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Keeping a Close Eye on Compliance:

FCRA Disclosure and Authorization Forms

No doubt, you already know the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has strict regulations in place to govern your pre-employment background screening process—and that failure to meet these regulations when screening your candidates can quickly get you into some pretty expensive legal trouble. It’s no secret that class action attorneys, year after year, continue to pursue employers and Consumer Reporting Agencies that are not in strict compliance with FCRA requirements.

Before we get too much further, let’s take a quick look at why these regulations are in place to begin with.

The FCRA was enacted to help ensure consumer protection

Short and simple. It’s about the privacy of consumer information—knowing what information is collected, and how that information can be used by lenders, credit issuers, and yes, even employers. During background screening, this protection also extends to information like criminal/arrest records.

In short, if you’re a U.S.-based business, of any size, public or private, your pre-employment background screening program is subject to FCRA regulation compliance.

Two important requirements: FCRA Disclosure and Authorization

Employers must begin all candidate background screening with two critical steps:

  • Disclosure: You must properly inform candidates that you will be performing a background screen
  • Authorization: And, you much obtain the candidate’s permission for this background screen

Let’s take a closer look at what is required for both.

Disclosure: Clearly notifying candidates that you intend to perform background screening as part of a wholly informed hiring decision. This disclosure must be clear (direct language, easy to understand), conspicuous (prominent, not deeply embedded in other forms or fine print), and presented as a stand-alone document.

Authorization: Also as a self-contained document, a clear candidate acknowledgement that background screening will be conducted as a pre-employment requirement. This can be presented jointly with the Disclosure, but must be on two separate and printable pages. As part of the authorization, the client will also acknowledge that the company is an equal-opportunity employer and follows all fair hiring practices.

That said, what can go wrong? Well . . . without close attention, a lot!

At most risk, improperly worded presented background check disclosure and authorization forms that do not follow FCRA requirements to the letter are magnets for class action litigation. Like we mentioned above, the FCRA requires clear, conspicuous disclosure as well as candidate written authorization prior to performing a background screen employment. Furthermore—and this is detail attorneys are embracing—FCRA requires the disclosure and authorization forms exist as stand-alone documents. (FCRA section 604(b)(2)).

It is the End User’s responsibility to manage the forms they provide to candidates. Disclosure and authorization forms can typically be signed physically or electronically. However, your company or organization should always consult with your legal team to confirm you are utilizing the appropriate forms, as FCRA regulations evolves over time, as does state-by-state legislation.

A-Check Global has consistently communicated the importance of disclosure and authorization form compliance to our clients. While U.S. employers are ultimately responsible for ensuring their hiring practices comply with federal and state requirements, we’re here to help.

Ask us about our FCRA Form Tool Kit

We offer a convenient Authorization for Background Investigation Form Kit which helps make it easier to comply with FCRA and applicable state-by-state requirements. Our document includes all the components necessary to customize your Forms.

For more information and access to this Tool Kit, please contact us at clientsupport@acheckglobal.com or 1-877-345-2021.

Featured

Compliance Clip February 2020

EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE

UPDATE: New Version of Form I-9 approved

On January 31, 2020, USCIS announced an update to the (paper version) of Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. This update was approved on October 21, 2019. Employers using the paper version should begin using the updated paper Form I-9 as of January 31, 2020, but have until April 30, 2020 to discontinue use of the previous paper version (Rev. 07/17/2017 N). The electronic version will be updated before this mandatory cutoff date of April 30, 2020, and we will keep you informed as we learn more.

USCIS made the following changes:
Form

Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when completing the fillable form online).

Instructions
Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
Updated USCIS website addresses
Provided acceptable document clarifications
Updated the process for requesting the paper Form I-9
Updated the DHS Privacy Notice
READ MORE

 

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

PA MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT: Court Finds Implied Wrongful Discharge Cause of Action
In a recent decision, a Pennsylvania county court ruled that the state’s Medical Marijuana Act creates a private cause of action for employees who have been terminated for their off-duty use of prescribed medical marijuana. The ruling is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, but follows a line of cases from other jurisdictions that have similarly found that lawful medical marijuana users can sue their employers under similar circumstances. Pennsylvania employers should take note of this important decision, as we continue to monitor and report on this developing issue.
READ MORE

AS A REMINDER: At A-Check, we’re happy to help implement a drug screening program that meets your evolving needs—or make adjustments to the program you’re already running with us. Just give us a call at 877-345-2021 and ask to speak with someone on your Client Relations team.

BAN THE BOX LAW

MARYLAND Bans the Box
Effective January 1, 2020, Maryland employers may not, at any time before the first in-person interview, require an applicant to disclose whether he or she has a “criminal record” or has been the subject of criminal accusations. An employer may require the applicant to disclose that information during the first in-person interview. An employer is prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against an applicant or employee who complains of a violation of the law.
READ MORE

LOUIS Enacts Ban the Box Ordinance Applicable to Private Employers
The ordinance prohibits employers located within the City of St. Louis with 10 or more employees from asking about criminal history on applications and hiring forms. Employers are also barred from posting job advertisements that exclude applicants with a criminal history and from using exclusionary language in applications or other hiring forms. Employers are further prohibited from asking about or investigating an applicant’s criminal background until after the applicant has been interviewed and deemed qualified for the position. Employers may not attempt to circumvent these restrictions by seeking publicly available information about an individual’s criminal history.
READ MORE

DATA PRIVACY

BREXIT UPDATE: What Does This Mean for Data Privacy?
In a statement on January 29, the Information Commissioner’s Office said the following: “The UK will leave the European Union on January 31 and enter a Brexit transition period. During this period, which runs until the end of December 2020, it will be business as usual for data protection. The GDPR will continue to apply.”
READ MORE

BRAZIL’S Data Protection Law
With less than a year remaining before Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (referred to as the LGPD) takes effect, HR professionals should start preparing.

The LGPD—which regulates how companies, including employers, must process personal data such as employees’ identification numbers—takes effect August 15, 2020.
READ MORE

SALARY HISTORY

NEW YORK Joins Other States in Banning Salary History Questions
As of January 6, 2020, New York employers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s prior salary. The law applies to all public and private employers within New York State and covers applicants and employees who have taken an affirmative step to seek full-time, part-time, or temporary/seasonal employment with an employer. The law does not apply to independent contractors, freelance workers, or other contract workers unless they are to work through an employment agency.
READ MORE

Questions? We’re here to help!

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New Version of Form I-9 published

On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Federal Register notice announcing a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.

The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.

 

Featured

Form I-9: What’s New For 2020

Wed, February 5, 2020   |   10:00 am PST

A-Check Global’s HR Impact Webinar series presents Dave Basham delivering information on Form I-9 and E-Verify.

Dave, a highly regarded government speaker, will cover a wide range of information about Form I-9 and E-Verify including what’s new for 2020:

View this informative webinar below –

 

Presenter:

Dave Basham

Dave Basham / Outreach Analyst / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Dave joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 following his retirement from the U.S. Army. He has conducted close to 600 Form I-9 and E-Verify presentations to nationwide audiences. Dave conducts ongoing sessions for many associations that include; Society of HR Management, American Payroll, and National Notary. In 2016, the American Payroll Association presented Dave with their annual Government Partner Award in recognition of his service, as a government agent, to the payroll community. Dave’s military assignments were numerous in the Infantry arena. His military service decorations include the Legion of Merit. Dave’s originally from West Virginia but now makes his home in historic Virginia.

Featured

Compliance Clip January 2020

EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE

EEOC Consent Decree over Criminal History Background Checks Serves as a Reminder to Employers to Take a Fresh Look at Their Screening Practices

Employers are well advised to consider evaluating their use of criminal history information and any other background check information to ensure compliance with the FCRA, similar state fair credit reporting statutes and substantive employment laws. READ MORE

 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

FMCSA Raises Random Drug Testing Rate to 50% For 2020
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on December 27, 2019 that beginning on January 1, 2020, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 50% of the average number of driver positions. The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10%. READ MORE

AS A REMINDER: At A-Check, we’re happy to help implement a drug screening program that meets your evolving needs—or make adjustments to the program you’re already running with us. Just give us a call at 877-345-2021 and ask to speak with someone on your Client Relations team.

BAN THE BOX LAW

NYC Fair Chance Act Restricts Employers’ Consideration of Criminal Background
The New York City Fair Chance Act (FCA) places significant obligations and restrictions on employers that consider criminal histories in the hiring process. Employers that fail to follow any of the multiple steps required by the FCA risk significant damages under the New York City Human Rights Law. READ MORE

New Federal Fair Chance Act Applies to Federal Contractors and Agencies
On December 20, 2020, the president signed legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes the federal Fair Chance Act (“the Act”).  The Act prohibits federal contractors that have openings for positions within the scope of federal contracts, as well as all federal agencies, from inquiring about or seeking criminal history information from an applicant until after a conditional job offer has been extended. READ MORE

DATA PRIVACY

Data Privacy Draws Increased Scrutiny from Insurance Regulators
Data privacy has become an increasing area of focus for many insurance technology clients as they work to ensure they are in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Although many insurance technologies are exempt from most of the provisions in the CCPA, they should still expect increased data privacy regulation to be coming down the road as many insurance regulators are concerned that their current data privacy laws are not equipped to adequately address the increasing size, complexity and scope of the data used in the insurance industry. READ MORE

REMINDER

The following is a list of legislation that went into effect January 1, 2020:

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act – gives consumers nationwide more control over personal information that companies collect and sometimes share with other companies. READ MORE
  • The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) (the “Legalization Act”) legalizes recreational cannabis for Illinois adults. READ MORE
  • New Jersey’s Salary History Ban – employers are no longer allowed to ask prospective employees about their salary history. READ MORE
  • 21 states raised their minimum wage. See the full list here.

 Questions? We’re here to help!

Featured

Compliance Clip December 2019

EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE

SSA No-Match Letters and Employer Obligations

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has drastically increased its issuance of Employer Correction Request (EDCOR) Notices, or “no-match” letters. No-match letters are sent when the SSA discovers a mismatch between information provided by employers for wage reporting purposes and SSA’s records. These no-match letters advise employers that corrections are needed in order for SSA to properly post employees’ earnings to the correct Social Security record.
READ MORE

 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

House Judiciary Committee Moves to Federally Legalize Cannabis
On November 20, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would decriminalize cannabis on a nationwide scale. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 – or MORE Act – passed with what some are calling a landslide vote of 24-10. This vote marks the first time in history a congressional committee has affirmatively approved to end federal cannabis prohibition.
READ MORE

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Lawsuit May Someday Provide Guidance to Employers
Given that state-sanctioned use of medical marijuana is relatively new, there are few cases interpreting Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law with regard to employment. This is why a recently filed Pennsylvania lawsuit in October 2019, could have a far-reaching impact on employers.
READ MORE

Illinois: Amendments to Recreational Cannabis Law Would Help Reduce Employer Liability
The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) (the “Legalization Act”) will legalize recreational cannabis for Illinois adults starting January 1, 2020. With the deadline approaching, Illinois business community representatives raised numerous concerns with lawmakers. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce proposed revising the Act to clarify permissible drug testing and to limit possible causes of action against employers. Both Houses have passed SB 1557, a bill which amends and clarifies many portions of the cannabis-related laws.
READ MORE

Michigan: Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal
Michigan, where voters backed legalization in 2018, allowed stores to start selling weed to recreational users on Sunday. Michigan officials issued 18 licenses, including to growers and processors, for the first day of sales, and let stores shift some of their medical marijuana supply to recreational—at least until more recreational businesses are up and running in January.
READ MORE

AS A REMINDER: At A-Check, we’re happy to help implement a drug screening program that meets your evolving needs—or make adjustments to the program you’re already running with us. Just give us a call at 877-345-2021 and ask to speak with someone on your Client Relations team.

