To those of you that are vacationers I highly recommend Aruba. The weather was great, mid 80’s with a constant breeze and sunshine. I got a lot of rest and sleep which was very much needed. I even got a chance to work on my tan and even out some of those light spots. :)

Our use of ‘Bon dia’ as a greeting in the June edition drew the following comment from Carina Villena Barjau, Detective Privado, Criminóloga y Criminalista, VDA-Villena Detectives Asociados, VDA-Villena Detectives Asociados. “Bon dia is also "Good morning" in Catalan, the official language of Catalonia, a region of Spain which capital is Barcelona. Catalonia has 4 provinces: Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida y Girona. I hope this information will be useful to raise awareness of my country. If you need assistance in Catalan you now have a new contact. Carina can be reached at We have started our distribution of the 2012 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide and will be distributing copies at the Professional in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) Annual Conference in August. PIHRA is SHRM's largest chapter. To get an electronic copy click here or if you would like a hardcopy version please email me at

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

We also will be distributing the leads generated at the SHRM Conference from our Annual Employers Background Screening Practices Survey to our Platinum Members this week. The results of the survey will be sent out next week in an editioin of The Background Buzz Insider.

To learn more about how you can get in on receiving leads contact me at

Also suppliers we are starting to work on the Summer/Fall edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide. The invitation to our Platinum Members will be going out this week so keep an eye out for it. Remember that your listing in the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide is complimentary. To view the Winter edition click here.

If you are a supplier to the background screening industry and want to be included in the next edition of the Suppliers' Guide to have your company information distributed to more than 1,600 background screening firms please contact me at

Until next time stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer.

P.S. - Tervetuloa is welcome in Finnish. The Finnish language is a Finno-Ugric language, a group of languages belonging to the Uralic language family. It is one of the two official languages of Finland.

Volume 8, Edition 7, July 2012




U.S. Consumer Watchdog to Oversee Credit Bureaus
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will soon begin supervising the leading credit bureaus, the companies that collect financial details of everyone's life. Until now, credit-reporting companies have lacked a single federal overseer. Credit reports have increasing importance in consumers' lives because they are used in many kinds of lending, by landlords in renting a property and even as a way to screen job applicants. Additionally, various reports have found that up to 25% of credit reports contain errors that could hurt consumers' ability to borrow. CFPB Director, Richard Cordray said areas of concern for the CFPB include: the information sent to credit bureaus, the ways they assemble and hold information, and "how difficult it is to get the errors resolved" when consumers identify them. The supervision of credit reporting agencies will start Sept. 30, and the bureau will begin on-site examinations after that.

To read more, click here

SHRM Survey Findings: Background Checking-The Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions

  • Sixty-nine percent of organizations reported that they conduct criminal background checks on all of their job candidates. Eighteen percent of organizations conduct criminal checks on select job candidates, and 14% do not conduct criminal checks on any job candidates.
  • Among organizations that conduct criminal background checks, most initiate criminal background checks after a contingent job offer (62%) or after the job interview (32%). Very few organizations (4%) initiate criminal background checks before a job interview.
  • Organizations conduct criminal checks on job candidates 1) to reduce legal liability for negligent hiring (52%) and 2) to ensure a safe work environment for employees (49%).
  • The top two criminal activities that are very influential in the decision not to hire a job candidate are a convicted violent felony (96%) and a convicted nonviolent felony (74%).

To see more about survey results click here

Background Check Error Leaves Worker "Humiliated"

Modern technology makes it possible to instantly search billions of public records stored all over the world, which has spawned an entire industry dedicated to screening job applicants for employers. However, when they make a mistake, the consequences can be devastating. Attorney Jeff Hynes says he has seen a steep rise in complaints about mistakes in criminal background checks. "It's not only a growing problem, but it is a gross injustice," said Hynes. A common misconception about criminal background checks is that personal identifying information such

as a social security number is being used to find information on an individual. Yet, most employers don't even provide background screening companies with the race or sex of an applicant. Instead they rely on name and date of birth alone, which increases the chance of error. When an error takes place, it's the applicant who's left with the burden of proving he or she is not a criminal. Hynes encourages job applicants to do their own criminal background check in advance and suggests telling a potential employer upfront about any potential problems.

