Hiring a new employee is a long-term decision. Companies that have high turnover rates or let workers go sometime after onboarding may feel the financial burden of losing employees. In addition, elimination paperwork and scrambling to find a new person to fill a vacant position can cause major headaches to managers at every level.
Face the fact; bringing the wrong person onto a team spells “disaster”. One way to avoid this nightmare is to have a professional service provider conduct a criminal record check on each serious job candidate. Taking this precaution saves the company money and rescues managers from extra work that comes with hiring the wrong person.
Contracting a background check service provider, like Sterling Infosystems, puts any company at an advantage. This is because a professional criminal background check keeps a company protected, ensures the institution is operating within the law, and guarantees access to expert advice.
3 Reasons to Hire a Criminal Record Check Service Provider
While a number of companies opt to conduct their own criminal record checks, this is a time-consuming process. Not to mention, if the search appears too invasive or is contested by the job applicant, there is potential for legal trouble to ensue.
The possibility of considering misinformation or missing important records is too big a risk for any size company. Sterling can easily locate, access, and organize local and federal documents to retrieve necessary information in a timely manner.
In addition, Sterling ensures all legal and professional documents adhere to lawful state and federal hiring procedures. With FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) experts on staff, accurate information is guaranteed. These individuals work full-time to confirm that each criminal background check is in compliance with all laws.
The alternative to conducting time consuming independent searches and running the risk of breaking unknown laws is this: get permission from each new job candidate and have a professional criminal background check completed on him or her.
More than just another option, contracting a professional service provider comes with customer service and expert advice. As soon as this partner uncovers any disqualifying information on an applicant, or records that indicate dangerous behavior, the employer will be contacted and provided all the details necessary to make an appropriate hiring decision.
After reviewing these three reasons to hire a professional to conduct criminal record checks, are you convinced this type of service provider will benefit your business?
In addition to offering protection, lawful searches, and industry expertise, the professional background check service provider, Sterling Infosytems promises quick turnaround time. Within 24 hours, and even sooner at special request, you can access the information you need.
Sterling Infosystems is a global company. This background check service provider guarantees compliance with laws and regulations that are exclusive to the United States, Canada, the UK, and other countries. Contacting Sterling Infosystems to learn more about their practices and procedures is easy; visit the company’s website at http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com/about-sterling.htm.
In 24 hours you can protect your company, save money, and offer your team a sense of protection by conducting an easy criminal record check.
An employee with a history of criminal behavior can threaten any company. To ensure a safe work environment, it is important to conduct a criminal background check before hiring a job applicant. Nevertheless, this type of research is very involved; it requires scanning numerous databases to compile all the necessary information.
What makes up a Criminal Record Check?
A criminal record check consists of researching county, state, and federal records. Are you prepared to scour online databases, official repositories, courthouses, and other resources to maintain a secure setting? Many companies attempt to conduct independent screenings of new employees without the help of professional services. Yet, this approach proves to be time consuming and inaccurate.
By contracting a background checking service, you can leave the leg work to professionals who are quick and efficient to uncover all the answers you need.
3 Types of Criminal Record Checks
A professional service provider, like Sterling, can perform three types of criminal background checks in a timely manner.
- County Criminal Record Check-
This information is available through court records. The results will indicate if there has been any misdemeanor or felony cases, and the outcomes of those cases.
- State Criminal Record Check-
Through accessing local indices and centralized state repositories, this background check casts a wider net for identifying any criminal cases and outcomes.
- Federal Criminal Record Check-
This is an even broader search that reveals any crimes or guilty verdicts that occurred across state lines. Often times, this criminal background check is requested for individuals who are being considered for high level positions.
Conducting an Independent Criminal Record Check
As an individual employer attempting to conduct a criminal record check, it can be difficult to discern if the uncovered information is reliable. In addition to the time and energy you will spend considering different resources, it will be important to uphold your integrity by reporting only reliable information. This means that:
- Uncovered details must be legally reportable.
- Each state has unique laws about what information is accessible. It will be important to know that some state repositories are incomplete, and therefore, unreliable.
- Other state records are restricted to public access, also becoming unreliable.
Hiring Professionals to Conduct a Criminal Record Check
When hiring professionals to conduct a criminal background check, you can rest in the guarantee that you will receive thorough and reliable information. Not convinced? Here are some additional services professionals provide:
- They cross check multiple sources to ensure accurate information.