SALARY HISTORY BAN

Year-End Reminder: New Jersey’s Salary History Ban Takes Effect January 1, 2020
In just a few short weeks, New Jersey employers will no longer be allowed to ask prospective employees about their salary history during the application or interview process or rely upon salary history in setting compensation.
READ MORE

BAN THE BOX LAW

Ban the Box Laws Finding Inroads in Red States, Too
A pending vote in St. Louis to ban questions about criminal records at the start of the hiring process signals a larger shift on criminal justice reforms in red states.

St. Louis is at least the third city in a conservative state to consider such a measure this year, following new laws in Columbia, S.C., and Waterloo, Iowa, that have removed the question of criminal history from job applications. At a time when state and local legislative trends seem to more closely adhere to a political ideology—such as with paid leave or equal pay laws—Ban the Box laws bridge the political gap. READ MORE

DATA PRIVACY

New State Bills Inspired by the California Consumer Privacy Act May Re-appear Next Year
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) inspired legislators in several other states to attempt to pass similar legislation aimed at protecting the privacy rights of consumers. As the legislative calendars for most of those states have wound to a close before the recent election, this Alert reviews those bills as a preview to what we should expect in the next legislative session, particularly as several states will be returning a more progressive assembly.
READ MORE

 Questions? We’re here to help!

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A-Check Global and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Chances are you’re considering the California Consumer Privacy Act and its impact on not only your organization but also on policies and processes of your business partners. Rest assured—as you’ll read below—A-Check (as a consumer reporting agency) is committed to data protection and already complies with the majority of California resident rights under CCPA legislation.

Here’s a very quick, high-level summary. The CCPA provides:

  1. Rights to California Residents when it comes to the buying and selling of their personal information, including notices, right to delete, right to access, etc.
  2. Requirements for businesses that meet the definition of a “Business” in civil code 1798.140 (exceeding $25M in revenue and/or collecting personal information of more than 50,000 people) – requirements include Data Security, Breach Notification, and administration of the rights of residents of CA (explained above).

However, the CPPA also includes exceptions for both employers and consumer reporting agencies reducing the responsibilities of each entity:

1798.145 – Interaction with other statutes, rights, and obligations

(d) This title shall not apply to the sale of personal information to or from a consumer reporting agency if that information is to be reported in, or used to generate, a consumer report as defined by subdivision (d) of Section 1681a of Title 15 of the United States Code, and use of that information is limited by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.).

Exceptions Explained:

The exceptions for employers and CRAs exclude these two entities from administering an applicant’s rights e.g., deletion of data. However both are still required to comply with the Data Security and Breach notification requirements.

However, as a CRA, A-Check Global already complies with the majority of California Resident Rights under the CPPA legislation:

  • A-Check staffs a dedicated Compliance Team that handles all consumer requests for corrections, copies, full file disclosures, and requests for deletion of personal information*
  • A-Check posts a detailed Privacy Policy and links are posted in all A-Check consumer communications
    A-Check’s Data Security Strategy includes a robust Information Security Policy based on the NIST Framework and a Data Security Team comprised of members of A-Check’s Staff – Executive Management, Compliance, Marketing, Development, and Infrastructure that meet bimonthly
  • A-Check requires a contract and data security assessment with all vendors that A-Check shares PII Information with
  • The new CCPA calls for an opt out button for consumers to opt out of having their information sold, however A-Check does not sell personal data for any reason, therefore the button is not necessary to our process
  • A-Check’s systems do not discriminate between applicants utilizing the system – no preferential treatment whatsoever
  • A-Check can only process a background check on a person under the age of 18 with consent from a guardian

*A-Check is required by the ICRAA to archive all information utilized to produce a consumer report for a period of 2 years, therefore we will not be able to immediately honor requests for deletion from consumers.

What is required of clients:

  • Compliance with Notice requirement 1798.100 of the legislation and Disclosure requirement 1798.110 of the legislation; and
  • Compliance with all Data Security and Breach Notification of the law

We’re here to help!

877.345.2021 | support@acheckglobal.com

Featured

HR in a Gig Economy

gig economy

As an HR professional, it’s increasingly likely that you’ll be tasked with evolving your workforce to accommodate the gig economy . . . that is, if you aren’t already doing so within your organization. The gig economy is here to stay, and although there are challenges when employing contractors and freelancers, there are also a lot of advantages.

At A-Check, we also keep a close eye on the evolution of the gig economy, and recently found a quick read by Forbes Council Member Paul Phillips discussing the role of HR in this ever-changing workforce landscape:

Speed
Ensure your recruiting is moving at the same pace as your top talent. There’s no quicker way to get your next hire to look elsewhere than to subject them to a long drawn out employment process. The same goes for the speed and efficiency of your training/development once you make the hire.

Retention
It’s not just about making a great employee want to come back the next time they’re needed—it’s also about turning them into raving fans who share their experience with friends and family.

Change
You don’t have a choice. Business models are changing, and your HR policies need to position your organization as dynamic, agile, and a good target for top talent.

The full article can be found here.

We are here to help!
If you have questions about your current screening program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact A-Check Global here to get started.

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To Test…or Not to Test…for Marijuana

As you might imagine, A-Check gets a lot of questions from our clients regarding marijuana legalization and new drug testing trends we’re seeing as a result. We love fielding questions like these, mainly because it shows our clients take evolving legislation seriously when developing or enhancing employment screening programs.

We thought this might be a good opportunity to very quickly share some helpful information on the topic, especially for those who are wondering whether or not to continue testing for marijuana in their drug screens.

First, with a growing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana, it stands to reason—and research supports—drug test positivity across the majority of industries is also on the rise. It is also shown that marijuana continues to be among the most commonly detected substances.

A-Check closely tracks overall drug screening activity across our own clients, and we can report that even with widening recreational and medical marijuana legalization, clients are still testing for marijuana 98% of the time. Of course, pre-employment testing can vary by screening package, state, or job position (safety-sensitive for example). And for post-employment testing (either for post-accident or for reasonable suspicion) we continue to test for marijuana 100% of the time.

Taking this one step further, Quest Diagnostics—our drug screening partner—shares insight with us regarding marijuana testing. They report that across all Quest national testing (pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, etc.) approximately 98-99% of all urine tests include marijuana. As a separate group, testing for marijuana in recreational use states is still nearly 95%. That does not represent a significant declining trend due to increasing legalization.

Finally, let’s take a quick look at a very recent position paper from the National Safety Council (NSC), stating that while the amount of THC detectable in a person’s body does not directly correlate with a level of impairment, NSC believes it is unsafe to be under the influence of cannabis while working in a safety-sensitive position. Further evidence that perhaps we will not see a significant decline in marijuana testing for some time.

We hope insight like this is helpful to you, and welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have regarding your drug screening needs.

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Mid-Month Compliance Clip

CONSUMER COMPLIANCE

There has been a surge in workplace enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs

Enforcement. This surge in investigations and penalties against employers signals a new enforcement environment which employers must carefully navigate to ensure compliance with employment eligibility verification provisions under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, while avoiding discrimination violations. READ MORE

Effective October 6, 2020: Pennsylvania Law Requiring Mandatory E-Verify in Construction Industry
Pennsylvania House Bill 1170, known as the Construction Industry Employee Verification Act was recently passed which will require all construction-industry employers, both public and private, to use E-Verify to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Construction companies with state contracts in Pennsylvania were already required to E-Verify new hires. The Act now makes the law statewide for the entire industry and will take effect October 6, 2020. READ MORE

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING

IN PENNSYLVANIA DISCUSSION: Senators File Marijuana Legalization Bill
Two Pennsylvania senators—Daylin Leach (D) and Sharif Street (D)—recently introduced a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill (SB 350) which would allow adults 21 and older to possess, cultivate and purchase cannabis from licensed retailers. It also contains social justice provisions aimed at promoting equity in the industry, including automatically expunging prior marijuana convictions and providing interest-free loans to low-income individuals who want to participate in the market.
READ MORE

IN ILLINOIS DISCUSSION: Consider Adjusting Your Drug Policies Now, Not Later
When considering marijuana use, employers may want to rely less on drug testing, and more on documenting potential impaired behavior on the job to build a case for termination. Under the new Illinois law, people are allowed to possess and consume cannabis products on their own time. Employers can still regulate usage and possession in the workplace. The recommendation may be to regulate cannabis in the workplace much like alcohol. That means while active impairment or possession won’t be tolerated, usage on one’s own time probably won’t be viewed as so problematic. READ MORE

New Jersey has joined a growing number of states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, in providing employment protections for users of medical marijuana. The Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (CUMCA) impacts New Jersey employers in two significant ways:  READ MORE

AS A REMINDER: At A-Check, we’re happy to help implement a drug screening program that meets your evolving needs—or make adjustments to the program you’re already running with us. Just give us a call at 877-345-2021 and ask to speak with someone on your Client Relations team.

Featured

A-Check Global Partners with Cornerstone—Background Screening Integration Now Available in Cornerstone’s EDGE Marketplace

Riverside, CA, October 8, 2019 — Today, A-Check Global announced the availability of its background screening solutions within Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD), a global leader in the cloud-based learning, talent management and emerging talent experience market. Now integrated as a partner within Cornerstone’s EDGE marketplace, A-Check Global’s background screening integration provides an enhanced resource to help organizations make well-informed hiring decisions, with quicker turnaround, and within the convenience of Cornerstone’s talent management system.

A-Check Global background screening integration with Cornerstone improves the efficiency of the hiring process by offering easy and secure online transfer of employment candidate information and reporting between A-Check Global’s background screening integration and the Cornerstone system platform.

“In today’s world of ever-expanding, technology driven recruitment solutions, we are honored to partner with Cornerstone, and we look forward to providing an enhanced workflow experience to employers and candidates,” said Donald Shimizu, Executive Vice President at A-Check Global. “A-Check shares Cornerstone’s focus on customer care through innovation, and we are excited to serve our mutual customers now and in the future.”

