'Bon dia!'

I am back from the SHRM Conference which was a big success. Being in Atlanta was a true treasure for me since I also had a chance to see and spend time with my grand children. I now have seven; Shawn, Terrell, Brigette, Delaney, Camille, Joshua and Chloe and it is well past the point of me remembering birthdays. I have a deal with my daughter and son to email me to remind me when birthdays are coming.

Having been at the SHRM Conference, I am now in a mad rush to simultaneously catch up and get things set because I am leaving on vacation on July 6 th for Aruba. I am 'biting at the bit' to find a restaurant their that has my favorite dish in the world, Ristafa, which is an Indonesia dish with 20 tapas style dishes. My mouth is watering already. We launched our 2012 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide at the SHRM Conference and it was very positively received. We will now commence our distribution of the Guide to 20,000 Human Resources Managers. To get an electronic copy click here. If you would like a hardcopy version please email me at

To learn how your company can get listed in next years' Guide please visit email me at

Also to suppliers we will be starting to work on the Summer/Fall edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide very soon. To view the Winter edition please click here. If you want to be included in the next edition of the Suppliers Guide and have your company information distributed to more than 1,600 background screening firms and also have a full page ad in our industry leading Vendor Showcase please contact me at

We also received 400 responses to our Annual Employers Background Screening Practices Survey at the SHRM Conference and will be publishing the survey results in the July edition. The leads generated from the survey will be distributed to our Platinum Members shortly. Last year we distributed more than 260 leads in total to our Platinum Members. If you have not received your leads by the end of July don't be shy in asking me where are your leads? To learn more about how you can get in on receiving leads contact me at

If you will be attending the Professionals In Human Resources Association's (PIHRA) Annual Conference in Anaheim on August please come to my session and say hello. I am presenting on 'Social Media Background Checks.' Its old hat to many of you, but HR folks still have a lot of questions about using this technology.

Since I will be on holiday next week I want to wish you a great 4th of July celebration of the U.S.'s Independence Day now. Please remember the significance of this day while you are enjoying some barbecue and your family.

Stay safe until next time.

P.S. - 'Bon dia' is hello or good day in Papiamento (or Papiamentu) is the most widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands, having the official status on the islands of Aruba and Curaçao.

Volume 8, Edition 6, June 2012




Seven "Non-Negotiables" to Prevent a Bad Hire

A recent survey by Career Builder reports that more than two-thirds of employers were affected by a bad hire last year. Of nearly 2,700 employers surveyed, 41% estimate a single bad hire cost $25,000; a quarter estimate a bad choice cost $50,000 or more - not to mention the demoralizing effect of the issue on other employees and on the new hire. To avoid bad hires, one company uses an unconventional hiring strategy, which gives more weight to seven personal characteristics rather than relevant skills and experience. These characteristics are: respect, belief, loyalty, commitment, trust, courage and gratitude. Ideal hires bring traditional and job-specific capabilities and high proficiencies in these seven core traits. First, the company asks potential candidates to tell them about situations where they have exemplified each of the non-negotiable traits. They also ask the same questions of the individual's references - not the references they list on their resume, but of their former co-workers, associates and bosses that they identify independently. As a result, the company has built an extremely loyal, talented and well-rounded base of employees.

To read more, click here

Audit: Half of Inmates Back to Prison in 5 Years /12

About half of New Mexico's paroled inmates return to prison within five years, according to a legislative audit. By reducing inmate recidivism, the state can save money on corrections and slow a growing prison population. If nothing is done, New Mexico will run out of prison space within in the next decade and will have to consider building a new prison or expanding existing ones. Significant budget cuts to successful court-supervised drug treatment programs, which are intended to help keep offenders out of prison, has contributed to the problem. Legislative auditors said the Corrections Department could reduce recidivism by focusing on programs with a proven success record, such as drug treatment, vocational and adult education courses and correctional industries that offer inmates a chance to work. The report faulted the prison system for not targeting treatment based on inmate needs or risks.

To read more, click here

EEOC Questions is That Diploma Really Necessary?

A recent EEOC discussion letter opines that adopting education requirements for jobs may screen out certain applicants, and that employers shouldn't apply the standard unless they can show that the requirement is job-related. "The EEOC has taken a particular interest in hiring criteria, from credit checks to arrest and criminal records to education requirements," said David James, shareholder and chair of the labor and employment practice group of the Nilan Johnson Lewis law firm. "The EEOC views such screening tools as having a disparate impact on minority applicants and other protected classes, and hopes to reduce or even eliminate the use of these criteria." The letter states employers shouldn't list a high-school diploma as a job requirement if the job functions could be performed by individuals without one. Removal of such requirements may aid individuals without high-school diplomas, but it may have the opposite effect on other would-be employees who are already struggling to find jobs. While including education requirements in job listings isn't likely to become illegal, HR professionals may want to rethink asking about candidates' educational backgrounds.

