Background Check Helps Convict Murderer

In April, we reported that a background check helped to solve a 20 year old cold case in Florida when a job applicant had to provide his fingerprints.  Now, a Palm Beach County jury convicted the man involved, Todd Barket, of first-degree murder and robbery and sentenced him to life in prison for the death of Sondra Better.

As this case continues to show, the benefits of background screening can reach far beyond finding the right employee.  Contact us if you have any questions or need help with your background screening program.

 

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U.S. Employers Should Continue to Use Current Form I-9

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently informed U.S. employers to continue using the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification released on July 17, 2017, despite the August 31, 2019 expiration date.  The agency noted that it will provide updated information about the new version as it becomes available.

Hire Image will continue to post updates from USCIS, as we receive them.  Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this change.

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NAPBS Announces Change in Name to PBSA

On September 9th, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) announced that the association’s name has changed to the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), noting that the “new name marks the culmination of the association’s transition into a truly global organization.”  The name change is only one part of the re-brand, which also includes a new logo and website at www.thepbsa.org.

“PBSA has a significant international footprint, and we only expect it to grow larger,” said Melissa Sorenson, executive director of PBSA. “It was clear to us that we needed to bring our name and brand in line with what our association is today – a truly global organization. I am thrilled with this new direction and am excited to see what is next for PBSA on the global stage.”

 

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Newspaper Cites to Ban the Box after Unknowingly Hiring Convicted Sex Offender as Education Reporter

When New Mexico’s Gallup Independent Newspaper hired Guy Priel as an education reporter, they were unaware that he had been previously convicted of two felonies–once for assaulting a child and once for possessing child pornography.  After being hired, Priel was sent into a school for a story.  Fortunately, he was observed during his visit and no harm was done to any of the children.

When the newspaper found out about Priel’s past, they pointed to the recently enacted Ban the Box law, prohibiting employers from asking about criminal history on a job application.  In response, State Senator Bill O’Neill, who co-sponsored the bill, stated that the law does not change the employer’s responsibility to investigate criminal history.

This unfortunate turn of events represents the unintended consequences that may result from some reintegration efforts.  While Ban the Box prohibits employers from asking about criminal history at the outset of the application process, we continue to encourage employers to run thorough background checks, including criminal histories, as a part of the process.

 

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For more information about Ban the Box and whether it affects your state, please visit the Hire Image Resource Library.

 

 

Attention Alabama, Colorado, Maine, and Illinois Employers: Important September Updates

The following laws become effective in September:

 

Employers in these states should ensure that these important changes are reflected in their hiring policies and procedures.

 

For more information about Ban the Box, Salary History, and other laws and whether they affect your state, please visit the Hire Image Resource Library.

 

Court Rules Independent Contractor is Not an Employee for FCRA Purposes

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia joined several other district courts by recently holding that the protections accorded for consumer reports obtained for “employment purposes” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) do not apply to independent contractors.  As most people are aware, the FCRA mandates that disclosures are clear and conspicuous and in stand-alone documents when the report is obtained for “employment purposes.”  “Employment purposes” is defined in the FCRA as “a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.” (emphasis added)  The court found that, in this case, it was undisputed that the plaintiff was applying as an independent contractor and not as an employee.  As such, the court found that the FCRA’s protections did not apply in this instance.

While there appears to be a trend for employers under these circumstances, employers should still exercise caution, as some courts have also taken, and may continue to take, a broader view of the term “employment purposes.”

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Contact us to review your disclosures to help ensure compliance with the FCRA and other applicable laws.