About A-Check Global
A-Check Global is the nation’s most successful woman-minority owned employment screening company, providing superior customer care and support, customized background screening solutions, and advanced, online interface technology to meet the unique requirements of employers and employment candidates worldwide. A-Check is an authorized E-Verify Third Party Agent, holds ISO 9001:2015 Certification, and is accredited with the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). The company’s global headquarters is in Riverside, California. For more information, visit www.acheckglobal.com or phone toll free, 877-345-2021.

About Cornerstone OnDemand
Cornerstone was founded with a passion for empowering people through learning and a conviction that people should be your organization’s greatest competitive advantage. Cornerstone is a global human capital management leader with a core belief that companies thrive when they help their employees to realize their potential. Putting this belief into practice, Cornerstone offers solutions to help companies strategically manage and continuously develop their talent throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Featuring comprehensive recruiting, personalized learning, development-driven performance management, and holistic HR planning, Cornerstone’s human capital management platform is successfully used by more than 3,600 global clients of all sizes, spanning more than 40 million users across 190+ countries and 40+ languages. Learn more at www.cornerstoneondemand.com.

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Diduknow3email sm

A-Check Global Offers Background Screening Services for Your Interns & Volunteers

While organizations often host additional “non-staff” personnel—interns, volunteers, students, independent contractors, and others—many may think performing background screening on these groups is either too complex or too expensive. Well, let’s just say we’re here to help by offering a screening program tailored to meet this exact need.

• Take advantage of comprehensive, budget-conscious screening options
• Shift data submission/payment responsibility from your HR team to the “candidate”
• Options available for securely accessing final reports

We can work with you to build and implement a package that works for your needs. For example, here’s a quick look at a “standardized” package of services many of our clients use currently:

Sample Screening Package: Additional Services:
• Social Security Trace • Education Verification
• National Criminal Locator (NATCRIM) • Employment Verification
• County Criminal Record • Motor Vehicle Report
• Federal District Record • Substance Abuse Screening
• Global Direct Search  

It’s all about finding what works best for you, then efficiently implementing these additional services into your existing employment program to make life just a little easier. We welcome your call or email to learn more about our intern program: 1-877-345-2021 or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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In Compliance News:

Upcoming changes to Illinois law will prohibit salary history inquiries & require review of employer drug policies

Salary History Inquiry Ban – Effective September 29, 2019
Amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act (IEPA) become effective September 29, 2019. Included is a ban prohibiting inquiry into and the use of a candidate’s pay history when making employment decisions. Illinois employers will be prohibited from a) screening candidates based on current/prior wages, benefits, and other compensation, b) requiring that salary history meets minimum/maximum criteria for a particular position, and c) requesting salary history as a condition of being considered for employment. Illinois joins with 13 states that have imposed such a ban. For full details on this amendment, we welcome you to READ MORE.

Employment Aspects of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – Effective January 1, 2020
The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA)—“Recreational Marijuana Law”—takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Please keep in mind, there are provisions that may require employers to modify drug use policies:

  • Employers must have good faith belief that an employee was impaired or under the influence in the workplace, defined by identifying specific, articulable symptoms of impairment.
  • If the employee is disciplined or discharged for being impaired by marijuana, there must be reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the employer’s determination.
  • And, because marijuana use will be legal outside the workplace, employers will likely not be able to rely on the results of testing alone to satisfy the good faith belief requirement, even in post-accident situations, if there is no reasonable suspicion that the employee was impaired by or under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident.

For full details on all upcoming provisions to the Illinois CRTA, please READ MORE and be prepared for further review or revision of your current drug testing and disciplinary polices where necessary to comply with CRTA.

Questions? We’re here to help. Please feel free to give us a call at 877-345-2021.

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Drug Screening Trends

DSCI

As your trusted partner, we want to make sure you are up to date on issues that may affect you so we monitor new legislation in regards to all facets of employment screening. We found a recent article by the Drug Screening Compliance Institute that details the ongoing evolution of drug legislation, and the resulting adjustments many employers in a growing number of states have to make to their employment programs. There’s never been a more important time for employers to keep an eye on state laws and be prepared to audit/adjust their drug screening policy.

The full article can be found here.

We are here to help!

If you have questions about developing a drug-free policy, or about your current screening program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact A-Check Global here to get started.

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5 Reasons Not to Take the Day Off from Compliance

Wed, September 18, 2019   |   10:00 am PST

A-Check Global’s HR Webinar series presents Gary Hanley delivering information on FCRA Compliance.

Class-action lawsuits over alleged FCRA violations during the background screening process continue to be on the rise. With the potential rise of litigation in mind, we’re dedicated to providing ongoing advice on how to fairly utilize background screen (consumer) reports, and help you remain compliant with federal, state and local regulations.

Our presentation will cover the following items:

  1. Ensure Your Disclosure is standalone and does not include state notices and waivers
  2. All Adverse Communications are executed
  3. No one on Your Team is Sharing Reports
  4. Your Assessment process is not Subject to Disparate Impact
  5. Your Data is Secure!

Attend the full webinar to receive one hour of HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute) Credit.

View this informative webinar below:

Presenter:

Gary H.jpg

 Gary Hanley / Compliance Director, A-Check Global

Gary has more than 20 years experience in consumer reporting, including 11 years at the executive level and the last seven years focused solely on industry compliance. Gary currently serves as A-Check Global’s Director of Compliance and as our Data Protection Officer. He is a recognized and respected leader in the Consumer Reporting Industry with several speaking engagements and published white papers to his credit.

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The Importance of Choosing the Right Background Screening Partner

lawsuits

Class-action lawsuits over alleged FCRA violations during the background screening process continue to be on the rise. With ever-changing policies and the privacy do’s and don’ts one has to follow, it’s not surprising that some companies make mistakes.

In fact HR Dive recently reported that employers paid out $174M to resolve background-check lawsuits READ HERE.

With the potential rise of litigation in mind, we’re dedicated to providing ongoing advice on how to fairly utilize background screen (consumer) reports, and help you remain compliant with federal, state and local regulations.

If you have any questions about your background screening process, our team of dedicated professionals are available to help, and can provide friendly, accurate guidance. Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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Creating a Positive Candidate Interview Experience

Hiring

There are many books written on the subject of the employment candidate experience. Most have a common theme—take your recruiting to the next level by implementing a winning interview process for every candidate, regardless of position or role. In this quick post, we’ll break it down for you in six easy steps:

  1. Treat all candidates as if they are your only candidate. While interviewing, we may have pre-conceived notions of who we are looking for, but everyone deserves a fair shot. If we provide each candidate with the same opportunity—and time—we may just discover that the best person for a position isn’t who we thought it might be.
  2. Follow up quickly. If contacted by a candidate after their interview, do your best to respond in a timely manner. A little consideration can go a long way in making a person feel their time was valuable. If passing on the candidate, respectfully and quickly following-up allows them to focus on other opportunities.
  3. Use a script. Asking each candidate the same questions helps take personal bias out of the situation and assists you in selecting the best person for the position based on their responses.
  4. At the end of the process, talk to each candidate in person. Whenever possible, show your interviewees dignity and respect by reaching out in person—rather than a “Dear John” letter—to let them know your organization is making another choice. The conversation doesn’t have to be lengthy and you can reaffirm the positive qualities they displayed, which was why you interviewed them in the first place. Most candidates will appreciate the human touch.
  5. Give the candidate brief advice or feedback. After the interview is complete, let the candidate know how they did. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice and if you feel they may not be in the running for this position, your comments will likely help them out as they focus on other opportunities.
  6. If possible, point them in the right direction. Many hiring managers and recruiters know others who have open positions. If you find a candidate that isn’t right for your company, but may be an ideal match for someone else, help them make the connection.

Regardless of whether or not your employment candidates plan to work in the same line of business throughout their careers, your positive interview experience will help you promote your organization’s brand, and your company will be remembered in the future. Those you interview will be more inclined to share the experience with colleagues, encourage others to apply for open positions with you, or better still, may stay in touch to find the future position that does fit.

To learn more about improving the candidate experience through your hiring process CLICK HERE.

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The Latest Update: Salary History Bans

Just a quick look at the latest in state/local legislature regarding employer restrictions on salary history inquiries during the employment process. Take a read, and be sure to also review your employment program for any updates that need to be made as a result of these new laws.

Alabama
Effective August 1, 2019, employers are prohibited from refusing to interview, hire, promote, employ or retaliate against any candidate because they did not provide wage history information.

Maine
Effective September 17, 2019, employers are prohibited from using or inquiring about the compensation history provided by a candidate or their current or former employer until a job offer is made that includes all terms of compensation negotiated with the candidate.

Kansas City, Missouri
Effective October 31, 2019, employers with six or more employees are prohibited from inquiring about a candidate’s salary history.

Washington State
Effective July 28, 2019, Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act prohibits employers from:

  • Seeking a candidate’s wage or salary history, either from the candidate or their current or former employer.
  • Requiring a candidate’s prior wage or salary history to meet certain criteria.

Here’s a great link to READ MORE about state and local employment law developments. And as always, if you have any questions about your current employment program, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to help.

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Background Screening at a Glance

Most employers know the value background screening provides as an efficient way to protect a company’s property and assets. At A-Check, we regularly consult with clients to help them develop a program that represents a suitable balance between automated services providing the quickest turnaround, to more comprehensive services that add time but return far more applicant information.

Part of this conversation typically revolves around criminal record searches and the difference between Database Searches and Primary Source Searches.

Database Searches are self-explanatory in that they are “instant” searches of third-party databases. These have quick turnaround times.

Primary Source Searches are more labor intensive since they can require an in-person visit to a local courthouse at the county, state or federal level. Depending on the jurisdiction these courts are in—and their method of recordkeeping—these searches can potentially add to your background screen turnaround time.

So what do A-Check clients usually request?

By processing millions of files annually, we see patterns in the background screening requests we receive, and use that experience to help our clients quickly determine what will best meet their needs. Here’s a very quick illustration representing a quicker turnaround option A (a due diligence screen with more than 80% returned same day), on up to option C (a full background screen with greater levels of accuracy and results, but requiring additional time).

         OPTION A                            OPTION B                           OPTION C

Social Security Trace Social Security Trace Social Security Trace
NATCRIM Database* NATCRIM Database* NATCRIM Database*
County Searches* County Searches*
Statewide Locator (where available)*
Federal District
National Sex Offender Database
Employment Verification* Employment Verification* Employment Verification*
Education Verification* Education Verification*
Add’l Previous Employment Verification

* All “hits” from the Nationwide Database searched at county level to comply with FCRA. County service completed per name/county searched.

We know you may have questions, and our knowledgeable representatives welcome the opportunity to chat with you. Feel free to call 877-345-2021, or reach out to us at clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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Nevada Becomes First State to Restrict Employer Use of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

marijuana

Just a quick note to illustrate how pre-employment drug testing continues to evolve as legislation addresses increasing legalization of Marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. On June 5, 2019, the Nevada Governor signed Assembly Bill 132, making it unlawful for any Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire an employment candidate who tests positive for marijuana on a pre-employment drug test. This law is effective January 1, 2020, and while of course there are exceptions (positions for firefighters and emergency technicians for example), it illustrates that more and more employers in the future may need to review their drug testing or substance abuse policies as legislation potentially changes state by state.