To read more, click here

Background Screening Industry Denounces NCLC Study as Inaccurate and Inflammatory

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) announces information from a recent study of background screening companies affirming the accuracy of background checks, refuting a report recently issued by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). The study found that 98% of background screening providers surveyed encounter consumer disputes less than 5% of the time out of millions of applicants screened annually. Of the small number of reports that are disputed by a consumer, more than 95% are ultimately found to be accurate. The NAPBS study responds to the recent report released by NCLC regarding the accuracy of background checks, which accuses background screening providers of "routinely making mistakes". NAPBS refutes the report as inaccurate and inflammatory and points to the fact that the NCLC fails to offer any empirical data to back up its findings.

To read more, click here

Retail Industry Update - June 2012: Using Conviction Records as a Screening Tool

Many retailers believe that the best means of preventing internal theft is to hire honest employees who do not steal. Common sense dictates that applicants who have been convicted of crimes are less likely to be honest and more likely to steal. Even though this practice is facially race neutral, the resulting "adverse impact" makes the practice unlawful under Title VII - unless the employer can prove the practice is job related and "consistent with business necessity." ​The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued updated guidance on the use of criminal background checks in employment. The guidance suggests employers should individually analyze each hiring decision based on an individual's criminal history. In the meantime, employers must decide whether the risks of lawsuits and defending a common sense understanding of human behavior is outweighed by the risks of increased theft from hiring more convicted criminals.

To read more, click here


New Law to Protect Tenants Goes into Effect

A new law, the Fair Tenant Screening Act, will help protect Washington renters from discrimination. Renters will still have to fill out an application and get screened for things like credit and criminal history. But now, if the landlord denies the person housing, the renter now has the right to ask why. The renter can request the landlord fill out a new form called an Adverse Action Report, which will explain in writing why the person didn't meet requirements. This will guarantee the landlord has a legal reason to turn the person away. It also gives renters the opportunity to fix incorrect information, and sometimes resolve issues they never even knew about.

"I've actually talked to many tenants who didn't even know that they were named in an eviction lawsuit," said Michele Thomas, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance Director of Policy and Advocacy. "So this is a lot of disclosure to the tenant."

To read more, click here


Spokea Fined $800,000 for Marketing Consumer Profiles to Employers Without Complying with FCRA

In its first enforcement action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to address the sale of Internet and social media data in the employment screening context, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it had entered into a $800,000 settlement with an online data broker, Spokeo, for allegedly marketing consumer profiles to employers and recruiters without complying with the requirements of FCRA. In addition, Spokeo settled charges that it violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by posting surreptitious endorsements of its service under the names of others. According to the FTC's complaint, Spokeo collected personal information about consumers from hundreds of online and offline data sources, including social networks, merged that information into detailed personal profiles and marketed these profiles to businesses. Despite Spokeo having a disclaimer stating that it was not a consumer reporting agency subject to FCRA, the FTC disagreed. Therefore, because Spokeo did not comply with the obligations of FCRA-covered entities, it was subject to statutory penalties under FCRA of up to $3,500 per violation.

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 John Fay, Vice President of Products and Services and General Counsel at LawLogix, Inc for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. In his current role, John serves as, a leading provider of Electronic I-9 Compliance, E-Verify and Immigration Case Management Software and is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with rapidly changing immigration and employment eligibility rules.

For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact Ann Cun, 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:

The E-Verify Program is an electronic employment verification system available on the internet to all U.S. employers free of charge. The enrollment and use of E-Verify is mandatory for which of the following types of employers:

a) Federal Contractors

b) State Agencies

c) Only Employers located in States that have adopted the E-Verify Program as mandatory

d) None of the above, the E-Verify Program is completely voluntary

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Bill Introduced in Ohio Legislature to Restrict Employer Social Media Password Inquiries

State Senator Charleta Tavares of Columbus has introduced a bill that would prohibit employers from asking applicants or employees for their social media password. The bill follows a trend started in Maryland and followed by at least 11 other states (plus Congress) that would prohibit this employer practice. Though this type of legislation seems to be "trending" nationwide, the examples of employers that actually require their applicants or employees to turn over their passwords are actually few and far between and do not necessarily merit a legislative fix. In most industries, employers don't have any real need or obligation to look through anything other than what the individual makes public through their chosen privacy settings. In those limited instances where an employer may have a legitimate need to inquire further -- think law enforcement, financial sector and daycare settings, for instance -- they should be able to ask applicants for access to their Facebook pages. It's up to the applicant to decide whether to provide it.

