NEWS & RESOURCES
2019 Background Screening Trends
March 15, 2019
Lawsuits involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers must continue to remain in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in performing background checks. Screening compliance and following FCRA requirements along with state and local laws and regulations will continue to increase in complexity and this will likely spur more lawsuits.
An increase in employers hiring ex-offenders. With low unemployment rates, employers may be more willing to hire ex-offenders. When employers come across candidates that meet the necessary skills requirement, they will not want their screening process to side-step the talent. It’s a difficult road – if the ex-offender does not disclose he or she is an ex-offender, employers may see them as dishonest. However, if the ex-offender does disclose, the employer may decide not to hire him or her. There will likely be more laws related to background checks and privacy issues to help in getting more ex-offenders back into the workforce.
The issues of legal marijuana. Many states currently allow medical marijuana use and several let adults for recreation. For employers, this complicates the background check and screening process. State laws are clashing with federal laws regarding the drug. Employers have lost court cases in several states in the Northeast setting up a potentially problematic precedent that firing someone for medical marijuana use violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, in those states allowing for legal marijuana use, employers must continue to address those situation where new employee candidates test positive but are compliant with local laws.
Summer Camp Backgrounds
April 10, 2019
According to the American Camp Association, there are over 14,000 camps in the U.S. which serve over 14 million campers every summer. That is a lot of camps and – “Surprise!” – they are not all created equal. Parents, when you’re looking for a summer camp for your child(ren), don’t initially assume all the staff has been screened. Just a few short years ago, many camps in New Jersey were cited for failing to perform background checks. In 2014, a “NBC 4 New York I-Team investigation found that Connecticut does not require camps to do criminal or sex offender checks on camp staff, while New York requires only state sex offender checks – not criminal background checks or national sex offender checks.” Indeed, ConsumersDigest.com has noted that “[p]arents shouldn’t assume that camps are required to do in-depth background checks on camp counselors and other staff members, because 23 states have no requirements for camps to conduct background checks. Meanwhile, 29 states prohibit summer camps from having access to the FBI crime database that can help to provide a thorough background check of any camp counselor or other staff member. What’s worst of all, four states have no camp regulations whatsoever, which means that the summer camps that are in those states can operate however they see fit.”
ProtectPeople.com has observed that “for camps, background checks demonstrate transparency, show preparedness, and prove commitment to child safety as the foremost concern. . . . Not only do background checks ensure the safety of children, but they help to garner trust in the community and prevent camps from being opened up to potential lawsuits.” Backgroundchecks.com suggests parents ask camps what they do to screen counselors and employees. “An answer of ‘we do background checks’ is insufficient. Finding out which types of criminal checks a camp runs—county, state, multi-jurisdictional—is a must, as is confirming that they run sex offender checks. Also ask if the camp does verification checks with references and former employers. These checks can reveal red flags that didn’t lead to criminal convictions or even arrests.” The Better Business Bureau further suggests that parents may want to use the same approach as they would when selecting a daycare center and go and visit the facilities and ask questions.
Here are several questions to ask when looking into a summer camp for your child:
– What training do counselors receive?
– Are counselors/staff CPR and First Aid trained?
– What is the camper to counselor ratio?
– Aside from any state laws in place, what if any background checks do you conduct?
– Do you drug test your counselors?
– Does the American Camp Associate accredit the camp?
Of course this list is not exhaustive. Any other questions you may have, we suggest you ask – don’t hold back! This is especially important when you visit the camp before you commit to have your child attend. And to the camp organizers and leadership — when you need to run background checks on potential employees, do not hesitate to reach out to the team here at Backgrounds Plus!
Don't Skip that Background
January 5, 2019
As a hiring manager you do NOT want to skip the background check!
> More than 40 percent of all resumes contain fraudulent information
> 10 percent of all applicants have criminal records – most not reported during the hiring process
> 60 percent of requests for college education verification find falsified data
> One in six employees has a drug problem
> 30 percent of all business failures are caused by employee theft
> On average, more than 50 percent of new hires do not work out
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