and patient safety experts in a commentary published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In addition, the experts say medical institutions should take a cue from other high-risk industries, like airlines, railways and nuclear power plants, and mandate that doctors be tested for drug or alcohol impairment immediately following an unexpected patient death or other significant event.

"Patients might be better protected from preventable harm", wrote the authors in the JAMA commentary. "Physicians and employers may experience reduced absenteeism, unintentional adverse events, injuries, and turnover, and early identification of a debilitating problem. In other high-risk industries, this right is supported by regulations and surveillance. Shouldn't medicine be the same?"

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Marijuana Legalization: Colorado Court Says No Job Protection for Pot Users

Medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but according to a court ruling, employers in the state can lawfully fire workers who test positive for the drug, even if it was used off duty. The Colorado Court of Appeals found there is no employment protection for medical marijuana users in the state since the drug remains barred by the federal government. "For an activity to be lawful in Colorado, it must be permitted by, and not contrary to, both state and federal law," the appeals court stated in its 2-1 conclusion. The ruling concurs with court decisions in similar cases elsewhere and comes as businesses attempt to regulate pot use among employees in states where the drug is legal. Colorado and Washington state law both provide for recreational marijuana use. Several other states have legalized medical use. Based on this ruling, employees who use pot in Colorado do so at their own risk. In Arizona, however, workers cannot be terminated for lawfully using medical marijuana, unless it would jeopardize an employer's federal licensing or contracts. The court said lawmakers could act to change the law to protect people who use marijuana, but there have been no plans to do that at the state Capitol.

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Public Benefits Drug Testing Bills Move in Three States

Recently, an unemployment drug testing bill passed the Arkansas Senate, a welfare drug testing bill won a Senate committee vote in North Carolina, and a welfare drug testing bill passed the Texas Senate. The Arkansas bill, Senate Bill 38, would require random, suspicion-less drug testing of people receiving unemployment benefits. Those seeking unemployment would have to sign a waiver to allow for random drug testing, and they would be ineligible for benefits if they refused to sign or failed the drug test. The North Carolina bill, Senate Bill 594, would require applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to undergo mandatory suspicion-less drug tests at their expense. Applicants would be reimbursed if they tested negative, but denied benefits if they tested positive-until they have entered and paid for drug treatment. The Texas bill, Senate Bill 11, would require TANF applicants to undergo a drug use assessment, and if there is "good cause to suspect" drug use, they must then undergo a drug test. A positive drug test would result in a denial of benefits for six months, with a second positive drug test resulting in a denial of benefits for a year, although they could be restored after six months if drug treatment is completed.

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 One Site! Many Suppliers!

Get Your Copy of the Suppliers Buyers Guide

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

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

Suppliers to the Background Screening industry Guide Now Available!

Click here or on image to get a copy

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


Data Facts Inc. Announces New Give Back Campaign

Data Facts has a history of corporate citizenship, and has made giving back a top priority for many years. As an active participant in many local and regional worthwhile charities, Data Facts has been involved in building community playgrounds, donating supplies to schools, working at food banks, and donating much-needed funds. The CEO, Daphne Large, and EVP, Julie Wink, decided to extend this initiative to involve new customers.

Data Facts Gives Back is designed to make a donation for every new customer that comes on board. A portion (5%) of the new customer's first month's bill is donated by Data Facts on behalf of the new account to the charity of their choice. At the end of the year, another 5% of the first month's bill is donated to the charity of Data Facts' choice. That is a total of 10% of the customer's first month's bill going to charity.

Responsibility is one of Data Facts' core values, and this belief is the driving force behind the creation of the Data Facts Gives back program.

For more information go to

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Sentinel Screening, Inc. Announces Integration with TazWorks Instascreen
Premiere 2.0

Sentinel Background Checks (SSI), a wholesale public information provider, announced this week an XML data exchange solution with TazWorks, a web-based background screening software company. When paired together, TazWorks InstaScreen Premiere 2.0™ solution and SSI's comprehensive research simplifies the process of requesting and retrieving information by using automated data transfer. Instascreen users will be able to experience industry leading accuracy and turn-around time when requesting county criminal record information through SSI.

"We are very excited about this integration," said director of operations Dawson Hicks. "This will allow us to introduce and provide our services to a whole new group of users as well as improve our procedures internally."

