Posted in drug screening, drug tests
Rio de Janeiro used to have an accredited drug-testing lab. But it was shut down in 2013 by the World Anti-Doping Agency and lost its accreditation due to “repeated failures,” including too many false positives on athlete drug tests.
During the recent soccer World Cup, which also took place in Rio, Brazil had to ship its samples for drug screening to Switzerland for testing. That process cost FIFA approximately $250,000.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Olympics will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro as well. The Games are just two short years away, and the country still finds itself without a drug-screening lab that has been accredited by WADA and deemed suitable for screening the athletes that will be arriving from all over the world.
If Brazil cannot get its anti-doping act together, it may be forced to ship testing samples to another lab again. If so, it is likely to cost the astronomically more than it did for the World Cup, as only 800 players were tested for drugs during the soccer tournament. More than 10,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
There are only 32 WADA-accredited labs in the world.
Brazil’s lab was closed after it found that .81% of tests fell outside the normal substance limits; its samples were tested at a separate lab and found to be incorrect. False positives on drug tests can destroy athletes’ reputations, not to mention keep them from competing and cause them to lose the sponsorships that are so common at the summer and winter Games.
photo credit: tochis via photopin cc
Posted in employment
According to the monthly news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is continuing to hold steady at about 6.2 percent, with 9.7 million people unemployed.
However, the biggest news is that as of July 2014, there are 247,000 fewer discouraged workers than there were in July of last year; there are currently 741,000 discouraged workers in the U.S., down from 988,000 in July 2013. (Discouraged workers are people that are unemployed and do not believe any jobs are available for them, so they are not looking for work.)
Despite the overall unemployment rate remaining steady, 209,000 new jobs were added in non-farming roles last month.
- More than 47,000 new jobs were added in professional and business services. Nine thousand of those new jobs were in architecture and engineering services.
- Auto dealers, food and beverage establishments, and other retailers saw an increase of 27,000 jobs in July.
- The construction industry saw 22,000 new jobs created, as did the mining industry, with 8,000 jobs.
Not every industry was so lucky in July, however.
- While social assistance — which includes daycare for children and elderly assistance jobs — saw an increase of 18,000 jobs, the number of jobs available at nursing home facilities decreased by 6,000. There was little change in healthcare, despite an increase in jobs, because of the nursing care loss, as well as the loss of 7,000 hospital jobs.
- The hospitality, trade, information, transportation, financial, and government sectors saw little change from last month.
These numbers are all nation-wide, but Business Insider recently released a list of states and how each one is doing economically. The evaluation ranks each state compared to the others, and includes information such as the state’s popular job industries, fluctuating pay rates, gross domestic product, and whether each state gained or lost jobs. For a more in-depth look at your local economy, it is a great resource.
Posted in background checking, criminal background checks, employment background screening, pre-employment background checks
There’s something new to keep in mind when it comes to visiting your state and local fairs this summer and fall, and it’s not your cholesterol after consuming new iterations of unusual fried goodies.
Two companies that are hired out to various fairs and carnivals in Washington and Oregon have had problems with hiring criminals that may have put innocent children at risk. Both Butler Amusements and Funtastic, companies that are contracted by state and local fairs to operate games and rides, have hired sex offenders for roles in which the offender would be in direct contact with children.
Unfortunately, federal law does not require fairs to conduct background checks, and states don’t either, so there are no standards for conducting criminal background checks in the circuit. Because of this, Butler Amusements hired sex offenders for at least two consecutive years, including criminals charged or awaiting trial on charges of child molestation and child pornography.
Meanwhile, Funtastic had to fire three registered sex offenders that it hired and allowed to work around children before their background check results came back. Though, since it is not required by law to conduct checks, Funtastic does not screen all employees; it only screens employees that are likely to have “the most access to children.”
In 2012, after a woman who was awaiting trial on charges of child molestation was hired to work in the kids’ zone at the Evergreen State Fair in Washington, the fair began running background checks and requiring Butler Amusements to do their own checks as well.
But Butler admits that it only conducts background checks when a fair specifically asks for them. Even then, at least one employee has passed background checks using a fake name and social security number.
In light of these new fairground investigations, Washington State Representative Liz Pike and Sen. Ann Rivers have said they will begin working on legislation that will require fair workers to undergo stricter screening processes in their state.
