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  • Onboarding platform
  • Background Screening
  • Pre-hire & new hire form automation
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  • Seamless integration with your ATS
  • Electronic signature
  • Secure mobile document upload app
  • Applicant portal and task wizard
  • Dashboard to manage applicants & client tasks
  • Proactive email reminders
  • Automated EEOC compliance

At Cisive, we have the technology to make your job easy!

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Man terminated for nasty tweet about Navy SEAL widow. Does he have a case against his employer?

 

Carryn Owens, whose husband, Navy SEAL Willian Owens, was killed during a raid in Yemen, attended President Trump’s speech to Congress on February 28th. We’ve all seen the very moving photo of her crying as Trump acknowledged her.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune today, Daniel Grilo, who was a principal at Liberty Advisor Group at the time, was watching the speech and tweeted, “Sorry Owens’ wife, you’re not helping yourself or your husband’s memory by standing there and clapping like an idiot. Trump just used you.”

That tweet went viral and sparked a firestorm of comments on Twitter and other social networks defending Ms. Owens. Within a few minutes Grilo apologized several times and eventually deleted his tweet.

However, despite his apologies, Liberty Advisor Group fired Grilo and deleted his profile from their website. The company also issued a statement on their website stating, “The individual who issued the tweet is no longer affiliated with Liberty. … His comments were inconsistent with the Company’s values and the unyielding respect it has for the members of our Nation’s Armed Forces.”

This situation opens up a lot of serious questions. Was the company right in firing Grilo? Are personal social media posts protected especially when the post is not related to a person’s employer?

Perhaps the biggest question is: Does Grilo have a case against his former employer? Yes, he may, according to Phillip Schreiber, a partner in the law firm Holland & Knight who represents management in employment cases.

According to Schreiber, “Generally speaking, what people say on social media that is not related to their employer usually is not a concern of the employer. But if someone who is newsworthy makes an inflammatory post on social media, it’s not difficult for someone to track that person back to his or her employer,” he added. “That’s when you may have consequences.”

“The question is … if an employee is terminated for what he or she put on Twitter on his or her own time … is terminating someone because of that a violation of Illinois’ Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act,” Schreiber said. “That remains to be determined, because there are not a lot of court decisions interpreting the law in that context.”

Failure to follow local and national laws relating to social media can land a company in court. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) generally protects employees and their private social media posts. However, there is plenty of legal information to be had from social media and there is a right way to use it.

We have to wait and see what Grilo’s next move is. If he decides to sue Liberty Advisor Group, it will be an interesting case. We will definitely follow this story and keep you abreast of the decision.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about being compliant when using social media searches for employment purposes, contact a Cisive Specialist at 866-557-5984 or click here.

Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Bill Goes Into Effect on May 23, 2017

Philadelphia is the first city in the nation that prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s prior earnings. In an effort to create a bridge to the gender pay gap, Mayor Kenney signed the Wage Equity Bill which applies to both public and private companies. The law goes into effective on May 23, 2017.

The Wage Equity Bill would add Section 9-1131 to the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance.

Supporters contend that since women have historically been paid less than men, the practice of asking for a salary history can help perpetuate a cycle of lower salaries for women, continuing throughout their careers.

Women in Pennsylvania are paid 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to a 2015 Census Bureau report. For black and Hispanic women, the pay gap is even wider.

Key provisions are:

  • It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent thereof to:
    • Inquire about a prospective employee’s wage history, require disclosure of wage history, or condition employment or consideration for an interview or employment on disclosure of wage history, or retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any wage history inquiry or for otherwise opposing any act made unlawful by this Chapter.
    • Rely on the wage history of a prospective employee from any current or former employer of the individual in determining the wages for such individual at any stage in the employment process, including the negotiation or drafting of any employment contract, unless such applicant knowingly and willingly disclosed his or her wage history to the employer, employment agency, employee or agent thereof.
  • This subsection shall not apply to any actions taken by an employer, employment agency, or employee, or agent thereof, pursuant to any federal, state, or local law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of wage history for employment purposes.
  •  For the purposes of this Section,  “to inquire” shall mean to ask a job applicant in writing or otherwise, and “wages” shall mean all earnings of an employee, regardless of whether determined on time, task piece, commission or other method of calculation and including fringe benefits, wage supplements, or other compensation whether payable by the employer from employer funds or from amounts withheld from the employee’s pay by the employer.