To read more, click here

Vermont Becomes the Eighth State to Restrict the Use of Credit Reports for Employment Purposes

On May 17, 2012, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed Vermont Act No. 154 (S. 95), which prohibits employers, subject to certain exceptions, from using or inquiring into an applicant or employee's credit report or "credit history" for employment purposes. The legislature stated that the new law was necessary because "information contained in a credit report has no correlation to job performance" and "credit reports do not provide meaningful insight into a candidate's character, responsibility, or prospective job performance." Effective July 1, 2012, Vermont is the eighth state to regulate the use of credit-related information for employment purposes, following on the heels of laws enacted in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington. Employers who use credit reports for employment purposes in any of these eight states therefore should review and, if appropriate, modify their policies for compliance. All employers should continue to stay abreast of additional developments in this dynamic area of employment law.

To read more, click here

Medical Marijuana Use Not Protected by ADA: Appeals Court

California cities are not violating the Americans with Disabilities Act when they crack down on marijuana dispensers, said a federal appellate court in a case brought by disabled California residents.The lawsuit in Marla James vs. the City of Costa Mesa was brought by severely disabled plaintiffs who said conventional medications had not alleviated the pain caused by their impairments, according to the May 21 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The plaintiffs obtain medical marijuana, which is permitted under state law, through collectives in Costa Mesa, California, and Lake Forest, California, but these cities have taken steps to close marijuana dispensing facilities that operate within their boundaries, according to the ruling. The plaintiffs charge the cities' actions violate Title II of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination in providing public services.

"We also acknowledge that Californians embraced marijuana as an effective treatment for individuals like the plaintiffs who face debilitating pain. Congress has made clear, however, that the ADA defines 'illegal drug use' by reference to federal, rather than state, law, and federal law does not authorize the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use. We therefore necessarily conclude that the plaintiffs' medical marijuana use is not protected by the ADA."

"The case doesn't change things for employers," but "it does strike a blow against the expansion of medical marijuana rights" for employees as more states pass laws permitting medical marijuana's use, said Mr. Valenza.

To read more click here (access to full article may require complimentary registration at

Indiana Passes New Legislation Restricting Criminal History Information Reported in Background Checks

Indiana is the latest state to past legislation restricting criminal history reporting. Indiana House Bill 1033, which, starting July 1, 2012, will, in part: (1) prohibit certain pre-employment inquiries; (2) restrict the types of criminal history information that employers and background report providers (known as "consumer reporting agencies" or CRAs) can obtain from Indiana state court clerks; and (3) restrict the types of criminal history information that CRAs can report to employers in background reports.

The law provides that, effective July 1, 2012, residents of Indiana with restricted or sealed criminal records may legally state on an "application for employment or any other document" that they have not been adjudicated, arrested or convicted of the offense recorded in the restricted records. In addition, covered employers will be prohibited from asking an "employee, contract employee, or applicant" about sealed and restricted criminal records. The law does not define the term "employer," and does not specifically address what it means for applicants and employees to be able to "legally" state on documents that they do not have certain previous criminal records.

Also effective July 1, 2012, the law will restrict information that individuals and businesses such as employers and CRAs can obtain from Indiana state court clerks.

To read more click here

New Jersey Senate Votes to Restrict Use of Credit Checks

Seven states have implemented laws limiting the use of credit checks: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington. [Indiana] Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia are considering similar legislation. New Jersey may be the eighth state to prohibit the use of credit checks in the employment process.

The New Jersey Senate passed a bill on May 31, 2012, that would prohibit employers from performing credit checks on job applicants and employees. There are limited exceptions to this prohibition for job positions that, by law, require credit checks, as well as jobs where a credit history is a bona fide occupational requirement, including those that oversee the company's financial controls, have access to assets of the business or customers, or use expense accounts for travel or entertainment. Law enforcement and security positions are also exempt from the prohibition. The exceptions, however, are narrowly drawn and specifically exclude retail cashier positions even though employees in these positions deal with cash and credit transactions on a daily basis.

To read more click here


Innovative Enterprises Launchs Completely Redesigned Screeningmarketplace.Com

Innovative Enterprises, Inc., a strategic partner to the background screening industry and expert provider of court research information products, smart data solutions and ancillary services, today launched the completely redesigned The web based solution lets consumer reporting agencies and other screening industry professionals set their own pricing for the services they most commonly use in their background screening businesses.