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Pinkerton Offers Fingerprint Digitization Solution

Pinkerton has strategically partnered with an FBI Channeler, Inquiries, Inc., to create a groundbreaking technology and bring a simple solution to Facility Security Officers (FSO) to comply with electronic fingerprint submission requirements to obtain clearances as government contractors to the Department of Defense. Inquiries, Inc. has been an FBI channeler since 2006, having passed all of the security processes and procedures necessary for compliant fingerprint processing.

For contract locations where the volume of personnel processed does not justify the cost of purchasing a livescan, computer, and all of the maintenance and software that is needed, we have created a solution to assist contractors through an FBI Channeler that can digitize the prints and upload on your behalf.

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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Edged Up in April

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in April. The index now stands at 111.68, up from 111.61 (an upward revision) in March. The April figure is 3.8 percent higher than a year ago. "Despite weak economic activity, the Employment Trends index is still signaling moderate job growth in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "On average, employment has grown almost as fast as GDP over the past three years, and that is likely to continue into the third quarter of 2013. As a result, the average labor productivity of American workers will struggle to improve until GDP growth accelerates."

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We can help you have a high quality e-newsletter to help nurture your relationship with your clients and attract new clients. Our customized newsletter service will take over your newsletter task or create a new one for you. We can manage the creation of your newsletter for you.

We are constantly researching information to use for The Background Buzz and you can put our research to use for you. Using the information rich content from The Background Buzz (minus the ads and competitors information) we will create a custom newsletter for you.

Use your staff’s time to do more valuable work and save all the hassle of researching or writing articles, formatting and managing all the other ezine tasks with our customized ezine process.

Contact Barry Nixon at 949-770-5264 or at for more information.

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

  Resources For Searching Non-Profits and Foundations

Below are several recommended organizations that are quite helpful for finding information on non-profits and similar business entities.This information is from the soon to be released (July 1, 2013) 3rd Edition of the Manual to Online Public Records by Cynthia Hetherington and Michael Sankey.

  1. GuideStar ( ) is a great starting point to find detailed financial information about non-profits. It also offers free access to basic information on 1.8 million non-profits. Registration is required. GuideStar's fee-searching content includes searchable data from IRS Forms 990 and the IRS Business Master File, including comprehensive facts on employee compensation and grant activity.
  2. Capital Research Center (CRC), established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, provides a free database search of non-profits including associated activists and directors. See .
  3. The Foundation Center is a national organization that serves as an authoritative source of information on foundation and corporate giving. See .
  4. Enterprise Resources Database website provides fundraising tools with plenty of good information on how to find qualified prospects to donate money and help with fundraising. The site's search of qualifying potential donors is quite useful as reference resource for finding personal and business assets and financial relationships. See .
  5. NOZA is advertised as the world's largest searchable database of charitable donors. They help subscribers find donations. See .
  6. Charity Navigator is an independent charity evaluator, with ongoing evaluations on over 6,000 of the largest charities in the U.S. See .


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

 INSIDE WASHINGTON Coy is a Partner in the Washington DC office of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. Kevin advises background screening companies and other clients on a wide range of privacy and consumer regulatory issues, including Fair Credit Reporting Act, Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Drivers' Privacy Protection Act, and Dodd Frank Act compliance issues, as well as data breach matters. Kevin also represents clients with matters before the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other consumer protection agencies.

Kevin can be contacted at or 202-677-4034.


On The Hill

While the Senate rejected a proposal to expand circumstances under which background checks must be conducted in connection with firearms purchases, background check issues in a variety of areas continue to percolate on Capitol Hill, including credit report accuracy, E-Verify, and EEOC activity, all familiar areas of attention in Washington. On May 7th, for example, the Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, held a hearing on the accuracy and completeness of consumer credit reports which is discussed further in the "At the FTC" section.

At the FTC

In testimony on May 7th, before the Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the FTC Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, told the Committee that "vigorous enforcement of the FCRA is a high priority" for the FTC. The focus of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, as noted, was the accuracy and completeness of consumer credit reports, but the FTC's testimony addressed the Commission's FCRA enforcement efforts more broadly. Corey Stone, CFPB Assistant Director for Deposits, Cash, Collections, and Reporting Markets, also testified at the hearing, but focused his testimony more narrowly on credit reporting accuracy issues.