The law also includes a posting requirement, for which the City has not yet provided a poster, but plans to do so in advance of the May 23rd effective date.

Recommended Actions

Review job applications and remove any wage history questions.

Review your hiring and interview policies and processes. Revise them to eliminate inquiry into wage history at any stage in the employment process.

Train all individuals involved in recruitment, hiring, interviewing, and drafting and contract negotiation to comply with the requirements of this law.

 

Best Practices in Background Screening in the Ban the Box Era

 

To help ex-felons obtain employment and to reduce recidivism, the District of Columbia and over 150 cities and counties (in 20 states) have passed fair chance (Ban the Box) laws removing questions about criminal convictions from job applications. This change allows employers to base their hiring decisions on qualifications first.

These laws apply to the cities and counties themselves. Many of them also apply to private employers including Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

It should be noted that Ban the Box fines are big! Just ask Marshall’s and Big Lots (penalties totaling $195,000.)

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has put together a list of ten principles for employers to follow to update their hiring policies and procedures:

  1. Avoid stigmatizing language.
  2. A background check may be unnecessary for a job position.
  3. Avoid blanket exclusions and instead include an equal opportunity statement on job applications.
  4. If a background check is necessary, only consider those convictions with a direct relationship to job duties and responsibilities and consider the length of time since the offense.
  5. Remove inquiries into convictions from the job application.
  6. Remove self-reporting questions about conviction history.
  7. If a job applicant is rejected because of a record, inform the applicant.
  8. Provide the applicant the right and sufficient time to submit evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation.
  9. Expand the fair change policy to private employers.
  10. Combine data collections and effective reinforcement.

It is important for employers to keep abreast of the different ban the box laws as each has its own set of nuances. For example, each law restricts when an employer can inquire about a person’s criminal history and how it can be used for employment purposes.

Click here to view Cisive’s Ban the Box chart summarizing the policies.

For more information on how Cisive can keep your hiring process compliant, contact us at 866-557-5984 or sales@cisive.com.

FTC Says When Conducting Background Checks, Don’t Double-Dip!

On February 16th, the FTC published a blog post about the importance of organizations using consumer reports in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). According to the FTC, it is important that organizations only use consumer reports for the purpose for which they originally obtained them and to refrain from using them for secondary reasons.

When conducting a background check on an applicant or employee, you must certify to the consumer reporting agency (background screening vendor) the purpose for which you will use it. You must then use the report only for that purpose. As an example, if you obtain a report for employment purposes, you cannot also use it to make a credit decision.

According to the FTC, the three important principles for users of consumer reports to keep in mind are:

  • If an employer makes a negative decision on a person based on a consumer report, it is important to notify the person with an adverse action notice;
  • The adverse action notice may be provided orally, electronically, or in writing; and
  • Employers must securely dispose of the consumer report when finished.

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2017/02/background-checks-dont-double-dip

 

How vulnerable is your company to class action litigation?

Partnering with a reputable background screening company is an investment in your business!

Consider the following facts.

  • Negligent Hiring:
    • $1 million is the average settlement in a negligent hiring lawsuit
    • 13% of workplace fatalities in one year were the result of assaults and violent acts by an employee. (U.S. Department of Labor)
  • Fraud: According to a 2016 report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners:
    • 5% of a corporation’s annual revenues is lost to fraud
    • $150,000 is the median loss from a single case of occupational fraud.
    • 23% of occupational fraud cases resulted in a loss of at least $1 million
  • Fines for FCRA non-compliance:
    • $6 Million             Publix Super Markets
    • $5.7 Million         AutoZone
    • $4 Million             Dollar General
    • $3 Million             Home Depot
    • $3 Million             Red Lion

Need help designing your background screening program or do you need to “tune up” your current program? If so, click here.