In just minutes using the portal, potential users answer a few, brief questions about the screening products they currently use, along with what they'd like to pay. The submission is then reviewed by Innovative's team of industry veterans. Since its launch in March of 2009, the service has helped a number of professional screeners make significant improvements to both the level of service they offer their clients as well as their costs of doing business. "Screeners historically were faced with having to choose between quality and efficiency or cost," stated Clifford J. Williams, Innovative's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "The Screening Marketplace is a proven concept used by many organizations to upgrade their product offerings while simultaneously improving the bottom line."

To find out more, please visit .

Edge Information Management, Inc. Launches New Paperless, Electronic I-9 Management System, i9AdvantEdge.

Edge Information Management, Inc. (Edge), a prominent provider of employment and drug screening services launchs its newest product, i9AdvantEdge. i9AdvantEdge helps companies complete the Form I-9 process quickly, without the need of paper documentation or filing, by electronically storing all the government required information on their employees. The system also offers the option to connect to E-Verify for instant confirmation of identity and work authorization through Homeland Security. This is becoming a very important detail in completing the employment screening process, as audit fines and penalties for non-compliance continue to increase in amount and frequency.

Joe Langford, President of Edge Information Management, Inc., commented on the new product, "i9AdvantEdge is an excellent tool for companies that want to move away from their paper process of collecting and storing I-9 forms to a simple and efficient electronic method. The integration of this automated I-9 solution into our current background screening application, WebScreen, conveniently consolidates two critical aspects of the hiring process and greatly reduces the number of errors typically made on I-9 forms. We are very excited to deliver such a smooth system that gives all companies, regardless of size, the capability to both streamline and monitor their I-9 process at an economical rate."

For more information click here

Edge Information Management, Inc. Launches Employment Screening Services on Taleo Solution Exchange

Edge Information Management, Inc., a prominent provider of background and drug screening services, announced today that its employment screening solutions are now available on the Taleo Solution Exchange, one of the world's largest cloud communities for talent management. Taleo Corporation, a global leader of SaaS-based Talent Management solutions, was recently acquired by Oracle. The employment screening solutions will allow users to simplify the hiring process, by providing access to paperless, turn-key screening solutions. Customers will be able to increase efficiency during the overall hiring process. Edge Information Management's employment screening solutions integrate with Taleo Enterprise.

"We are extremely proud to offer Taleo Enterprise customers the opportunity to enhance their talent management process with this pre-integrated employment screening solution," said Joe Langford, President of Edge Information Management, Inc. "We recognize that the HR community is looking for best practice options and providers within the Taleo Solution Exchange and we are excited to become a valued addition."

For more information click here

Latest Talemetry Launch Simplifies Candidate Screenings and Assessments

Talent Technology Corporation, the leading provider of talent generation solutions, has announced the release of the latest module in their Talemetry talent generation suite: TalemetryTM Verify. Talemetry Verify is a software-as-a-service app that allows recruiters and human resources professionals to access multiple HR services through an expansive and growing network of third-party pre-employment screening and assessment vendors directly from within the applicant tracking system (ATS) through a single integration. Previously, HR departments have been forced to either manually transfer candidate data between their ATS and various background check, drug testing, and skills assessment vendor platforms, or get their ATS provider to build custom, one-off integrations that were costly to build and maintain and would often tie the recruiter to one provider. Talemetry Verify streamlines the current process of manual information transfer between the employer, candidate, and third-party vendor, creating a more seamless, efficient process for the recruiter, while providing a single integration point for ATS vendors to deliver pre-employment screening and assessments.

To read more, click here

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

  Mobile Apps Becoming More Popular for Accessing State Record Data

A trend appears to be in the making as yet several more states recently announced new mobile web applications to allow access to public record documents and services.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs recently launched its second mobile web app. This app provides business filers the ability to renew their annual filings. The previous app (released in September 2011) allow user to search for business information and purchase certificates of good standing and other documents - from a smart phone or tablet. To access, mobile users would go to on their mobile device, and a mobile version of the DCCA Business Registration Division website is automatically displayed. (From a PC, see last item on page.) , recently announced the launch of - a mobile-friendly site for access to government services and information. On , one can complete secure transactions for Vehicle Registration Renewal, Driver Records, and Birth Certificates. Users also have access to many state agency points of contact as well as a myriad of state information.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs launched a free "Charity Lookup" application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The app is updated weekly, with information from the Division's database on the financial records of 26,000 charities and nonprofits registered to solicit in New Jersey. The Charity Lookup app currently is available only for Apple mobile devices, but will eventually be made available for users of the Android and other devices. It can be downloaded directly at .

