Recent Client Alerts
 
Feature Article
Making Hiring Decisions Based on Background Checks
 
A 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicated that 69 percent of employers perform background checks on all job applicants, and an additional 18 percent do so for select job applicants. In total, 86 percent of employers surveyed perform background checks!

 

Over the past years, the background screening industry has grown in leaps and bounds. A KPMG survey estimated that the industry has grown to a nearly $3 billion domestic market. And it’s a highly regulated industry, operating under federal laws put forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state consumer reporting laws, and other local and industry rules and regulations. Finally, background screening is highly enforced and closely watched, by federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as legislators and plaintiff’s attorneys.

 

What does all of this have to do with your organization’s hiring? A lot. In 2012, the EEEOC issued guidelines with recommendations for the use of criminal background checks. Specifically the EEOC recommended that employers should consider removing the criminal history question from applications, and it had suggestions about how employers should evaluate criminal history in hiring once it has been disclosed.

 

The EEOC’s suggestion that employers remove the criminal history question from applications is consistent with much of the “ban the box” legislation throughout the country. This ever-expanding movement is aimed at giving ex-offenders a chance to demonstrate their qualifications for a job before employers look at criminal history. While “ban the box” laws remove the questions about criminal history and convictions from applications, they do not prohibit employers from doing background checks. Instead, it moves the background check to later in the hiring process.

 

In addition to suggesting employers wait to ask about criminal history, the EEOC opposes blanket or bright-line policies, such as when an organization has a policy of not hiring anyone with a criminal conviction. Instead, it recommends that employers should individually assess each candidate and consider “green factors.” These include issues such as the nature and seriousness of the offense, how long ago the offense occurred, and whether the offense is related to the position the candidate is seeking. Employers should also be aware that certain information, such as arrest records and credit information, has a “disparate impact” on minority groups.

 

Some of the things your organization should consider when developing hiring policies and procedures include the following:


  • Will you ask applicants about their criminal history? And if so, when in the process should you do so? As a reminder, to date, 18 states and more than 100 cities and counties have enacted “ban the box” legislation that affects public and/or private employers and the movement continues to grow. So it is important to be familiar with these laws and how they may affect your business.
  • If your organization employs individuals in different areas that may have different laws regarding asking about criminal history, how will you manage the process?
  • When you do ask the criminal history question, why are you doing so? Is the benefit of seeking the information worth the potential risk?

 

In addition to asking and answering those questions, Corporate Screening recommends that you thoroughly evaluate your hiring processes and procedures regularly to ensure compliance with the FCRA and EEOC guidelines, as well as any local and state regulations. Employers should also consider eliminating blanket (bright-line) policies. Instead, focus on individualized assessments, in which the unique facts are analyzed, and document this information.

 

If you have compliance questions and need assistance, Corporate Screening is here to help. Please contact us at 800-229-8606 or visit our website to request additional information.

BMW Settles EEOC Criminal Background Lawsuit for $1.6 Million

In June 2013, Corporate Screening reported on the action taken by the EEOC against BMW and Dollar General regarding their use of background checks. The EEOC complaint alleged that BMW’s criminal conviction background check policy violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A settlement in this case was recently reached: On September 8, 2015 a South Carolina federal judge approved a settlement that requires BMW to pay $1.6 million and provide employment opportunities to the rejected applicants.
 

Company officials report that BMW has since revised its background check policy, and according to Greenville Online, the background checks will “ensure the safety and well-being of all who work at the BMW plant site.” Officials also said that since BMW is a member of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, the company requires background checks for employees, as well as vendor employees, temp agency employees and contractors at the plant site.

 

The lawsuit against BMW was one of the first filed by the EEOC regarding the use of background check since it issued guidelines in 2012. 

 

Corporate Screening would like to remind employers to regularly review your background screening program to ensure it complies with EEOC criminal background check guidance, as well as all other applicable laws and regulations. Our knowledgeable staff is available to answer your questions and assist you with your compliance needs.

FCRA Class Action Lawsuit Updates
 
As Corporate Screening has reported over the last several years, we continue to see more Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits and fines. Exactly why are FCRA lawsuits so lucrative? There are several reasons. First, the FCRA allows for statutory damages, which means that plaintiffs do not have to prove they were damaged in any way by the violation.
 
And then there is money. The amount for fines is big, with damages up to $1,000 per occurrence. Additionally, plaintiffs can also be awarded attorney fees and costs. With highly publicized settlements in the seven figure range, it’s easy to see how filing an FCRA class action lawsuit can be profitable. And the class action attorneys have discovered this.
 

Recently Filed FCRA Lawsuits and Settlements

Most FCRA background check lawsuits focused improper adverse action procedures and improper disclosure forms. The following cases have been filed in recent months, and primarily focus on improper disclosure forms:

 

In July, a plaintiff alleged that Big Lots Stores, Inc. did not use “standalone” disclosure forms, and did not properly inform employees and applicants that it was conducting background checks.

