County Courthouses to be Closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays

Tue, November 22nd, 2011 - 5:38 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Those employers who conduct county criminal records and county civil records for their preemployment screening purposes should be aware that county courthouses around the country will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

You can expect county courthouses to start closing early Wednesday, November 23rd, and they will remain closed for Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, and Black Friday, November 25th.  The courts will be open again Monday, November 28th.

So for those conducting background checks, expect some minor delays from certain courthouses.

The Four Types of Workplace Violence

Mon, November 21st, 2011 - 5:20 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Workplace violence is a growing concern among employers.  There are undue assaults on employees, coming from within and without staff members, resulting in violence and serious harm to employees.  This not only has the obvious effect, guilt and concern, but such violent events demoralizes the entire workforce.  There are serious liability issues to consider.

I have written about workplace violence on many occasions.  One such article was entitled, “Emergency Room Hospital Workers Subjected to Workplace Violence.”  I was interviewed a couple of months ago by Donna Armale, for her television show on the Cal State  University Television Network.  Here is the link to the interview.  I’m about an hour and twenty minutes  into the show.

An article in the HR.Bl.Com helps in coordinating one’s thoughts about workplace violence.  It divides issues of workplace violence into four categories.

Criminal Intent



Personal Relationship

For further breakdown of each category, I advised employers and human resources managers to read the brief but informative article.  Her is the link to the article.



Georgia’s Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act Soon to Take Effect

Thu, November 17th, 2011 - 5:20 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Just to remind anyone ordering background checks from Georgia for employment screening purposes that Georgia has new statutes going into effect, beginning the first of 2021.   Similar in some ways to Arizona’s Legal Arizona Workers Act, of 2007.  That statute mandates that businesses conduct E-Verify or I-9 on all new employees in order to determine eligibility to work in the United States.   Arizona businesses that fail to comply face fines and closures, including possible loss of business license.

Georgia enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. Signed into law on 05/13/2011 the Act requires private employers, before issuance or renewal of a business license or an occupational tax certificate, to register and use the federal government s E-Verify program to verify the employment eligibility of employees.


The bill takes effect in three stages:

–              Effective 01/01/12 for employers with 500 or more employees

–              Effective 07/01/12 for employers with 100 or more employees but fewer than 500

–              Effective 07/01/13 for employers with more than 10 employees but fewer than 100


Background Checks and Jurors

Tue, November 15th, 2011 - 5:36 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Jury duty is a funny thing.  Some people love it and feel they are fulfilling a public service.  Other folks will do whatever they can to avoid it.   And then some claim it is really not fair to haul someone out of work, someone who is not receiving compensation for jury duty, while there are so many others out there who are retired, out of work, or otherwise in ready supply.

And since there are so many prospective jurors out there, especially in the larger cities, it is a wonder that we sometimes get the jurors we have.  There are some very astute jurors and some who have a tough time spelling DNA. Yet in Chicago, an article in the Tribune, there seems to be a situation where some of the jurors had prior felonies.  Some jurors concealed their previous criminal records.   A little off puting when the alleged”peers” are deciding someone is guilty or innocent.

Some Illinois counties do perform background checks on prospective jurors.  According to the Tribune article…”Such background checks have been common in Cook County criminal courtrooms for decades, but it’s unclear how often they are performed at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. Though jurors were vetted in both Blagojevich trials, there have been a handful of other high-profile cases in which they were not, several defense attorneys said.”

According to the article…”Felons can serve on federal juries in Illinois if their rights have been restored, but they often are dismissed from the jury pool because of their criminal histories. In the end, that the Cellini juror apparently concealed her convictions may be more problematic than the convictions themselves.”

If you are out front about your convictions, there is a chance you will be allowed to serve on the jury.  But lie about previous criminal records, and if they are discovered, then chances are you are rejected from service. The belief is that if you are lying about your own criminal past, then how can you be fair when judging a defendant?  Good question, for sure.

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