Learn the differences between County Criminal, State Criminal, Federal Criminal and “National” Criminal checks by speaking with your Cisive representative today at 1-866-557-5984.

CARCO Announces its Designation of NICB Strategic Partner

CARCO, the pre-insurance vehicle inspections division of Cisive, is proud to announce its partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) as a NICB Strategic Partner.  The partnership program recognizes companies that have a strong interest in working collaboratively to fight vehicle theft and insurance fraud.

CARCO has been providing pre-insurance photo inspections and fighting fraud in the auto industry since 1977. The vehicle inspection process helps prevent insurance fraud while keeping insurance premiums as low as possible for insured consumers. Insurance fraud costs the motoring public millions of dollars each year. CARCO works closely with the NICB and other law enforcement agencies to help recover and prevent tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims over the years.

Senior vice president, Will Pagan, stated “We are happy to have obtained this newly-created designation which reflects the many years CARCO has been working closely with the NICB. CARCO’s database is accessed more than ten thousand times per day, helping the NICB and law enforcement in reducing fraud and keeping premiums down for insureds.”

About CARCO:

CARCO, a division of Cisive, is the leading provider of vehicle pre-insurance inspection services in the U.S. Major insurance carriers choose CARCO for its extensive and convenient site network. CARCO’s advanced technology completes the process in the most efficient and effect manner while complying with regulations.

About NICB:

The NICB partners with CARCO, members, insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals.

Former Lockheed Martin Engineer Awarded $51 Million for Age Discrimination

A New Jersey jury awarded a former Lockheed Martin employee $51.4 million for age discrimination. Plaintiff’s attorney Console Mattiaci called the award “one of the largest ever obtained by an individual plaintiff in an age discrimination case.”

In 2012, citing a reduction in workforce (RIF), Lockheed Martin fired Robert Braden who was employed by the company, and its predecessors, for over 28 years. Braden sued the company for age discrimination because he was the oldest of six people in his company unit and he was the only one let go. (He was 66 while two others in his unit with the same title were ages 42 and 38.)

Braden also claimed that the company consistently practiced laying off older workers and hiring younger ones, and giving older workers lower ratings and raises because “they had nowhere else to go.” He said in his complaint that five of 110 Lockheed Martin workers in his job classification “were terminated as part of the layoffs. All five were over the age of 50.” Within a year of Braden’s termination, Lockheed Martin hired a new person in his position despite claiming that lack of work was the reason for his termination.

Lockheed Martin defended the claims citing Braden’s record of below average performance and lack of work for his skill set as the reasons for his termination. Although Lockheed Martin cited to the fact that it had a process in place to prevent age discrimination in the RIF, including an adverse impact analysis done by HR in conjunction with the company lawyers and EEO group, a company witness testified that Mr. Braden did not go through the company’s standard RIF process.

After a short four-day trial, the jury awarded Braden almost $50 million in punitive damages based on the jury’s determination that the company acted in reckless disregard for discrimination laws. Braden also received $520,000 for lost wages/benefits, and an additional $520,000 for emotional distress. The jury verdict entitles Braden to file an application seeking to have Lockheed Martin pay his attorneys’ fees.

There’s a lesson here for employers. Every company, no matter its size, must follow the civil rights law. Compliance is key!

Robert Braden v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, Civil Action No. 14-4215-RMB-JS (D.N.J. 2014).

CARCO Group Announces Corporate Rebranding, Introduces Cisive Family of Brands

CARCO Group, Inc., a leading provider of tech-enabled and compliance-driven human capital management solutions, is changing its name to Cisive to better communicate its focus on clear and accurate insights for its HR solutions, security and insurance/fraud prevention clients. As the parent company for all of its businesses, Cisive will house the CARCO and Driver IQ brands and continue its mission to help clients identify fraud and reduce risk through innovative technology.

