Corra Daily Planet » 2011 » October

Shoddy Background Checks Enable Sex Offenders to Babysit

Mon, October 31st, 2011 - 5:28 am - By Gordon Basichis

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This is under the more outrageous category. The State of Illinois paid someone with two rapid convictions to babysit.  That’s right.  Yep, you heard it right.  The state paid a convicted rapist with a series of other crimes in his history to babysit.  Probably, given his predilections, he would have babysat for free.

Seriously,chalk it up to lousy background checks, but according to an article in the Tribune….

sborne, of Chicago, wasn’t the only sex offender paid by taxpayers to baby-sit, according to a Tribune investigation that found cases of convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons given access to children over the past decade. The money comes from a $750 million-a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished Illinois families.

The state Department of Human Services poorly vetted baby sitters for years — and when a 2009 law forced better checks, it took nearly 18 months to start them, the newspaper’s investigation of the Child Care Assistance Program found.”

So for a fair number of years, and due to the lack of or the processing of shoddy background checks, the State paid various felons to watch children from impoverished families.  The first thing that comes to mind is how easily a sexual predator can win the confidence of a young child by plying them with money or treats.  It would be a snap.

Despite the lousy economy, it is just too risky not to conduct background checks on anyone with proximity to children.

Some Security Tips for Owners of Small Businesses

Fri, October 28th, 2011 - 5:23 am - By Gordon Basichis

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As is the case with large scale employers, those with small businesses are also invulnerable to security threats.  These thefts include the theft of valuable databases and proprietary information.  In a time when a down economy keeps margins slim and business operations pretty intense, this is the last thing employers need.

Threats plaguing small business  can include your basic hackers to the most confusing and disruptive information about brand monitoring and diverted funds.  As I noted, small businesses are prone to the same weaknesses and vulnerabilities as larger enterprises.    However, because they are smaller, and have a more limited scope and focus, they are flexible and can adjust quickly.

Claudiu Popa of The Globe and Mail has posted an article listing certain security tips for small businesses.  There are ten in all and well worth reviewing.  Here is the link to the article.

And don’t forget to conduct background checks on your job applicants and key personnel.  Many security breaches come from inside your workplace and are driven by revenge, greed, or the need for money, and that deeply set human need to see if one can get away from something.  So background checks should be an important part of your employment screening program.

California Joins Six Other States in Limiting Employment Background Checks

Thu, October 27th, 2011 - 5:42 am - By Gordon Basichis

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California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 22, which restricts how employers may conduct employment credit checks on their job applicants.  A similar bill was put before former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who vetoed it.   Now Brown has signed off his approval.


Proponents of the law have claimed that the economic downturn has created adverse situations for many job applicants and they are being penalized for the poor economic conditions.  Other proponents claim that since ethnic minorities typically  have  diminished credit scores, there are elements of discrimination involved.

Here is the gist of the new law restricting the employment credit reports……

Effective January 1, 2012, Employers in California may only use a consumer credit reports for employment purposes if the report is sought for one of the following:

  • A managerial position;
    A position in the state Department of Justice;
  • A sworn peace officer or other law enforcement;
  • A position for which the information contained in the report is required by law to be disclosed or obtained;
  • A position that involves regular access to confidential information such as credit card account information, Social security number, or Date of birth;
  • A position which the person can enter into financial transactions on behalf of the company;
  • A position that involves access to confidential or proprietary information; or
  • A position that involves regular access to cash totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more of the employer, a customer, or client, during the workday.
You can find more information at this link for Seyforth and Shaw, Attorneys at Law


President of Allied Barton Comments on Workplace Violence

Wed, October 26th, 2011 - 4:43 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Workplace violence is has a tremendous impact.  Not only are people killed or injured or forced to suffer psychological abuse,  simply put it is bad press for the employer.  There are liability factors and various lawsuits that run into the hundred of millions of dollars, annually.

The Center for Disease Control has declared workplace violence a national epidemic.   I commented on Workplace Violence recently for Professor Donna El-Armale’s Television show at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.  Here is the link to that show.  For thos interested, I am about an hour and eight minutes into the segment.

Bill Whitmore, Chairman of Allied Barton, just published anew book, entitled,”Potential Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organizational Success.”  A lengthy title, for sure.  But the  book looks to be most informative, judging by the release that I am posting here.

Here is but one of several excerpts form the articl, which is posted on  —

“According to a 2008 report conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two million American workers experience some instance of workplace violence each year. Every day there are an average of two people killed and 87 injured as a result of a workplace violence incident.

These are staggering statistics, which reflect the ever-growing concern of C-Level executives who have ranked workplace violence among their top two concerns in business surveys conducted by various research and government think tanks over the last decade.”

The article reflects growing cost and corporate responsibility with respect to workplace violence.  It cites the grievous disconnect between management and the workforce, concerning workplace violence.

As I noted in my Cal State Dominguez Hills interview, it is essential that the employer create an established policy for dealing with workplace violence.  It is essential that the employer establish channels of communication and make sure all employees know that those channels are open.  It is important that employees know what to do about reporting workplace violence.  and that manger understand how to deal with the issue and how to report through the chain of command.

I encourage everyone to read the article.  It’s important to know as much as possible about addressing and preventing workplace violence.  Almost for certain, workplace violence will not be  diminishing anytime soon.

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