Posted in Press Release
Hendersonville, NC, February 10, 2016 – Mind Your Business, Inc. is proud to show our support for the veterans charity, Veterans Healing Farm, with a $10,000 donation.
MYB President & CEO, Karen Caruso (left) presenting the check to Nicole Mahshie, Director of Administrations at Veterans Healing Farm
Veterans Healing Farm empowers veterans reintegrating into civilian life by growing produce, raising farm animals, and conducting seminars on holistic health and sustainability. Their mission is to empower vets through the realization that their own efforts and contributions are important to their community.
This wonderful organization fosters a thriving micro-community of veterans and civilians who build deep friendships, implement innovative gardening techniques, and help cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual health. We are honored to support them.
“We are so thankful for Karen Caruso’s enormous generosity and the support we receive from her company. Mind Your Business Inc. has played a huge role in our journey of founding the farm as an inspiration in entrepreneurship, following your dreams, and persevering. ‘Thanks’ never seems like enough in these instances, but we are thankful indeed!” said Nicole Mahshie, Director of Administrations at Veterans Healing Farm.
Supporting our community is a critical part of the Mind Your Business, Inc. philosophy. From sponsorship of the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County, to our annual participation in Relay for Life, it’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of these initiatives that make the world a better place.
The MYB team takes pride in our involvement in local events, humanitarian efforts and charitable contributions, and we look forward to continuing to build on our relationship with Veterans Healing Farm in the future.
About MYB: MYB is a leading provider of background investigations, EEO investigations and drug screening services. MYB places a wealth of innovative technology, people, and services at your fingertips, increasing the level of information, profitability, and security for clients. MYB has received 8(a) certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), joining only 158 other businesses in the state of North Carolina as part of this exclusive program. MYB is also a GSA Schedule holder.
Posted in ban the box
Nationwide, more than nineteen states and 100 cities have now banned the box, with the goal to encourage employers to consider the qualifications of applicants without the bias of a conviction record.
In essence, this means that employers still get to perform background checks, but only later in the hiring process. Employers can request for permission to check the criminal record of an applicant only after a conditional job offer is made.
Additionally, if you decide not to hire an individual due to a past criminal record, the onus is on you, as the employer, to explain how the conviction can affect the candidate’s ability to work.
The ‘ban the box’ initiative has spread rapidly across the country over the last couple of years, leaving many employers thinking about if, and how, it may affect them.
Is this relevant to your business?
It depends which state you’re based in, but probably. Nineteen states have banned the box so far:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
In North Carolina, there’s no statewide legislation, but six local governments – Charlotte, Carrboro, Cumberland County, Durham County, Spring Lake and Durham – have banned the box.
What does this mean for you?
As an employer or hiring manager, you can no longer ask any question related to convictions without a conditional job offer (if your business is located in any of the above 19 states or in any of the six counties in North Carolina).
That said, even if you’re not located in any of these states, it’s time to take a look at your hiring policies and practices to see how best you can accommodate this change. Other states are likely to follow suit.
If you want to know more about ban the box legislation and how this could affect your organization, contact us today.
Posted in Fair Credit Reporting Act
Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $12 million in order to settle a class action lawsuit brought against them for alleged violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that Wells Fargo Bank hired them, conducted a background check, and then used the results of the report to make an adverse employment decision to terminate their employment.
It is alleged that the employer violated the FCRA due to the following:
- They failed to provide a clear and conspicuous written background check disclosure in a document that consists solely of the disclosure;
- They failed to obtain a valid authorization in writing to procure the background check; and
- They failed to provide a copy of the background check report and FCRA Summary of Rights, and at least 5 business days to respond before taking adverse action.
The settlement agreement consists of two classes:
The Adverse Action Class includes persons who applied for employment with Wells Fargo between April 1, 2012 and November 30, 2015, and allegedly had adverse action taken against them, based on the results of their background check report, that wasn’t in compliance with the FCRA’s requirements.
The Impermissible Use Class is comprised of individuals who applied for employment between April 1, 2013 and May 31, 2015, and received background check disclosure form that included a release of liability clause which violated the FCRA requirement that the form be a stand-alone document consisting solely of the disclosure.
Both classes combined represent more than 250,000 applicants. Wells Fargo denies any wrongdoing and asserts that the background check settlement is not an admission of liability.
For more information about ensuring your business’ compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, contact us today.
Posted in employment checks
Social media contains a wealth of information about job applicants. As an employer or hiring manager, digging into a candidate’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram profiles can be a great way to help you to identify the right fit for your company.
In fact, studies suggest that 37 percent of employers perform social media background checks on prospective employees and 84% now use social media as a recruitment tool.
Source: Molly Bell, Flickr
Is it legal?
Yes, social media background checks are legal. In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced they allow companies to compile seven years’ worth of publicly-available files and data from social networks and similar websites.
However, you can only check for certain types of information, such as:
- Aggressive or violent acts
- Unlawful activities
- Racist statements and activities
- Sexually explicit content
Challenges with social media background checks
Though legal, social media background checks come with challenges. The amount of data available about every active Internet user makes it difficult to find specific information without coming across information that it would be illegal to use in employment screening (such as race and religion).