- They will not include unreliable information in a formal report.
- They can confirm that the information gathered directly relates to the individual being considered.
Conducting a criminal background check on a potential job candidate is important, if not necessary. In order to maintain a safe workplace, be sure to consider the specific job tasks of the open position when compiling a background report. To accomplish this and put together a complete set of information, rely on a professional background check service; they are equipped to do the leg work fast and efficiently.
This legislation prohibits a public or private employer from inquiring into or considering or requiring the disclosure of a criminal record or criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or, if there is not an interview, before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant. This law does not prohibit an employer from notifying applicants that a law or the employer’s policy will disqualify an individual with a particular criminal history background from employment in particular positions.
The commissioner of human rights shall investigate violations. If the commissioner finds that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may impose penalties as described below:
For violations that occur before January 1st, 2015, the penalties are as follows:
- (1) For the first violation, the commissioner shall issue a written warning to the employer that includes a notice regarding the penalties for subsequent violations;
- (2) If a first violation is not remedied within 30 days of the issuance of a warning under clause (1), the commissioner may impose up to a $500 fine; and
- (3) Subsequent violations before January 1st, 2015, are subject to a fine of up to $500 per violation, not to exceed $500 in a calendar month
For violations that occur after December 31st, 2014, the penalties are as follows:
- (1) For employers that employ ten or fewer persons at a site in this state, the penalty is up to $100 for each violation, not to exceed $100 in a calendar month;
- (2) For employers that employ 11 to 20 persons at a site in this state, the penalty is up to $500 for each violation, not to exceed $500 in a calendar month; and
- (3) For employers that employ more than 20 persons at one or more sites in this state, the penalty is up to $500 for each violation, not to exceed $2,000 in a calendar month.
The remedies under this subdivision are exclusive. A private employer is not otherwise liable for complying with or failing to comply with section 364.021.
This statute does not prevent an employer from requesting or considering an applicant’s criminal history pursuant to applicable law. This does not supersede a requirement under law to conduct a criminal history background investigation or consider criminal history records in hiring for particular types of employment.
This statute does provide some protection for employers as information regarding a criminal history record of an employee or former employee may not be introduced as evidence in a civil action against a private employer or its employees or agents that is based on the conduct of the employee or former employee, if it is due to the employer’s compliance with this statute.
This legislation will be effective January 1st, 2014.
For more information on this legislation, please click on the following link: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=SF523&version=2&session=ls88&session_year=2013&session_number=0
On April 19th, 2013, Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, signed S.B. 18, which restricts most Colorado employers from considering applicants or employees credit histories. An employer cannot require an individual to consent to obtaining consumer credit information for employment purposes unless:
- The employer is a bank or financial institution
- The report is required by law
- The report is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential employment and is disclosed to the employee in writing
Further, such information can only be used if it is “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job.”
The statute provides that “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job” means the information in the credit report is related to the position for which the employee who is the subject of the report being evaluated. Also, whether the position constitutes executive, management personnel, officers or employees who constitute professional staff, and the position involves one or more of the following:
- Setting the direction or control of a business, division, unit, or an agency of the business
- A fiduciary responsibility to the employer
- Access to customers, employees, or the employer’s personal or financial information other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction
- The authority to issue payments, collect debts, or enter into contracts
- Involves contracts with Defense, intelligence, national security, or space agencies of the federal government
When consumer credit information can be obtained and used, an employer may inquire further of the employee to give him or her the opportunity to explain any unusual or mitigating circumstances where the consumer credit information may not reflect money management skills but is rather attributable to some other factor. This would include a layoff, error in the credit information, act of identity theft, medical expense, military separation, death, divorce, or separation in the employee’s family, student debt, or lack of credit history. Further, if the employer chooses to rely on such information to take an adverse employment action, the employer shall disclose that fact, and the particular information upon which the employer informs the employee in writing using the same medium in which the application was made.
Rights can be pursed via filing of a complaint with the Division of Labor. The department may award civil penalties up to $2,500.00.
The enactment exempts Consumer Reporting Agencies from any liability for providing an employer with credit information.
