Colorado Becomes Ninth State to Put Constraints on Employment Credit Reports

Fri, May 3rd, 2013 - 11:02 am - By Gordon Basichis

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As some believe that conducting employment credit reports as a background check for employment screening may be discriminatory, affecting minorities, mainly, and those who suffered in the economic downturn, Colorado has become the ninth state to prohibit credit reports for employment purposes.

According to the notice distributed by the law firm Seyfarth and Shaw….”

Two types of employers are generally exempt from the law’s prohibitions: (1) banks or financial institutions; and (2) employers who are required by law to procure consumer credit information. These two classes of employers are permitted to obtain and use credit information for all their employees, regardless of specific positions or responsibilities and need only abide by the law’s additional adverse action requirements (detailed below).

The vast majority of employers, however, are prohibited from requesting or using an applicant or employees’ consumer credit information unless that information is “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job.” The statute defines the substantially related language to mean one of two types of positions:

1. A position that constitutes executive or management personnel (or officers or employees who constitute professional staff to executive and management personnel) and which involves one or more of the following:

  • sets the direction or control of a business, division, unit or an agency of the business;
  • owes a fiduciary responsibility to the employer;
  • has access to customers’, employees’ or the employer’s financial information; or
  • has the authority to make payments, collect debts or enter into contracts.

2. A position that involves contracts with defense, intelligence, national security, or space agencies of the federal

Even for these positions where credit information is “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job”, an employer must satisfy two additional requirements before it uses and applicant or employee’s consumer credit information in making an employment decision. First, the employer must have a “bona fide purpose” for requesting or using the information in the credit report. Second, the employer must disclose its bona fide purpose to the applicant employee. Notably, the law is silent as to when this disclosure must be made and does not define the term “bona fide purpose.”

Also, when consumer credit information is “substantially related to the employee’s  current or potential job” an employer may, but is not required to, afford the applicant or employee an opportunity to explain any unusual or mitigating circumstances (e.g. error, lay off, identity theft, medical expenses etc. ).”


Disparity on Background Checks Between Citizens and Politicians

Wed, May 1st, 2013 - 1:18 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Here is an article worth noting.  The Washington Posts cites that Republican constituents are more in favor of background checks for firearms purchases than the Republican Senators who voted against the bill.

According to the Washington Post…”In the aftermath of the vote, most Americans said they believe the Senate shouldn’t have rejected background checks. And even more Americans — including a clear majority of Republicans — support expanding background checks with the Senate entirely removed from the equation, new data from Gallup show.

The Gallup poll conducted an experiment where half of those polled were asked whether the Senate should have passed a measure to expand background checks. The other half were asked a different question on background checks without mentioning the Senate action.

In the first question, 65 percent of Americans said the Senate should have passed background checks, while 29 percent agreed with the upper chamber’s decision to reject the measure.”

Corra Group Now Offers Social Media Background Checks for Employment Screening

Thu, April 25th, 2013 - 9:58 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group is now offering Social Media Background Checks. The new background checking instrument is FCRA compliant and enables employers to navigate the complicated legal landscape of social media with clear, consistent, and insightful results.

The special software utilizes a combination of automated and manual review processes. The program ignores information that is not legally allowable in the hiring process, such as the “protected class” characteristics defined by federal anti-discrimination law. The final report does not contain data concerning race, religion, national origin, age, sex, familial status, sexual orientation, disability status and other information not allowed to be used as decision points.

“It is a terrific background checking instrument for those employers seeking to identify any red flags that originate from the job applicant’s social media postings,” said Nick Gustavson, Corra Group Co-Founder. “It is also a good instrument for business research.

“For employment screening, the social media search will reveal the negatives about an applicant,” said Gustavson. “This is not to weed out the less conventional character with excellent skill sets, but the candidate with serious issues an employer would like to know about in advance. “We have seen some real doozies, where the candidate’s posts are explicitly sexual, racial, or misogynist, or where threats of violence are really alarming.”


For the complete press release, click on this link.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Tue, April 23rd, 2013 - 1:25 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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For those conducting background checks  for employment screening purposes, here is an article well worth reviewing.  While the article narrates substance abuse in the United Kingdom workplace, much can be applied to the American working environment.  Which is why drug screen is often so important.

According to the article in HR Magazine UK….”The TUC estimates that between 3% and 5% of all work absences are due to alcohol, which costs the UK economy nearly £2 billion a year. Recent research from drug and alcohol screening provider Concateno reveals that one in 30 employees (3.23% of the 1.6 million UK employees it tested in 2011) has drugs in their system at any one time in the workplace. If that figure were extrapolated for the UK population, it would equate to 940,000 people. And a 2012 survey by law firm Blake Lapthorn found that most organisations think the use of alcohol (61%) and drugs (54%) by employees outside the office has an adverse effect on their work.


For the full article click on this link


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