Furthermore, it’s not always conclusive. You can perform a social media background check based only things like an email address, full name, university, workplace, and physical location given in the resume. You can’t account for alias social media profiles.
Additionally, candidates need to approve a social media background check, which gives them plenty of time to change privacy settings to make nothing available in the public sphere. In such a case, you’d have to take the legal route to force Internet Service Providers to give information.
Lastly, privacy laws are stringent when it comes to collecting, storing and acting on the information you find through social media background checks. Remember, any misstep can backfire in the form of lawsuits from affected candidates. Be very careful in your actions, and make sure you stay on the right side of the law.
Social media background checks, while powerful, can be difficult and risky. If you need help, contact us today and see how we can make it easy for you.
Posted in background checks
Last month, the Federal Government announced a series of changes to modernize and strengthen the way they conduct background investigations for Federal employees and contractors and protect sensitive data.
These changes include the establishment of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), which will absorb the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) existing Federal Investigative Services (FIS), and be housed within the OPM. Its mission will be to provide effective, efficient, and secure background investigations for the Federal Government. Unlike the previous structure, the Department of Defense will assume the responsibility for the design, development, security, and operation of the background investigations IT systems for the NBIB.
A Fact Sheet about changes to Federal background checks also posted on the White House website outlines the steps the Federal Government is taking to improve the security clearance and background investigation processes for Federal employees and contractors.
These actions include:
- Establishing a new federal entity – the NBIB – to strengthen how the government performs background checks.
- Leveraging expertise at DoD for processing background checks and protecting against security threats.
- Updating responsibilities established by Executive Order 13467 to clarify existing roles and assign new responsibilities where gaps may exist.
- Build on the security measures implemented in response to the cybersecurity incidents at the OPM in 2015.
- Establish a NBIB transition team transition the management of FIS IT systems to DoD and migrate the existing functions, personnel, and support structure of OPM FIS to NBIB.
- Drive continuous performance improvement to address evolving threats to ensure NBIB is successful in its critical mission to provide secure background checks.
These steps build on efforts the Obama Administration has taken in recent months to increase the Federal government’s cybersecurity capabilities and protect systems and data government-wide.
Posted in drug testing
Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems in the US today. A study by NIDA shows that 52 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime, and over 75 percent of world’s prescription drugs are consumed in the US alone.
Source: Filckr – USC2000
Why consider prescription drug tests?
Such a huge consumption of prescription medicines, albeit legal, tend to impact the productivity of workers and the overall safety of the workplace.
Potential legal issues
Performing prescription drug tests isn’t easy, though, with existing laws favoring employees. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for example, limits your power to question the drug use of employees, unless you can directly link the use of these drugs to compromised safety at the workplace.
Additionally, the EEOC states that you can’t explicitly ask all of your employees to take a prescription drug test when it’s not job-related.
You do, however, have the option to ask one or more employees to undergo a prescription drug test, provided you can prove that an employee’s use of prescription drugs is impairing his or her ability to perform.
Keep in mind, too, that both the ADA and the EEOC protect employees’ privacy, which means that they have the choice to not disclose their medical history and prescription drug use.
What can employers do?
Legal issues surrounding prescription drugs put employers in a difficult position. They must strike a balance between following regulations and protecting the business.
What’s worse – Quest Diagnostics’ 2013 Drug Testing Index shows that the positivity rate for amphetamines tripled from 1997 to 2013 and the use of oxycodone increased by 71 percent since 2005.
If there was ever a need for a formal prescription drug testing process, it’s now.
In fact, the National Safety Council has suggested all employers develop policies regarding prescription drug tests (though implementing them may not be easy). It’s tricky to navigate through this prescription drug test maze, we understand that. If you’re looking for help, get in touch with our team today.
Posted in Press Release
Hendersonville, NC, January 27, 2016 – Mind Your Business is honored to announce that it has won a contract with the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains (OCCH), Strong Bonds Program.
This means that Soldiers who participate in Strong Bonds Programs will be assured their children are being supervised by screened law-abiding, professional individuals. The OCCH will require those who have regular contact with children to meet Army policy guidelines on background screening.
“MYB and OCCH share a common goal: to create a safe environment for children and staff,” said MYB CEO Karen Caruso. “We are committed to protecting our most vulnerable through our comprehensive, established screening processes, and look forward to working side by side with the military in accomplishing this goal.”
MYB will track the background checks in three phases: pre-screening assessment, preliminary investigation, and completed background check.
Overall, the screening for identified personnel will involve local law-enforcement checks, Installation Records Checks, FBI fingerprint checks, and Childcare National Agency Check with Inquiries.
MYB is thrilled to have been recognized for its secure, flexible and customizable screening services. With this partnership, the OCCH and MYB will be able to continuously improve its screening processes through integration with its cutting-edge management system for streamlined screening.