We welcome you to READ MORE.

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Our Compliance Commitment to Clients

When it comes to keeping pace with the ever changing compliance landscape, you’d be amazed at just how many valuable resources we have in place to maintain our steadfast commitment to compliance and data accuracy. These valuable resources play a big role in helping keep your employment program compliant, in providing you with the highest quality background screening services available, and toward the ongoing protection and privacy of your data.

To achieve this level of service, our compliance framework includes processes designed to maximize reporting accuracy, limit disputes, and communicate updates to laws and regulations that govern the background screening process:

  1. Our Compliance Department consults with internal and external legal counsel for ongoing interpretation of law as well as regular analysis of federal and state requirements for consumer reporting.
  2. Our Compliance Department closely monitors regulation via legal blogs, case law, published opinion, and published information from our industry organization, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).
  3. Our Quality Control Department audits 100% of report information before it is delivered to clients to maximize accuracy. And, we maintain comprehensive policies and procedures to help ensure that work is done accurately, efficiently, and with clients’ business rules and program compliance in mind.

By focusing on things that matter to you like regulatory compliance, quality management, and data security, A-Check Global has maintained an audited accuracy rate of >99.9%. But you don’t have to just take our word for how committed we are to compliance. We proudly maintain NAPBS accreditation and hold ISO 9001:2015 Certification.

We love keeping you in the know. If you’d like to receive our monthly compliance email, we invite you to subscribe by sending your name, company, and email address to marketing@acheckglobal.com. We’ll be happy to present you our next issue.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how A-Check Global is here for you please feel free to contact us at 877-345-2021 or email questions@acheckglobal.com.

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The “Ban the Box” Trend Continues

BanTheBoxBanner

Background Screening continues to evolve as more jurisdictions pass legislation limiting the use of criminal record history during the employment process. Here’s the latest:

COLORADO:

On May 28, 2019, the Colorado Governor signed a new law prohibiting employers from asking about criminal history on an initial employment application. This restriction will begin applying to employers (with 11 or more employees) on September 1, 2019, and then to ALL employers as of September 1, 2021. This grace period gives employers additional time to update policies and practices. READ MORE

NEW MEXICO:

On April 3, 2019, the New Mexico Governor signed two bills into law. The first is a Ban the Box law (in effect June 14, 2019) prohibiting private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application. The second law (in effect January 1, 2020) will allow certain arrest/conviction records to petition the court for expungement. READ MORE

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Additionally, the New Hampshire House just passed a bill that—if signed into law—would restrict employers from asking about criminal history on a job application, as well as prohibit a company from conducting a criminal background check before an interview. READ MORE

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Three Recruitment Strategies to Connect with Applicants

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Connecting with—and hiring—top talent seems to get more challenging every day. As you’re looking for your next great hire, keep these recruiting strategies in mind.

Strategy 1: Mobile Friendly is a Must

It’s been estimated that by 2025, 72% will use only their mobile phone for internet access—making it imperative to do all you can to reach out through mobile channels: a mobile-responsive career-page, text messaging services, or an app allowing candidates to seamlessly apply for open positions via smartphone.

Strategy 2: Rebounds are for Basketball AND Former Employees

Rehiring former employees is now much more acceptable than it was in the past (perhaps an effect of the gig economy). Former employees can offer solid value from the offset since they are more affordable to onboard and train than new employees. They’re also easier to reach and establish contact with than strangers who might respond to your job ads. Plus, if your employee left on good terms for another opportunity, their return could boost company morale and loyalty. Take a good look at those exit interviews to find former employees who would potentially welcome a new offer.

Strategy 3: Keep an Eye on College Grads

While hiring new college graduates isn’t exactly an innovation, it’s still a solid employment strategy. The sheer volume of the talent pool available makes campus recruitment a must-have component in your hiring arsenal. Live where grads live—social media. Establishing Twitter feeds, blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn pages with current job openings and clear, concise job descriptions should be a core part of any good employment recruiting program. Promote job openings on Facebook. Send Twitter feeds to highlight entry–level jobs. These are sure-fire ways to promote your organization to a large pool of recent college graduates.

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Marijuana and Drug Testing

The laws surrounding the use of marijuana vary greatly from state to state. Many states have come to accept the use of marijuana for medical reasons, and a few others have even legalized it for recreational use.

But because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, this widely differing legislation can cause problems for a job applicant or employee who tests positive on a drug test.

Federal and State Drug Testing Laws

Under federal law marijuana (cannabis) is classified as a Schedule I substance. Employers in industries that are heavily regulated by the federal government (FAA, FMCSA, FTA, FRA, PHMSA, etc.) are mandated to drug test all new hires and screen employees on a random basis. Non-federally regulated employers aren’t subject to federal laws, but may still have to comply with state and local government laws regulating drug testing.

So how long can marijuana remain in a person’s system?

Though the effects of THC—the main chemical in marijuana—wear off within a few hours of ingesting marijuana, traces of the chemical can remain in the body for weeks. There is no perfect formula for determining exactly how long marijuana stays in someone’s system prior to performing a urine, saliva or hair drug test. However, people who smoked or ingested marijuana in the last:

  • 24-72 hours can fail a saliva test
  • 30-45 days can fail a urine test
  • Up to 90 days can fail a hair follicle test

Factors that can affect how long marijuana stays in a person’s system:

Frequency of use: Someone who has been using marijuana for many years or who uses it daily is likely to have a build-up of THC in their system, meaning it will take longer to leave the body.

Concentration levels of THC: Marijuana can have varying levels TCH potency. If marijuana with a higher THC potency is used, metabolites will remain in the body for longer periods of time.

Methods of use: How marijuana is used can have a significant impact on the amount of time it is detectable. If marijuana is smoked, the THC levels in the drug user’s body will drop within a few hours or days of ceasing use. However, marijuana will still show up on a urine or blood drug test for up to 45 days or more after the last time it was smoked. But if it is ingested, it is metabolized more slowly and will remain detectable longer.

Rate of metabolism: Every person who smokes marijuana has a rate of metabolism that is completely different and this can dramatically alter the way the body breaks down THC. In turn, this can very easily change how many days marijuana will stay in the users system, and ultimately result in a failed drug test.

General Health and Body Weight: THC is stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Those with less fat in their body will clear their system of THC faster than those who have more fat.

Employers have the right to maintain drug and alcohol free work environments through the use of substance abuse screening programs. They just have to make sure they are doing so in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The best practice is to have a comprehensive drug testing policy which clearly informs applicants and employees of all expectations.

For further reference, here’s a great infographic from Quest Diagnostics that quickly illustrates marijuana legislation by state.

We are here to help!

If you have questions about developing a drug-free policy, or about your current screening program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact A-Check Global here to get started.

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Improving the Candidate Experience

We’ve all been there as job seekers. On the hunt for your first, or next, “dream” job, and hoping for a positive interviewing experience. If you’re on the other side of the table as an employer, it is mission critical to understand the experience you present makes all the difference to your next great hire.

This candidate experience—a term used to describe how candidates feel about your company as they progress through your hiring process—can be positive or negative, depending on how they perceive your company’s treatment of candidates. A bad experience can lead them to lose respect for your company. For example, a bad experience at a restaurant might prompt you to avoid a return visit and perhaps even warn others with tales of your experience. The same thing happens when a candidate has a negative experience with your company. A positive experience however, can encourage candidates to become enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand—even if they don’t ultimately land the job.

Your company’s ability to successfully attract and recruit top talent depends on how well you manage the hiring process. The process is certainly complicated, but try not to lose sight of opportunities to delight your candidates in these areas:

  • The Application: Is you application intuitive? Mobile friendly? Simple and straightforward? Is your application simply an algorithm for keywords, or are you building a process that allows for a candidate’s personality to shine through? Perhaps take a few minutes and apply for a position in your company to see how long the process takes, if all directions make sense, if the look and feel of the application is fresh and current, and if you are able to submit with an initial sense of what your company is all about.
  • Interviewing: Many companies have an involved interview process, with initial and second or third interviews. Take a look at your process. Are your candidates meeting with team panels? One-on-one interviews? Are they waiting to be seen, or is your process a well-oiled tour for candidates so they spend more time with your teams and less time in your lobby. For candidates, the most important thing to do is follow up after the interview to reiterate interest in the position. Likewise, communication along the way is an important step for employers looking to make the most of the candidate experience.
  • Assessment: If you’re assigning standardized tests to assess your candidate’s personality type, talent for the job, cognition, and/or emotional intelligence, are you doing so with full explanation and guidance? Once again, take the tests yourself to see what the process is like. Are these tests available online and are they mobile friendly?
  • Pre-Employment Screening: These days, it’s widely accepted that there will be some manner of background check prior to employment. Have you partnered with a background screening vendor—like A-Check Global—that helps make the process easy, intuitive, and a positive reflection of your company’s commitment to quality hiring?
  • Hiring: We like to refer to it as “Speed to Seat”—the length of time it typically takes for you to fill a position. It can vary of course based on the position, but are you doing all you can to setup interviews, present job offers, and welcome new employees efficiently to your team?

Providing meaningful touch points for every candidate doesn’t have to be difficult and in many cases, just a few adjustments can radically improve the candidate experience. It never hurts to review your hiring process. And if you know where the biggest pain points lie, making improvements in those areas can really make your candidates feel like they made the right decision to apply.

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How Recruiters add Value in the Age of Online Job-boards

 

Recruiter 2

We read a great article recently regarding the continuing rise of the online job search, and the value proposition of recruiting professionals in this digital age. Turns out, recruiters have adapted and refined their focus on offering services that continue to make them extremely valuable to organizations—maybe more so than ever before. You can read the article here, but we wanted to quickly summarize for you as well.

Recruiters provide coaching throughout the hiring process

There’s nothing like personal service—at A-Check, we know full well how important client support is to strengthening a business partnership. Recruiters can work directly with organizations to not only develop hiring strategies, but also provide guidance along the way for each and every hire.

Recruiters may be a better alternative to “Post and Pray”

If you are hiring through an online source, chances are you sift through a ton of candidates who are simply blasting their resumes to every keyword hit possible. While this may be a successful tactic, you may have certain positions that might benefit from the efficiency of professional assistance.

Recruiters can improve the candidate experience

It’s a little like brand management—someone in your corner to help you position your organization and the value of your opening. Again, it’s the personal touch that may just make the difference for the right candidate. Plus, recruiters can help you evaluate your employment strategy to ensure you’ve got your best foot forward.