To read more, click here

State Destroying Online Court Records, Raising Debate Over Privacy, Consistency

Pennsylvania has removed millions of public records from a state court system website. State officials say they are treating the electronic copies like paper ones, which are destroyed after a certain period of time. Records of serious crimes are still kept for decades. Edward Spreha, a Harrisburg-based defense attorney, said the change would make it harder to find criminal and civil court records; searches that once took moments could potentially take weeks. Steve Schell, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), said the core issues are consistency and privacy. Schell also said the paper record in such cases is the official copy and removing the electronic copies after paper originals have been destroyed is consistent with state Supreme Court guidelines. The new policy will not affect the results of criminal background checks, which are conducted by State Police. Common Pleas or appellate courts records will be kept indefinitely.

"As a public access advocate, you can't change history," said Melissa Melewsky, a lawyer for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. "This is a step in the opposite direction, because we're getting less access."

To read more, click here

To 'Minimize Risk,' Penn State Expands Background Check Policy

Following the conviction of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual abuse charges, Penn State University has announced a plan to expand criminal background check requirements for all new and some current employees. The new policy, which reflects best practices, is meant to ensure that the criminal histories and potential sexual abuse records of future employees will be thoroughly reviewed before hiring. The new policy requires background checks for all current employees considered to be in "sensitive/critical" positions, which include those with responsibility for protecting personal data, those with master key access to all buildings and those with responsibility for controlled substances or hazardous materials. This move follows a June announcement by Penn State of a new sexual abuse reporting policy that requires all university employees to complete annual reporter training, and calls for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, to be taken against any employee that willfully fails to report a suspected case of child abuse.

To read more, click here

The Berg Report

By Bruce Berg

With more than 650 exhibiting companies, the SHRM eXpo is the largest trade show dedicated to human resource management products and services. The paid attendance was reported by SHRM as 15,800 plus the 4200 personnel with the 702 exhibitors or a total of 20,000. There were 45+ exhibitors selling background screening and 31 of those limited their business primarily to background screens.

The mood was very upbeat with everyone extremely pleased with the quantity and the quality of traffic to their booths. So, not only did they see a lot of people on the exhibit floor but a healthy portion of those they talked with were either decision makers or doing research on behalf of the decision maker at their employer Companies are spending the money to be proactive regarding HR and they are seeking better solutions to their background checking challenges.

Although, NAPBS was not an exhibitor this year, I sure saw those NAPBS member signs in the booths of the background screeners! They consider this an important marketing tool.

Two key points:

  • The issue of HR being dissatisfied with their current CRA was a common theme as it has been over the last 17 years I have been doing the SHRM conference. CEO, COO or Chief Sales Officer should be asking "Why are so many HR people unhappy with their current vendor?" Better yet, ask your existing customers.
  • People were not shopping price, they were shopping service and turnaround time.

Everyone I talked to said their sales are up, and up very nicely from last year. Several are claiming increases of over 35%. Looks like 2012 and 2013 will continue to be great years for our industry.

To read the full report click here

U.S. To Participate in APEC's Cross Border Privacy Rules System

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced the United States' participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. This voluntary system promotes a baseline set of data privacy practices for companies doing business in participating APEC economies. The goal of the system is to enhance electronic commerce, facilitate trade and economic growth, and strengthen consumer privacy protections across the Asia Pacific region.

"U.S. participation in APEC's Cross Border Privacy Rules system is a significant milestone in international data protection and is an important step in the implementation of the global privacy strategy outlined in the Obama administration's February 2012 Data Privacy Blueprint," said Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank. "This system will enable participating companies in the United States and other APEC member economies to more efficiently exchange data in a secure manner and will enhance consumer data privacy by establishing a consistent level of protection and accountability in the APEC region.

To read more click here


Brookfield, WI - The Liars Index®, which tracks false education claims on resumes, was at an all time high in the back half of 2011, reaching a record 27.27%. For the first half of 2012, the degree of degree lying moderated to 20.69%, but the moving average of the prior two years held relatively steady, at 21.62%, vs. the 21.80% level of six months ago.

