Corra Daily Planet » 2010 » April

Minnesota Massage Parlor Fails to Pass Background Checks

Fri, April 30th, 2010 - 5:43 am - By Gordon Basichis

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When you are a massage parlor in Minnesota, you would think you would have your ducks in a row to pass the necessary background checks.   Not in this case.  According to the Savage Pacer,  Oriental Massage was denied the necessary approval to open its doors.

As with employment candidates, when the education verifications come up bonus, then the license is denied.   In this case two of the three massage therapists working at the school were not graduates of an accredited massage therapy school.  Additionally, the business owner came up short in his background checks as different references he provided could not be reached by the researcher.  The massage parlor owner has refiled his forms for further consideration.

What I found interesting in this particular case is how those concerned with passing background checks will often provide incorrect or inaccurate information with the expectation they will clear the searches.   However, be it a city, state, or a private employer, most entities take their background checks very seriously.   Most mandate accuracy and truthfulness and the filing of inaccurate data will often raise red flags.

As an employment candidate or as someone applying for a business license, it always pays to review what is required and ask any questions as to what data is required for conducting background checks.  Being proactive will not only save a lot of grief but will serve to allay suspicion about intent.   Most public agencies and private employers  appreciate advanced questions rather than excuses when the background report returns as incomplete for inability to verify.

Pay attention to detail.  It may be the difference in getting hired and getting a license or being denied.

When Background Checks Reveal Medical Marijuana

Thu, April 29th, 2010 - 5:58 am - By Gordon Basichis


Medical marijuana is a hot button issue.  It is even more of a hot button issue when you consider whether employees can be dismissed or not on grounds their background checks or drug tests reveal they have been using medical marijuana.   At best the guidelines for medical marijuana use in regard to the workplace are confusing.  At worst they are contradictory.   And somewhere in between, most employers are trying to decide what to do about it.

According to Colorado’s Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and workers compensation insurer Pinnacol Assurance will present a seminar, “One Toke Over the Line: Medical Marijuana in the Workplace,” on April 29 at the Aspen Square Hotel conference room.   A large turnout is expected as employers try to grapple with this issue, determining their own guidelines while remaining compliant with the law.     As it stands, employers do not have to accommodate medical marijuana users .  Prevailing laws prohibit the use of medical marijuana when it can pose an endangerment to others.  What all that means, exactly, of course no one can really say.

I have blogged about this issue before.  My one article, Background Checks and Employees Using Medical Marijuana discussed this very issue, not long ago.   As we are based in California and with clients here and in Colorado as well, we have been asked what is the law, the ruling, the something regarding medical marijuana in the workplace?  What happens when you run a background check and find your job applicant has a legitimate license to use medical marijuana?

Theres are all interesting questions for the new workplace environment.  As more states liberalize their laws for medical marijuana use, which, let’s face it, is essentially a first step toward legalizing it, then there will be more concern for compliance and rulings in the workplace.  As more states liberalize these laws, there are more medical marijuana dispensaries opening for business.   Some say medical marijuana use is up, but with respect to these claims, I have no idea.   I do know that driving around  Los Angeles on any given weekend, the medical marijuana dispensaries are among the few storefronts that do not seem wanting for business.  Even in this down economy.

I suppose that when certain states pass laws that allow for employees to bring their guns to work, or at least leave them in the car, then coming to work stoned is the next logical extension.

Normally, employers conduct background checks, anyway.   I suppose  they should give extra scrutiny to those  either possessing firearms or  using of medical marijuana have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.  But then there is the issue of fairness.  Separating gun toters and pot tokers from the regular lumpen  job applicants who turn up on their background checks with criminal records may show bias that is either illegal or unethical.

As iconic medical marijuana user, all right then,psychedelic  mushroom eater,  Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame remarked, “things are getting curioser and curioser.”

Background Check Discrepancy Bars Sheriff From Training Center

Wed, April 28th, 2010 - 6:16 am - By Gordon Basichis

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This is a curious case.  A Sioux County Sheriff was denied entry into the Nebraska Law Enforcement Center Reciprocity Training Program.  According to the Chadron Record, the sheriff’s background check was incomplete.   The article notes that to be admitted to the reciprocity center, the candidate must be certified in Nebraska.  It seems that the sheriff did not complete certain aspects of the character affidavit and his employment verification.  There were other issues or discrepancies as well.

As I really don’t know the complete story, there is little we can comment on this specific situation.  However, what we find gratifying is that the Nebraska Lawn Enforcement Center performs such due diligence on any candidates for its Reciprocity Center.  While in many states and with many law enforcement agencies the background checks for both employment candidates and current staff are either poorly conducted or when returned fall between the cracks, it appears that the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council and the Training Center are taking their jobs seriously.  They are conducting comprehensive background checks that return relevant information about the applicant.

More to the point, the Council reviews these background reports thorough when they are completed.  You would think this would be the common occurrence, something to be taken for granted.   But it’s not.   There are many screw ups that result in embarrassing consequences and costly liability issues.

According to the law, as the article attests–
“State law requires a candidate for sheriff to submit with his or her filing form a letter issued from the director of the Training Center attesting to the fact that the candidate has passed a background investigation conducted by the Training Center within the last year or has applied for a background investigation within 30 days of filing for office. Roe’s filing application was accompanied by such a letter that indicated he had passed a criminal history check and basic education requirements related to reading and English. A final paragraph in the letter, however, noted that those two requirements did not guarantee admission to the Training Center.”

Makes sense to me.  Check them out before you hire.

Bloomberg and Company Pushing for Gun Show Background Checks

Tue, April 27th, 2010 - 6:22 am - By Gordon Basichis


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group is pushing hard for background checks to be conducted for those buying firearms at gun shows.   This is a hot button issue, with both sides of the entrenched in their respective beliefs.

According to the New York Daily News,  Mayors Against Illegal Guns is running ais spending more than $250,000 for commercial on cable TV advocating background checks at gun shows.  The commercials consist of closed circuit television surveillance footage taken inside Colorado’s Columbine High School when two students went on a shooting rampage that left many dead.   They commercials maintain that four of the guns used in the massacre at Columbine were bought at gun shows.

The City of New York spent some $1.5 million last year hiring private detectives to go undercover at gun shows and buy guns.  The undercover PI’s maintained  to the vendors.that they could not pass a background check, but they were sold the weapons anyway.

The National Rifle Association spokes person has claimed that background checks at gun shows would take too long and impede the rights of lawful gun owners.

Background checks at gun shows is an issue that is not about to go away.   I have written about this topic on several occasions, one such article being entitled, Gun Show Gaffs and Background Checks.  What I find interesting is there is a definite argument about impeding legitimate and lawful citizens from purchasing firearms.  But then there is the issue disclosed by the undercover PI’s where ineligible buyers, those with criminal records, as still able to purchase firearms at gun shows.

Interesting issues.  We will be watching to see what will ultimately decided and ruled as law.  If anything.

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