Read the full report

Read the Full Report


Lying in the Hiring Process: What HR Needs to Know

People lie all the time during the hiring process. It's up to HR and hiring managers to catch those liars. In this intense job market, it's no surprise that many applicants exaggerate parts of their resumes to look more enticing to potential employers. The concept is so widespread, however, that nearly half of all applicants admit to lying on their resumes. But no matter how clued in you are to what applicants fib about, you'll still inadvertently bring many of them in for interviews. That's when your skills at judging character come in, and being skeptical can actually work against you. A recent psychological study found that people who trust others - or who assume the best in other people - are the best at identifying liars. Adam Grant of The Washington Post says, "… lie-detection skills cause people to become more trusting. If you're good at spotting lies, you need to worry less about being deceived by others, because you can often catch them in the act." Therefore, Grant advises employers to put individuals who tend to see the best in others in the interviewer role to prevent applicants from duping you into hiring them. Even still, it is important to sprinkle a few ounces of skepticism into each pound of trust.

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National Restaurant Association Survey Indicates Support for E-Verify Mandate

A new survey by the National Restaurant Association indicates there is growing support among business operators regarding the E-Verify mandate. The survey, which was conducted in partnership with ImmigrationWorks USA, found that 80% of restaurant operators who use E-Verify would recommend it to a colleague, and about 66% said they would use it voluntarily. Additionally, 79% said the program was 100% accurate. Overall, the survey found that 23% of responding restaurant operators would use the program to check the documentation of newly hired immigrant employees. "By using it, operators can actually know who they're hiring," said Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA. "It's a way to avoid liability, to wade through a sea of false documentation and know that you've checked it out to the extent that you can." Independents disproportionately said they would not use E-Verify because they either did not have an HR department to support it or because of the technical challenges involved. In response, changes are currently underway to make the E-Verify system part of a broad, national mandate that would simplify the current two-step process that consists of the I-9 you must do and E-Verify and the need for Internet access that is required.

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Corporate Lettings Market Rises With Senior Talent Demand

Activity in Asia led the way as businesses increased their spending on relocating and hiring senior staff around the world in 2012, according to estate agency Knight Frank's ' Global Corporate Lettings Review 2013 .' The report, available online, notes that 60% of respondents to the survey noted a rise in corporate relocation budgets for senior executives last year.

Overall, the flow of talent is still from West to East, with three of the major business centres seeing greatest increases in prime rental growth across 2012 found in Asia (Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai), with the Kenyan capital of Nairobi topping the list with 17.9% growth for the second year running. Zurich completes the top five.


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Pre-employment Criminal Records Checks - Reasons for Employers to Tread Carefully

A recent finding by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) that an employer discriminated against a job applicant by failing to offer him employment as a market analyst because of previous drink-driving convictions, highlights the need for caution when carrying out pre-employment criminal record checks on prospective employees. Australia-wide Federal legislation recognises that discrimination occurs where a prospective employee has been denied employment on the ground of their criminal conviction if the nature of the conviction does not affect the candidate's job requirements. However, the legislation does not go as far as making that discrimination unlawful and although the AHRC can investigate alleged acts of criminal record discrimination, it does not have the power to award compensation or to 'punish' the offending employer. Employers should consider making offers of employment contingent upon a criminal records check satisfactory to the employer. Employers should also avoid a 'zero tolerance' approach to criminal records in the recruitment process.

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The Importance of 'No Conviction Recorded' for Work Health and Safety Prosecutions in Queensland

In prosecutions under the Queensland Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws, the Industrial Magistrate hearing the matter has the discretion to not record a conviction. Often, the object of securing a non-recorded conviction is to protect the Defendant's brand. Importantly, a non-recorded conviction does not need to be disclosed in certain situations (for example in tenders, or in foreign visa applications). Until now the Queensland WHS regulator has published the identity of parties who are convicted, whether a conviction is recorded or not.

Recently the Supreme Court in Queensland found that the regulator's publication of a party's details on its website where no conviction was recorded, was unlawful. The court's discretion whether to record convictions when passing sentence will now be considered in greater detail during WHS prosecutions.

