The rising popularity of background checks has given rise to new trends for vetting new hires and employees by organizations across the U.S.The growth of background checks also permeates other areas such as screening of volunteers, contractors, business partners, board members, housing tenants and even purchasers of guns. Here’s a list of the latest 10 ten trends for 2013 complied by First Contact HR.
Center City, Philadelphia was faced with a tragic event Wednesday, June 5 when a building came crumbling down onto an adjacent building on 22nd and Market Streets. A total of six lives were lost and 13 people injured as rescue crews excavated bodies and survivors from the rubble.
A two-story wall of a building being demolished came down around 10:30am EST onto a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store below. The loss of life in this demolition accident is tragic, and now people are asking the questions: why and how did this happen?
First Contact HR staff answers common questions we get on background checks, drug testing and other HR industry practices. Got a question? Ask us at info at FirstContactHR dot com
Question #8: Should I fire an individual for having a positive drug test result?
Every company has different policies. Some find termination as the only answer for a positive drug screen, as drug use is an immediate breach of company policy. On the other hand, many companies now offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which include drug and alcohol counseling and treatment.
For more questions and answers, visit www.FirstContactHR.com and just Ask!
In response to a bill that would require welfare recipients in Nashville, TN to take a drug test, some lawmakers want to add politicians to the mix and submit them as well. What seems like a fair way to balance the scale could turn out to be an expensive response since drug tests (resulting in negative outcomes) are paid for by tax payers.
Those individuals with positive results (guilty of using drugs) will be held responsible for the cost of the drug test. Welfare recipients who test positive will lose their benefits.
Video by WVLT-TV:
In light of the events that have unfolded at Penn State and Syracuse Universities, it is important to recognize the unfortunate events that occurred, but also shed light on how the scandals happened. The incident has shocked the country – Penn State University’s former football coach, Jerry Sandusky is being charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse towards minors and the university’s revered football coach, Joe Paterno was fired.
Sandusky is the pinpoint in a wide-ranging investigation that involves eight boys over a 15-year period. Similarly, Syracuse University authorities allegedly ignored sex abuse allegations in 2002 against basketball coach Bernie Fine. A former ball boy for Syracuse University, Bobby Davis, and his girlfriend at the time, claim to have gone to university police back in 2002 with child-molestation allegations. The two have decided to come forward again in response to the media spectacle at Penn State – this time, hoping they will be heard.
The allegations facing administrators at both universities are cause for any parent or school to worry especially when the trust and care of minors are involved. The reaction to these two events by parents is overwhelming – many are questioning the hiring process for the administrators, teachers, coaches and the like who spend time with children. The incidents that have occurred also highlight the lack of background checks performed on individuals who work closely with children.
In one case, a group of parents whose children participate in Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks programs are demanding the adoption of background checks for all coaches and volunteers (Read more). In another recent case, Hollywood casting assistant, Jason James Murphy has caused anxiety amongst the parents of child actors who worked under Murphy. Murphy is a convicted child molester who served five years in prison for kidnapping and molesting an 8 year old boy. Parents of child actors are especially concerned since the casting process is typically a time where a child would be unsupervised by a parent or guardian (Read more).
Had background checks including federal court criminal records searches, statewide criminal records searches and criminal history reports, been performed some of these events could have been avoided. It is important to question whether or not background checks are performed amongst those our society trusts with minors to help eliminate the chances of pedophiles and predators preying on children.
A new law signed by Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett, mandates background checks on public, private and vocational school workers. School district administrators must notify all employees of the law and return a form reporting any criminal history to the Pennsylvania State Education Association completed by employees. Certain convictions will lead to employment suspensions or even termination including first-, second-, or third-degree felonies, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and other crimes. Read more
How background checks are conducted in Clark County, Nevada Schools.
The Las Vegas Sun investigates how background checks are done, after a teacher in a Clark County school was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and theft of school property. In an investigative interview, the chief human resources officer and former interim chief human resources officer of the Clark County School District answered questions on their background check procedures. Read more
Update: Background Checks Dealing with School Workers Clarified.
A new law, §1-111 Act 24 of 2011, mandates that all Pennsylvania elementary schools must background screen all new hires and existing staff for criminal history. The form that current staff must fill out asks employees to check “arrested,” “convicted,” “never been arrested,” or “never been convicted,” however the law states that only convictions of employees need to be reported. In a response to concerns surrounding this contradiction, a statement was released to clarify the law.