About MYB: MYB is a leading provider of background investigations, EEO investigations and drug screening services. MYB places a wealth of innovative technology, people, and services at your fingertips, increasing the level of information, profitability, and security for clients. MYB recently received 8(a) certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), joining only 158 other businesses in the state of North Carolina as part of this exclusive program. MYB is also a GSA Schedule holder.
Posted in student background checks
In 2015 alone, there were 52 school and college shootings in the US that left 30 dead and 53 injured. It’s no surprise, then, that many colleges perform student background checks as a part of their admission process, in an attempt to increase the safety of their students and staff.
In fact, statistics shows that 66 percent of US colleges perform a criminal background check before admitting students for their undergraduate and graduate programs.
Source: Hendrix College
State and federal laws don’t provide much guidance on student background checks, except in a few instances. The onus remains on the individual institutions to implement policies and processes that match their own needs.
The North Carolina college system, for example, mandates all of its 16 college campuses to perform student background checks.
That said, many state laws do require a background check for those enrolled in specific courses, like teaching and health care, and on students who are proposed for internship training or clinical experience.
The biggest benefits of such checks? Increased public safety and protecting both the reputation – and future – of the institutions. Furthermore, these checks protect universities from claims of negligent admissions and provide opportunities to the most deserving students.
Incorrectly performing student background checks, however, can land colleges in a bad spot.
Get this wrong, and institutions can quickly find themselves in trouble. These risks often stem from the fact that university employees who do the checks have little or no training, and have no written policies to guide them. Shockingly, 40 percent of the schools running checks do not train their staffs on how to conduct them.
The use of untrained employees for background checks contrasts with how screenings are typically performed in the private sector, where only trained individuals or organizations conduct them. Also missing from the college process are standard policies on how officials should handle or respond to students’ criminal records.
If employees aren’t properly trained, they might not even know what they’re looking at.
To avoid these risks, it may be a good idea to leave student background checks to those who specialize in them. If you would like to learn more about MYB may be able to help you, get in touch today.
Posted in pre-employment background checks, The Employment Situation
According to ‘The Employment Situation’ news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country finished 2015 well, adding 292,000 jobs in December.
The BLS report found that the number of unemployed people was unchanged in December 2015 – at 7.9 million, and the unemployment rate still stands at 5%.
Employment rose in several industries, including professional and business services, construction, health care, and food services and drinking places. Mining employment continued to decline.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 73,000 in December, with temporary help services accounting for 34,000 of the gain. In 2015, professional and business services added 605,000 jobs, compared with a gain of 704,000 in 2014.Construction showed strong job growth for the third consecutive month, gaining 45,000 jobs in December. Job gains occurred among specialty trade contractors (+29,000) and in construction of buildings (+10,000). Over the year, construction added 263,000 jobs, compared with a gain of 338,000
Construction showed strong job growth for the third consecutive month, gaining 45,000 jobs in December. Job gains occurred among specialty trade contractors (+29,000) and in construction of buildings (+10,000). Over the year, construction added 263,000 jobs, compared with a gain of 338,000 jobs in 2014.
In December, health care employment rose by 39,000, with most of the increase occurring in ambulatory health care services (+23,000) and hospitals (+12,000). Job growth in health care averaged 40,000 per month in 2015, compared with 26,000 per month in 2014.
Food services and drinking places added 37,000 jobs in December. In 2015, the industry added 357,000 jobs, while employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 23,000 in December, with a gain of 15,000 in couriers and messengers.
Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, retail trade, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.
Posted in Fair Chance Act
On October 27, 2015, a new law called the Fair Chance Act was introduced in New York City. With the goal of providing a level playing field for all New York job seekers, this law states that an employer cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional job offer is made.
Attribution: Gale A Brewer
The purpose of the Fair Chance Act is to give all job seekers an opportunity to get hired, regardless of their past criminal record. To this end, the Fair Chance Act, one of the strictest ban-the-box legislation in the US, bans employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record in advertisements, applications and interview questions.
Once the job offer is made, the employer may ask orally or in writing, whether the applicant has a criminal conviction or a pending criminal case, or request permission to do a background criminal check.
Under the Fair Chance Act, employers can deny a job only if the past criminal record of the potential employee can be linked to present job duties. Also, the employer cannot take into account cases that were sealed, expunged or reversed on an appeal.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of the employer to prove that hiring this candidate poses a certain risk to the job.
If a candidate is denied the job, then the same has to be communicated to the candidate in writing. Further, the employer should keep the same job open for another three days to give the potential employee a chance to explain the cause of conviction.
As with any legislation, there are certain exceptions to the Fair Chance Act too. There are existing laws that prevent anyone with a serious criminal conviction working in certain locations like day care centers, senior homes, and in jobs where an employee has to work directly with kids or the elderly. The Fair Chance Act does not affect these jobs, and the existing background check requirements stay.
The Fair Chance Act is beneficial for both employers and employees, as it gives employers access to a larger pool of qualified candidates, while applicants have a better chance of reintegration.
Furthermore, it helps employers to strengthen their business, formulate hiring practices that comply with NYC laws, and become a more inclusive employer.
If you would like to know more about the Fair Chance Act, and how it can impact your business, get in touch with us today.
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