Wed, May 29th, 2013 - 3:03 pm - By Gordon Basichis
For those conducting background checks as part of their employment screening programs you may find yourself considering the Retail Theft Database Search. It is an interesting search, a database where retailers contribute information relative to any employees they believe were responsible for theft. As we all know, in-house shrinkage is a major problem. But for Corra Group, we wonder as to the veracity of this search, if it is accurate and factual and if at times it doesn’t have its discrepancies.
According to an article in the New York Times….”The repositories of information, like First Advantage Corporation’s Esteem database, often contain scant details about suspected thefts and routinely do not involve criminal charges. Still, the information can be enough to scuttle a job candidate’s chances.
Some of the employees, who submit written statements after being questioned by store security officers, have no idea that they admitted committing a theft or that the information will remain in databases, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, regulators and employees.”
There have been a series of complaints about the retail theft database. According to the article…”But the databases, which are legal, are facing scrutiny from labor lawyers and federal regulators, who worry they are so sweeping that innocent employees can be harmed. The lawyers say workers are often coerced into confessing, sometimes when they have done nothing wrong, without understanding that they will be branded as thieves.
The Federal Trade Commission has fielded complaints about the databases and is examining whether they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law aimed at curbing inaccurate consumer information and giving consumers more control, said Anthony Rodriguez, a staff lawyer at the agency.
Screening for suspected episodes of shoplifting is one part of a background check, as companies scour for evidence of criminal convictions or sex-offender registration. Almost all retailers perform background checks, according to a 2011 survey from the federation. But some background-check companies are wary of the theft admissions, which retailers submit to the databases.”
Corra Group suggests employers conduct county criminal records searches as part of their background checking solutions. We believe this is an accurate search and fair, where all job applicants have a more level playing field when applying for employment.