Corra Daily Planet » 2011 » April

Match.Com to Run Background Checks on Dating Site Members

Sat, April 30th, 2011 - 4:30 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Sex offenders need not apply to Match.com for a membership.   Since the reported sexual assault, Match.com will be conducting background checks on its membership.  An article in the Gothamist describe the unsavory and violent ordeal a woman experienced having agreed to go out with a man on Match.com.     The article said the man had six separate convictions as a sex offender.

I wonder if these types roam around from one online dating service to another, in search of prey.   Many are quite charming and know all too well how to push the right emotional buttons on women in search of a paramour.     If nothing else,  most sex criminals understand a successful pervert knows how to exude that special kind of charm.

Match.com President, Mandy Ginsberg wisely issued the caveat, “We want to stress that while these checks may help in certain instances, they remain highly flawed, and it is critical that this effort does not provide a false sense of security to our members.”   Definitely words to live by.   There is more to searching for sex offenders than merely looking up a name.  I would think, too, is the new member to an online dating site actually signing up in his own name?

The article asks what becomes of people with similar names as convicted sex offenders.   The sex offender registry is, after all, populated with numerous people of similar names.   I don’t know how it will be handled through Match.com, but when we at Corra Group conduct a sex offender background check we isolate the person using his first last and middle names as well as his date of  birth.  We will draw up his social security trace to see where has lived and if his former residences reflect where the sex crimes initially took place.   At the very last, we will obtain a photo of the person and ask our clients if this looks like their guy.

It is one thing to conduct the background check.  But once there are results, especially with something as serious as s sex offender, it is necessary to do the additional research.   On one hand you don’t want to allow a sex offender to slip between the cracks.  But on the other, you don’t want to accuse someone just because they have a similar name as the one turned up in a sex offender background check.    That’s an unfair price to pay for a genuine guy with a similar name, just exploring the dating sites in search of a little love.

Background Checks and Dating Sites

Fri, April 29th, 2011 - 5:02 am - By Gordon Basichis

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As a background screening service, we are occasionally approached by dating sites, asking if we will offer to their members criminal records background checks.   The idea is, of course, that those looking for romance will feel more secure in their choices, having conducting at least a cursory background check on the romantic interest.

What I have seen for dating services that the concept of background checks for their members poses a bit of a contradiction.  On one hand you are promising that through your dating site you can meet the lover of your dreams.  You can find a spouse, a significant other.  In some cases, dating site allude to scientific methods in the way they hook you up.  Matching of similar interests and all that.

But not everything goes as promised or planned.  In fact, sometimes things go very much awry.  On the lighter side of a bad experience, date night did not turn out as expected.  On the darker site, the bad match up can lead to anything from thievery, chicanery, or violent abuse.

Given that a woman is suing one of the dating sites for failing to inform her that her recent match up was a sexual offender, maybe give new perspective on dating services and the need for background services.  I don’t know, really, and if the shadowy suitor lays out a story good enough, his or her romantic interest may overlook past transgression in quest of the perfect soul mate.

According to the article on CNET, the man followed the woman home after a date and assaulted her.  How this will play out in court will be interesting to see as it may well set new standards for not only online dating services but matchmaking services in general.

A Great Drugs in the Workplace Story

Thu, April 28th, 2011 - 4:59 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Most employers who conduct drug tests as a background check for their employment screening do so only at the time hire.  There are exceptions of course, and then there are the exceptions where drug tests are mandated for contractors who are working at hospitals, defense industry related companies, or with companies who otherwise have federal contracts.  But for the most part the drug test is part of the preemployment screening program.

So people smoking dope, after they get the job is not the most exceptional thing you will ever hear about.   And with many states now allowing for medical marijuana,  there are some gray areas about drugs in the workplace.    Certain respective rules and oversight are still in debate about what constitutes an employee’s rights versus employer’s rights and potential safety hazards on the job.   These are being hashed out in courts and the process will probably continue for a number of years, before uniform standards, if ever, are adopted.