The "New Jersey Professional License" app, launched in June 2011, allows users to access data from its license and registration database. There are approximately 600,000 individuals with occupational licenses searchable.

Several online services are now available for mobile devices at , including a number of professional licensing and permit holder searches.

A driving force for many of these applications is NIC eGovernment Solutions ( ). All of the above mentioned sites and services, with the exception of New Jersey, were the result of a collaborative partnership between the state and one of the state subsidiaries of NIC.

To Read more click here. (hyperlink - ) Please address your comments to Michael Sankey at or to 480-829-7475.


Safe Screening Takes Cititec into the Pre-employment Cloud

Safe Screening, a part of the Safe Computing group, has signed up Cititec Associates onto its cloud based pre-employment screening and compliance technology. Cititec is a leading recruitment business focused on the banking and technology sectors and is based in London, Singapore and the Netherlands. The purpose of moving ahead with Safe Screening is to deliver new and innovative on-boarding, screening and compliance processes to all Cititec's clients and candidates. Safe have invested heavily in its new cloud based architecture, as well as integrating the platform into the Safe portfolio of staffing solutions. The functionality on the Safe Screening platform allows a business like Cititec to define pre-employment processes, complete on-line background checks via Safe data partners and ensure that every stage of the compliance workflow is concluded as part of the on-boarding process. Examples of this include passport verification, credit footprints, reference capture, CRB, disclosures and key document collection and verification.

To read more, click here


Manpower Survey Says That U.S. Hiring is Expected to Inch Up in Q3

Hiring confidence among U.S. employers continues to inch up as all states, regions and industries surveyed report a positive Net Employment Outlook, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook for Q3 is +11 percent, slightly up from +10 percent in Q2 and +8 percent during the same period last year.Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 21% anticipate an increase in staff levels in Q3, while 6 percent expect a decrease, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +15 percent. When seasonally adjusted, the Outlook becomes +11 percent. Some 71 percent of employers expect no change in hiring plans, and 2 percent are undecided.

Source: Manpower Group

To view the complete survey results - including detailed breakdowns by industry, country, region, state and MSA - are available here.

May "Employment Trends Index" At 45-Month High

The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (a composite index of eight individual labor-market indicators) increased in May by 0.29% to 108.34, up from April's revised reading of 108.3 (see chart above). On a monthly basis, the Employment Trends Index (ETI) has increased in 11 out of the last 12 months. On an annual basis, the May ETI was 7.6% above its year-ago level, following a 7% year-over-year improvement in April.

"While growth in employment has slowed significantly in recent months, the Employment Trends Index does not signal further slowing in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Employers have been very cautious in hiring in the past two months, but at the moment, economic activity in the U.S. is just strong enough to require a modestly growing workforce."

To read more click here

Surveys Say Tech Hiring Is Accelerating

Dice, CFO magazine, and Silicon Valley Bank all say the same thing: Tech hiring is accelerating. To put that another way, if you think it's hard hiring IT professionals now, just wait a few months.From startups to mature firms, companies say they'll be adding tech workers now and into next year at a faster pace than they have been. Even CFOs, who say they expect their overall company hiring to increase by 2.5 percent, predict they'll be hiring tech workers at twice that rate.

Among startups, 83 percent told Silicon Valley Bank they'll add IT staff in the next year. The survey found 90 percent of startup software companies will be hiring, with smaller, but still high numbers of hardware, and life sciences startups also planning to add tech staff. "

To read more click here


Drug Abuse Kills 200,000 People Each Year: UN Report

Drug abuse kills about 200,000 people worldwide each year, according to a new United Nations (UN) report. Global treatment for drug abuse would cost $250 billion per year if everyone who needed help received proper care, according to the UN. Fewer than one in five people who need treatment actually receive it, according to the Associated Press. Crimes committed by people who need money to finance their drug habit, as well as loss of productivity, add tremendous costs for many countries, the report notes.

To read more click here


The Case for NAPBS Accreditation

Some things seem like a really good idea, a really good strategy—until we start them and wonder what was I thinking?

The case for not getting NAPBS accreditation is evident from the first reading of any clause in the accreditation criteria:

  • difficulty,
  • time and
  • commitment.

After reading the standard, all of a sudden, tasks like making cold calls to prospects, having that disciplinary meeting or paying your bills seem more pressing and pleasant.

But, hold on! Don’t rush to judgment because there is a case to be made for accreditation. When you put all the reasons together they boil down to one of your favorite words—profit.

How does the accreditation process make companies more profitable? In speaking with accredited firms (and those in the process of getting accredited) several things come up repeatedly.

To read more click here


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.


Hiring Wisdom: Do You Know the Truth About Checking References?