Reprinted with permission of Jude Werra, Jude M. Werra & Associates, Brookfield, WI

To read the full report click here


FTC Action Against Wyndham May Provide First Fully Litigated Section 5 Privacy/Security Case

The FTC has filed a complaint against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a global hotel and resort company, and three of its subsidiaries for violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. If this case goes to trial, it will be the first privacy/security matter fully litigated under Section 5. The Commission brought the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona alleging "failure to maintain reasonable and appropriate data security for consumers' sensitive personal data" after Wyndham faced three data breaches in less than two years. The FTC claims this resulted in over $10.6 million in fraud loss. According to the complaint, Wyndham's inadequate security procedures enabled intruders to install "memory-scraping" malware to access payment card data, and to access files, leading to the compromise of more than 500,000 payment card accounts. The FTC claims Wyndham knew its vulnerabilities, particularly after the first breach, and yet made way for the subsequent breaches by failing to remedy those vulnerabilities.

To read more, click here

Vermont Joins Growing Number of States Restricting Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes

Effective July 1, 2012, Vermont joins California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington as jurisdictions that restrict an employer's right to obtain and use credit information for making employment decisions. Under the new law, Vermont employer are restricted in their ability to inquire about or use an applicant's or employee's credit report or credit history with respect to employment, compensation, or a term, condition, or privilege of employment.

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 Pam Devata, Seyfarth Shaw LLP for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact Pamela Devata at Seyfarth Shaw LLP at or 312-460-5000 or visit

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

When can an employer take adverse employment action on an employee refusing to submit to a background check during employment if the employer is implementing a new policy?

a- The legal requirements for internal employees are more stringent than those for external applicants so if the employee refuses to consent you provide an accommodation based on their individual circumstances.

b- Legally you must grandfather the employee if you did not have a background screening policy at the time the employee was hired.

c- If an employee refuses to consent to a background check after you have properly implemented a new policy requiring them the employee can be terminated immediately for refusing to consent.

d- If an employee refuses to consent to a background check after you have properly implemented a new policy requiring them you must give the employee notice of your intent to terminate and provide them three days to comply.

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Illinois and Federal Legislation to Restrict Employer Access to Social Networking Log-in Credentials

It was recently announced that Governor Quinn will sign legislation that will amend Illinois' Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 ILCS 55/1 et seq. (the Act), to prohibit employers from requesting or requiring employees and applicants for employment to disclose their log-in credentials for or to grant access to their social media accounts. Once the legislation has been signed, Illinois will be the second state in the country (after Maryland) to prohibit employers from requesting or requiring social networking log-in credentials from applicants and employees.

The legislation will amend Section 55/10 of the Act, entitled "Prohibited Inquiries."

To read more click here

New Legislation Restricting Criminal History Information Reported In Background Checks

Starting July 1, 2012, Indiana House Bill 1033, 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.

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.

Effective July 1, 2013, the law also will restrict information that "criminal history providers" can report to others.

To read more click here

 LEGAL ISSUES (continued)

Employer Not Required To Conduct Background Check, and Not Liable To Customer Who Was Pistol-Whipped by Employee

In Harris v. KFC U.S. Properties, Inc., a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that the operator of a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Philadelphia was not liable to a customer who was pistol-whipped by a store clerk. In the lawsuit filed Harris claimed that KFC was negligent in not conducting a background check, and should have known that the assailant had a propensity for violence. KFC had a policy prohibiting employees from bringing guns or other weapons to the workplace.

KFC only conducted criminal history checks of candidates for management positions. Rejecting Harris' claim, the court held that KFC was not legally required to conduct a criminal history check for store clerks. Further, if KFC had conducted a background check, the records would have revealed that employee had two prior convictions for nonviolent crimes from over five years ago. Under such circumstances, KFC was not legally on notice that the employee would bring a gun to work and pistol-whip a customer.

Source: Victor Schachter and Allen Kato, Fenwick & West LLP

To read more click here

Don't Screen Out State Laws When Hiring

A recent decision from the Northern District of Illinois serves as a reminder to employers to consider both federal and state laws regarding pre-employment screening when making hiring decisions. In Stratton v. Merrill Lynch, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60426, 2012 WL 1533456 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 25, 2012), the court determined that the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) did not preempt the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/2-103, which prohibits employers from using the fact of an arrest as a basis for taking an adverse employment action. The FDIA § 1829 prohibits any individual who has been convicted of any crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering from institutional affiliation with any insured depository institution.

