Corra Daily Planet » 2009 » November

Budget Cuts May Forego Salt Lake City Background Checks

Mon, November 30th, 2009 - 5:30 am - By Gordon Basichis

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The Bureau of Criminal Identification, in Salt Lake City, Utah, has warned that budget cuts may curtail its ability to conduct background checks.   The BCI’s responsible for conducting background checks on teachers for their criminal history and for clearing concealed weapons applicants.   Possible budget cuts may force the Bureau to lay off 20 employees.  With such a reduction in staff,  the overload may cause applicants with criminal records to fall between the cracks.

According to the  Salt Lake Tribune, the Bureau of Criminal Identification  presently conducts tens of thousands of background checks each year on teachers and bus drivers, gun buyers, concealed weapons permit applicants, law enforcement officers, daycare providers, real estate agents, housing applicants, and others.   They may have to stop conducting background checks and adding to their database searches altogether.

The Bureau also warned budget cuts would cause delays in its ability to update law enforcement agencies with criminal information.   Criminal databases would not be current, leaving police officers less informed when stopping and questioning people for possible violations.  A recent Salt Lake Tribune  investigation found that about two-thirds of the teaching license revocations and suspensions since 1992 involved sexual misconduct, including pornography offenses.

The article reflected assurances from certain legislators that they would find the revenue to allow the BCI to continue conducting background checks.   Any state bureaucracy or public service should understand this is the prudent move, that is conducting background checks.   Not only does it screen employment candidates and applicants for weapons permits, but it can go a long way in preventing physical violence and theft in the work place.   Background Searches will help prevent liability issues, which are far more expensive than running the background checks.

It should also be noted that many states and public service agencies have been embarrassed over the past number of years by allowing applicants and personnel to slip through the cracks, when they have criminal records, including convictions as sex offenders.   This is dangerous, and it is embarrassing as well as costly.

My advice–if you are cutting budgets.  Cut them somewhere else.

Check them out before you hire.

Stronger Background Checks for California Healthcare Workers

Fri, November 27th, 2009 - 5:55 am - By Gordon Basichis

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California will impose a stronger set of background checks for Healthcare workers who have been disciplined as drug abusers.   More specifically,  any healthcare professionals in state run recovery programs will be mandated to take a minimum of 104 drug test that first year after they have been committed to the program.  According to the article in the Los Angeles Times, if there is one positive result then they will be temporarily  removed from practice.

The change in California policy is a result of investigations conducted by the Los Angeles Times and Pro Publica where they found healthcare professionals where helping themselves to prohibited drugs from the medical repositories.   Even when the state did discover the theft, it was taking around 15 months to bring charges.    Meanwhile they were working, attending to patients and in some cases stealing from those patients.  Amazing.

So with healthcare insurance being so high, the average patient not only endures the thrill of paying out of pocket, but may be robbed by the healthcare professionals as well.  Not what I would call the bonus plan.  So now California is taking the additional steps to protect the public.  A good thing, for sure.

For substance abusing healthcare professionals, they will now undergo a series of drug tests.  If they have a relapse, if their habits get the best of them, they will be kicked off the job.

Check them out before you hire.

Corra Group Wishes Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

Thu, November 26th, 2009 - 6:23 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group wants to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.   We all need the break, a long weekend, lots of food, a bunch of football games.  Family?  Let us enjoy, drive safe and not get too carried away.

As the civil courts and criminal courts, both federal courts and county courts, they will all be closed Thursday, November 26th, and Friday, November 27th.   Therefore, Corra Group will also be closed on Thursday and Friday.   We will open for business again on Monday, November 30th.

May you all find bargains on Black Friday.  And when you are in need of background checks, business research and corporate investigation, remember we are here, and we love to answer our phones.  So call Corra Group.

And once again, a very happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Credit Reports as Pre-Employment Background Checks

Wed, November 25th, 2009 - 5:37 am - By Gordon Basichis

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It should be no secret that with is economic downturn and slow recovery many job applicants have lousy credit.   Even those employment candidates who once had decent to excellent credit scores find themselves wanting, having been laid off or otherwise pressed for cash.   A bad economy can take you from upscale to downscale in a hurry.   If  you don’t believe me, just take a peek at “Real Wives of Orange County,” and you will find the formerly affluent are the currently hurting.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Examiner, if you have bad credit you will be denied a job.   Bad credit according to the article compounds an already bad to desperate situation for those who have had a tough go in this current economic crisis.   It is reported in the article that job applicants can refuse to submit to background checks, but if they do they will almost certainly be rejected for employment.   This is true.   The article also reports that if your background check does return with a lousy credit report, you will also be denied the job.   Well, yes and no.

The article also maintains that each time an employer runs a credit report you are penalized points on your FICO score.   This is not the case.   Simply put, if you are applying to buying a car or loan, yes after several applications then you will be penalized on your FICO score.   This is known as a hard pull.  But employment applications are a soft pull.  By law an employer is not allowed to obtain a credit report with a FICO score.   Employment credit reports are different.   There are no FICO scores listed.   Employment credit reports are especially coded so that the issuing service is aware that the credit report is designated for employment and not consumer considerations.

That being said, yes many employers will not relish hiring someone with funky credit.   A listing of accounts that have been charged off and put into collections is no way to win the hearts of  human resources.   But there are exceptions.   Employers or HR personnel will look at job applicants who were buried with medical bills, single parents especially, with a more favorable perspective.   Young job applicants who have been buried with college loans are also viewed more favorably.   But someone with a $1,200 charge off at the mall jewelry store will not be looked on as favorably.  This is especially true if the candidate is applying for a job in the financial sector.

California is considering legislation that prohibits employers from using are considering credit reports as part of their preemployment screening program.   The state wishes to exclude credit reports as part of the background checking unless the job applicant is in a managerial position and highly salaried.   The employer will be able to run the credit report is the candidate would have access to employee or customer financial or personal information.  If the candidate has fiduciary responsibility or travels, then the employer will also be able to run the credit report as a part of the overall background checking.

U.S. Congressional  Representative, Steve Cohen, (D-TN) and 26 other legislators are attempting to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of credit reports as a preemployment background checks in most employment considerations.   I would assume the legislation would be similar to that being proposed in California and in place Washington and Hawaii.

To some degree, depending on the reasons, I would agree it is not fair that employment candidates are rejected because of their credit reports.   But then, not everyone is rejected out of hand.  Most employers are willing to consider the extenuating circumstances.  Most employers realize, as they have also suffered, that this recent and somewhat current debacle known as our economic meltdown took its toll on many responsible and diligent employees.   So by no means will bad credit cause the employer to dismiss your application.  Like most other aspects of job application, some of it is negotiable.

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