Building on the success of its HR onboarding, background screening and investigation business, the company is rebranding to keep pace with its growth and drive innovation across the human resource capital management market. The CARCO brand will focus exclusively on pre-insurance vehicle inspections and fraud prevention.

“This is an exciting time of innovation and growth for our company. Cisive (think decisive!) stands for clear and accurate insights that give our clients confidence in their most critical decisions while protecting their brand and reputation,” said Jim Owens, CEO and President of Cisive. Owens further stated, “It has become harder and more complex to determine relevant facts in a world where instant information rules. Decision making is more important than ever, made even more challenging by an ever-growing number of sources, some credible, others not. Further, today’s businesses demand an experience best delivered by technology integrated with human insight.”

Throughout the company’s history, the world’s most prestigious organizations have turned to Cisive for the most accurate and legally compliant background screening and pre-insurance vehicle inspections. As the business environment grows ever more complex, Cisive will continue its focus on information accuracy to ensure clients receive clear and accurate insights in order to make confident business decisions.

The Cisive brand includes the following business divisions:

Cisive, the new name of the HR technology, human resource management solutions and background investigation business lines.

CARCO, the leader in the pre-insurance vehicle inspection and fraud prevention market. The CARCO name will now be focused exclusively on vehicle inspections and fraud prevention.

Driver iQ, the leader in screening for the trucking industry.

The Cisive family of brands will retain the established values and commitment to great customer service that its clients have come to know and expect over the years.

For more information, visit www.cisive.com.

About Cisive

Cisive is a leading provider of tech-enabled and compliance-driven human capital management and risk management solutions. The company’s core onboarding and pre-employment background screening offering provides clients with a high quality, regulatory compliant and tech-enabled solution. Cisive currently serves clients across the financial services, transportation and media and telecom end-markets, among others, and offers transportation clients a comprehensive, industry-focused solution through its Driver iQ branded offering. Cisive is headquartered in Holtsville, NY and has office locations in Spring Lake, NC, Tulsa, OK, and Tustin, CA.

 

Judge Rules Amazon Can’t Duck Class Action Background Check Suit

  On January 30th, A Florida federal judge denied Amazon.com’s motion to dismiss a class action by job applicants accusing the online retailer of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act through its background check process.

Plaintiffs argued that Amazon violated the FCRA by failing to provide two separate forms for the job application and the background check authorization for employment at a Florida-based fulfillment center. It should be noted that this case is a consolidation of two separate background check litigation suits.

U.S. District Judge Lazzara agreed with the plaintiffs that the alleged failure to receive a stand-alone disclosure document is not hypothetical or uncertain, and can plausibly constitute an injury of fact. The judge found that Amazon’s actions related to the disclosure violations were willful, as a liability waiver was included with the background check policy.  He stated, “The plaintiffs have at least three kinds of harm: invasion of privacy, informational harm and risk of harm.” He added that it is possible the company did not follow the proper steps to receive approval for the checks. All of this convinced the judge that Article III standing is sufficiently established in this case.

The judge disagreed with arguments by Amazon that the applicants had no viable claim based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins, which found that consumers must allege concrete injury instead of a technical statutory violation to establish standing.

Simply put, Plaintiffs sued alleging their background checks were unauthorized because the authorizations did not comply with the FCRA.

There’s an important lesson for employers here. Ensure your hiring process is FCRA compliant! The FCRA expressly requires employers to provide applicants with a stand-alone disclosure and authorization form prior to obtaining a background check. Unfortunately, many employers still fail to comply with this law and find themselves embroiled in costly lawsuits. This lawsuit is a reminder that employers should periodically review their hiring processes to ensure strict compliance.

To learn more about FCRA compliance, call a Cisive Specialist at 866-5575984 or click here.

Hargrett v. Amazon.com Inc.