Stating that "[n]othing in § 1829 demonstrates a Congressional intent to completely preempt state civil rights employment laws," the Court remanded the case to state court.

In light of this decision, employers are encouraged to ensure their policies comply with all applicable laws concerning pre-employment screening. Federal laws will not always prevent the application of state laws, which may contain different restrictions on information permissible to use in making employment decisions.


New Ohio Law Should Make it Easier for Criminal Convicts to Obtain Employment

A lengthy and complicated new law enacted by the Ohio legislature includes provisions that will make it easier for individuals with conviction histories to obtain employment and occupational licenses. Senate Bill 337 amends several Ohio statutes relating to collateral sanctions for criminal offenses by creating certificates of qualification for employment, reducing licensing restrictions for certain fields and expanding courts' authority to seal criminal records. A collateral sanction is a penalty, disability, or disadvantage that is related to employment or occupational licensing as a result of the individual's conviction of, or plea of guilty to, an offense. Presumably, the relaxing of standards for sealing criminal records will render background checks for criminal convictions less reliable. The new law enables an individual who is subject to a collateral sanction to obtain a certificate of qualification for employment that will provide relief from certain bars on employment. The law also provides that an employer that knew of the certificate at the time of hiring will have immunity from liability as to a claim brought against it alleging harm due to the individual's alleged negligent hiring.

To read more, click here

PA Bill Will Protect Privacy of Employee Social Media Passwords

On June 18, 2012, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives introduced the Social Media Privacy Protection Act, which would protect the privacy of employee online user names and passwords. The bill provides that an "employer may not request or require that an employee or prospective employee disclose any user name, password or other means for accessing a private or personal social media account, service or Internet website." Employers may not discipline, penalize, or threaten an employee for refusing to provide this information, nor can they refuse to hire any prospective employee as a result of the prospective employee's refusal to disclose this information. Those who violate these rules face a civil penalty of up to $5,000 in addition to reimbursement for reasonable attorney fees.

To read more, click here


LawLogix Selected as One of the Most Successful Hispanic-Owned Companies in the U.S. For 2nd Consecutive Year

LawLogix Group, Inc., the leader in I-9 Compliance, E-Verify and Immigration Case Management Software, announced today that it was recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 500 most successful Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. LawLogix was ranked 364th among all Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. and third among Hispanic-owned businesses in Phoenix, Arizona. The HispanicBusiness 500® selected the largest Hispanic-owned companies in the country based on a third-party audit of 2011 annual revenue.

"We are delighted to be selected for The Hispanic Business 500 for the second consecutive year," said Dan Siciliano, Co-Founder of LawLogix and Director of Stanford University's Rock Center for Corporate Governance. "As our advancement up the list shows, clients continue to choose our company over the competition because of our intuitive, easy to use software and hands on customer support approach.

To read more click here

eScreen Ranks 27 on Ingram's List of Kansas City Area 2012 Fastest Growing Companies

eScreen, Inc., a leading provider of workplace drug-screening solutions and technology, today announced it was named number 27 among the 2012 Corporate Report 100 winners and is

featured with other Kansas City area fast-growing companies in Ingram's July 2012 All-Star special edition.

The annual Ingram's Corporate Report 100 recognizes Kansas City-metro's 100 fastest-growing companies. Organizations with at least $1 million in revenue in 2011 are ranked by revenue growth between 2008 and 2011 to comprise the "Corporate Report 100." eScreen ranked third amongst all the Kansas City companies in the over $100 million category.

To read more click here


According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, as much as 38 to 50 percent of all workers' compensation claims are related to substance abuse.

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey, PRRN

  Fee to Purchase Kentucky Criminal Record to Increase Soon

The fee for a criminal record search in Kentucky will increase from $15.00 to $20.00 effective July 1, 2012. The fee increase is part of a plan to stay within the court system's budget, which received deep cuts with the passage of House Bill 269 (see ).