A publication from Fox Rothschild LLP states that “these amendments restrict those people that a school is allowed to hire, but they have almost no direct impact on the employment of those already employed. Some school administrators have mistakenly stated that these amendments require schools to fire a current employee where a prior conviction for a barred offense comes to light. While this may be true in some limited cases, it is generally not so, and neither this statute nor the companion provision in §5-527 requires termination of employment.” Read more
Convicted felon employed at middle school steals jewelry, computers
After a middle school janitor was charged in connection to jewelry and computer thefts, the School Committee Chairman of a Massachusetts school wants to know more about the school’s criminal background screening procedures. Court documents showed that the janitor pled guilty to assault and battery and breaking and entering charges in the past. Also, he was allegedly in an outpatient drug treatment program for an opiates addiction. Initial reports in the same case were for stolen MacBook Computers, iPads and other equipment. How did a criminal get employed at an elementary school? Read more
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), approximately 97 percent of all retailers in the U.S. utilize background screening procedures in the hiring process.
Retailers know the importance of keeping their employees and customers safe, which is why they use different types of background screening components, including checking criminal, credit, motor vehicle/driving records, as well as drug history, social security number traces, and education and identity verifications.
The findings released by the NRF were based upon a survey of 96 individual retail and restaurant companies. “Nearly all retailers polled (96.6%) utilize background screening as part of their applicant hiring process.”
For information on the background screening services First Contact HR can provide in the retail space, click here.
Each week we will be answering common questions we get on background checks, drug testing and other HR industry practices. Got a question? Ask us at info@FirstContactHR.com
Question #1: How common is drug testing?
In 1983, only 3% of the Fortune 200 companies were testing one or more classes of job applicants or employers. By 1991, 98% had implemented some form of drug testing.
What’s more, as a way to improve safety in the workplace today, many employers now test their employees for both illegal drugs and alcohol. Some of the more common types of drug testing include urine, oral/saliva and hair. Drug testing is typically conducted at a drug clinic location nationwide or on-site at work locations. Employers who use laboratory testing have the advantage of faster results since both the screening and confirmation stages of the drug test are carried out in one place.
For more questions and answers, visit www.FirstContactHR.com and just Ask!
It’s no surprise that basically anyone and everyone can conduct a simple background check on whoever they like. With companies like EasyBackrgoundCheck.com and nationally-recognized BeenVerified.com, individuals and companies can input basic information about a person and obtain “background” information on that individual.
While it is fine for people to use internet background check services like these for personal use, it is important to realize that these companies are simply “public record aggregators,” and thus not a replacement for traditional pre-employment background screening or private investigative services.
Internet aggregation services are a cheap and quick way to get a bit of information on a stranger or person of interest, but are certainly not acceptable for hiring purposes. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) information that is supplied by a 3rd party vendor for hiring purposes needs to be both accurate and current (not older than seven years). Furthermore, companies and organizations that are in fact going to use the information obtained from these internet aggregation sources for employment purposes, must obtain the applicants consent before doing so. In the case of hiring, the job applicant must provide an organization with signed written consent for performing an internet background check.
Companies and organizations that have written consent from applicants to do a background check still need to make sure that the information is accurate – in many cases, the information is not. BeenVerified.com for example even states: “we do not represent or warrant that the results provided will be 100% accurate and up to date.”
More often than not, those conducting internet background checks via aggregation services are not able find the right person to investigate either because their name is too similar to another person (think, “John Smith”) or the person has taken steps to protect their internet privacy (think, “do not call list”… but more like the “do not internet background check me online list”). How could an individual do this without countless hours spent searching online? You might ask.
Well, there are a number of ways individuals can hide, block and even remove information about them so that internet background check websites cannot find them. Read this article by BGR.com explaining all the ways you can put yourself on the “do not internet background check me online list” for all the major internet aggregation sites such as BeenVerrified.com.
The best practice available for a company or organization that is looking to conduct background checks on job applicants and employees is to use a trusted company such as First Contact HR. To see what background screening services First Contact HR can provide to individuals and companies, Visit: FirstContactHR.com