Regardless of how you recruit for your organization, it’s great to know you have options, both digital and personal.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: 2019 New York Budget Includes OCA Fee Increase

UPDATE:
We want to make you aware that the Office of Court Administration (OCA) search fee increase from $65 to $95—described in the article below—has been approved and becomes effective on 4/13/2019.

Monday, April 1, 2019: The New York Legislature passed the 2019-2020 State Budget. Included in this budget is a fee increase for Office of Court Administration (OCA) searches from $65 to $95 (NY A2005, Page 32, Section DD, Lines 31-45)—effective upon budget signature by Governor Cuomo as early as Friday. This fee increase is proposed to further support the New York indigent defense fund and other OCA programs in the state.

We are aware that this fee increase was approved, and will notify you once we have confirmation the new fee has been implemented. This fee is applicable to all New York County searches as the use of the state’s system is required by the majority of the counties within the state.

Another authorized change in this budget states that undisposed cases—cases considered “pending” where proceedings are included in court records but without disposition yet—will no longer be accessible in a criminal records search. However, the NY OCA will have a year from the date the Governor signs the bill to fully clarify and implement this change.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We will continue to follow these developments and will notify you as more information becomes available.

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A-Check Global Integration with SAP® SuccessFactors® Now Live on SAP® App Center

Integration offers greater background screening process automation and efficiency to customers

Riverside, CA, March 27, 2019 – A-Check Global today announced that its A-Check Global Background Screening Integration with SAP® SuccessFactors® is now available on the SAP® App Center, the digital marketplace for SAP partner offerings. The solution offers greater convenience and an enhanced online experience for both customers and their employment applicants.

“In today’s world of evolving talent acquisition resources, we are thrilled to join the SAP family, and we welcome this opportunity to further position our comprehensive screening solutions to employers and candidates,” said Donald Shimizu, Executive Vice President at A-Check Global. “A-Check Global shares SAP’s commitment to innovation and service, and we look forward to meeting the business needs of our mutual customers for years to come.”

A-Check Global Background Screening Integration with SAP SuccessFactors streamlines the recruiter’s hiring process from start to finish by offering a convenient, secure online transfer of employment applicant background information and reporting between A-Check Global’s background screening integration and the SuccessFactors platform. The SAP App Center provides customers with real-time access to more than 1,700 innovative partner solutions that complement and extend their SAP solutions, enabling digital transformation of their business. SAP App Center customers can buy solutions directly from partners and centrally manage purchases, billing and vendor communications.

A-Check Global is a partner in the SAP® PartnerEdge® program. As such, it is empowered to build, market and sell software applications on top of market-leading technology platforms from SAP. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract.

About A-Check Global:

A-Check Global is the nation’s most successful woman-minority owned employment screening company, providing superior customer care and support, customized background screening solutions, and advanced, online interface technology to meet the unique requirements of employers and employment candidates worldwide. A-Check is an authorized E-Verify Third Party Agent, and holds ISO 9001:2015 Certification. The company’s global headquarters is in Riverside, California. For more information, visit http://www.acheckglobal.com or phone toll free, 877-345-2021.

SAP and SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE (or an SAP affiliate company) in Germany and other countries. See http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx for additional trademark information and notices.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies

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FAIR CHANCE HIRING: What’s in a name?

Fair Chance Hiring—Ban the Box as it’s more commonly known—is legislation intended to help applicants with prior criminal histories make it past the first step of the hiring process. By design, it encourages employers to consider an applicant’s qualifications first, rather than immediately reject that person due to criminal history.

Prior to 2009, only Hawaii had Ban the Box legislation in place. Currently, 35 states and more than 150 cities/counties have enacted laws that limit what you can ask applicants. The newest is New York’s Westchester County effective March 4th.

In states or regions that have passed this legislation, you’re restricted from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record until at least the job interview—or, in some cases, after a conditional position has been initially offered to the applicant. You also may need to delay the background screening process until your offer.

These 23 states have Ban the Box laws that apply only to public employers:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

However, these twelve states restrict both public and private sector employers from asking about criminal records on job applications:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Washington

You also may be restricted from asking questions about certain types of convictions, non-conviction arrests or expunged records.

Even if your state isn’t on the list, you shouldn’t assume these laws don’t apply to you. 15 cities and counties have taken the lead in creating Ban the Box laws that extend to private employers: Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Columbia (MO), District of Columbia, Kansas City, Montgomery County (MD), New York City, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Prince George’s County (MD), Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, and Spokane.

So, how will Ban the Box laws impact your hiring?

Please keep in mind, you’re not required to hire someone with a criminal record. Ban the Box legislation isn’t intended to force employers to hire someone with a criminal background over other qualified candidates, but rather to create a fairer decision-making process. It shifts the criminal history inquiry from the initial application stage until later in the hiring process, during an interview or after you extend a conditional job offer.

Contracting with a background screening company committed to compliance—like A-Check Global—can help you keep abreast of these laws while making hiring decisions. For more information about this topic, feel free to contact us at support@acheckglobal.com.

Reference

https://www.hrdirectapps.com/blog/does-your-state-ban-the-box-with-job-applications/

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Why A-Check Global?

Solution

We know you have a multitude of choices to fulfill your employment and drug screening needs. Why choose us? We like to start the A-Check conversation with these three differentiations:

We’re PASSIONATE about client support

Our dedication to providing excellent customer service has long been our most defining quality. That ‘certain something’ that differentiates us from our competitors. We are adaptable enough to handle accounts from Enterprise level to emerging start-up—providing every client with unrivaled customer service.

We’re COMMITTED to compliance

A-Check has proudly held an ISO distinction since 2006, and is currently ISO 9001:2015 certified. This certification highlights our commitment to high-quality business practices: customer service, process and procedure management, production objectives, environmental standards, etc. Our commitment to compliance also includes our promise to review 100% of our reports within our Quality Control and Compliance Department for accuracy and adherence to individual client business rules.

We’re DRIVEN to innovate

One of our primary goals is to eliminate pain points within your employment program. Part of that solution is to focus on the overall experience of both our clients and their applicants; including straightforward, mobile friendly system access as well as easy-to-implement ATS/CRM integrations. We strive to make your life easier and we’re driven to providing the most innovative service possible.

So, if you’re looking for an employment and drug screening company that’s the right fit and right size, look no further than A-Check Global. We can be reached at www.acheckglobal.com, 1-877-345-2021 or support@acheckglobal.com.

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Form I-9: Be Alert, Audits can Hurt

Wed, March 20, 2019   |   10:00 am PST

A-Check Global’s HR Impact Webinar series presents Dave Basham delivering information on Form I-9.

Even the most seasoned Form I-9 professionals will walk away from this session saying, “I didn’t know that!” Dave, a highly regarded government speaker, will cover a wide range of information about Form I-9:

  • Whether or not to insert ‘N/A’ in various blocks
  • Differences between the online and paper versions
  • Making corrections to the form
  • What addresses are entered in address blocks
  • Using abbreviations
  • Rules for completing the I-9 before your new hire starts working for pay
  • Getting help through the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division hotline number

To view this informative webinar simply click below –

Presenter:

Dave Basham

Dave Basham / Outreach Analyst / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Dave joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 following his retirement from the U.S. Army. He has conducted close to 600 Form I-9 and E-Verify presentations to nationwide audiences. Dave conducts ongoing sessions for many associations that include; Society of HR Management, American Payroll, and National Notary. In 2016, the American Payroll Association presented Dave with their annual Government Partner Award in recognition of his service, as a government agent, to the payroll community. Dave’s military assignments were numerous in the Infantry arena. His military service decorations include the Legion of Merit. Dave’s originally from West Virginia but now makes his home in historic Virginia.

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“In the Know” Part Three: Evaluation, Decision, and Compliance Checklists

This is the third and final in our three part series on responsible background screening. The first part covered End Users and Permissible Purpose; the second covered Disclosures and Authorizations and this final section covers Evaluation, Decision, and Compliance Checklists.

Evaluation: Using Criminal Records in the Hiring Process

On April 25, 2012, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Enforcement Guidance Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The purpose of the guidance was to shore up the Agency’s efforts against discrimination in the workplace based on disparate impact against persons with criminal records—potentially requiring employers to demonstrate business necessity before criminal searches are conducted.

(Read our blog – a Fair Chance for Applicants-the Rise of Ban the Box Legislation to learn more).

Decision: The Adverse Action 2-Step

FCRA § 603(k) defines the term “adverse action” to mean the denial, cancellation, increase of cost or any other “undesirable” outcome for a consumer when used in conjunction with an offer of insurance, credit, employment, licensure, or any other permissible purpose a consumer report can be used for. To comply with the requirements of FCRA § 604 and § 615, employers are required to deploy a two-step adverse action process prior to taking adverse action to provide the applicant an opportunity to review the consumer report and to dispute the accuracy of any content they feel is not accurate.

Your company or organization should regularly consult with your legal team to confirm your adverse process is current and compliant.

Compliance Checklist

A-Check highly recommends that our clients develop a Background Screening Policy, ensuring a consistent process is in place that can be audited and modified when necessary. A policy is not required but will go a long way in providing a defense to an organization that experiences a legal complaint from an applicant. An adequate background screening policy should contain a company-wide, streamlined process that includes standard operating procedures and current, compliant forms. Contact our Client Relations Department to receive a complimentary Policy Kit to help you get started.

Remember, if you ever have any questions about any of the material we have covered don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at support@acheckglobal.com.

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Start the New Year with a Compliance Check-Up!

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As your trusted business partner, we’re committed to helping ensure our clients are in compliance with FCRA, EEOC, state and local policies and procedures. A key component of our ongoing focus is to remind you that we’re here to offer guidance each and every time you audit your employment screening program.

Items for Your Review

User Access Lists
When did you last check to see who on your team member roster has access—and at which level—to your background screening process? Your user list is an important piece of access control that can easily be managed. Take the time to ensure that your list is accurate by removing any inactive users. Only takes a moment to review, and we’re more than happy to help! We invite you to call or email your client support team today.

Commonly Used Documents
Forms and documents used on a regular basis can be easily considered “red-flag” items, and your team may be unaware of legislation updates that might make these every-day products subject to an audit finding. Review commonly used documents to ensure the information contained in or gathered from them is legal and updated.

Employee Training
Your ongoing training programs should promote focus on appropriate, ethical behavior; if it doesn’t, you may want to make meaningful adjustments. Retool your materials to teach and instill a culture of compliant and ethical behavior from employees at all levels.

Compliance Manuals
Displaying compliance manuals on your shelf doesn’t necessarily mean you’re compliant. It’s a good idea to take them off the shelf on a regular basis for a comprehensive senior management review. Ensure that the content is accurate and fulfilling its purpose. Be prepared to make changes if necessary.

We at A-Check Global are committed to data security and are driven to protecting our client partners by providing the tools needed to succeed. Please contact us at clientsupport@acheckglobal.com if you have any questions about your employment screening program.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE 1/23/19: Service Impact due to Government Shutdown

As of 1/23/19. information listed below is current:

As a result of the current United States government shutdown, several government services that employers rely on during employment screening may have limited operation or may not be available at all. This will – temporarily – impact A-Check’s ability to complete some screening components.