About Criminal Record Searches: Very few Circuit or District courts will perform a name search for the public. Most courts send criminal record requesters to a statewide service provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Records may be requested via fax, standard mail, walk-in, online, and even a drive-thru service. The CourtNet Criminal History database contains records from all 120 counties for at least the last five years for all misdemeanor and traffic cases and for felonies dating back to 1978. The criminal record online ordering system is called AOCFastCheck. For details on ordered and how to set-up an account, visit .

Note as part of this plan that courthouses will be closed statewide on August 6, September 4, and October 15, 2012; employees will be furloughed. Also, since 2008 the Judicial Branch has cut 282 employees statewide and eliminated court programs in an effort to stay within their budget.

  Vermont Increasing Fee for Manual Driving Records

Effective July 1, 2012, the fee for a copy of a Vermont three-year driver operating record obtained in person or by mail will increase from $11.00 to $13.00. The fee for a three-year record accessed online will remain at $15.00 per record.

The fee increase is part of recent legislation (Act 128). A number of other fee increases will affect VT services driver license issuance, exams, certain CDL fees, vehicle registration, and vehicle titles. A complete list is available at .

To read more click here or contact Michael Sankey at or to 480-829-7475.


Slow-Growth Pace for Job Market Should Continue in July

Hiring is not expected to ramp up significantly in July in the manufacturing and service sectors, according to the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey for July 2012.

  • Hiring will be steady in manufacturing in July.
    A net of 36.7 percent of manufacturers will add jobs in July, and a net of 24.1 percent of service-sector companies will conduct hiring.
  • Recruiting difficulty was mixed in June.
    Difficulty in recruiting candidates for key jobs rose slightly in manufacturing in June and fell sharply in services compared with a year ago.
  • Job vacancies were also varied in June.
    Vacancies rose slightly for salaried positions in both sectors in June compared with a year ago; hourly job vacancies fell in both sectors.

To read more click here


Managing Drug Abuse in the Workplace - Do You Have the Correct Policies in Place?

A drug and alcohol-testing provider recently carried out random workplace drug tests and pre-employment drug tests on behalf of 856 UK employers (with drug misuse policies in place). According to Concateno, the tests showed that at least one in 30 employees has illegal drugs in their system at any point in time, which equates to nearly one million people across the UK workforce. The tests showed that from 2007 to 2011 there has been a 43% increase in UK employees testing positive for drug use. It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 for any person to knowingly permit the production, supply or use of controlled substances on their premises, except in specified circumstances. Employers can therefore break the law if they knowingly allow employees to take part in drug-related activities on their premises. In order to limit the level of drug use amongst employees, employers should adopt a substance misuse policy, in consultation with their staff, which sets out how the organization expects employees to behave.

To read more, click here

  DRUG TESTING (continued)

Substance-Abuse Intervention Works Best When the Boss Steps In: Study

A new study reveals supervisors must go past detection and aid in enforcement of substance-abuse policies to deter use of alcohol and drugs on the job. The study from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found that supervisor contact-detecting a substance-abuse problem through normal interaction with an employee-has little effect on employee alcohol or drug use. However, supervisor enforcement, or "the ability of supervisors to identify employee substance-use problems as well as their willingness to address employee substance-use problems," can be a potent combination leading to decreases in drinking and drug use on the job. Thus, the keys to successful supervisor enforcement are knowing what to look for and knowing what to do when you see it. A national survey found that only 22% of human resources professionals said their company was proactively dealing with substance abuse; a low number for an issue that is costing U.S. businesses more than $110 billion a year.

To read more, click here (Requires log-into

The Sober Reality of Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Surveys show that substance abuse remains one of the most serious safety issues facing U.S. employers. Statistics tell us that: over 6 million active alcoholics are on the payrolls of American businesses; some 73% of all current illegal drug users aged 18 and older are employed; employees working under the influence are over 3 times more likely to have an accident than sober workers; and up to 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol abuse. Substance abuse in the workplace is a critical issue because working under the influence affects just about every faculty an employee needs to work safely. In addition, According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, as much as 38 to 50% of all workers' compensation claims are related to substance abuse, and substance abusers are 5 times more likely to file workers' comp claims.

To read more, click here


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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.