Parties whose identifying details appear on the Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Prosecution List webpage can require the regulator to remove their details where no conviction was recorded. That would avoid Google type searches identifying them in relation to the conviction.

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Protect Your Company From Internal Damage

A recent case has highlighted the need for companies to put strategies in place to protect their businesses from internal fraud. A former company director pleaded guilty to 14 counts of fraud in the Brisbane District Court after being prosecuted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Reports have shown that employees facing difficult financial times can come under increased pressure to commit fraud. Everybody in an organization can help to reduce fraud - but having a risk management strategy in place can be especially helpful. To reduce the risk, companies can: put policies in place which define fraud; put policies in place to detect fraud; regularly review fraud-related policies; and insure against losses resulting from fraud. Employees are especially well-placed to detect fraud, and should feel empowered to do so. It is especially important that they feel they can report any suspicions they have without fear of retribution.

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Three Quarters of Applicants Have Already Lied to You

It could be embellishing a former job title, talking-up responsibilities or even fudging qualifications - you name it, an applicant has done it. The problem is it's happening more often than many employers realize. According to one background check firm, as many as 75% of resumes contain an inaccuracy. Some are fairly minor in nature, while others are out-and-out falsehoods, designed to tailor the resume to a specific job or to mask aspects of their background that are less favorable. "A candidate's resume is their marketing tool to gain employment and hence they use it to portray themselves in the best light possible," said Greg Newton from background-search firm Verify. According to Verify, the most common omissions or embellishments include: leaving out positions which are less flattering to a person's 'on paper' career profile; modifying job titles to portrait a higher level position was occupied; and listing qualifications that were only commenced and not yet completed. Recent data has also indicated that candidates are more honest in their online profiles, such as on LinkedIn, than on their paper resumes, however; Verify found the opposite to be true.

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Appropriate for Board to Rely on Offences Committed Twenty Years Earlier

The Grievor, a bus driver/custodian, pleaded guilty to sexual offences involving minors twenty years ago and was convicted. One of the terms of his sentence prohibited him from seeking or maintaining employment that would put him in contact with children under the age of sixteen for a four-year period. The events giving rise to the conviction occurred before the Grievor began employment with the school board, but following his conviction, the Grievor was fired. In pursuing its grievance, the union argued that the Grievor should be retained in employment and assigned duties, which did not involve contact with students. The arbitrator concluded - without any direct evidence - that retaining the Grievor in employment would be seen negatively by the public and, more importantly, by the parents of children in the school district. In weighing this against the Grievor's fifteen years of discipline-free employment, the arbitrator was unable to conclude there was no risk of future harm to the students and concluded, therefore, that the employment relationship could not be salvaged. The grievance was dismissed.

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PIPEDA Needs Reform to Bring Enforcement Powers

In Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart's recommendations for reforming PIPEDA, she says amendments should include stronger enforcement powers, mandatory data breach reporting, teeth behind accountability and increased transparency measures. "The root of many of the privacy challenges we face is that technology is growing so quickly that some companies are failing to address privacy issues in the competitive rush (and they are) creating products that can be used in highly privacy-intrusive ways, ways that consumers don't anticipate, much less knowingly consent to," Stoddart said. As many as one in four websites the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has tested recently were either unaware they were disclosing information to third parties or were not clearly disclosing that they were providing information to third-party service providers. Stoddart said these are major privacy concerns, but "our law does not contain the right incentives to make sure privacy is a consideration when companies produce risk assessments. It's clear that without amendments, PIPEDA will be even less up to the task in the future. The balance that PIPEDA is supposed to bring is increasingly not there."

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Many Alberta Firms Ignoring Privacy Laws, Says FOIP Office Customer Complains Car Dealership Did Not Safeguard Personal Information

Many businesses are not complying with Alberta's law surrounding the collection, use and storage of customers' personal information, says the province's privacy office. The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), has been law for nine years, but a survey conducted by Alberta's information and privacy commissioner found 50% of companies haven't trained staff on protecting customers' information. A recent example of this involves an Edmonton woman who received a series of late-night text messages from a mechanic at Sherwood Ford who got her number when she had her car serviced, more than a year ago. Her privacy complaints to the company, the RCMP, Ford of Canada, and the Better Business Bureau, were ignored and dismissed. Brian Hamilton of the privacy commissioner's office says the case raises several concerns, including how many people in a business have access to customers' personal information. A greater privacy breach is using a customer's contact information for purposes other than the business reason for which it was gathered. The woman said her complaint would never have gone so far if the company had taken her concerns more seriously.

