FCRA compliance is EVERYTHING in 2016

Compliance puzzle   As a hiring manager, you should know that legal compliance is one of the most critical parts of background screening your new hires.  A review of the class action suits for FCRA violations brought about in 2015 reveals that most of the suits could easily have been avoided by using the proper forms and processes for hiring.  Simple processes like using a standalone disclosure document could save your company a lot of money and grief.  Companies like BMW, Whole Foods, Home Depot, and Food Lion, to name a few, learned that the hard way. 

  BMW fined $1.6 Million

Whole Foods fined $803,000

Home Depot fined $1.8 Million

Food Lion fined $3 Million

 

In 2014, Publix paid one of the highest fines of $6.8 million for FCRA violations!  These numbers alone should be a wake-up call to all companies to review their hiring processes for FCRA compliance.

 

Don’t assume your background screening company uses FCRA compliant procedures either.  In 2015, a major background screening company paid $13 million in restitution and fines to settle their violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) charged by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

 

CARCO can help with your compliance needs!  We’ve been keeping our clients out of harm’s way since 1977 by knowing the law, not taking short cuts, and collaborating with our clients on proper hiring processes and procedures.  We even created our own Onboarding Solution which ensures FCRA compliance at each step of the new hire onboarding process.

 

Contact a CARCO Specialist today to review your hiring process – 866-557-5984 or click here.

Marshalls and Big Lots Fined For Violating Ban The Box Law

Marshalls_LogoBig Lots

Marshalls and Big Lots, two major retailers in Buffalo, will face fines for violating the city’s Ban the Box law.

The Ban the Box law is aimed at forcing employers to consider an applicant’s qualifications first, and then allowing them to inquire about any criminal history in subsequent interviews and contact with the job candidate. The law is meant to help people with a criminal history get jobs and stay out of jail by not having their applications immediately disqualified by their history.

Both of the national retail chains were asking applicants questions about their criminal history in the initial stages of applications in their stores in Buffalo.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced settlements on January 20th with both Marshalls and Big Lots.

The fines are steep with Big Lots agreeing to pay a $100,000 and Marshalls paying $95,000. Both retailers must remove the questions from their applications. They also agreed to step up their efforts to recruit applicants with criminal histories by working with an organization that has expertise in training workers who once were incarcerated.

 

A Positive Employee Experience Starts with an Efficient Onboarding Process

iStock_000017261466Large Onboarding Sell Sheet  Good news! You’ve found the right candidate who accepted your offer letter!  Now it’s time to onboard that person in a positive way which may  help set the tone for his or her entire experience at your company.  First Impressions Count!  

Did you know that the average company is losing 1 in 6 of their new hires each month within three months of hire?  The average cost to replace an employee can run as much as two times the annual salary. Let’s not forget the effect on morale and productivity, as well as lost insider knowledge.

Onboarding is the best way to begin positive new employee engagement and boost overall retention rates.   

The Aberdeen Group reported that 66 percent of companies with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into company culture, 62 percent had higher time-to-productivity ratios, and 54 percent reported higher employee engagement.    

Most companies start the onboarding process before the new employee begins employment.  Rather than having a stack of papers waiting for review and signature, an efficient onboarding system provides a portal that the new employee can access from his or her home computer or mobile device to complete the process before starting with the company. 

An effective onboarding system is one that is designed specifically to make your new hire process easy and streamlined by eliminating manual, paper-based processes in favor of a proactive task oriented, self-service solution!

Imagine your new hire forms (including offer letter, employment screening FCRA consent form, background check processing and reports, welcome letter, training schedule, etc.) are stored in one place for easy access.

Then imagine the benefits to your new hire of an automated, mobile friendly, easy to use onboarding system that engages with proactive tasks and reduces the amount of time the candidate spends in the process.    

To see how CARCO’s Onboarding Solution can help your company ensure that each onboarding experience is a positive one and to see a demo of our software, click here or call a CARCO Specialist at 866-557-5984.    