  DRUG TESTING (continued)

Random Drug Testing of Forest Service Job Corps Staff Rejected by Federal Appeals Court

A program requiring universal random drug testing for all employees at 28 schools ran by the U.S. Forest Service is potentially unconstitutional, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has held in a two-to-one decision. National Fed'n of Federal Employees v. Vilsack, No. 11-5135 (D.C. Cir. June 8, 2012). The split decision has potentially wide-ranging implications for the federal workforce.

Random drug testing by the federal government of its employees is a "search" subject to the Fourth Amendment's reasonableness requirement. It is unquestioned that a drug test constitutes a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. However, heretofore, courts have upheld random testing in the public sector, despite the application of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition, because the federal government demonstrated a compelling need (e.g., regarding transportation workers and federal agents carrying firearms).

In overturning the lower court's ruling, the Appeals Court held that in the absence of an immediate crisis or threat to student safety there was no basis to negate the Fourth Amendment's individual-suspicion requirement. The Court concluded the designation of all U.S. Forest Service Job Corps Center employees for random drug testing does not fit within the "closely guarded category of constitutionally permissible suspicion less searches."

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.

The Summer/Fall Edition Coming Soon!


NAPBS Accreditation: The Grandfathering Issue
By Derek Hinton

The Le Brea tar pits in Los Angeles contain fossils ranging from saber tooth cats to Mammoths to dire wolves. If you are typical of many Consumer Reporting Agencies and have been in business any length of time your files probably contain some fossilized contracts with clients—contracts that do not contain all the stipulations that are required to become accredited.

At the NAPBS accreditation meeting in Nashville, the question came up about these “fossilized contracts.” The question was “The accreditation standard requires that our contract with employers contain certain stipulations. If our existing contract does not contain a required stipulation, do we have to go back to several hundred clients and get them to sign a new agreement that does contain the missing stipulation or, can we just revise our contract to contain the stipulation and go forward?”

The answer was that you do NOT have to go back and get previous clients to sign new contracts—but you DO need to revise your current contract and use it going forward. Many CRAs have reviewed the accreditation standard for client agreements, looked at their client agreement, looked at their client list, pondered the process for having all these clients sign a new agreement—and taken a nap on accreditation. The flexibility of grandfathering some of these contracts should wake you up from your nap if this has been the problem.

To read more click here


USCIS Director Outlines Agency Priorities for 2012


"In about 12 months, I think that you will not recognize our agency," Mayorkas told representatives from some of the largest employers in the U.S. on June 5, 2012, at the American Council on International Personnel's Annual Symposium in Arlington, Va. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas has outlined several priorities for the agency, including electronic filing, the Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative, enhancements to the EB-5 program, refining fraud detection and verification procedures, and improving customer service.

To read more click here

Can E-Verify "Self-Assessment" Help an Employer?

Employers enrolled in E-Verify are subject to a variety of inspections and are obligated to cooperate in investigations at any time for a number of purposes. There are two primary penalties for non-compliance with the E-Verify program: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could prohibit an employer's continued use of the program and issue employer fines ($550-$1,100 per violation) for failure to notify DHS when employers continue to employ individuals who received a Final Non-Confirmation result in the E-Verify system. The most effective means to improve and maintain compliant use of E-Verify is for employers to partner with competent legal counsel to review documentation and exported data from their E-Verify accounts. USCIS recently issued a new document, titled an "E-Verify Self-Assessment" guide. The guide includes checklists designed to make it easier for employers to monitor their use of E-Verify and to establish their own compliance and training programs. The guide explains how, "self-assessment demonstrates a company's commitment to compliance by internally reviewing, detecting and preventing E-Verify misuse."

To read more, click here

Pennsylvania Mandates E-Verify for State Public Works Contractors and Subcontractors

On July 5, 2012, Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act No. 127 (formerly Senate Bill 637), The Public Works Employment Verification Act. The law mandates all public works contractors and subcontractors with the state enroll and use E-Verify, effective January 1, 2013. The state has assigned the Department of General Services to conduct random audits and audits arising out of credible complaints from individuals. Failure to verify employees using the federal E-Verify System would lead to the following penalties: First Offense: warning to violator and posting on Pennsylvania's website; Second Offense: 30 day debarment from state public works contracts; Third Offense: 180 days or up to one year debarment from state public works contracts; Willful violators (as determined by a court) may be debarred for up to three years. As E-Verify laws continue to evolve, employers should consider partnering with seasoned legal counsel to ensure they properly prepare for the changes ahead.