Unfortunately, we don’t know how long the shutdown will continue, but please be assured we’ll update this notice each Monday throughout the shutdown to keep you informed of ongoing impact. For now, we’d like to share information regarding the following services:

E-Verify:
Currently unavailable. When the government shutdown is resolved, A-Check will provide further guidance regarding delayed cases, including the “three day rule.”

 As your E-Verify Employer Agent for web services, we are prepared to queue up cases for all eligible employees with a completed Electronic Form I-9 in our system (who have not been submitted to E-Verify) and then auto process them when E-Verify is back up.

For those clients that only utilize our E-Verify service without our Electronic Form I-9, unfortunately, they will need to submit their E-Verify queries once the E-Verify service has been restored after the government shutdown ends.

CBSV (Consent Based Social Verification):
This service is currently running uninterrupted. However, we will provide updates should there be any change.

 Federal Criminal Searches (PACER – Public Access to Court Electronic Services):

This service is funded through January 18, 2019. Should the government shutdown last long enough to affect Federal Criminal searches, we will provide an update at that time.

IRS Documentation Requests:

Copies of Wage and Income Earnings Statements (in lieu of W2 copies) are unavailable.

 DOT 49 Part 40 form:

Requests for verifications are not being completed if required from an official government operated entity. A-Check can obtain forms if requested from a non-government run employer.

PRIA and FAA records:

Requests are not being completed if the request is made specifically from the FAA. A-Check can obtain a partial response if requested from a non-government run agency or airline.

Please contact us at clientsupport@acheckglobal.com if you have any questions.

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“In the Know!” Part Two: Law and Disclosure and Authorization, oh my.

As your trusted partner, we want to make sure you have access to professional guidance when making employment decisions. To that end, this is our second of a three part series in employment screening compliance. Last month we discussed End Users and Permissible Purpose; this month we’ll quickly cover Disclosures and Authorizations.

Disclosure: End User Must Disclose to Applicant Prior to Requesting a Report

PLEASE NOTE: Because an ever-increasing number of law firms now specialize in class action litigation regarding employer required FCRA Disclosure and Authorization, employers AND consumer reporting agencies should be equally as focused on technical compliance with applicable federal and state laws. Employers should not take short cuts by combining disclosures in the screening process even though “green thinking” and common sense dictate the shrinkage of paper and reduction of steps in the process. If utilizing technology to process Disclosure and Authorization, it is also highly recommended to ensure the electronic signature process utilized is in full compliance with the federal Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN).

Authorization: Federal Law, State Requirements, and Collection of PII

Employers are required to obtain authorization from the applicant prior to requesting a consumer report for the permissible purpose of employment with only one exception – investigation of wrongdoing.

PLEASE NOTE: Since many organizations utilize the Authorization for a dual purpose in that it not only authorizes the consumer report but it also authorizes the release of information to the consumer reporting agency, class action law firms have taken advantage of this literal interpretation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act to successfully sue hundreds of employers for technical violations of the FCRA. If the Authorization form contains language such as “I hereby authorize my past employers and schools to release information about me” or include state required notices such as those in Minnesota, New York City, Oklahoma, or Washington, it will violate the FCRA if combined with the Disclosure.

In short, PLEASE present your Disclosure and Authorization forms as separate documents.

One last recommendation about the Authorization form: ensure that it states “I authorize the background check” and not “I agree to be background checked.”

Next month, RESPONSIBLE BACKGROUND SCREENING Part Three will cover Evaluations, Decisions and the use of a Compliance Checklist.

 

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“In the Know!” Part One: Responsible Background Screening

When it comes to background screening, there’s a lot to keep in mind—especially as the compliance landscape is constantly evolving. As your trusted partner, it’s our honor to provide ongoing guidance to help ensure you’re making informed, best practice, and fully compliant decisions when conducting background screens. To that end, this blog is the first of a three part series. This first part covers End Users and Permissible Purpose.

Compliance Guidance for End Users of Consumer Reports

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary legislation regulating the procurement and use of a consumer report. The requirements for End Users of consumer reports are explained in detail throughout the FCRA but can also be found in a simplified document required to be distributed by consumer reporting agencies entitled Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users under the FCRA. Rounding out regulatory compliance for domestic consumer reporting are state and jurisdiction specific consumer reporting laws that add additional procedures and disclosures to the process.

Who is responsible in the background check process?

This can be a very confusing topic to employers who depend on background check reports to make hiring decisions. There is a popular belief that the background check company is solely responsible for the entire screening process. However, the reality is that the background check process is a shared responsibility between those that request consumer reports (End User) and those that compile the consumer report (Consumer Reporting Agency).

Permissible Purpose: Legal Uses of Consumer Reports

FCRA §604 requires that all End Users must have a permissible purpose under the FCRA to obtain a consumer report. There are a variety of consumer reports utilized by Society to make decisions regarding consumers, e.g., whether or not to lend the consumer money (credit); to provide an insurance policy (driving record); to provide a place to live (tenant screening); and for employment (background checks). A-Check Global is a consumer reporting agency specializing in providing consumer reports to End Users for the permissible purpose of employment.

The term “employment purposes” is defined by FCRA §603(d)(3)(C)(h) as a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee. The Federal Trade Commission has expanded the definition of employee to also include Volunteers, Temps and Independent Contractors working in an “employment” type capacity. End users are required to contractually certify their compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act with their provider as a condition of service being provided.

Next month, RESPONSIBLE BACKGROUND SCREENING Part Two will cover Disclosures and Authorizations.

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Drug Testing Trends Spanning Three Decades

Date of Webinar: Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM PST

Subject Matter:

A-Check Global’s HR Impact Webinar series presents Quest Diagnostics delivering information on its Drug Testing index. Arguably the industry’s longest standing, most consistent and most frequently relied upon resource indicating the drug use patterns among American workers. We will share 30 years of data, milestones since the passage of the Drug-Free Workplace Act in 1988, and how a steadfast commitment to a drug-free workplace helps to keep employees safe, healthy, and productive.

To view this informative webinar simply click below –

Presenter:

R.H. Barry Sample, Ph.D. / Director of Science and Technology at Quest Diagnostics

Dr. Barry Sample, Senior Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and his doctorate in pharmacology from Indiana University and is a board certified forensic toxicologist. Dr. Sample joined Quest Diagnostics in 1991 and is responsible for the production and introduction of new products and services through new test and technology development. He also publishes the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index annually for government, policy makers, media and the general public.

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How Low Unemployment Rates Affect Recruiting/Retaining Employment Strategies

 

Recruitment

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of workers who are not currently employed and are actively looking for a job. As this rate lowers, job-hunters enjoy the advantage of a buyer’s market. But what does this mean for employers?

Generally speaking, competition to hire is intense. Restaurants can’t find delivery drivers because they can make more money in ridesharing; livestock processing facilities can’t reach full capacity because of the strong competition for skilled labor; retailers can’t find staff to fill seasonal or part-time jobs because full-time positions are readily available. Additionally, high turnover has steadily increased as baby boomers retire and current employees take advantage of better opportunities.

To retain qualified staff, employers have had to become more creative in their offerings. In retail for example, some organizations are offering work from home flexibility (customer service via online/video chat) or extra hours to existing employees rather than seasonal hires. Other initiatives have included the addition of “Employee Experience” management positions to help ensure employees stay engaged, motivated, and loyal.

Employers have also had to become more innovative in recruiting new employees—millennials in particular. Studies indicate millennials are looking for a career package that includes career mobility, diversity of responsibilities, a work/life balance and a culture that values social responsibility. These same requirements play sharply into holding on to employees since the best retention strategy is often a strong recruiting strategy. With that in mind, following are a few key points that make up a strong recruiting/retention strategy.

Culture and Policies

More and more, individuals want to work for a company that mirrors their values and needs. Providing health insurance, competitive compensation and a retirement-savings plan is essential in recruiting employees but other soft incentives such as flextime or time off to volunteer show potential employees the company is committed to accommodating their work/life balance.

Also, real-time feedback, rather than an annual review, keeps employees in the know about their professional development. Many organizations now “partner” their employees with mentors so they can not only benefit from ongoing communication, but as employees retire or move on, they are passing down knowledge rather than simply taking it with them. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Recruit from Within

It’s said sideways is the new up in today’s employment landscape. Mobility opportunities that allow employees to move across different departments or even change their career path appeal to all generations. This helps employees stay engaged, grow their skills, and with talent management planning, helps the organization build future leaders while retaining company culture.

Training and Development

Both new and existing employees benefit from ongoing education and tools that help them thrive in the organization and grow professional skill sets. When this is combined with mobility opportunities, the stage is set for an enhanced experience that can integrate employees more fully into the company, improve teamwork and increase productivity.

HR Resources

HR has a pivotal role in recruiting and retaining employees, and their tasks can be made easier with the help of the right technology. New technology in the form of applicant tracking software (ATS) helps to streamline the recruiting process and provide richer insights into the candidates. Additionally, millennials are far more apt to use technology for job searches, so an organization that relies on paper-based applications and on-boarding would be seen as outdated and may be scratched from their list.

Recruiting and retaining top employees is vitally important to any business. Organizations with a solid strategy are more likely to succeed in matching the best people to the right jobs – and in keeping them on board.

This blog published with edited content from the original article: https://unicornhro.com/blog/how-low-unemployment-rates-affect-recruiting-retaining-employment-strategies/

 

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Background Screening in the Age of Gig Employment

GIG 2The trend for freelance or short contract employment versus permanent positions has been steadily rising. Many cite the millennial generation’s penchant for flexibility and mobility as one of the main causes for this upward trend. Another cause may be that the digital age allows workers to complete jobs from anywhere; no longer forced to labor in an office environment. But whatever the cause it does create a new set of obstacles companies must surmount.

Importance of background screens

As the gig economy grows and companies continue to hire, businesses are doing everything they can to protect their brands and their reputations and to keep their existing employees and customers safe. And one of the best ways to do that is to conduct a thorough background screen.  Employment screening ensures better-quality hires, more consistent safety and security and improved regulatory compliance.

Although many companies usually vetted their full-time employees, they were apt to let part-time or independent contractors slide. But recent events have companies rethinking how they vet such workers, many of whom interact directly with consumers and represent a company’s brand. Gig employees generally have the same access to your clients and your intellectual property as your traditional workers so it makes sense to screen them to the same degree as your full-time employees.

We’re here for you

Gig employees move quickly; from accepting a contract to starting the project, there is little downtime, which means background screening needs to be fast. Companies must be able to trust their screening partner to deliver rapid turnaround times in order to leverage their independent workforce. This is where we come in. We provide multiple levels of service to satisfy all the screening requirements your company may have. Contact us today to learn more.