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Employer References in the Age of Privacy

The law around references given to prospective employers by ex-employers is changing. There is no positive obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an ex-employee. On the other hand, the failure of an employer to give a reference has been found to be a factor courts will consider when determining the period of reasonable notice in a wrongful dismissal case. There are also risks in giving references. Whatever reference is given, and however it is given, it must be truthful. There have been cases where an employer has been sued for giving a false reference. There have also been cases where writers of 'bad' references were found to have defamed the person for whom the reference was written. If an employer is going to give references, it should have a policy, or standardized reference process. A policy helps to ensure consistency. A policy may also help an employer avoid liability in a case where a reference is given by someone not authorized to do so, and which is not in keeping with the employer's policy. Employers should also require, as a practice, consent from job applicants to seek out references.

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WP29 Clarifies DPAs' Expectations of BSPRs

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) has adopted an Explanatory Document on the Processor Binding Corporate Rules (WP204), which clarifies the principles and elements of Processor Binding Corporate Rules or Binding Safe Processor Rules (BSPRs) as laid out in its Working Document 02/2012 (WP195). BSPRs are internal, legally binding, codes of conduct regarding privacy and security, aimed at guaranteeing clients of data processors that data transfers are adequately framed and protected. WP29 stated that data protection principles stemming from the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) must be incorporated within the BSPRs. They must also provide sufficient level of detail to allow DPAs to assess whether adequate safeguards are provided in relation to data processing and sub-processors. All BSPRs must contain: provisions guaranteeing a good level of compliance, audits, complaint handling, the duty of cooperation with the data controller and DPAs, liability, rules on jurisdiction, and transparency.

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Binding Corporate Rules Webinar: Top 5 takeaways

Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) are fast becoming the preferred method for intra-group worldwide transfers, due to their flexibility and the endorsement they have received from EU bodies and data regulators. Organised by DataGuidance in association with TRUSTe, the BCR Webinar 2013 explored the developing landscape of BCRs with leading experts in the field. DataGuidance compiled the top 5 tips for any company considering BCRs.

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French CNIL Annual Report Shows Increased Complaints, Audits, Sanctions

The French data protection authority, the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés), has published its annual report for 2012, emphasizing a significant increase in complaints, audits, and sanctions. The CNIL says it processed the largest amount of complaints in its history in 2012-over 6,000. Those complaints were received principally from private individuals regarding their right to access, rectify, or oppose data processing. In addition, CNIL audits increased by almost 20% since 2011. The audits were triggered as a result of the CNIL's annual programme of audits (approximately 40%), in reaction to public events (approximately 25%), or to complaints (23%). While the number of financial sanctions was relatively stable (4 versus 5 in 2011), the total amount of financial sanctions decreased. However, the CNIL has increased substantially the number of public sanctions, taking advantage of a new provision, which allows it to order the publication of its cease-and-desist letters. The CNIL's report dwells on the challenges of regulating big data, and argues that privacy protection does not necessarily have to create costs in terms of innovation and economic development.

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Jade's Killing Spurs Rethink

Justice Minister Judith Collins' plans to change trans-Tasman information sharing could mean a public register of serious criminals deported from Australia. The murder of Christchurch teenager Jade Bayliss has really focused everyone's minds on ensuring the new law becomes a reality. The change would allow Australian authorities to hand over border-control information to New Zealand police--including criminal convictions. At present, New Zealand police are told only that an offender is being deported from Australia, but they are not told of his/her criminal convictions. If they want that information, they have to request it through Interpol. Unless there is a serious threat to life, police cannot pass on an offender's history, even if a member of the public asks for it. Collins' plan would also have officials deciding whether the public should have access to criminal records by request or with an open register for serious offenders. Discussions about the potentially life-saving new legislation have already been held between officials in Australia and New Zealand and it will be presented to cabinet in the near future. However, Collins warned that it could take a long time to get through Parliament.