"There's more to E-Verify than just enrolling," explains Attorney Elise Fialkowski. "Employers must not only comply with the state E-Verify laws but also with federal E-Verify and I-9 requirements."

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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White Paper Social Influence:
Thriving in a New World of Media Relations

Social media has created a world of dizzying potential: it's incredibly easy to share your news with press, analysts, and decision-makers. Yet media relations is tougher than ever! As the pendulum swings from print to online media, the traditional roles of journalists and analysts are merging into a community of bloggers, HR professionals, consultants and other influencers.

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Job Candidate Discriminated Against Because of Criminal Record

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has filed a report in Federal Parliament setting out its finding that an employer discriminated against an applicant for a market analyst position on the basis of his criminal record.

The applicant, who had previously worked for the employer, had two drink-driving convictions. The applicant failed to disclose one of the offences to the employer. Despite being the preferred candidate and meeting the selection criteria, the employer did not offer employment to the applicant, on the basis that he was incapable of performing the inherent requirements of the position, including complying with the employer's drug and alcohol policy. The applicant made a complaint to the AHRC.

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Privacy Commissioner Says Some Criminal Records Checks of B.C. Civil Servants Improper

Some B.C. government employees are being subjected to illegal criminal record checks, the province's privacy commissioner says. An investigation by Elizabeth Denham's office concluded Wednesday that the government is collecting too much personal information on prospective candidates, conducting criminal record checks for too many positions and failing to properly notify employees. "This investigation is quite detailed, quite nuanced, but what we found was that the government was overly broad in its requirements for criminal record checks, and government was subjecting too many employees to re-checks," said Denham, the independent information and privacy commissioner. The province has repeatedly broken the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and must make changes to comply within a reasonable time, Denham said.

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Click With Caution: What Employers Should Know Before Conducting Social Media Background Checks On Prospective Employees

With the proliferation of social media sites such as blogs, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and their increasing prominence in the business realm, it is not surprising that employers have begun to access the information posted on these sites in the course of conducting background checks on prospective employees. However, legal risks may arise for employers even before the employment relationship has begun as a result of using social media websites to collect information about job candidates.

Although employers may consider reviewing the contents of a prospective employee's Facebook page part of their due diligence, this practice would likely be considered a collection, use or disclosure of personal information under Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act, which governs how private organizations collect, use and disclose personal information. To that end, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has recently released "Social Media Guidelines1" which identify the legal risks that arise in this context. In order to "click with caution," employers should keep the following eight pointers in mind.

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The Drug and Alcohol Risk Reduction Pilot Project (DARRPP) Begins

An interesting pilot project to evaluate random drug and alcohol testing has commenced with several owners and employers. The Drug and Alcohol Risk Reduction Pilot Project ("DARRPP") is aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of a comprehensive testing program that includes mandatory testing of a segment of workers on a random basis. The website containing comprehensive information about the program is now live:

DARRPP is led by a working group made up of major oilsands industry employers and labour providers. Participating employers will introduce and monitor random workplace testing programs for safety-sensitive positions and share statistics related to their implementation.

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A Push to Protect Personal Data

The State Council is pushing government departments, banks and e-commerce companies to better protect people's personal information, with the release of suggestions on enhancing the security of the data they collect. In guidelines released Tuesday the State Council suggested it will help fund new security technologies that promote digital signatures that could replace simple client-selected passwords. The development of enhanced security technology will focus on pilot industries, including software outsourcing services, information technology services and e-commerce.

"Regulations and laws on personal information protection are urgently needed, as leaking personal information has seriously affected the security of all citizens," said Lü Benfu, vice dean of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an expert in information security. "The first step is to define what kind of release of personal information is illegal." The seventh Amendment to the Criminal Law regulated that "whoever illegally obtains the aforesaid information by stealing or any other means shall, if the circumstances are serious, be punished." However, no specific definition of the leakage of personal information is stipulated.

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Germany: New EU Data Protection Regime Will Bring Significant Changes

On 25 January 2012 the Commission's official proposal for the reform of the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EU was presented. We have analysed this 119-page draft and have summarised its main aspects. Although there will be further changes to the draft before its envisaged entry into force in 2015/2016, the decisive legislative phase begins now, with the possibility for interest groups to exert their influence.