Complimentary White Paper on Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring

Best practices cover page   January is always a good time of year to review and fine tune processes, including your company’s employment screening program.  Remember that compliance is important!

With that in mind, CARCO, the  industry-leading Employment Screening provider, is providing a Best Practice guide which explains, among other things, that employers need to follow sensible procedures in considering the past conviction records of job applicants, since failing to do so will both hurt the employer’s interests and risk discriminating against productive workers of every heritage.  The guide includes a clear, actionable checklist of the 20 Best Practice Standards that should be implemented by employers.

Jim Owens, CARCO’s CEO, and Fred Giles, CARCO’s SVP, Research Division, worked with the National H.I.R.E. Network, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and National Workrights Institute, along with Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources, to create this best practices piece.  According to Jim Owens, “CARCO is proud to have played a role in the development of this best practices document.   It provides a clear and practical road map for employers to comply with the guidance released by the EEOC in April of 2012 regarding the use of criminal records.”


To access the checklist and read the full report, please click here:


                                        

PA Court Rules Denying People A Job After Imprisonment Is Unconstitutional

Gavel   On December 30th, Pennsylvania’s lowest appellate court unanimously ruled that the Older Adult Protective Services Act’s (OAPSA) lifetime employment ban for those convicted of certain crimes is unconstitutional.

 

According to the court, OAPSA violates the due process rights of law-abiding citizens who have prior convictions. The court also asserted that a lifetime ban on employment is not “substantially related” to the “stated objective” of OAPSA, which “is to protect an older adult at risk.” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court wrote that the law “makes no provision for any other factor, such as the nature of the crime, the facts surrounding the conviction, the time elapsed since the conviction, evidence of the individual’s rehabilitation, and the nature and requirements of the job.

The employee’s criminal history is the single and overriding factor that a potential employer may consider.”

 

The case was brought by five rehabilitated ex-offenders whose crimes included writing a bad check, drug possession, and disorderly conduct occurring between 15 and 34 years ago. The court’s decision is being praised by advocates in the movement to provide more opportunities for housing and employment to rehabilitated criminals.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/felons-prisoners-right-to-work_56843d71e4b06fa68881d590

The Importance of Background Screening Temporary Workers

As companies increase in their temporary staffing, they also need to ensure that these workers are background screened in the same capacity as full‐time, permanent hires. Several key factors are driving this need. First, the positions in which companies are using temporary employees have changed dramatically. Sixty plus years ago when temporary staffing agencies were first developed they specialized in staffing secretaries and file clerks. This is not the case today. At this point in time, temporary workers fill an incredible range of positions, including those of financial officers, health care workers, lawyers, IT professionals, and even C‐Suite executives. Today, temporary workers have the same amount of access to a company’s facility, files, and client records as permanent employees who have likely been background screened. With this shift in the types of positions filled by temporary employees, screening becomes a necessary requirement of the hiring process.

 

Second, many companies recognize the fact that negligent hiring lawsuits are on the rise. In some cases awards to plaintiffs have been known to exceed $1.5 million. Increasingly, this burden of payment is not one incurred by just the staffing firm. Regardless of the fact that the employee is technically employed, paid, and insured by the staffing firm it has become increasingly common for the firms where the temporary employee is actually working to be found to be a co‐employer, and these firms are being found liable in legal decisions as well.

 

A negligent hiring case in New Jersey illustrates the importance of screening temporary and contract workers. In this case the jury awarded $40 million to the family of a woman who was stabbed to death by a home healthcare worker she had hired from a staffing agency. The agency that employed the worker was found liable for 40% of the damages because they had failed to conduct a background check of the worker, despite his disclosure of a prior burglary conviction. It was unveiled during the case that a background check would have also shown the worker was fired from another staffing agency for misconduct. While the judge in the case reduced the award to $2 million and the case was later settled, the financial damage to the staffing firm was still severe. Employee screening could have saved the company over $500,000 in settlement fees and over $100,000 in legal fees.

 

The moral of this story is that it is imperative that companies ensure that temporary workers are background screened in the same capacity as full‐time, permanent hires.