New England Courts May Be Closed Due to Storm

Thu, February 7th, 2013 - 11:32 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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For those conducting country criminal records and county civil background checks as part of their employment screening programs, please be aware there may be delays in the New England region due to an impending storm.

Forecasters have predicted a major winter storm for the New England States. The blizzard is scheduled to hit on Friday. Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency and other jurisdictions may follow suit.

Corra Group will keep you posted.

Drugs In The Workplace–What a Concept

Wed, February 6th, 2013 - 2:08 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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If most employers believe that substance abuse is not an issue, they better look again at their staff.  There are exceptions of course, and many employees are either moderate drinkers and drug free or don’t indulge enough to  create problem.  But then there are the others, a few, who come to the workplace bleary eyed from a late night of doing whatever.

There are the employees with drug problems, alcohol problems, and quite often, there are the accompanying money and domestic problems.   They seem to come in a package.  Not always, but enough that an employer should be aware that abuse in one area can lead to negligent or liability issues in another.

HRMAGAZINE of the UK posted an interesting article about substance issues in the workplace.  It is well worth reading.

Here are but a few quotes from the article…”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.

The effects don’t stop at the costs of absenteeism, reduced productivity, errors and underperformance. They also encompass potentially disastrous health and safety issues – for the individual, their colleagues and the public – as well as the legal implications for the company. UK businesses can’t just stick their heads in the sand: they need to address the issue or leave themselves vulnerable.”

Pay heed and take action.  Getting out in front of substance issues among employees is the best way to handle it.  Pre-Employment Drug Tests may be warranted with the random followup drug and alcohol testing from time to time.


Corra Group Increases DOT Employment Screening Services

Mon, February 4th, 2013 - 10:52 am - By Gordon Basichis

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From Corra Group’s Latest Press Release–


Corra Group is increasing its employment screening services to it trucking and transportation clients. The expanded services will not only help truckers meet Department of Transportation or DOT compliance standards, but will assist in evaluating potential drivers. Corra Group presently offers motor vehicle driving records, or MVRs, for the entire United States as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. It can also retrieve driving records for various countries around the world.

Corra Group has coordinated its random management drug screening program so it’s easier for drivers to be integrated into the system. In addition to drug testing, Corra Group has increased its facility to conduct DOT employment background checks. The expanded service enables trucking firms to use Corra Group as a full service DOT facility. It now offers the Pre-Employment Screening Program made available through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


For the full article, click on this link.

Employees Who Cyber Steal

Tue, January 29th, 2013 - 3:29 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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Employee theft is on the increase.  So is industrial espionage conducted by employees.   Cyber theft is but one component where valuable data is accessed and stolen.

It is no joke for a business to lose its proprietary data and the information it depends upon.   Now policing cybertheft could be made a little bit easier as as the court revived a lawsuit a Denver chemical company brought against one of its employees.   Allegedly, the employee stole proprietary data through his home computer.

According to the article in the Denver Post…Wednesday’s decision may make it easier for U.S. companies to crack down on alleged computer theft that occurs in remote locations, including outside the country. In recent years, U.S. courts increasingly have dealt with cases involving downloads of corporate information by employees, both in criminal cases brought by prosecutors and civil cases filed by companies.”

Conducting background checks on new hires and current employees may help root out potential interlopers.  In these cases you are not only looking for criminal records but for civil and criminal issues that while not directly related my indicate substance abuse or other tendencies toward desperate behavior.  Domestic issues, incumbent with financial issues, can often be at the top of the list.  The thing is, get on it early.   If you wait before reviewing, then your company may be in the headlines for stories you would just as soon avoid.

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