As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) reminds employers that properly screening job applicants is more important than ever in their latest press release.
“Seasonal workers are an absolute necessity to handle the increased volume of customer transactions during the holidays, but employers need to make sure they’re not compromising their hiring process in the rush to find workers to meet the increased demand,” said Judy Gootkind, NAPBS Chair. “Consumers willingly share their personal information in increasingly crowded stores and restaurants, and it’s an employer’s responsibility to make sure their workers are both skilled and trustworthy. Now is not the time to cut corners when faced with time sensitive hiring decisions.”
“For our part, NAPBS has developed educational programs and training aimed at helping our members to better serve their clients and to maintain the highest standards of professional excellence, accuracy and legal compliance, including a comprehensive company accreditation program as well as individual certification programs,” said Gootkind.
NAPBS offers some Do’s and Don’ts for conducting effective background checks during the heavy holiday hiring period:
- Don’t try the do-it-yourself approach to background screening – Conducting a Google search or checking social media is not adequate or appropriate for vetting potential employees and could leave you open to legal issues.
- Do hire a professional background screening service - Partnering with a professional will ensure you obtain the most comprehensive and accurate data to help make informed hiring decisions.
- Do treat all employees the same during the background screening process. Whether full-time, part-time or seasonal, they are still your employees and will most likely be interacting with your customers every day.
- Do make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities as an employer under the law – Background checks are subject to state and federal laws intended to protect those being screened, so obtain an understanding of what you are required to do by law to avoid penalties.
- Don’t fail to communicate with the job applicant – Notify the applicant prior to conducting a background check and allow enough time for the individual to resolve any disputes related to information on the background check.
For more information on how to implement a thorough and effective employment screening at your business – or if you have any questions - get in touch today
When it comes to hiring new employees, most businesses understand the importance of pre-screening tactics. The truth of the matter is that hiring the wrong person for the job can cost your business a whole lot of money – up to $840,000, to be more precise. Not to mention the potential legal ramifications.
So it’s really important that you take some extra time during the hiring process to pre-screen your employees properly, without cutting any corners. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you perform your next round of hiring:
1. Check their references
Checking references is one of the most important aspects of pre-screening employees. Don’t just request friends and family as a reference, it’s important to look more in depth. Request previous employers, co-workers and other professional references too.
2. Is a credit check necessary?
Credit history may not really seem like the most important factor when it comes to a new employee – and it certainly isn’t relevant for every hire – but it might be more important than you would think. If the new hire is in a position of financial responsibility, or has access to money, this may be something to consider.
3. Review criminal background history
Before you hire a new employee, it’s vital to see what’s on their criminal background. Criminal history doesn’t always mean that you should rule out a potential candidate, and in some states it may even be illegal, but you need to be in the know so that you can protect your business and the rest of your employees.
4. Use employment verification tools
When you take a look at the application of potential candidates, you’ll probably find that many people list previous work history. Did you know that some people lie about their work history as it can make them look more qualified for a position? Check, review and investigate – and ensure that the person you may be bringing on board values honesty.
5. Consider education verification
Along with employment verification tools, you can also perform an education check. This allows you to see the educational history of potential candidates, and can really be an asset when it comes to making the right hiring decision.
Still have questions? Contact us today if you’d like more information on pre-screening employees, and be confident in your hiring decisions!
Employers in states across the country with mandatory E-Verify usage laws are nervous about hiring new workers since the electronic employment eligibility verification system became unavailable two weeks ago, due to the federal government shutdown.
It’s just one example of many as to how the shutdown is having a significant impact on the economy, the workforce, and the country. Some of the states most affected include Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina, where E-Verify is mandatory for all or nearly all employers.
Last year the government said more than 900,000 workplaces across the US were using the system and 1,200 new businesses were signing up each week, resulting in the current shutdown “causing chaos for businesses and workers.”
An alert on the E-Verify web page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website tells employers they will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts due to the government shutdown. As a result, employers will be unable to do any of the following tasks while the E-Verify system is unavailable:
- Enroll any company in E-Verify
- Verify employment eligibility
- View or take action on any case
- Add, delete or edit any User ID
- Reset passwords
- Edit their company information
- Terminate an account
- Run reports
- View ‘Essential Resources’
While the government has said that employers can go back to the old system of identification – known as I-9 – confusion reigns. “There are some people who thought they couldn’t hire, which I have said is not true,” said Julie Pace, an employment lawyer at Cavanagh Law Firm in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Some companies are calling now to say they need to train people for this piece of equipment or machine but they are worried about what happens after e-verify gets turned back on again,” she said.
The longer the shutdown goes on, the more confusing the situation becomes. Employers can only hope that Congress gets it’s act together soon and comprehends the impact they are causing the country by failing to put party politics aside.