All that being said, this is a great story, a true story, Ian Welsh was kind enough to share on Toobox.com.   The article is entitled, Workplace Shenanigans–The Pot Calling the Kettle Black.   It’s  a very entertaining recount of one employee ratting out the other because he smoked marijuana on the job.  Of course, as the story progresses, we learn the snitch was sharing the marijuana with the person he snitched on.   Interesting.  Especially since the snitch wanted the employer to fire the other guy.

I don’t want the spoil the article for anyone, so I will leave it go at that.   Here is the link for the story.  I would encourage you to read it.    And for those curious, there is no background check for duplicity, except maybe reference verifications where the reference describes the employment candidate’s approach to the job.   Doubtful it will come up though as the reference is usually someone the candidate’s selected.  Anyway…have fun reading the story.

Texas May Vote Okay On Bringing Your Gun To Work

Wed, April 27th, 2011 - 4:25 am - By Gordon Basichis

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There are certain news stories we one cannot help but muse on all the absurd potentialities.  One such story is one that came through a news letter to which I subscribe.   It  is an article in The Republic, in Columbus Indiana, where it reports that the Texas Legislature may allow employees to bring their guns to work with them.   That’s right.  They can bring their guns, potentially, as long as they leave them in the parking lot.   Thirteen states have enacted similar legislation.  This comes at a time, of course, when government agencies, politicians, civil groups and what not are demanding background checks for for anyone buying a firearm.

The vote in the Texas Legislature was thirty to one in favor, so to say the least it is a popular concept.   Alicia Trip, Legislative Director of the Texas Rifle Association, said,” We don’t see it as bring your guns to work.  We call it the commuter safety bill.”  Presumably, that means employees will be armed and ready during their commute should a bloodthirsty horde of renegade Apaches or carjackers,  whichever comes first.    Of course, plinking at targets and actually shooting people are to use a phrase, horses of a different color.  But I want go there.

One wonders if this will create a new form of employee bonding and team building.  A firearms show and tell out in the parking lot, during the lunch hour.  Perhaps the really accommodating employer will set up a target range out in the backyard so employees can shoot it up and try each other’s weapons.     And the, of course, if a bunch of heathen terrorists decide to launch a “take no prisoners” attack on Big Ed’s Produce and Patio Furniture Emporium, the workforce can band together and fight them off.    Talk about some terrific video your iPhone.  Millions of hits on YouTube.

Not everybody is in favor of this legislation.  No surprise there.  At a time, as I noted, when various civic groups are demanding tougher background checks for those buying firearms, it would seem employers would be tasked with verifying the eligibility of the gun toting employee and the legitimacy of the firearm.  With the economy still slow and employers pressed for time they need to devote to the exigencies of actually running a business.

Various employers are far less sanguine about the bill.   Concerns are that in a tense workplace situation, should one employee have a beef with another, then with a gun in close proximity, the disgruntled employee may be more inclined to retrieve it from his car and start shooting up the place.   This can make for nasty headlines, and of course there is the pesky liability issues, and the resultant horror show that someone, or several someone’s, have been killed or injured.   With workplace violence on the increase, this is a consideration, and not a recommended means of ending those uncomfortable office trysts.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas have that needling policy where they prohibit employees from coming to work with weapons.  Can’t imagine why.  As for other health insurance companies, I don’t know.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield were the two listed in the article.   So there could be a conflict between the new healthcare policy and the new weapons to work policy.  Of course if this becomes a heated controversy, I would say the ones with the weapons have the upper hand.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I am not so concerned with the macro issue, guns versus anti-guns.  That’s for other people to go on about.  I am concerned about common sense and what may be its practical application.  Maybe this new legislation will reflect no real increase in workplace violence in the form of shooting.   Let’s face it, most employees may kill time on the job, but they have no intention of killing their fellow workers.  But then, there could be an increase.  And then, at best, we would chalk this new legislation up as almost a good idea.

As for the marauding hordes of barbarians that may sweep down on your vehicle as you commute from work, they are probably on a break or squandering their spoils.  All that Marauding is tough work, after all.  And as all recruiters should know, good help is hard to find.  No matter the industry.

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