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MP's Bill Step in the Right Direction

MP Sue Moroney has proposed a Privacy Amendment Bill, which would enact many of the Law Commission's recommendations by strengthening the powers of the Privacy Commissioner by empowering her office to issue compliance notices and conduct privacy audits of public and private sector agencies where this is warranted. The current complaints-driven process has been criticised as it fails to address systemic privacy breaches not exposed by individual complaints while other breaches escape detection and investigation altogether. The risks to individuals of inappropriate use and disclosure of their personal information and of identity theft are compounded as a consequence. The Law Commission's report also addresses several current mischiefs, such as cyber-bullying and application of the news media exemption from the Privacy Act to blogs. Especially pertinent is abuse, by individuals, of the so-called "personal use" exemption, which has allowed the posting online of much objectionable material about individuals. These matters are in urgent need of attention.

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Russia Signs International Data Protection Convention

Russia has reinforced its commitment to the protection of personal data by ratifying the "Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data" (Convention 108). Thorbjørn Jagland, Council of Europe Secretary General, received Russia's accession from Alexander Alekseev, the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Council. Among its principles, the Convention 180 establishes that individuals have the right to have access, rectify or erase their data when the information is not required for a specific purpose. In addition, each party must establish an independent authority to ensure compliance with data protection principles. Convention 180 is the only legally binding international instrument in its field, is open to any country and has the potential to become a global standard. The treaty will enter into force on September 1. Russia will become the 46th state to join Convention 108.

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Singapore is Fourth Most Attractive Location to Work

Singapore emerged as the fourth most attractive location in the world for professionals to relocate to, beating Asian rival Hong Kong which came in eighth. The top three most popular destinations were USA, UK and Australia. The report by Hydrogen titled: Global Professionals on the Move 2013, revealed that Singapore has also come in second for finance, and third for technology. The country has solidified its position as a major hub for oil and gas, energy, and commodities and banking, continuing to attract workers from abroad. With its highly developed industries and excellent quality of life, Singapore is known worldwide as a great location for expats to move to. The rising value of Asian professionals with international experience is a new feature of the global market in professional skills. Some 66% of global professionals who responded said their employers rated international experience as important or very important. An overwhelming 98% of respondents who had relocated, recommended the experience, and 86% said they wanted to stay longer.

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Countdown Clock Begins for Singapore Data Compliance

The official "in-force" date for Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act has been set for July 2, 2014, and organizations shouldn't underestimate the time and effort needed to ensure compliance. The is the day when the Act will come into effect and when organizations will need to complete data inventory mapping, process audits, staff training, and publication of various processes. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) will be glad to note that several tools and trainings have been introduced by the PDPC (Personal Data Protection Commission) to aid the process, while larger organisations have slightly more than 13 months to finish their data compliance projects. Most projects should take around 9 months. Another point to note is that the more competent consultants in the industry will likely be snapped up so organizations should act quickly to secure such resources if they should require them. The government has also announced it would enhance information-sharing with other countries to prevent cross-border tax evasion, coming on the back of the ICIJ's "wikileaks" sized expose of the use of shell companies.

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The Protection of Personal Information Bill: Implications for Employers

The purpose of POPI is to give effect to the Constitutional right to privacy, by introducing measures to ensure the personal information of "data subjects" (including employees) is safeguarded when it is processed by "responsible parties" (such as employers). POPI provides conditions for the lawful processing of personal information. It sets out eight core information protection principles and conditions, including accountability, purpose specification, information quality, openness, security safeguards and data subject participation. Employers will have to comply with these principles whenever personal information of employees is collected, stored or used. Certain types of information such as ethnicity and trade union membership are considered 'special personal information'. The processing of such information is prohibited unless it falls within a statutory exception.

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Social Media: A Legitimate Pre-employment Vetting Tool?

There is currently no legislation in the UK that prohibits employers from considering information contained on applicant's social networking profiles when making a recruitment decision. However this does not mean that employers can conduct searches on social media sites when recruiting without fear of consequences. The danger for employers is that if a decision is subsequently taken not to appoint a candidate in circumstances which included a review of their Facebook (or other social media) page, then this could potentially give rise to allegations of discrimination. Vetting of job applicants via social media also involves processing personal data (when the employer either uses or records the information obtained), so employers must ensure that any vetting is compliant with the Data Protection Act. The ICO's guidance states: vetting should be used to confirm specific points rather than for general intelligence gathering; information should only be sought from sources where it is likely that relevant information will be revealed; and employers must avoid placing reliance on potentially unreliable sources.