When it comes to checking job applicant references, people who come with great references can turn out to be duds on the job, and people with poor references could very well be great employees. Employers may give bad references on a great person to try to keep the employee onboard, to keep them from taking his/her skills to the competition, retaliatory discrimination, etc. On the same token, employers may give a good reference on a poor employee to avoid potential legal liabilities of giving a bad reference, to get the poor employee off the payroll, to "make up" for firing or laying the person off, etc. Even though you can't count on references as a predictor of success on the job, failing to check them leaves you wide open to negligent hiring lawsuits. Even if former employers will only confirm "name, rank, and serial number," you expose yourself to undue risk if you fail to meet due diligence standards.

To read more, click here

 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 Winter 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.


Fresh Raids Target Illegal Hiring


The Department of Homeland Security has ordered hundreds of companies to submit their hiring records in an effort to crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants.The first "silent raids" of the year haven't been publicly announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency that conducts these raids, but an ICE spokesperson recently confirmed that as of March 29, the agency had notified 500 businesses "of all sizes and types" to submit I-9 employment-eligibility forms and other documents."These inspections will determine whether or not the businesses are complying with their employment-eligibility verification requirements," said ICE Deputy Press Secretary Gillian Christensen. "No one industry is targeted, nor is any one industry immune from scrutiny."

"The expanding rate and reach of I-9 audits is starting to chip away at the perception that only the most egregious employers are at risk of an enforcement action by ICE," said Julie Myers, who was the chief of ICE under the Bush administration. "Companies in all industries need to be vigilant."

To read more click here

Learned Lessons: DOJ sues Tuscany Hotel and Casino LLC

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 29, 2012 it was suing Tuscany Hotel and Casino, LLC ("Tuscany"), located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Based on the complaint (dated May 11, 2012), the DOJ's Office of Special Counsel has been investigating this organization for months. While we don't report on every single DOJ lawsuit related to I-9 issues, the facts of this case offer some valuable lessons to our readers.

According to the OSC complaint, here's what happened (short version). (These facts are the government's version and may be disputed by Tuscany.) In late December 2010, Tuscany allegedly committed document abuse and discriminated against an employee because of that employee's citizenship status. Six months later, that employee lodged a complaint with OSC on June 7, 2011, which triggered OSC's investigation of Tuscany. In October of 2011, OSC expanded its investigations of Tuscany to include other patterns and practices that may have resulted in discriminatory results. During its investigations, OSC found that from January 2006 to October 2011, Tuscany applied a different standard of employment eligibility verification practice to its non-U.S. citizen employees, including Legal Permanent Residents possessing "green cards":

Although this is an ongoing case, and assuming all the alleged facts are true, our readers should be very vigilant about unevenly applied employment practices when it comes to the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process.

To read more click here

I-9 and E-Verify Software Due Diligence after Rose Acre Farms

In the world of electronic I-9 and E-Verify software, the need to conduct due diligence on the software's legal compliance and the vendor's expertise is critical (if not more), not only because of the threat of scrutiny from government agencies, but also from resulting negative publicity, civil fines, payments of back-wages, legal fees and other "punitive-like" measures. (Read more examples here .)

The US Department of Justice announced the filing of a lawsuit by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major U.S. egg producer, for discrimination in the I-9 process. As with other recent OSC defendants and respondents, Rose Acre is accused of requesting excessive I-9 documentation (also known as "document abuse") from newly hired non-U.S. citizens (such as permanent residents, nonimmigrant visa holders, & those who have work authorization incident to status) in order to verify employment eligibility.

Unlike recent cases, however, the OSC specifically charged that Rose Acre purchased an electronic I-9 software system in June 2009 that may have prompted human resource officials to demand certain documents from non-U.S. citizens. Is it possible for an employer, through its electronic I-9 system, to commit document abuse? And if so, can OSC prevail in its demand for monetary damages and civil penalties

In light of these legal developments, how should employers conduct due diligence of electronic I-9 and E-Verify software?

To read more about document abuse click here and to read more about conducting due diligence click here

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Drug and Alcohol Testing Issues for Agricultural Workers

Farm workers in New Zealand and Australia's valuable sheep industry are currently facing the possibility of undergoing mandatory drug testing. According to Brian Duggan of the National Farmer's Federation, agricultural workers across the world are watching legal cases that deal with how much right an employer has to know what goes on in a worker's private life, including issues of drug testing. Farming is different from other high-risk industries that have mandatory testing because many isolated farms may not have access to reliable testing facilities. Despite these obstacles, other officials within the sheep shearing industry say that they expect random alcohol and drug testing to continue to spread from the "elite level" of sporting shearers to the workplace at farms. The initiative has also gained support from members of the Australian Workers Union who say that drug use can be a major hazard in the shearing sheds, with workers sometimes resorting to amphetamine abuse to increase productivity.