 

Two FCRA cases were filed in September. One against Universal Studios Orlando, whereby the plaintiff alleged the company did not properly disclose to job applicants and current employees that it uses credit reports when making hiring decisions. In a second lawsuit, this one filed against Chipotle, the plaintiff claimed that the company’s disclosure forms violate the FCRA because the consent for background checks is buried within a general consent agreement. The plaintiff also alleged that the company did not provide a summary of rights under the FCRA.

 

The large amount of money in these cases is evident by the size of well-publicized settlements. News outlets and Corporate Screening blogs and alerts reported about the settlements made by companies such as Dollar General ($4 million), Publix Supermarkets ($6.8 million) and Food Lion ($3 million). And another $1.75 million settlement in July 2015 by Chuck E. Cheese regarding its disclosure forms continues to exemplify that the money in these cases can be big.

 

With all of these cases in mind, Corporate Screening reminds employers to check their disclosure and authorization forms, and also review their adverse action notification procedures. If you have questions or concerns, our team is here to help.

 

Oracle Taleo Integration News
Corporate Screening Partners with Acuity Cloud Solutions for Oracle Taleo Integration Offering
 
Corporate Screening recently formed a partnership with Acuity Cloud Solutions, an Oracle Gold Partner specializing in HCM cloud-based application support and services. This partnership offers clients a complete Oracle Taleo offering, as it combines Acuity’s consulting and implementation expertise with Corporate Screening’s one-of-a kind OPN certified background screening solution.

 

Acuity Cloud Solutions professionals are experts with Oracle Taleo consulting and system administration. The team provides knowledge and support with implementations, upgrades, training, end user support, and more. Drawing from hundreds of successful client engagements in a wide variety of industries, Acuity’s experts deliver innovative solutions and best practices to ensure systems are aligned with business processes, implemented and supported efficiently, and optimized to their highest potential.

 

As the sunsetting date for Oracle Taleo’s legacy Onboarding solution quickly approaches, organizations should have a migration plan in place, and this is the ideal time to incorporate Corporate Screening’s background screening option with Onboarding (Transitions). A customized background screening solution designed to fit each business’s unique needs, the integration delivers increased efficiency and improves legal compliance by integrating the background process into the latter stages of the hiring process.

 

Acuity and Corporate Screening both offer innovative solutions that optimize the customer experience, and deliver reliable results that Enterprise Level organizations can count on. Clients working with both Acuity and Corporate Screening will benefit from customized configuration capabilities, and a streamlined background check process. For more information about Acuity, visit www.acuitycloudsolutions.com.

Oracle Taleo Integration News
CS Partner Acuity Cloud Solutions Provides Oracle Taleo Expertise and Knowledge
 
As a full-service partner, Acuity Cloud Solutions delivers a range of Oracle Taleo services including functional and technical consulting, project management, implementation, upgrades and optimizations, training, support and administration. Acuity’s employees have an average of 10 years’ experience in consulting and system administration for large-scale Taleo implementations in a wide variety of industries. And its expertise spans both Enterprise and Business Editions.

 

Oracle Taleo Update: End of Life Legacy Onboarding

As we’ve mentioned in recent newsletters and blogs, Oracle announced its new Onboarding (Transitions) solution as a replacement for the legacy Taleo Onboarding solution. The sunset date for the Legacy Onboarding solution is quickly approaching, with the end of maintenance for features taking place on December 31, 2015.

 

Has your organization transitioned to to Onboarding (Transitions)? If you haven't, Acuity has put together a migration checklist to assist with your planning. Steps include:

  1. Familiarizing yourself with Onboarding (Transitions)

  2. Reviewing your current state

  3. Thinking about the replacement for your New Hire Portal

  4. Getting your technical resources lined up

  5. Talking to your Oracle Validated Integration Partner

For more details, check out Acuity’s Migration Checklist.

 

And this transition is the ideal time to incorporate Corporate Screening’s background screening option with Onboarding (Transitions). Together with Acuity’s full-range of implementation and service capabilities, your organization can benefit substantially.

 

For more information about Acuity Cloud Solutions, visit the website at www.acuitycloudsolutions.com. And for details about incorporating Corporate Screening’s background solution with Oracle Taleo, contact us at Sales@CorporateScreening.com or call us at 800-229-8606.

Corporate Screening Now Offers Technomedia Integration

 

Corporate Screening has partnered with Technomedia, a global talent management solution provider for Fortune 1000 enterprises, mid-sized organizations and also growing businesses to offer clients an integrated solution that allows users to manage their background screening program through Technomedia’s Hodes iQ talent acquisition system.

 

As organizations increasingly rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage the hiring process, Corporate Screening has been focused on developing integration solutions that customers need. The integration with Technomedia’s ATS streamlines the hiring process for recruiters and HR professionals. With easy to use features and customized options that meet each organization’s specific needs, background screening is initiated more quickly, errors from manual data entry are eliminated, and turnaround time is reduced.

 

Additionally, the integration utilizes Corporate Screening’s proprietary Candidate Bridge, which helps collect supplemental data from candidates and incorporates mouse-sign technology, each helping to ensure fast results for clients.