With the passing of S.B. 18, Colorado becomes the 9th State along with California, Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington, Oregon and Vermont to pass legislation restricting the use of credit reports for employment purposes. This law will be effective July 1st, 2013.
On May 25th Governor Sandoval signed Senate Bill 127, which restricts the use of credit information for employment purposes in Nevada. Nevada will be the 10th state, joining California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont and Washington State, that restricts the use of credit information for employment purposes. This bill will be effective on October 1st, 2013.
Subject to the exceptions listed, when this legislation becomes effective, Nevada employers may not:
Directly or indirectly, require, request, suggest or cause any employee or prospective employee to submit a consumer credit report or other credit information as a condition of employment;
Use, accept, refer to or inquire concerning a consumer credit report or other credit information;
Discharge, discipline, discriminate against in any manner or deny employment or promotion to, or threaten to take any such action against any employee or prospective employee:
- (a) Who refuses, declines or fails to submit a consumer credit report or other credit information; or
- (b) On the basis of the results of a consumer credit report or other credit information; or
Discharge, discipline, discriminate against in any manner or deny employment or promotion to, or threaten to take any such action against any employee or prospective employee who has:
- (a) Filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any legal proceeding pursuant to this act;
- (b) Testified or may testify in any legal proceeding instituted pursuant to this act; or
- (c) Exercised his or her rights, or has exercised on behalf of another person the rights afforded to him or her pursuant to this act.
Credit checks for the purpose of evaluating an employee or prospective employee for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee are permitted under the statute in the following circumstances:
The employer is required or authorized, pursuant to state or federal law, to use a consumer credit report or other credit information for that purpose;
The employer reasonably believes that the employee or prospective employee has engaged in specific activity which may constitute a violation of state or federal law; or
The information contained in the consumer credit report or other credit information is reasonably related to the position for which the employee or prospective employee is being evaluated for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.
The enactment explains that a consumer credit report or other credit information shall be deemed reasonably related if the duties of the position involve:
The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, money, financial accounts, corporate credit or debit cards, or other assets;
Access to trade secrets or other proprietary or confidential information;
Managerial or supervisory responsibility;
The direct exercise of law enforcement authority as an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency;
The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, the personal information of another person;
Access to the personal financial information of another person;
Employment with a financial institution that is chartered under state or federal law, including a subsidiary or affiliate of such a financial institution; or
Employment with a licensed gaming establishment, as defined in NRS 463.0169.
An employer who violates this Act is liable to the employee or prospective employee affected by the violation. Potential damages include employment of a prospective employee, reinstatement or promotion of an employee, the payment of lost wages and benefits and attorneys’ fees. There is a 3-year statute of limitations.
Additionally the Labor Commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $9000.00 for each violation of this act. In determining the amount of any administrative penalty, the Labor Commissioner will consider the previous record of the person in terms of compliance with this act and the severity of the violation. Further, the Labor Commissioner may bring a civil action pursuant to this section to stop violations of sections of this act. A court also may issue, without bond, a temporary or permanent restraining order or injunction to require compliance with this act, including any legal or equitable relief incident as may be appropriate, such as employment of a prospective employee, reinstatement or promotion of an employee, and the payment of lost wages and benefits.
Why Consider Oral Fluid for Your Substance Abuse Testing Program?
Over the past decade, oral fluid drug testing technology has advanced to such an extent that more and more employers are turning to oral fluid for their workplace-testing program. This is for good reason as oral fluid testing offers an easy, cost-effective, and accurate laboratory-based procedure that is less invasive than urine or hair testing, and can be reliably used for all testing needs (pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, etc.).
Unlike urine or hair testing, the individual being tested can collect his or her own specimen under the employer’s direct observation. This not only virtually eliminates chance of specimen tampering, but also:
Eliminates the need for an outside test site to administer a collection.
Safeguards the employer in the event a donor chooses to later challenge the validity of the collection.
Compared with pricing for hair testing, oral fluid is far less expensive and very much in line with pricing for urine testing. When an employer also considers the expense associated with an employee travelling to and from a test site, the overall cost of a workplace testing program that includes oral fluid becomes even more favorable.
Most new devices are also equipped with a volume adequacy indicator that takes the guesswork out of collecting sufficient specimen, thereby eliminating specimen rejection by the laboratory (“quantity not sufficient”) and the expense of a second collection.
