Corra Daily Planet » 2009 » June

Form I-9 expiring 6/30/09 is still valid after it expires

Tue, June 30th, 2009 - 9:32 am - By Nick Gustavson

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The USCIS issued a press release today announcing that the current Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Form, will continue to be valid beyond its June 30, 2009 expiration date. USCIS has requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the continued use of the current version of Form I-9. While this request is pending, the Form I-9 (Rev. 02/02/09) will not expire.
USCIS will update Form I-9 when the extension is approved. Employers will be able to use either the Form I-9 with the new revision date or the Form I-9 with the 02/02/09 revision date at the bottom of the form.

Corra’s online electronic I-9 form will be updated automatically when the USCIS updates the form.  Corra is a designated agent with E-Verify and can provide you with paperless electronic I-9 software that is fully integrated with your Corra background screening account.

Now For The Absurd, People on Terror Watch List Are Buying Guns

Tue, June 30th, 2009 - 5:49 am - By Gordon Basichis

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So after nine years of rhetoric about the dangers from terrorists and the need for a more stringent homeland security, CNN reports that people on the Terror Watch List are buying guns and explosives.   It’s not that they are buying these guns and explosives in distant countries.   They are buying them right here in the USA.   How convenient.   For them.

The Terror Watch List is one of the background checks many employers will run on employment candidates.   It is a standard, as is the OFAC report, the acronym for the Federal Assets Office report, listing persons and businesses that are not allowed to work or operate in this country.

The catch is this.  According to the GAO (Government Account Office) the mere fact that someone is on the Terror Watch List does not prohibit him from buying firearms.  That person must also be a convicted felon or, heaven forbid, and illegal immigrant.   But if you are a potential terrorist, according to the law, go ahead and buy some weapons…what do we care?

Coupled with the fact that the Terror Watch list is rife with inaccuracies– meaning there are innocent people mistakenly listed and names that logn ago should have been removed– the fact that those who are legitimately on the List can buy weapons not only borders on absurdity,  but travels well past absurdity to a new range of surrealism.

It should be noted that the GAO has stated that a person listed on the Terror Watch List is not necessarily involved in terrorist activity.   What a relief.

Tips on Pre-Employment Background Checks for Employers

Mon, June 29th, 2009 - 6:33 am - By Gordon Basichis

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The majority of employers today conduct background checks.  The belief is that it is necessary to perform due diligence in order to assure qualified employees and to protect fellow employees and clients from harm or foul play.     I would agree with this general belief and add that in these times it is increasingly necessary to run a series of background checks as part of your pre employment screening program.     Given the tough economy, it is likely job candidates in desperation will provide misleading and inaccurate information about their resume and even lie about their pasts.

It is all but mandated that employers conduct social security traces and criminal background checks on their employment candidates.   This is the bare minimum.   These basic background searches are often sufficient for entry level positions.   They can work for laborers, clerical workers, and temporary help.  If the person also drives for you, you may want to conduct Motor Vehicle Driving Records Searches.  The MVR search will not only reveal their driving records but may indicate other behavior patterns, such as substance abuse or desultory lifestyles.   DUI’s or failures to appear in court are indications of this sort of behavior.

Credit checks will also reveal sense of fiscal discipline and financial management.  Those who are experiencing financial turmoil often have the greatest potential to make desperate moves.    The thing you need is for your newest employee to be your silent partner, to steal cash, inventory, or even supplies from you.   There is also the added and frightful possibility that a desperate employee could steal your proprietary data and sell it to your competitors.   There was a case in Los Angeles, recently, where a healthcare employee for a large hospital stole the financial records of patients and bilked the insurance companies out of $350,000 in false claims he had diverted to his own account.

For mid-management and executive level hires, the employment verification search can be very important.   This and the professional reference check will indicate whether someone is looking for work because he was laid off or downsized, or because he was part of the dead wood his past employer could get rid of at an opportune moment.   In this case that opportune moment would be the dreadful economy.

The education verification is extremely important.   If people lie on their resumes, most often they will lie about either their criminal background or their education.    Enough employment candidates claim degrees when they in fact are listed as enrollment only.  Some of the more imaginative or desperate souls list a degree when they never attended that college at all.

There are other searches that may service those in the financial industry.   The Federal Criminal and Federal Civil Searches are very important, as they research any involvement in white collar crimes and financially related violations.   County Civil Searches will help avoid embarrassment from hiring fund raisers and liaisons to the community that currently have lawsuits against them.

It may behoove an employer to conduct a corporate records search on a key executive.   The corporate records search would show if the employment candidate was affiliated with another company where it could reflect a conflict of interest.

Drug searches have become more prevalent.  Certain industries, like healthcare, mandate that employment candidates undergo a ten panel drug test.   The ten panel drug test is often prevalent in defense industry related companies, as well.   Some employers will conduct a five panel drug test, which they feel is appropriate for their needs.   Given the liability issues, poor performance, violence,  retraining, and related issues in the workplace that are attributable to substance abuse,  that small deposit of urine may go a long way in keeping employer costs down.

Some employers monitor the social networks to assess a candidate’s behavior and to determine if they are a worthwhile candidate.   This, for me, as an option that may or may not prove all that accurate.  Candidates who may be “characters” in their private lives may still be valuable and talented members of any working environment.  Nevertheless, some employers believe this is a bellwether of performance and pass judgment accordingly.   I will leave that up to you.

In all, conducting background checks is a requisite part of our hiring process.    I hope this guide sheds some light on what searches to consider when hiring your employment candidates.

San Francisco Trains Undocumented Felons in a Tough Job Market

Fri, June 26th, 2009 - 5:17 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Okay, so as everybody knows, this is a very tough economy.   The job market is lousy.   Millions have been laid off work, and for every open position you have hundreds if not thousands clamoring for employment.

I suppose it surpasses even the more esoteric irony then that in San Francisco’s District Attorney started a training program that included illegal immigrants who were convicted drug felons.  The program trained them for jobs they couldn’t hold legally in the United States.   Of course when the convicted felons had completed their training, their criminal records were expunged.   Their criminal  slates were wiped clean.

Upon reading the related news article in the Los Angeles Times I thought at first that the city district attorney’s office was not conducting adequate background checks on its employment training candidates.   Apparently, this was not the case.  In fact, the convicted felons were deliberately selected for job training in order to keep the undocumented felons out of prison.

In some cases it backfired.   Some of the trainees, upon completing the course, went out and committed additional violent crimes.   Not good.   District Attorney, Kamala Harris, who prides herself, apparently, on training undocumented workers for jobs they can never hold,  is currently running for California’s State Attorney General.    She termed her allowing these felons to be trained for jobs, “a mistake.”    The program has since been modified so that illegal immigrants incapable of holding these jobs are no longer admitted to the program.

In fairness, Back on Track, has been praised, overall, even by some of Harris’ detractors.

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