Beginning September 8, E-Verify can now validate the information on Iowa driver’s licenses and ID cards. When a new hire presents an Iowa driver’s license or ID card as his or her List B document for Form I-9, E-Verify will require that the document number be submitted.
Iowa is the fourth state to join the Records and Information from DMVs for the Iowa E-Verify (RIDE) program, joining Florida, Idaho, and Mississippi. RIDE enhances Iowa E-Verify submissions and helps to reduce document fraud by verifying driver’s license and ID card information against state records.
RIDE automates motor vehicle document verification between Motor Vehicle Agencies (MVAs) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The program allows USCIS E-Verify employers to verify their new employee’s driver’s license, permit, or state-issued ID with the issuing U.S. jurisdiction. The E-Verify system verifies the data and responds to the E-Verify user whether the submitted information matches with the MVA data or not.
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) notes that currently only government agencies and contractors are required to participate in E-Verify. When job seekers fill out the I-9 form they are required to supply a document that establishes identity and employment. Often applicants choose to provide a driver’s license, so the program is intended to make the E-Verify process more efficient.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a program operated by USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) which allows an employer to electronically check information that a newly hired employee would submit on their Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) against SSA and Department of Homeland Security databases.
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) released a statement applauding the Today Show for emphasizing the critically important role background screening plays in today’s business environment during the Rossen Report, which aired earlier this week.
Employers routinely request background checks for potential new hires and existing employees and rely on background screens to help mitigate the risk of workplace violence, employee theft and negligent hiring lawsuits.
“Health care workers, volunteers working with children, those handling money issues for businesses – and especially home service workers -are all examples of positions where employers need to know who they are hiring,” said NAPBS Chairman Fred Giles. “Background screening is a critical practice that provides employers with the peace of mind and confidence to know they’re making the best hiring decision possible.”
Equally important, a comprehensive screening program gives reassurance to consumers that the contractors, service providers and workmen they let into their homes are safe. NAPBS is pleased to have an ally in Lucia Bone, whose group The Sue Weaver C.A.U.S.E. (Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment), aims to educate consumers and employers on the moral and legal obligation for criminal background checks on all employees, contractors and subcontractors.
“Consumers should ask not only whether companies screen their workers but also if they use a professional background screener, such as a member of the NAPBS,” said The Sue Weaver C.A.U.S.E. Founder and Executive Director Lucia Bone. “Professional background screeners are subject to federal oversight regarding compliance with all requirements under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and NAPBS members hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical business practices.”
The background screening industry is highly regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as state and local consumer protection laws. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued revised enforcement guidance on the use of criminal background checks for employment screening purposes, directed toward employers who use such reports.
You can watch the Today Show clip here.
Certegy Check Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The FTC’s complaint alleges, among other things, that Certegy did not follow proper dispute procedures. The complaint further alleges that Certegy failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information it provided to its merchant clients, as required by the FCRA.
“Inaccurate information in a consumer reporting agency’s file can have a huge impact on a person’s everyday life, starting with their check being denied at the grocery store,” said Jessica L. Rich, Director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “In this case, we alleged that Certegy delivered a one-two punch: the company not only failed to assure that the information it provided to retailers was accurate, but it also failed to follow proper dispute procedures. Today’s settlement will benefit consumers who use checks to pay for essential goods and services, including many older consumers and people without alternate means of payment, such as credit cards.”
In addition to the allegations described above, the complaint alleges that Certegy violated the FCRA by failing to create a streamlined process for consumers to obtain free annual reports that they are entitled to; and establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of information it furnishes to other CRAs.
This is the first Commission action alleging violations of the Furnisher Rule, which went into effect on July 1, 2010. The settlement requires Certegy to comply with the Furnisher Rule, as well as the requirement to maintain a streamlined process so that consumers can request their free annual reports.
This is part of a wider initiative by the industry to enforce rules and regulations. For example, the EEOC offered specific guidance last month on how employers can perform background checks within legal constraints, as well as filing two lawsuits in the last few months claiming that the companies in question were violating the Civil Rights Act due to their policies of not hiring those convicted of crimes.
For 160 years, SCANA Corporation has been an energizing force throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia – bringing power and fuel to homes and businesses, stimulating economic growth, spurring innovation and enriching our local communities.
Behind the scenes, Mind Your Business plays a key role in ensuring the SCANA workforce is productive, reliable and efficient through the employment screening program we’ve tailored specifically for their needs. It’s a relationship we’re very proud of, particularly due to the fact that SCANA once opted to award their background screening program to a larger screening company, only on return to MYB a short time after.
SCANA Corporation has been a client of MYB’s since 1998 and employees approximately 6500 employees. In the spring of 2006, SCANA awarded their background screening program to one of the three largest screening companies in the U.S. However, SCANA has since returned to MYB due to our excellent customer service, efficiency and accuracy that they did not receive from the incumbent.