When you’re out this summer enjoying the rides, snacks and games your fair offers, be aware that the employees may or may not have undergone background checks. Tell security if you see anything unusual or inappropriate while you’re out.
photo credit: Mark J P via photopin cc
Posted in Mind Your Business, MYB, small business
Hendersonville, NC, August 13, 2014 — Mind Your Business is thrilled to announce that its CEO, Karen Caruso, has been accepted into Goldman Sachs’ exclusive 10,000 Small Businesses program.
The purpose of the 10,000 Small Businesses program is to foster the creation of jobs and economic growth by providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with business education, funding and support.
Those chosen to participate in the program receive one-on-one business consultations with mentors and professionals, in order to form concrete goals and tactics for both economic and business growth.
Karen will also receive a scholarship for tuition and program materials, and will have the opportunity to attend learning sessions, networking events and business clinics. Classes are intended to improve business owners’ skills in identifying business opportunities, using financial statements to improve management, understanding the competitive environment, and more.
The 10,000 Small Businesses program is based out of Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and totals more than 100 hours of educational information. The program is supported by the Goldman Sachs Foundation.
Posted in Mind Your Business, MYB
Hendersonville, NC, August 11, 2014 — Mind Your Business has recently been awarded its General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule, which will allow MYB to take its first steps toward serving the government sector.
The GSA Schedules program provides an easy method for vendors to form long-term contracts with the government, and accounts for $50 billion a year, or 10 percent of all federal spending. With this award, MYB will have the opportunity to work with governing agencies on their background screening processes.
The GSA Schedules program requires vendors and contractors to be proactive and competitive as they bid for government work. MYB is honored to have the opportunity to compete alongside other businesses, large and small, to serve the U.S. government.
For more information about the GSA Schedules program, visit the GSA Vendor Overview.
Posted in background checks, criminal background checks, employment background screening
Illinois is the latest state to pass legislation preventing employers from conducting background checks early on in the hiring process. Under the new law, which was signed by Governor Pat Quinn in July, private employers that have more than 15 employees may only conduct background checks after an interview has been conducted and the candidate has been considered qualified for the role.
The state had previously passed “ban the box” legislation in 2013. This new law, called the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, makes Illinois the fifth state to pass legislation preventing criminal background checks prior to formal interviews.
Gov. Quinn said that the new law was intended to prevent discrimination against ex-convicts, and his office stated that these recent laws have been part of the process to give all people “a second chance in life.”
“This law will help ensure that people across Illinois get a fair shot to reach their full potential through their skills and qualifications, rather than past history,” Quinn said. “It will also help reduce recidivism, fight poverty and prevent violence in our communities by putting more people back to work.”
The law will not affect those jobs in which it is required to pass criminal background checks for public safety reasons, and those who apply for jobs as teachers, childcare workers, some types of construction and other safety-related jobs will still undergo the standard criminal background checks.
The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act will go into effect on January 1.
photo credit: MyTudut via photopin cc
Posted in Mind Your Business, MYB
Last week was the WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy) 2014 Annual Leadership Meeting in Washington D.C., and it was a great event filled with informational sessions, meet-and-greets with legislators, and networking opportunities.
Mind Your Business CEO Karen Caruso made a trip to the nation’s capital for the three-day meeting, in order to participate in the WIPP events, learn from the sessions and meet with other leaders, both in private business and in politics.
Karen also had the opportunity to attend the Special Procurement Session with Ann Sullivan, in which the discussion topic was legislation that supports leveling the playing field for government contracting by women-owned businesses.
“A sole-source designation for woman-owned businesses in federal contracting is critical to their survivability, growth and job creation,” Karen said. “Statistics show that most heads of household are women. These same women own small businesses and create jobs, which directly impacts their community.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to visit the Senate and meet with Maria Cantwell — the chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship — and some of the senators that work on behalf of women business owners. The Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship also held a hearing about empowering women entrepreneurs, and more than 250 female business owners attended the hearing.
The annual meeting included sessions on challenges in organizational leadership, the importance of building alliances, improving your business’ visibility, and the challenges facing women-owned businesses. In addition to the sessions, the WIPP meeting provided opportunities for attendees to join together for networking dinners at top D.C. restaurants, and participate in an advocacy workshop.
The Mind Your Business team was glad to be represented at this event, and Karen looks forward to next year’s meeting.
