Another Reason For Recurring Employment Screening

Thu, August 4th, 2011 - 4:11 am - By Gordon Basichis

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An ex-Citigroup Accountant was accused of embezzling more than $19 million from his employer.  That’s  a hefty fee, even for a bank.

While sometimes the pre-employment screening background checks won’t reveal any red flags.  That is the employment had no criminal record and no behavior that would indicate the propensity to steal, it doesn’t mean reoccuring employment screening wouldn’t show the effects of an employee who thought he was worth more than he was getting paid.

According the the article in the New York Times, “The Accountant, who is divorced and has two children, had been enjoying the high life. He owned six properties, including an apartment in Midtown Manhattan; two luxury apartments in Jersey City; a $1.35 million house in Tenafly, N.J.; and a $3 million home in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., that had a $500,000 entertainment system and bathroom mirrors that turned to video screens when touched, according to a law enforcement official.

He also owned a Maserati GranTurismo and BMW 550xi. A Ferrari was on order, said the official, who was not authorized to speak about the investigation.”

Well now.  That’s pretty nifty when the employee was making maybe $100 Thousand a year.   Considering this employee was handling millions and maybe billions of dollars for a bank, perhaps a recurring employment screening process would be well in order.  Credit reports, which are relevant to employees holding jobs in the financial district would reveal applications for loans for a Maserati and a Ferrari.   The credit report would also show credit  the type of  high limit accounts that may pose as red flags.   Property records searches would reveal lavish property records.

Now, I realize some believe employment credit reports are discriminatory.  But this is just one instance where the employee credit report, along with additional background checks, would help protect the employer, Citigroup, from being victimized by an embezzler.  Sometimes theory is one thing and reality is just what it is.   In this case, recurring background checks would shed light on the reality.  Citigroup had an embezzler in its midst.

According to the Times article, “Since leaving Citigroup, he has billed himself as a part-time hedge fund consultant, according to his profile. On Facebook, he counts “traveling the world” as a favorite activity.”

Without conducting the appropriate background checks, someone may want to invest with this guy.  Or another employer may want to hire him.  What a rude awakening that could be.

Are We Forcing Felons On Employers? The New Ban the Box Job Application.

Wed, August 3rd, 2011 - 4:39 am - By Gordon Basichis

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San Francisco is the latest city to present legislation that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants if they had any prior convictions.  If the legislation is passed, San Francisco will join about twenty one other cities in banning the box, as it is known.   Banning the box refers to the check box on job applications, asking if an applicant has had prior criminal  convictions.

Among he twenty one cities, Cincinnati, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia,  and Austin, Texas,  are included among those that have already banned the   Certain states have passed laws removing the felony question.  This list includes  Minnesota, New Mexico, Hawaii and New York.

San Francisco’s aim is to cut the rate recidivism so that convicted felons can find their way back into reputable society by gaining access to a productive job.   The law would carry with it potential issues of discrimination if the employer rejected the employment candidate when the crimes for which he was convicted had no relation to the job.


Here is the link to the complete article on


Connecticut Passes Law Restricting Employment Credit Background Checks

Tue, August 2nd, 2011 - 4:17 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Connecticut joins a number of other states in restricting employment credit reports as a background check for employment screening.  Washington State was the first to pass such laws, followed by Hawaii.  Since then Illinois, Maryland,  and Michigan have since passed similar laws.   Seventeen other states are either considering similar legislation or have statute proposals in the legislature.

Essentially, the law limits employers form conducting credit reports on employment candidates unless their credit status is somehow relevant to the job for which they are being considered.

The new Connecticut statute takes effect October 1st, 2011.


S.B. 361, signed by Governor Dannel Malloy, will prohibit certain employers from using credit reports in making hiring and employment decisions regarding existing employees or job applicants.


The law applies to all employers in Connecticut with at least one employee.

S.B. 361 bans almost all employers from requiring job applicants or current employees to consent to a request for a credit report as a condition of employment.  Exceptions to the statute are: employers that are financial institutions as defined under law; credit reports required to be obtained by employers by law; and credit reports “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job.” These “substantially related” reports are allowable if the position:

  • Is a managerial position that involves setting the direction or control of a business, division, unit or an agency of a business;
  • Involves access to personal or financial information of customers, employees or the employer, other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction;
  • Involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer, as defined under the law;
  • Provides an expense account or corporate debit or credit card;
  • Provides access to certain confidential or proprietary business information, as defined under the law; or

Involves access to the employer’s nonfinancial assets valued at $2,005 or more, including, but not limited to, museum and library collections and to prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals.

In all, it will be interesting to see how these new laws prohibiting credit background checks actually assist in helping people with financial problems to gain employment.

What’sThe Most Violent Job In Seattle?

Mon, August 1st, 2011 - 3:30 am - By Gordon Basichis

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The  News Tribune in the Seattle area just reported that the most violent job in the metropolitan district is not a police officer or fireman.  No, cops and fireman are relatively safe compared to what is really the most violent job in the city.   A nurse’s aid.  That’s right. A nurse’s aid.

According to the article….”

Seattle public radio station KUOW-FM made that finding as part of an investigative series on workplace safety airing this week. The station found that violence strikes health care workers in Washington at six times the state average for all workplaces, and frontline caregivers in emergency rooms and psychiatric wards get assaulted even more than that.

The single most violent workplace in the state is Western State Hospital, where criminal defendants are taken when they are found incompetent to stand trial. Workers at psychiatric hospitals are assaulted on the job more often than anybody else — 60 times more than the average worker in Washington state.”

That is truly remarkable.  As I recently did an interview segment with Donna El-Armale, a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and as the co-founder of an employment screening concern, I try to stay current on all workplace violence issues.   But this is really nuts.  At the Washington State Hospital there were more than three hundred assaults last year.   Causes one to think that maybe a Taser should be standard issue.

Apparently, when patients can’t get the services they need they snap out and act violently.   The objects of their frustration are the nurse’s aides.  While metal gates may prevent some of the violence, three hundred incidents of assault can hardly make one sanguine.    A shame.  Since most nurse’s aides and healthcare personnel enter the industry to help people, it’s a shame they have to be so abused.

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