Corra Daily Planet » 2013 » June

Cooking School in Italian Prison Assists with Actual Rehabilitation

Mon, June 24th, 2013 - 10:35 am - By Gordon Basichis

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We often discuss criminal records with respect to background checks and employment screening. We discuss various guidelines and about giving those with criminal records a second chance when it comes to finding a job.   We talk of crime and punishment and the dismal conditions  within a  prison.

Well,here is how one Italian prison has addressed criminals and the rehabilitation of its inmates.  Cooking school.  Star chefs will visit the prison from time to time, offering valuable lessons.  The inmates themselves love the cooking school and morale is high.   As for the school, there is also a restaurant.  And reservations are backed up with people waiting to sample the gourmet fare.

Here is a link to the story that was on Dateline


And here is a link to the video on YouTube.

This is well worth watching.  For a lot of reasons.  Enjoy.

Seattle is Latest City to Add Ban the Box to Employment Applications

Fri, June 21st, 2013 - 11:01 am - By Gordon Basichis

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In hopes of avoiding discrimination and to give former convicted criminals the ability to compete on an even playing field, a number of cities and states have implemented “ban the box” laws.”  These laws prevent employers from printing a check box on their application forms where the candidate must check off whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal record.

Among other places, Minnesota, Buffalo, NY, and Seattle, WA have added themselves to a growing list of municipalities that have ban the box laws.   While in all cases the ban the box statutes does not restrict employers form conducting background checks or refusing to hire convicted felons, it does cause employer to first estimate a job applicant’s qualifications on their own merits without the bias of knowing the applicant has a criminal record.

For more information on this subject, click on this link for the NELP or the National Employment Law Project.


Corra Group Offers Pre-Employment Screening Packages for Selected Industries

Tue, June 18th, 2013 - 5:27 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group is now offering an increased number of Pre-Employment Screening packages that are especially tailored for related industries. As part of its efforts to meet the demands of employers rebounding from the economic downturn, the El Segundo based background checking firm has designed special groupings of background searches for such disparate sectors as healthcare, technology, finance, entertainment, trucking and transportation, defense, and for those employers with government contracts.

“We believe by offering selective pre-employment screening packages it allows the employer to ascertain which background checks are best for its industrial sector,” said Corra Group Co-Founder, Gordon Basichis. By clicking on the different links, a human resources manager can see what we offer and what searches are necessary at different levels of hire.

“This way we have employers calling us and while reading the employment screening packages, can explain what searches they feel they need and what searches they feel are unnecessary,” said Basichis. “It helps them wrap their heads around the probable cost of employment screening and to configure how comprehensive a series of background checks they wish to conduct.”

Basichis noted how staffing and recruiting firms often contact Corra Group and really have no idea how employment screening actually works. “Most headhunters need some help with selecting background searches,” said Basichis. “In many cases they have never run background checks before, but now their clients are demanding they run them as part of the vetting process for employment candidates the recruiters are trying to place.

For complete release click on this link

When Employees Rob You Blind

Tue, June 11th, 2013 - 10:29 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Employee theft is a lot like the weather–everybody talks about it, but nobody is entirely sure what to do about it.   Employers implement all sorts of security precautions, but sill employee theft continues at pace.   Since the Recession, there has been a noted increase in employee theft as staff members in desperation attempted to supplement their rapidly slipping lifestyles.

I have written about employee theft on several occasions.  One such article is Another Case of Employee Theft.

With most cases employee theft results in shrinkage. the pilfering of office supplies to the stealing of inventory, there are more  than a few cases where more elaborate schemes result in the theft of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.   The more creative thieves set up bogus accounts and funnel money out through that channel while others merely still and try to cook the books.  Most will eventually get caught, but not until the damage is done.

In this recent case, the fashion forward apparel manufacturer, Haute Hippie clothing, found that certain employees allegedly stole enough money out of the corporate till to live flamboyant lifestyles.  According to the article in the Daily News…”Four former employees of the chic clothing label Haute Hippie, along with 10 others, are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company to finance extravagant lifestyles, according to a New York state Supreme Court filing. Some of those involved allegedly used company credit cards to purchase expensive dinners, drinks, nightclub visits, vacations to California and Washington, clothes, and gym memberships. They also allegedly used company cars as “virtual round-the-clock chauffeur[s],” according to the filing. One defendant in the case allegedly used the funds to finance his dental work as well as $1,800 worth of purchases at an Apple store. The lawsuit accuses an employee in the company’s accounting department of being the mastermind of the theft. An attorney for Haute Hippie said the money scam was exposed last summer, and he added the rapid growth of the company since 2008 had served to hide the misuse of funds.”

While nothing can guarantee prevention of employee theft, a  vigorous pre-employment screening program is vital to assure the employer is not hiring the same thieves who pilfered the preceding company.  Some employers do not press criminal charges, and quite often they will file a lawsuit, which is found in the county civil records search.

Of course, better surveillance techniques, careful monitoring of the accounting procedures.   But in the case of Haute Hippie, one of the accounting staff was allegedly in on the scheme.   So rigorous auditing is well in order.

The employer may not be able to stop employee theft entirely.  But they can limit it and possible assure that the effect doesn’t create total disaster, resulting in the destruction of the company.


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