As part of our relationship, MYB performs searches on more than 100 applicants per month, with the SCANA program including – but not limited to – such checks as International and National checks: criminal record checks, motor vehicle records, social security trace, credit history, OFAC, I 9 verification, education verification, reference checks, professional license verification, family and neighbor verification, visitor management program, drug screening and previous employment verification including salary, position held, period of employment, work ethics, reason for leaving and rehire eligibility.
The thorough nature of the program displays our commitment to reliable and quality reporting, while SCANA’s return to MYB is emphatic evidence of how we truly excel in customer service and the close relationship we have with each and every client.
We believe that smaller businesses like us can offer a level of customer service that the bigger names simply can’t provide. Our case studies suggest clients agree: Accurate results and customer service are what you should really be screening companies like Mind Your Business for.
If you’d like to learn more about how MYB can provide a background screening program, visit our contact page and get in touch!
The number of Medicare license revocations has more than doubled in the last two years under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) compared to preceding years, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Over the last four years, the Obama administration has recovered over $14.9 billion in healthcare fraud judgments, settlements, and administrative impositions, including record recoveries in 2011 and 2012.
Since the Affordable Care Act, CMS has revoked 14,663 providers and suppliers’ ability to bill in the Medicare program since March 2011. These providers were removed from the program because they had felony convictions, were not operational at the address CMS had on file, or were not in compliance with CMS rules.
In 18 states, the number of revocations has quadrupled since CMS put the Affordable Care Act screening and review requirements in place, as well as the implementation of proactive data analysis to identify potential license discrepancies of enrolled individuals and entities. These efforts are ensuring that only qualified and legitimate providers and suppliers can provide health care products and services to Medicare beneficiaries
According to the press release, people with Medicare will soon see in their mailboxes a redesigned statement of their service claims and benefits to help them better identify fraud.
“The New Medicare Summary Notice gives seniors and people with disabilities accurate information on the services they receive in a simpler, clearer way,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “It’s an important tool for staying informed on benefits, and for spotting potential Medicare fraud by making the claims history easier to review.”
CMS will send the notices to Medicare beneficiaries on a quarterly basis.
“A beneficiary’s best defense against fraud is to check their Medicare Summary Notices for accuracy and to diligently protect their health information for privacy,” said Peter Budetti, CMS deputy administrator for program integrity.
“Most Medicare providers are honest and work hard to provide services to beneficiaries,” added Budetti. “Unfortunately, there are some people trying to exploit the Medicare system.”
According to the report ‘Workplace Violence Against Government Employees, 1994–2011’ released by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual rate of workplace violence perpetrated against local, county, state, and federal government employees in 2011 was three times greater than that of private sector workers.
The annual average rate of workplace violence against local, county, state, and federal government employees actually declined 82% from 1994 to 2011, compared to a decline of 72% for the private sector. Most of the decline (76%) occurred between 1994 and 2002, when the rate of workplace violence against government employees dropped from 99.2 violent victimizations per 1,000 to 24.2 per 1,000. The rate dropped an additional 25.6% from 2002 to 2011.
The report also found that found that local, county, state and federal government employees experienced 18.0 nonfatal violent victimizations in the workplace per 1,000 employees age 16 or older compared to 5.2 nonfatal violent victimizations per 1,000 private-sector employees. In 2011, the rate of workplace violence against government employees was more than three times the rate for private-sector employees.
Based on the BJS National Crime Victimization Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the report includes information on type of workplace violence, violence by occupation, and victim and crime characteristics including sex and race distribution, offender weapon use, and victim injury.
Background checks and workplace violence
The repercussions of an incident of workplace violence can be severe for employers if the correct safety procedures have not been followed by the company. For this reason, background checks are a must for any organization in the public sector, and the fact is reinforced by such workplace violence statistics.
Protect yourself and protect your employees by hiring a pre-employment screening company to discuss your employment screening options.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting last week to discuss implementation of the Commission’s fiscal year 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The Commission approved the Strategic Plan in a 4-1 vote in February 2012.
As stated in the plan, the mission of the EEOC is “to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination so that the nation can achieve our ultimate vision of justice and equality in the workplace”.
The plan serves as a framework for the Commission in achieving this mission by focusing on three objectives: strategic law enforcement, education and outreach, and efficiently serving the public. The three strategic objectives each have a number of performance measures detailing outcomes to be achieved during the four-year period the plan is in effect. The performance measures are designed to assess the Commission’s progress in carrying out its mission in a time of static or declining resources and a growing need for its services.
The Agency’s Performance Improvement Officer (PIO), Claudia Withers, answered questions about Performance Plan 1, addressing the Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) and each of the performance measures. Withers reiterated the agency’s commitment to mission-critical thinking, transparent governance, inter-agency collaboration and public participation.
For a full review on the meeting, take a look at the EEOC press release. The Commission will hold open the Commission meeting record until March 6th, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507, or emailed to: .
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