Don’t Mess with Texas – State Sues EEOC over Employment Screening Enforcement Guidance

The State of Texas recently filed a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) seeking relief from the Commission’s April 25th, 2012 Enforcement Guidance which limits employers from blanket exclusion of convicted felons from employment.

In the court filing by Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbot, the state seeks:

1. A declaratory judgment that the State of Texas and its constituent agencies and its officials are entitled to maintain and enforce laws and policies that absolutely bar convicted felons, or a certain category of convicted felons, from government employment, and that the State need not conduct the “individualized assessments” that EEOC purports to require.

2.  A declaratory judgment holding unlawful and setting aside EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance.

3. A declaration and injunction that EEOC may not issue right-to-sue letters to persons seeking to sue the State of Texas or any of its constituent agencies or state officials based on the interpretation of Title VII that appears in the Enforcement Guidance.

Learn more – View the original court filing: State of Texas v.s. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Jacqueline A. Berrien in her official capacity as Chair of the EEOC

NAPBS Holiday Employee Screening Tips

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners, of which A-Check is an original Founding Member, offers employers some common-sense Do’s and Don’ts for conducting effective background checks during the heavy holiday hiring period:

1. Don’t try the do-it-yourself approach to background  screening – Conducting a Google search or quickly checking social media is not adequate or appropriate for vetting potential employees and could leave you open to legal issues.

2. Do hire a professional background screener – Partnering with a professional will ensure you obtain the most comprehensive and accurate data to help make informed hiring decisions.

3. Do treat all employees the same during the background screening process. Whether full-time, part-time or seasonal, they are still your employees and will most likely be interacting with  your customers every day. The classification of their employment should not change the need for conducting a background screen.

4. Do make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities as an employer under the law – Background checks are subject to state and federal laws intended to protect those being screened. Understand what you are required to do by law to avoid penalties.

5. Don’t fail to communicate with the job applicant – Notify the applicant prior to conducting a background check and allow enough time for the individual to resolve any disputes related to information on the background check.

Learn More: NAPBS Release

Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI) Shows Steep Decline in U.S. Positivity Rates

Key findings from the special Quest Diagnostics 25th anniversary Drug Testing Index (DTI)includes data from more than 6.7 million tests:

  • The positivity rate for the Combined U.S. Workforce declined 74%, from 13.6% in 1988 to 3.5% in 2012.
  •  The positivity rate for the Federally Mandated, Safety Sensitive Workforce declined by 38%, from 2.6% in 1992 to 1.6% in 2012.
  • The positivity rate for the U.S. General Workforce declined by 60%, from 10.3% in 1992 to 4.1% in 2012.
 Learn More – View the full report: Quest Diagnostics 25th Anniversary Drug Testing Index

US-EU Safe Harbor Data Export Agreement at Risk as Result of NSA Spying Revelations

European privacy regulators alarmed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive U.S. spying not just on terrorism suspects but also high profile EU politicians and businesses are threatening to scrap the thirteen year old transatlantic data-sharing mechanism used by more than 3,000 US companies to process EU citizen’s data in compliance with EU Privacy laws.
“A-Check complies with all data privacy requirements for transatlantic transmission, storage and disposal of EU citizens’ personal data,” said Carlos Lacambra, A-Check’s President. “A-Check’s privacy practices embraced the concepts outlined in the Safe Harbor framework long before our company officially certified compliance through the US Department of Commerce.”
Whether Safe Harbor ultimately remains or is replaced by another framework as a result of EU action remains to be seen, but it is clear influential forces within the European Parliament are not satisfied with the status quo.

“Should the current US-EU Safe Harbor Mechanism be abandoned and replaced, A-Check will continue to comply with EU data privacy requirements,” Lacambra said. “At this point,A-Check’s dedicated Compliance Department is monitoring developments in the European Parliament to ensure that A-Check makes any and all adjustments necessary to keep both our clients and A-Check compliant with International Data Security Legislation now and moving forward.”

Learn More About the Controversy
Should you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the employee screening process, please email for additional information.

A-Check Employees Fundraise for Lee Denim Days Breast Cancer Research and Awareness

Thank you to all who participated in A-Check’s Lee Denim Day breast cancer awareness and research fundraising campaign! We are pleased to share with you that we set a goal of $1,500 for this year’s employee-sponsored campaign and we exceed our expectations, raising a total of $1,550! This has certainly been a team effort and we would like to thank everyone who participated….Your $5 donations made a difference!