Image: Karen Caruso visits the U.S. Senate
Posted in Mind Your Business, MYB
Hendersonville, NC, August 4, 2014 — MYB is pleased to announce that its customer relationship management system has been integrated for use with the National Catholic Risk Retention Group’s VIRTUS programs. Many religious organizations utilize VIRTUS programs to reduce risk and protect congregants, members, volunteers and employees alike.
With this integration, MYB will be able to work with various religious organizations that utilize VIRTUS programs to conduct screening processes on employees, volunteers, clergy and staff in order to do its part in preventing harm.
VIRTUS was created by National Catholic to attempt to prevent child abuse within the Church. It promotes the best and most effective risk control programs available for religious institutions. VIRTUS programs work toward change within the church community as well as individual behaviors, and include materials to aid in the prevention of child abuse, inappropriate sexual conduct and violence.
MYB has provided services to the Catholic Church since 2000.
VIRTUS’s Expert Consulting Team has helped in the development of programs to combat the issue of child sexual abuse within the church, as well as methods of responding to potential problems before and after they arise.
MYB integrated with VIRTUS Online to strengthen our dedication to providing our dioceses with tools to help them place the best possible candidates; also, to help them preserve another valuable asset: their time.
Virtus is the Latin word for “valor, moral strength, excellence and worth.” MYB aims to utilize these same values in its service quality, and looks forward to the opportunity to assist religious institutions.
Posted in criminal background checks, pre-employment background check
The Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board (OVMEB) is considering requiring criminal background checks for those applying for their licenses to practice veterinary medicine.
The request for veterinary background checks was not prompted by any particular incident or complaint, though a March audit of Oregon’s health organizations states that veterinarians should be screened because of their capabilities to prescribe and access medications.
Board Director Lori Makinen specified that even if criminal background checks were conducted on veterinarians, they would likely not provide information about animal abuse or drug abuse by the DVMs.
Despite this information, the board had been considering requiring background checks on and off over the previous years. The Oregon legislature provided all 17 of the state’s medical licensing boards the ability to conduct fingerprint checks in 2010. At this time, only three of those boards (including the veterinary board) do not require criminal background checks. The other two licensing boards that do not require checks are Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology & Audiology.
Those two boards had previously requested additional funding to cover fees and were allegedly denied by the state. Makinen estimates that adding fingerprint background checks to the requirement in order for a potential veterinarian to get licensed would cost the individual an additional $50 on top of the licensing fees that are already required.
The OVMEB’s budget is entirely comprised of licensing fees, and licenses far fewer professionals than the boards that license doctors, nurses and pharmacists for human care. As of the end of 2013, the OVMEB only had 3,365 licensed veterinarians in the state.
The board will decide in October whether or not to begin the process of screening those applying for or renewing their veterinary licenses; documentation will be filed with the Secretary of State by mid-August.
photo credit: Army Medicine via photopin cc
Posted in background checks, Federal law
Two senators from Illinois are at odds about what to do with the influx of undocumented immigrant children arriving in the U.S. from Central American countries.
Fifty-seven thousand unaccompanied immigrant children have crossed the border from Mexico into the United States over the past nine months, many of them from Central American countries. Sen. Mark Kirk stated that 429 of these children were currently in custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Chicago, but that number was not confirmed.
In mid-July, Kirk sent letters to the ambassadors of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. In these letters, he requested information about whether the children’s home countries had completed background checks on these “unaccompanied alien children” prior to their arrival in the United States.
“The recent surge of UACs [unaccompanied alien children] crossing the United States’ southern border is a humanitarian crisis, which also has the potential to present a serious threat to our country and communities should they have criminal records in their home country,” Kirk wrote in these letters.
It was not confirmed if any of the children allegedly in the HHS’ custody had undergone any background screening in their home countries.
Kirk later stated that “our government owes it to the American people to facilitate a sharing of records and reassure our nation that these individuals pose no threat.”
Meanwhile, Illinois state Rep. Luis Gutierrez believes that Kirk should be “ashamed of himself” for his attitude toward the undocumented children. According to a statement released by Gutierrez, “These are children and [Kirk] is trying to paint them as criminals and make Americans afraid of children. That is shameful behavior.” Gutierrez highlighted the example that many of them may have been fleeing violence, abuse and sex slavery in their own countries.
Both responses are related to the debate about whether current laws protecting migrant children should remain intact, even though some argue that increasing the number of deportations to Central American countries could solve the U.S. immigration crisis.
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