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Privacy Commissioner Looks for Stronger Enforcement Powers, Ability to Levy Fines

The Federal Privacy Commissioner appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in its study on social media and privacy and is calling for greater enforcement powers. Other countries are moving towards more robust enforcement regimes, but Canada is at risk of falling behind and that the existing law - the personal information protection and electronic documents act (PIPEDA) - is too weak. The legislation currently doesn't require companies to report a privacy breach to the privacy commissioner's office or to consumers. Current Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said with barely any penalties for breaching provisions in PIPEDA, there is little incentive for companies to invest in better data protection systems.

"I believe companies take notice … when they are subject to major fines or some kind of enforcement action. We have very limited power in that regard, and I believe more respect would be shown to Canada's laws if we did have that power," said Stoddart.

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Accused Killer Worked with Toronto Kids

Toronto's policy on police background checks for parks and recreation employees has been changed after it was revealed that the accused Eaton Centre shooter worked for the city taking care of kids. The shooter, Christopher Husbands, was recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. Husbands had also been previously charged with sexual assault in 2010 and had a 2008 drug conviction. The city's previous policy allowed those working with vulnerable populations to provide background checks up to three months after they started working. Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said he's "furious" at the city's bureaucracy for letting Husbands work more than six months without providing a criminal record check. At a recent city council meeting, councilors planned to order a review of the city's policies when it comes to police background checks on employees who work with kids and other vulnerable populations.

"We've gotten staff to agree to change the policy so, on an ongoing basis, anybody hired has to give us those forms before they step foot (on city property) as an employee," said Mammoliti.

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Wake Up Call for Tenant Screening in Canada

A recent survey found that 34% of Canadians don't believe criminal record checks are important when it comes to tenancy and property rentals, even though one in 10 Canadians have a criminal record. A thorough tenant screening would have revealed red flags for Luka Rocco Magnotta - who allegedly dismembered a human body in his Quebec apartment and sent a foot to the Federal Conservatives - and for Angus Mitchell, who allegedly shot his ex-landlord and two others in a disgruntled rampage in B.C. The survey also found that 86% of Canadians would not be discouraged from applying for a property rental if they had to get a background check.

"Unfortunately, getting paid the rent is only one aspect of finding a good tenant," says Dave Dinesen, President & CEO of BackCheck, Canada's largest provider of criminal record and employment reference checks. "A proper screening, which involves credit, criminal, employment and previous rentals, would have uncovered red flags."

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China to Include Fingerprints in Citizens' ID

China will require its citizens to register their fingerprints when applying for ID cards from January 2013 in a bid to curb counterfeit ID cards and ensure faster identification, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The first version of ID cards, launched in 1985, will be prohibited from use from Jan. 1, 2013. According to Huang, citizens applying for ID cards for the first time as well as those applying for replacement cards will be required to have their fingerprints taken. And those still holding valid second-version ID cards can register their fingerprints on a voluntary basis.

The move came after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted an amendment to the Resident Identity Card Law last year to require citizens' fingerprints recorded when they apply for or change ID cards.

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Data Protection Officer Role Will Be Key If You Operate in the E.U.

According to Patrick Clawson, a veteran of the security industry, the European Union is considering sweeping new data protection laws that would mandate many organizations in Europe formally appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). To get ahead of the potential high demand for qualified candidates, organizations should consider defining their needs now.The new data protection laws have yet to take final shape, and most sources agree they won't be implemented any sooner than 2014. But Clawson says that shouldn't stop organizations from beginning their planning now. He suggests two steps organizations that do business in the E.U. can take right now to prepare.

"You've got to be watching what's echoing through the chambers in the E.U. and what you're hearing about possible changes in legislation," he says. "And you should begin looking at the strongest examples of data protection laws that currently exist within the E.U., like Germany and France, and try to measure yourself against those. I can't imagine it gets much worse than that."

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Joint Statement on the Negotiation of a EU-U.S. Data Privacy and Protection Agreement

At the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a joint statement highlighting their "determination to finalize negotiations on a comprehensive EU-U.S. data privacy and protection agreement that provides a high level of privacy protection for all individuals and thereby facilitates the exchange of data needed to fight crime and terrorism." They stated that such an agreement would allow for even closer transatlantic cooperation, which would assist in any subsequent agreements concerning the sharing of a specific set of personal data. Progress has already been made on important principles such as data security, transparency of data processing and data protection oversight and they plan to continue negotiations and revisit these items at the 2013 ministerial meeting.