As with urine testing, immunoassay screening is conducted with instrumentation for confirmation purposes, and result turnaround is practically identical. Specimen validity testing can also be conducted by the laboratory on the collected specimen.
Depending on laboratory, most major substances of abuse can be tested, including:
- Marijuana (THC)
- MDMA / Ecstasy
- Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin
To date, oral fluid testing is not yet approved for federally mandated testing programs. However, the Department of Health and Human Services approved a recommendation from its Drug & Alcohol Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) last year that would allow oral fluid testing to be used as an alternative testing method. The process for formalizing this will still take some time for federally mandated testing, such as that mandated under DOT (Department of Transportation), but there is a strong expectation for this to occur in the next 2 – 3 years.
Most major substances of abuse can be tested (see above).
Overall, more substances can be tested.
Detection Window (Recent Use)
Not likely to detect beyond 2 days.
In general terms, 3 – 7 days depending on substance and amount of ingestion.
Specimen collection can be directly observed in every instance, with no need for a gender-specific collector/observer.
Depending on regulation and employer policy, direct observation may require a gender-specific collector/observer.
Highly unlikely due to direct observation.
Potential exists if the collection is not observed.
How Will China’s New Personal Privacy Decision Impact Employee Screening?
China recently issued the Guideline for Personal Information Protection Within Information Systems for Public and Commercial Services (the “Guideline”). Although the Guideline does not have the force of law, it does provide data privacy guidance. In December 2012, the Decision on Strengthening Online Information Protection (the “Decision”) was adopted by Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and the Decision does have the force of law. Both of these moves show that China has taken significant steps to enhance personal privacy.
The Decision requires network service providers and other enterprises to specify the use, method and scope of collection and use of personal information, and to obtain consent from an individual whose information is being collected and processed.
Additionally, organizations in China are now required to publish their policies that address the collection and use of such information, and may not divulge, distort or destroy such information, or sell or illegally provide others with personal information, etc.
In very general terms, violations of the new legislation may be subject to penalties including, but not limited to, warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, license revocations, filing cancellations and website closures. Responsible individuals can potentially be subject to a ban on engaging in web-related business activities, as well as administrative, civil and even criminal sanctions.
According to the Guideline, the collection of personal information must be for specific, clear and reasonable purposes, and should be subject to the informed permission of the data subject. Such information should be deleted once its intended use has been fulfilled. In addition, express consent of an individual is required when transferring his or her personal information outside of China.
According to King & Wood Mallesons, a global law firm based in China, both the Decision and the Guideline take a relatively conservative position on the transfer of personal information between data controllers and data processors and could potentially create difficulties for some multinational corporations relying on unreliable third party data processing companies (background check companies) routinely sharing information if adequate measures aren’t in place.
As the leader in global employee screening, Sterling Infosystems has the subject matter expertise, a track record of success, and the physical overseas footprint to conduct best practice employee and trading partner screening from over 200 geographies around the globe. Today, Sterling conducts over 1 million global background checks (outside the U.S.) a year. We’ve developed the flexible technology platforms needed to accommodate a wide range of request submission and fulfillment options, while offering customized solutions for local in-country users and candidates, while ensuring consistency and compliance throughout a truly global environment.
Schedule a meeting with one of Sterling’s Global Screening Experts to learn how our Global Screening program can help your organization ensure best practice and compliance, no matter where in the world you may be hiring from.
An Employer’s Guide to Fair Hiring Practices
Finding the right employee to fill an open position can be a difficult task. Before identifying this ideal candidate, employers must sift through countless applications, perform numerous background checks, and conduct many interviews.
As an employer, it is important to remain unbiased towards each applicant throughout the entire hiring process. Applying fair hiring practices implies a job seeker will be considered a candidate until he or she demonstrates unfit characteristics or fails to display qualities that are required for a particular position.
The Cardinal Rule of Fair Hiring
Disqualify an applicant ONLY if a background check reveals information that directly affects his or her ability to perform specific job related tasks.
While it is often necessary (and certainly advisable) to conduct a background check on every applicant, the information collected in such a report ought to be handled with care. It is essential for employers to avoid legal entanglements by steering clear of any behaviour that may be perceived as discriminatory.