On the whole, the Regulation is essentially in line with the law applicable in Germany to date. However, there will be numerous significant amendments in future.

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Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy)Ordinance Amendment Prompts Reviews of Data Protection Policies and Practices

The Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Ordinance was passed on 27 June 2012. This ends a nearly three year process initially spurred by the need to bring the existing legislation in line with technological and other advancements that occurred since it was enacted in 1996.

Some of the provisions of the Amendment Ordinance will come into effect on 1 October 2012. A number will come into effect at a later date. These include provisions relating to use/transfer/sale of personal data for direct marketing purposes and the legal assistance scheme provided by the Commissioner, all of which are expected to be implemented in the first half of 2013.

The Amendment Ordinance may be accessed here .

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Quarter of Those Claiming Sickness Benefits Have a Criminal Record

The findings from a Government research project show a high proportion of claimants who claim they are unfit for work appear to be fit enough to commit crime. Almost one in four people claiming sickness benefit have criminal records, an official analysis showed yesterday. The study found that 21 per cent of the 1,565,000 claiming incapacity benefit - the payment brought in during the Eighties for those too ill to work - had committed at least once offence over the last ten years, while 4 per cent were jailed.

But in a blow to ministers' hopes of reducing the number of claimants who abuse welfare handouts, researchers found that employment and support allowance (ESA) - the supposedly more rigorous replacement for incapacity benefit - was being paid to an even higher proportion of people who had committed crimes.

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Drug Tests At Work

A third of employers say alcohol and drug misuse is a problem at work, according to Acas. Substance misuse can have a damaging impact on workplace productivity, as problems don't just affect performance of individuals, but their colleagues as well. In extreme cases, substance misuse can also risk serious harm from accidents and injuries. With drug driving legislation soon to become a reality, drug and alcohol testing has emerged as an issue for employers and many are considering the options.

If introduced later this year, drug driving laws will mean UK police forces will have the ability to test for drugs in saliva. From a corporate perspective, employees caught with certain drugs in their system could face fines, a driving ban or even a jail term. This leaves employers to pick up the pieces, both in terms of cost and damage to reputation. Introducing a drug and alcohol policy into the workplace could help employers identify problems before they escalate.

Health and safety legislation means employers have a duty of care to employees and should be concerned about the general health and wellbeing of staff. As well as covering themselves from a legal point of view, a drug and alcohol policy makes a lot of sense from a commercial perspective. Statistics speak for themselves. US studies show employees using drugs are less productive, take more time off work and are almost four times as likely to have an accident in the workplace.

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One In 30 Employees Would Fail a Drugs Test, Finds Concateno

One in 30 UK employees have drugs in their system at any point in time within the workplace, according to statistics released today by Concateno, a drug and alcohol screening provider. These findings, part of the High Society: Drug Prevalence in the UK workplace research report, are derived from the results of over 1.6 million UK workplace drug tests over the last five years (2007-2011). In the past five years, there has been a 43% increase in UK employees testing positive for drugs. Drug use was identified in 3.23% of the employees tested in 2011, rising from 2.26% in 2007.

There are 29.23 million people in employment in the UK. If the current 3.23% positivity rate from the report is extrapolated for the UK population, 940,000 British employees have drugs in their system whilst at work at any point in time.

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Licensing For Private Investigators Just Around The Corner

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee today released its long awaited findings on private investigators. It will come as no surprise to many in the industry that the committee recommends full licensing and regulation of the industry by 2015, but whether the political will exists to do so remains to be seen.

Currently 2332 registered data controllers are listed as private investigators, although the Association of British Investigators (ABI) estimates the actual number of investigators at work in the UK today to be closer to 10,000. An estimated 65 percent of those are former police officers, which isn't as reassuring as it initially sounds. Many retain old contacts in the police and at government agencies to continue accessing databases on their behalf.

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World Information Center:


Background Screening Jobs

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


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

SHRM State Conferences, visit

Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), 2012 Training Course Schedule, visit

SAPAA Training Institute Learning Events,

CUPA-HR Conferences:

World Federation of People Management Associations, Events,


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