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CNIL Cloud Guidelines Address Controller vs. Processor Issues

The French CNIL's new guidelines on cloud computing revisit the tricky question of whether a cloud provider is a data processor or a data controller. The CNIL says that a cloud provider will generally be considered the data processor, but that the provider will become joint controller with the customer if the cloud customer lacks any real autonomy in the negotiation of the contract and in defining how the data are processed.

If the cloud customer is not able to give instructions to the cloud provider and must accept the cloud provider's proposal "as is," the CNIL will consider the cloud provider as joint controller, jointly liable with the customer for compliance with French data privacy laws.

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It's Landlords Who Need Protection from Tenants

With talk of proposing a Tenancy Act, some are concerned over the lack of protection landlords have against the actions of bad tenants. No matter how good the screening process, it is just sometimes unlucky to get bad tenants. Despite a comprehensive and airtight tenancy agreement with the relevant terms and conditions spelled out clearly and concisely, it tends to be the landlord who suffers in the end. Poor tenants can hold the landlord at ransom refusing to move out despite many months of unpaid rental, knowing very well that the process of eviction is a very time consuming process. In the meantime, the tenant stays literally for free. If lucky, the tenant eventually moves out, but the landlord has little recourse to claim long outstanding rental arrears, unpaid utility bills and damages to the property other than wear or tear. In addition, the landlord would not know the next correspondence of the tenant to deliver the lawyer's letter of demand, which will then lead to a summons if the former tenant does not pay. Tenants already have inherent protection and therefore they do not need any additional protection.

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Woman sentenced over fake security course

A woman who ran a fake security course and pretended to be accredited to NZQA has been fined. ONE News uncovered the scam which involved students attending the fake college and getting false NZQA certificates at the end of it.

It is the first time such charges have been laid under the Education Act. "Offending like this really undermines the integrity of the process, particularly where the qualifications emulate genuine qualifications," Judge Emma Aitken said. Maryann Vaafusuaga was ordered to pay a fine of $7000.

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Senate Ratifies Data Privacy Act Bicameral Report

The Philippines Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the Data Privacy Act, which mandates public and private entities to protect and preserve the integrity, security and confidentiality of personal data collected in its operations. The Senate approved the Data Privacy Act under Senate Bill No. 2965, underscoring the importance of requiring both the public and private institutions to comply with international data security standards. Based on the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the act would also establish a National Privacy Commission to implement and enforce the bill's provisions. Journalists have criticized portions of the legislation because of strong penalties around "leaked" information. Once passed into law, the bill adhering to rigorous international principles and standards will attract investors in the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in the Philippines.

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Bid to Render Privacy Bill Meaningless

A South African lawyer says the proposed widening of the definition of consent in the nation's privacy bill will render privacy protections meaningless. The suggested change to the definition of consent in the Protection of Personal Information Bill (PPI) would nullify all the data protection provisions in the law that aimed to cut down information sharing and spam. Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini has proposed that the definition of consent be widened to include data subjects' failure to opt out of the processing of their personal data within a given time period and dropping the age for the definition of a child to 13. Attorney Paul Jacobson says these two issues together spell disaster for children as they may receive an SMS, not understand it and ignore it, allowing their information to be processed and retained. In addition, Jacobson says the proposal puts the burden on an individual to opt out and would change the underlying basis of the Bill and how it works. The Bill is expected to be enacted this year.

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Spain Changes the Paradigm of International Transfers of Personal Data Allowing Spanish Data Processors to be "Exporters" Under the Standard Contractual Clauses for the Transfer of Data

The Spanish Data Protection Authority (SDPA) has established new procedures that allow data processors (not data controllers) based in Spain to obtain authorizations for transferring data processed on behalf of their customers (the data controllers) to sub-processors based in Third Countries that are not deemed to have an adequate level of protection for personal data. In addition, data processors can enter into Standard Contractual Clauses with their sub-processors. Previously in Spain, data controllers had to enter into Standard Contractual Clauses with each of their data processors' sub-processors in Third Countries and data controllers had to obtain authorizations from the SDPA for such transfers. It is anticipated that the New Processor-Sub-processor Clauses in Spain will be a significant improvement for service providers wanting to contract with sub-processors.

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UK employment reached three-year peak

The number of Britons in employment has hit the highest level in more than three years as the private sector created new jobs to absorb cuts in the public sector. The rise in employment was driven by the private sector, where 205,000 additional people were employed. The figure offsets the 39,000 public sector jobs that were lost.

Despite this positive news analysts say unemployment will rise this year.

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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,