 

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What You Should Know About Social Security Numbers

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A recent National Law Review article reported that in 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will restart its mismatch letter notification program. Through mismatch letters—formally titled Employer Correction Requests—the SSA notifies employers that the social security number (SSN) and name reported for one or more employees does not match SSA records. These notification letters advise employers that a SSN mismatch is not an assumption of SSN falsification or other misconduct. Mismatches can be caused by typographical errors, unreported name changes, incomplete records, or SSN misuse. In any event, employers who receive such letters must act promptly and are advised to document the steps taken to resolve the discrepancy.

Employer Action

Employers who receive a mismatch letter should check their personnel records for the employee in question to confirm the information in company records matches that provided by the SSA. Simple typographical errors or name discrepancies that led to a mismatch generally can be rectified quickly by submitting this information to the SSA. In the event the mismatch is not based on employer error, the employer should notify the employee of the mismatch, preferably in writing—and in turn, the employee must then resolve the mismatch. However, employers will remain responsible for ensuring the process is complete. To do so, employers may follow up with each impacted employee to confirm the steps they are taking and that a resolution does occur. Again, employer documentation of these steps is recommended.

It is important that employers not take adverse employment action (including formal discipline, termination, or informal forms of negative treatment) against employees solely based upon the notice that a mismatch has occurred. Employers must allow time for the employee to address and resolve the mismatch. In the event a mismatch cannot be resolved or SSN misuse is confirmed, employers should contact legal counsel to determine the appropriate steps to take with regard to the involved employee.

How We Can Help

A-Check Global provides our clients two methods to either verify or associate a social security number.

The Social Security Trace Report provides employers with an “association” between a social security number and the information housed by one of the major credit bureaus linked to the individual SSN. The report reveals information captured when the SSN is used for financial purposes like credit financing, leasing, student loans and even some court actions including judgments and liens. It can reveal additional alias names and addresses associated with the applicant not included in information provided by the applicant on their resume or application. The Social Security Trace Report may returned with a “no hit” result. This does not necessarily mean the social security number does not belong to the applicant or serve as an indication the applicant was untruthful. It may simply mean the applicant has not developed a credit history and/or the social security number was recently issued.

The Consent Based Social Security Verification or CBSV Report “verifies” a social security number and name coincide with Social Security Administration records. With the consent of the applicant, A-Check uses the CBSV report to verify the name and SSN provided by the applicant match the records maintained by the Social Security Administration.

Both the Social Security Trace Report and Consent Based Social Security Verification are valuable tools in mitigating hiring risk. Employers simply choose the right option to meet their specific screening needs.

And remember A-Check Global’s teams of dedicated professionals are available to answer any additional questions.

Reference

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/social-security-administration-to-resume-social-security-mismatch-letter?utm_content=3f102f241c1be6d0f68a3668f49d8d75&utm_campaign=Monday%20Trending%20News%20Digest%208-20-2018&utm_source=Robly.com&utm_medium=email

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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE FORM UPDATE: A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

On September 12, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a revised disclosure form document—“A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”—in an interim final rule under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Employers and background screening companies (A-Check Global) may begin using this new form beginning Friday, September 21, 2018, and are required to provide this disclosure to employees and job applicants per FCRA guidelines. Failure to provide correct disclosure notification can lead to increased risk, including litigation.

Why is this disclosure form changing?

In May 2018, and in response to significant data breaches, Congress passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The new law requires credit reporting bureaus, under certain circumstances, to provide consumers fraud alerts and unlimited, free national security freezes and freeze releases. These are intended to make it harder for identity thieves to open accounts in a consumer’s name.

The new legislation also amends the FCRA to exclude from consumer reporting information certain medical debts incurred by veterans. Additionally, it establishes a new dispute process with respect to such medical debt.

Finally, the new law mandates that whenever a background check company is required to provide a copy of the “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” to comply with FCRA 609 (full file disclosure requirements) or FCRA 605A (Victims of Identity Theft requirements) the “Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights” disclosure form, they also must provide a notice regarding these new security freeze rights. However, A-Check’s counsel has opined that there is some gray area in the legislation that could be argued by Plaintiffs’ Bar that this requirement extends to end user adverse action requirements, so A-Check made system adjustments to ensure our client compliance.

What A-Check Global is Doing

To err on the side of caution, ensuring our clients remain compliant with all interpretations of this new law, A-Check has appended the new security freeze notice into our existing Summary of Rights disclosure notification appearing at the back of all A-Check reports. When A-Check clients provide a copy of the A-Check report in the adverse process, the new freeze notice will be included. You can view a copy of the consolidated notice here.

By November 1, 2018, our systems will be updated to include a version of this disclosure with a fully integrated security freeze notice. Rest assured, our current version is compliant. You can view a copy of this upcoming notice here.

What Employers Need to Do

Please seek advice from your legal counsel to ensure your forms comply with the new requirement.

Got questions? When in doubt, don’t forget you can always #AskACheck. Our team of dedicated professionals are available to help, and can provide friendly, accurate guidance. Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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An Update on Salary History Bans

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https://gusto.com/framework/news/salary-history-ban-map/

As your trusted partner, we want to make sure you are up to date on issues that may affect you. Which is why we wrote about salary history bans last year.

In that article we discussed that a growing number of cities and states are voting on or implementing legislation in favor of a salary history ban during pre-employment screening—prohibiting employers from asking wage history questions to job applicants or considering previous applicant salaries as a determining factor in employment decisions.

Asking for an applicant’s salary history may seem an innocuous enough question; one of many that has been standard pre-employment practice for years. But like criminal history, it may lead to an unintended bias against applicants.

Asking for a person’s salary history can perpetuate pay disparity.

Think of it this way; an employee works diligently for five years—earning incremental pay increases along the way—and now wants to apply that experience to a new position at a much larger company. Unfortunately, the larger company asks for the employee’s salary history before offering the new position instead of simply paying market value. That could easily result in pay disparity because this person made less money at the previous position. If this scenario doesn’t seem fair to you, you are not alone.

We’re keeping an eye on this growing trend.

As of August 24, 2018, the following states and cities/counties have implemented salary history bans:

State-wide Ban         Effective Date   City/County Ban                               Effective Date

California                  Jan 1, 2018         San Francisco, CA                            Jul 1, 2018

Connecticut              Jan 1, 2019         Chicago, IL                                        Apr 10, 2018

Delaware                  Dec 14, 2017       Louisville, KY                                   May 17, 2018

Hawaii                       Jan 1, 2019         New Orleans, LA                              Jan 25, 2017

Massachusetts          Jul 1, 2018         Kansas City, MO                                Jul 26, 2018

New Jersey               Feb 1, 2018         New York City, NY                           Oct 31, 2017

New York                  Jan 9, 2017         Albany County, NY                          Dec 17, 2017

Oregon                      Oct 6, 2017         Westchester County, NY                 Jul 9, 2018

Pennsylvania           Sep 4, 2018         Philadelphia, PA                              (TBD)

Puerto Rico              Mar 8, 2017         Pittsburgh, PA                                  Jan 30, 2017

Vermont                    Jul 1, 2018

And, it’s very likely this trend will continue. Please know that A-Check is keeping a close eye on this evolving legislation, and remain committed to developing solutions that ensure you have the ability to continue making informed pre-employment decisions.

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my A-Check—our online applicant portal—just got even better!

 

When it comes to background screening solutions, we believe the applicant experience is as important as the client experience. It stands to reason, when applicants find the employment process convenient and innovative, they’ll feel more at ease AND will appreciate that your organization is committed to providing a background screening program that’s as straightforward as possible. It’s a win-win.

That’s why we’ve recently enhanced my A-Check, our mobile-friendly, smart applicant portal. my A-Check offers our clients greater implementation flexibility, and your applicants an unrivaled user experience. More secure, more convenient, and more streamlined, my A-Check offers great updated features:

  • Applicant-managed login
  • Convenient self-scheduled drug screening
  • Easy, secure upload of applicant provided documentation
  • A Client-customizable interface
  • And much, more.

my A-Check is FCRA compliant, highly intuitive, and is carefully designed to help minimize errors and the need to enter duplicate data. And did we mention how simple it is? In fact, we can proudly report that the majority of applicants submit their completed form within just 10 minutes—or less! We invite you to see just how seamless and convenient the hiring process can be for your applicants.

 

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Time for a Compliance Check-Up?

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As a trusted business partner, we’re committed to helping ensure our clients are in compliance with FCRA, EEOC, state and local policies and procedures. A key component of our ongoing focus is to remind you that we’re here to offer guidance each and every time you audit your employment screening program.

How can we help you?

User Access Lists: When did you last check to see who on your team member roster has access—and at which level—to your background screening process? Your user list is an important piece of access control that can easily be managed. Take the time to ensure that your list is accurate by removing any inactive users. Only takes a moment to review, and we’re more than happy to help! We invite you to call or email your client support team today.

Compliance Manual: Having a compliance manual on your shelf doesn’t necessarily mean you’re compliant. It’s a good idea to take it off the shelf on a regular basis for a comprehensive senior management review. Ensure that the content is accurate and fulfilling its purpose. Be prepared to make changes if necessary.

Commonly Used Documents: Forms and documents used on a regular basis can be easily considered “red-flag” items. Due to their ongoing use, employees may be unaware of changes made to laws that make the forms and products they use every day the source of an audit finding. Review commonly used documents to ensure the information contained in or gathered from them is legal and updated.

Employee Training: When you read through your employee training manuals, do you feel empowered or scared? If your program relies more heavily on promoting punishment for non-compliance than a focus on appropriate, ethical behavior, you may want to make meaningful adjustments. Retool your materials to teach and instill a culture of compliant and ethical behavior from employees at all levels.

We at A-Check Global are committed to data security and are driven to protecting our client partners by providing the tools needed to succeed. Please contact us at compliance@acheckglobal.com if you have any questions about your employment screening program.

 

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“Can’t you just Google?” When it comes to background screening . . . NO.

$RSK3OR6.jpgWe’ve all done it, right? Out of curiosity, you Google someone’s name, or even your own, just to see what pops up? Results might be anything from a link to a Facebook page, a reported marathon time, or maybe even an old blog entry about sushi that’s been long since forgotten.

Those things aside, some personal searches return a ton of information that could be considered private and personal. More important, that information may or may not be accurate. That’s why we don’t rely on Google searches when doing background screening for our clients, and if you’re searching Google before making a hiring decision, we recommend you don’t either. Here’s just a few reasons why search engines in general are not background screening options.