 

This integration increases efficiency, providing a seamless transition between Technomedia’s ATS and Corporate Screening’s system. It offers the next level of convenience that employers are looking for and appreciate. For more information about integrating with Technomedia, contact Corporate Screening at 800-229-8606, option 4.

Resources Section in EASE: Information at Your Finger Tips

Have you visited Corporate Screening’s Resource Center? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. The Resource Center contains valuable information, including tutorials, sample documents and letter, and answers to frequently asked questions.

 

When you log into EASE from our website, www.CorporateScreening.com, you’ll find everything from training manuals and videos to sample disclosure and authorization forms. You can even find

 

We invite you to log into EASE, take a look and check out the Resources Center!

 

Coming Soon – Integrated Form I-9 and E-Verify

 

Corporate Screening is pleased to announce that we are adding to our family of integrations! In recent months we’ve told you about new drug screening integrations, applicant tracking system integrations, and compliance tools such as our Adverse Action Workflow Tool. Now we are integrating electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify into our advanced reporting and background management platform, EASE.

 

For years, customers have relied on Corporate Screening’s electronic Form I-9 service to automate the I-9 process. The new integration means that with just one long-in, you can manage your backgrounds, Form I-9s and E-Verify all from the EASE dashboard. It’s an easy way to help complete, manage and organize Form I-9s for new hires. And all information is stored electronically, providing easy access when you need the information or in case of an audit.

 

For more information about this new integration, please contact Corporate Screening at 800-229-8606, option 4.

VerifyStudents Corner
VerifyStudents News
College Background Screening News
 
 
Colleges around the nation are reviewing and making changes to their background check policies on campus. Increasingly, more new hires in a variety of roles are required to undergo background checks, and the policies are also being applied to current employees as well. The most common reason why colleges claim they are conducting background screening is to promote campus safety.
 
The University of Illinois and Pennsylvania’s state colleges are examples of such policy changes. Here is a summary of what has happened with background policies at those campuses.
 

University of Illinois

At the University of Illinois (UI), the State Journal Register reports that beginning in October, all prospective faculty, academic professionals and civil service applicants at the University of Illinois will have to undergo background checks. The policy was approved by the board of trustees.

 

Additional details about the process were reported by the News-Gazette, which explained that candidates who accept a job offer must consent to a background check. If a candidate has past convictions, it will not automatically prohibit them from being employed by the university. The procedure put forth is that the candidate will be given an individualized assessment based on the amount of time since the conviction, the age at the time of a conviction, and their experience since then. A review committee made up of academic and HR staff, university policy, legal counsel and at least two faculty members will decide whether a conviction is related to the position, before deciding whether or not to hire the candidate.

 

Currently UI only requires candidates for jobs in high-security positions to undergo a background check. The new background requirements will affect a much larger number of employees. But backgrounds will not be required of student workers and volunteers.

 

Pennsylvania State Colleges

Early in 2015, new laws in Pennsylvania required all new hires at colleges in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education would be to undergo background checks, as well as have child abuse clearances and fingerprints on file. Additionally, current students, faculty and staff were required to meet the same requirements by later in the year.

 

While the law was intended to enhance general safety for minors, concerns were raised about issues such as expense, and there were fears that the cost and possible hassle of obtaining the background would result in fewer volunteers at the organizations that rely on them. As a result, in July, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a law that included new state rules for background check requirements for university employees and volunteers.

 

The new requirements included background checks on volunteers aged 18 or older who provide care, supervision, guidance or control of children and have routine interaction with them, as well as university employees who work with children (who are required to undergo federal and state criminal history backgrounds, as well as a child abuse clearance). The background checks must be repeated every five years for both volunteers and employees. But the changes to the law mean that university employees who work with “matriculated students enrolled at the institution” or prospective students visiting the campus do not need to undergo background checks.

 

In September, more background news broke. Recently, a judge halted background checks for professors at the state schools at the request of the faculty union except for those who teach courses with dual enrollees (which include high school students) and employees who regularly come into contact with minors. The union claimed that because few professors work with minors, the background check requirement exceeded the law’s requirements and wasted public funds. Approximately 5,000 faculty are covered by this ruling.

 

Features and Benefits of VerifyStudents
 

What are some of the features and benefits of using VerifyStudents? Here are just a few:

  • Cost-effectiveness – There is no cost to a school when it selects VerifyStudents for its student background program. With no set up fees, no special software, and no costly upgrades, there are no hidden costs.

  • Easy for students to use and pay for – Students enter their information to initiate the background, schedule necessary tests, and pay for everything directly online. This saves colleges valuable administrative time and labor.

  • 24/7 access – Schools are able to monitor the entire program online in real time 24/7 and assure compliance with clinical partner requirements. And with 24/7 access, students can place their orders, check results and access their accounts whenever it is convenient for them.

  • Messaged information – Convenient messaging notifies program administrators when a case is opened and closed.

  • The fastest, most comprehensive and accurate reports available.

Is your student background program using VerifyStudents by Corporate Screening? We invite you to learn more by visiting our website at www.VerifyStudents.com, calling 800-229-8606 or complete the easy online Contact Form for more information.