Discriminatory behaviour can be prevented by providing clear details regarding job responsibilities and qualifications. Job seekers should be considered only when they fit all the requirements of a particular role, rather than pre-judgment of their character traits.
State and Federal Regulations
All this is to say, an employer must have legitimate reason for disqualifying an individual from a job position. If not, the consequences could be costly.
In an attempt to eliminate discriminatory behaviour, State and Federal regulations have been put in place to guide employers in fair hiring practices.
Fair hiring requirements are often state specific. Therefore, Sterling Infosystems recommends that employers review local hiring laws prior to hiring an individual.
Sterling, a professional background reporting service, complies with both State and Federal laws, and is equipped to apply legal changes on a state-by-state basis to ensure that all job applicants are screened fairly and legally.
To view a more detailed list of State and Federal compliances please visit this website resource: http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com/compliance.htm
Seeking Outside Help
When a company does not have a department in place to filter applications, contacting outside help is an ideal solution. A third party, like Sterling Infosystems, is able to fairly evaluate numerous candidates. Professional background checking services are also able to sort applications based on job specific requirements.
Using outside help is most successful when the employer has narrow screening parameters. For example, an employer who needs to fill a driving position might be more concerned with an individual’s history of speeding tickets, and less concerned with criminal history. On the other hand, a job that requires caring for elderly individuals might take a closer look at an applicant’s history of violence.
The more specific an employer can be, the easier it is for a third party to conduct a profitable background check. In addition, narrow parameters help employers avoid discriminatory behaviour.
Employ Sterling Infosystems
With the help of Sterling Infosystems, employers can adhere to fair hiring practices and discover the right candidates for their workplaces.
Contact Sterling Infosystems with questions or to learn more about professional background check services. http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com/contact.htm
Hiring a new employee is an undertaking that includes a check list of related tasks. However, only one “check” is highly important to the company, job candidate, and government.
The Background Check
Conducting a background check can be straightforward and efficient when prepared properly. To accomplish this, it is necessary to understand what types of background checks are required to clear an individual for employment. In addition, there are certain regulations for different states and locations that must be known and upheld.
Using a professional service to conduct background checks assures a company will remain lawful throughout the hiring process. Sterling Infosystems can provide any company with information necessary to hire the right person, the first time.
Types of Background Checks
A consumer report is available through a database of public records. Included in this type of report may be credit checks, motor vehicle reports, and criminal history searches. They are used to provide information that confirms a specific applicant’s general qualification for employment.
Investigative Consumer Reports
Overall, an investigative consumer report can verify personal information about an applicant, in addition to supplying reference verification. Contracting a background specialist to investigate a job candidate’s performance and reason for leaving his or her previous employer is useful to creating this type of report.
While it is generally agreed that collecting these types of reports are invaluable, many states and locations have different laws concerning background checks and how they can be conducted lawfully. For this reason, contracting a professional service to conduct background checks is ideal. One of the first steps in securing this measure of ease and certainty is signing a Consent and Disclosure form. – The law governs consumer reports and consumer reporting agencies. It protects individuals by stressing the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of the consumer reporting agency. Sterling Infosystems abides by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
What is a Consent and Disclosure Form?
A Consent and Disclosure form is recommended to legally obtain background information on a job applicant. This form gives the employer an opportunity to define the nature and scope of a desired background check when shifting the task to a professional service, like Sterling. It also indicates which type of report ought to be conducted. And, with an electronic signature, this form is an easy representation of the applicant’s consent to a background check.
It is important to know that a Consent and Disclosure form must be accompanied by a Federal Summary of Consumer Rights. Also, most states and locations have summaries of rights pertaining to background checks as well. These descriptions make applicants aware of their legal rights regarding the process. – Sterling can aid in the adverse action process or provide you information to conduct it yourself.
Because of the importance of these documents, Sterling recommends providing an applicant with a Consent and Disclosure form and summary of rights separate from any standard application papers.
How Can Sterling Infosystems Help You?
Sterling can facilitate a Consent and Disclosure form that goes beyond local protocol. A customized document contains language appropriate for all state regulations and guarantees an establishment remains on par with local requirements.
If a unique Consent and Disclosure form has been drafted, Sterling Infosystems is equipped to confirm the paperwork is in compliance with all regulations.
Contact us with your questions, or to learn more about our services. http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com/contact.htm