  1. Seeing Seeing Double Double If a person’s search results appear on the first few pages, it’s likely their name isn’t too common. But search John Smith, and it’s very doubtful anything you find will be relevant to your particular John Smith. Even names that seem pretty unique are more popular than you might think. Got a minute? Visit HowManyOfMe.com to get an idea of just how common some uncommon sounding names are. We found there are 100+ people named Frank Franks in the US. Who knew?
  2. “Yep, it’s an Internet Ad” If you’re using a search engine for background screening you’ll probably add a modifier, like “Criminal Records.” While initial results may seem innocent enough, you may also see a link to something like “Your Candidate Arrested.” It may appear to be a search result, but this could be a company trying to subtly convince you that your candidate has a criminal background (that may not event exist) . . . and encourage you to pay for a background screen then and there. Without further exploration, you may be misled and your poor candidate could be impacted by that assumption during your hiring process.
  3. “How did that story go?” Search engines scour the web with algorithms designed to find exactly what you’re looking for. Problem is, results could be old, outdated, or worse yet, inaccurate. For example, you may search poor Frank again and find an old article mentioning him as part of a criminal investigation, only to then miss another article that exonerated him as a case of mistaken identity.
  4. “Don’t believe everything you read online” – Albert Einstein Sure, we can pretty safely say that Albert Einstein didn’t really say that. But this is exactly what happens on the Internet. Search engines may find and report hundreds of relevant search results, but it’s not always easy for them to verify information as true or false.
  5. It’s illegal! Simply said, it’s illegal to solely use search engine results to make a hiring decision. Using an internet search as the basis to hire someone could violate not one or two, but THREE sections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Section 605 says there is a limit to the time you can use something negative against someone, so if you’re finding old dismissed cases through a Google search and using them to make a hiring decision, you’ve violated the FCRA. Section 607 says the information used in the decision has to be accurate. So relying on an inaccurate story is a violation too. Finally, Section 613 says that records have to be up-to-date. So, finding and using an old Facebook status would quite easily be another violation.

While Googling names might be fun while you’re at home and bored, let’s all agree that it has no place in the hiring decision process. In addition to potential FCRA violations, an argument can be made that doing so violates the EEOC as well. Searches can easily reveal personal information like marital status, age, race, and nationality.

To make sure you get a background screen that uses accurate, up-to-date sources, and is in compliance with federal, state and local laws, skip Google and work with A-Check Global instead to set up a background screening program.

And, to the 100+ Frank Franks out there, we’re sorry that this blog post may now be a new addition to your own search results. We happen to really like your name!

Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

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Form I-9: Helpful Hints to Keep You Compliant

Date of Webinar: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM PST

Subject Matter:

A-Check Global’s HR Impact Webinar series presents Form I-9  delivering information on Worksite Enforcement Investigations and Notices of Inspections as well as suggestions on how to “Fix the Past” and “Plan for the Future”.

To view this informative webinar simply click on the link below –

Presenter:

Thomas Brechtel, J.D. / Chief Revenue Officer / Form I-9 Compliance LLC

As a senior member of the Executive Team since its inception in 2004, Thomas provides guidance to organizations for the development and maintenance of compliant immigration related employment practices by providing comprehensive I-9 Auditing and Policy Reviews, Step-by-Step Electronic Transition Planning, assistance in Development of New Hire Procedures/Remote Processing and I-9 & E-Verify Compliance & Monitoring Services.

Thomas and his team translate complex immigration laws and employment eligibility requirements into the most legally-compliant and easy-to-use employment eligibility solutions available. His depth of experience and expertise in the field of I-9 & E-Verify Compliance has positioned him as an unparalleled subject matter expert in the industry.  Thomas regularly participates in workshops and seminars with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and their ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) Program on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and use of E-Verify. His ability to understand an employer’s “pain points” and create customized implementation strategies to maintain the integrity of their worksites, further differentiates Form I-9 Compliance in the industry.

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Today’s “Top 10” List: Why is my file delayed?

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Believe us, we totally understand. Based on experience, you expect a pretty consistent turnaround time for your background screens. But every now and then a file might take longer than expected, and the delay leaves you scratching your head. We’re not fans of delays either, but we’ve seen what can happen during the screening process, and recently put together this list of top reasons you might experience a delay in the process. Not anywhere near as entertaining as most Top 10 lists, but we hope in some way it helps explain what can happen along the way.

 

1. Paper Records

Many courthouses, schools and businesses have not yet taken the time or allocated money to digitize their records. So it may take a little time to wait for results while they search through their file cabinets, cross reference old card catalogues, or pull out microfilm.

2. Records Stored Offsite

Similar to above, there was a time when everything was stored on paper. Computers certainly made our lives easier, but sometimes it’s not that easy to migrate old documents to an e-format. To save time and money, paper docs just get archived somewhere. That means waiting for someone to visit an offsite location . . . picture the warehouse from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

3. Strange Rules

Maybe it’s because documents are stored offsite, or maybe because their resources are focused on other tasks. Whatever it is, many courthouses will only accept requests for, or provide results to public record requests on certain days of the week, have limitations regarding the time of day requests can be made, or how many can be made each day.

4. Please send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope

While this happens less frequently now, we still occasionally have to mail requests or wait to receive results by mail. At least it’s not by carrier pigeon or stage coach.

5. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

We’re just like you. We want to get information back as fast as possible, and then get it to you to help wrap up your candidate’s placement. Unfortunately—and we understand—folks are busy, and we simply aren’t at the top of the pile when it comes to priorities. Fortunately for your employment process, we are gently and politely persistent, and work closely with our contacts to keep requests moving along.

6. “Sorry, but we’re backed up.”

Sometimes it’s just a simple issue of bandwidth. As polite and persistent as we can be, it could be a company’s busy season, graduation time for schools, or even an unusually busy week down at the courthouse. We do everything we can to work closely with our busy contacts to keep your screen moving along.

7. “Can’t you just do a Google search?”

So, this isn’t necessarily a reason things get delayed, but it’s worth mentioning, since we’ve been asked a time or two why the background screening process isn’t as simple as a Google search, or why we can’t just tap into that magic program with unlimited access to fabled “Permanent Records” we were all told about. If only it were so easy. While about 50% of the services we complete are through a website or other electronic service, we still have to rely on good old fashioned phone, fax and mail to get information more often than you might think.

8. “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

With A-Check’s offices located in sunny Southern California, it’s hard for us to remember that there’s weather conditions elsewhere—cold, rain and snow. Those conditions can cause government offices, schools and employers to close down temporarily. We still aren’t 100% convinced it’s true, but someone here in the office told us they saw snow once, and that it’s real!

9. “We will be closed on Tuesday in observance of . . .”

There are 10 federally recognized Holidays in the U.S. when most schools, courthouses and banks shut down. That, combined with additional holidays recognized by individual states, winter vacations, summer vacations, spring breaks, and you’ve got delays at least once per month caused by a temporary closure or disruption in service.

10. “Your call is very important to us . . .”

We spend a lot of time listening to on-hold music and being transferred. To help limit this, we’ve created a database of official verification contacts we’ve had success with previously. Even with this tool we still hear our fair share of on-hold music, and occasionally have to reach out numerous times, to multiple contacts over a few days to reach someone that can get us the information we need to complete the background.

For questions about turnaround time or your screening program don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-345-2021 or email clientsupport@acheckglobal.com.

 

 

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ATS/HRIS Integrations…Yes We Can!

Integration 4

You’ve probably heard about Integration—connecting multiple software systems to coordinate and streamline business processes. It’s a great way save time and reduce workload. Integrating your ATS with A-Check Global’s background check system provides you with a faster, more efficient solution to improve the experience for both candidate and recruiter.

Imagine working within your familiar platform environment, but gaining the advantage of reduced data entry tasks and minimized errors throughout the onboarding process. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

We’re here for you

Time and time again, we speak with clients who are interested in exploring an integration, and the reasons for doing so are probably pretty similar to the areas in your process you’d like to improve:

  • A more straightforward and comprehensive screening process
  • Faster turnaround time, with progress updates along the way
  • A more satisfying applicant experience
  • Increased automation
  • A mobile-friendly environment
  • And of course, compliance assistance

Still, many are apprehensive to integrate because of concerns about how long it might take, how much it might cost, or even how secure the resulting integration is. Please know we’re here to help, AND we’re here to dispel the myth that integration is a costly and timely project.

We’re all about the details

We manage all aspects of the integration process for our clients, from development to launch. Our in-house implementation department ensures optimal functionality of the integration. Additionally, our dedicated client support teams monitor the integration after go-live, facilitating updates as needed to meet evolving client needs.

Our systems have successful integration with leading ATS providers—probably including the one you already use—so we have a lot of experience developing a proven project methodology that focuses on the details, gets you quickly up and running, and keeps your budget top of mind:

  • Pre-developed solutions for standard integration, and custom solutions to fit every business need
  • Dedicated consultation for account configuration and field mapping
  • Ongoing communication through regular meetings
  • Pre-integrated solutions for applicant email and authorization forms
  • Secure, cloud solutions focused on data security
  • And, our continued commitment to industry best practices and innovation

Right Size, Right Fit

At A-Check Global, we pride ourselves in providing enterprise-level infrastructure, expertise and resources, while still maintaining the responsiveness and customer service you’d enjoy with a much smaller organization. Our strength lies in our ability to draw from extensive resources and perform with customized client-specific precision.

If you have any questions about integrating your employment screening process, A-Check Global’s team of dedicated professionals is available to help, and can provide friendly, accurate guidance. Give us a call today at 877-345-2021, or email support@acheckglobal.com.

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A-CHECK GLOBAL ACHIEVES BACKGROUND SCREENING CREDENTIALING COUNCIL ACCREDITATION

RALEIGH, N.C., May 23, 2018 – The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) announced today that A-Check Global has successfully demonstrated compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) and will now be formally recognized as BSCC-Accredited.

“As an NAPBS founding member, we’ve been honored to work alongside this important industry organization for many years,” said Donald Shimizu, Executive Vice President. “And now, we are equally honored to achieve accreditation as our newest business milestone and further recognition of our ongoing commitment to excellence in both professional standards and customer service. It is a distinction our entire team will proudly share as we continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Each year, U.S. employers, organizations and governmental agencies request millions of consumer reports to assist with critical business decisions involving background screening.  Background screening reports, which are categorized as consumer reports, are currently regulated at both the federal and state level.

Since its inception, NAPBS has maintained that there is a strong need for a singular, cohesive industry standard and, therefore, created the BSAAP.  Governed by a strict professional standard of specified requirements and measurements, the BSAAP is becoming a widely recognized seal of achievement that brings national recognition to background screening organizations (also referred to as Consumer Reporting Agencies).  This recognition will stand as the industry “seal,” representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

The BSCC oversees the application process and is the governing accreditation body that validates the background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed a measurable standard of competence. To become accredited, consumer reporting agencies must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent auditing firm, of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas:  consumer protection, legal compliance, client education, product standards, service standards, and general business practices.

Any U.S.-based employment screening organization is eligible to apply for accreditation. A copy of the standard, the policies and procedures, and measurements is available at www.napbs.com.

About NAPBS®

Founded in 2003 as a not-for-profit trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) represents the interests of more than 900 member companies around the world that offer tenant, employment and background screening. NAPBS provides relevant programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry, and presents a unified voice in the development of national, state and local regulations. For more information, visit www.napbs.com.