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Private Investigators Could Face £500,000 Fines for Accessing Data Illegally

Public authorities, police forces and members of the public are being asked to help uncover rogue private investigators, which could face fines of up to £500,000 (US$765,050) if they are found to have illegally accessed people's data. A new campaign launched by the Information Commissioner, aims to uncover the extent of the problem after issues were highlighted during the Leveson inquiry and by the Home Affairs Select Committee. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, says that the majority of private investigators act in compliance with the Data Protection Act, however there are less scrupulous professionals out there that may by trying to take shortcuts by illegally accessing people's data. Some private investigators were also not meeting their obligations by failing to make sure the information they handled was accurate or that it was securely deleted once it was no longer required. Graham has now written to police forces, public bodies and private investigation firms asking them to report any concerns they have. "By shining a light into the darkest corners of the private investigation industry, we are aiming to root out any criminal elements that continue to cause public concern and blight the professional reputation of their counterparts," said Graham.

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Increase in the World's Top Talent Moving to the UK, Study Finds

The UK is the second most attractive country in the world, after the U.S., for high-flying professionals to move to. Research published today from recruitment firm Hydrogen shows the UK is rapidly establishing itself as a firm favourite among foreign workers, particularly within technology. The Global Professionals on the Move 2013 report, which surveyed more than 2,000 workers in 90 countries has shown that, despite the challenges within its economy and the tightening of immigration controls, the UK still has an attraction for professionals worldwide. The report found the majority of professionals have not yet caught up with shifting global economic realities. Their top preferences are still almost exclusively in the developing world. Two-thirds of those having relocated are men, which means women are losing out, and there will be insufficient women in the pipeline for more senior positions, many of which now require international experience.

"A lot of Europeans view the UK as a tech hub where you can work for exciting, fast-paced companies," said Dan Fox, managing director of technology practice at Hydrogen. "We're seeing a lot of Europeans coming to work in the UK. It's all about wanting to work for the up-and-coming companies."

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Security Experts Fear UK Lacks Knowledge of EU Data Reform

Data security expert, PHS Datashred, is calling for the EU to do more to educate British businesses on the financial impact of proposed changes to law. The company said that struggling British firms could be hit with an unexpected 'tidal wave' of cost associated with compliance to new European data laws if they are not fully prepared. PHS Datashred goes on to say that the proposals to change the law relate to the way data is handled and managed and that British companies could suffer significant costs in appointing data controllers to comply. According to a survey of 506 businesses by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), approximately 87% of businesses are unable to estimate the costs of the draft proposals to their organisation. The report also found that 40% of companies do not fully understand any of the ten main provisions being proposed and that none of those surveyed could accurately describe all ten provisions. Managing Director of PHS Datashred, Anthony Pearlgood said, "There is undoubtedly a requirement to bring the regulations into the 21st century but it should not be done before businesses are able to assess how much it will actually cost them."

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References for Ex-employees: An Employers' Guide to Avoiding Liability

Drafting references can be a legal minefield for employers. This has not been helped by recent confusion over whether ex-employees are protected against victimisation if they receive a negative assessment. Generally, there is no legal obligation on an employer to provide a reference for an ex-employee. An employer's policy on whether or not to give a reference needs to be consistent: a decision to provide a reference to some but not all ex-employees could be discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) if this is linked to protected characteristics. Where an employer does provide a reference it has a duty of care to the ex-employee and must take reasonable care in the preparation of the reference, which must be true, accurate and fair and not give a misleading impression. While the reference does not have to be comprehensive, it must not be misleading through omission. An employer may be liable for negligent misstatement where its reference gives an inaccurate impression and in extreme cases it may also be liable in the tort of deceit. Employers would be well advised not to refuse to give a reference just because the employee has made allegations, brought proceedings (or given evidence in connection with such proceedings) under the Act.

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Background Screening Jobs

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


Feature Education:

FCRA Basic Certification Webinar Series Update

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

For more information

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

SHRM State Conferences, visit

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

SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events,

CUPA-HR Conferences:

World Federation of People Management Associations, Events,



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