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.

 

Court Rules Using a Liability Waiver in Background Check Disclosure Forms Violates the FCRA

A subsidiary of oil field services company Schlumberger Ltd. violated the FCRA by placing a liability waiver on its job application disclosure form to force applicants to waive potential claims against the company.

On an issue of first impression, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said while employers must inform a job applicant that the company will perform a background check in the hiring process, the form cannot include a provision waiving the applicant’s rights to sue for any information found in the background check.

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit said the company had willfully violated the statute, opening it up to the Plaintiff’s petition for both statutory and punitive damages.

This is the first time a federal appeals court decided this issue under the FCRA, which is intended to protect employees over concerns about potential errors in consumer reports that can improperly cause applicants to lose out on jobs.

There’s an important lesson for employers here. “The court’s conclusions that an employee who wasn’t actually harmed by the form still has standing to sue and that the company can be sued for a willful violation are surprising,” said Angela Kleine, an attorney who represents financial companies in FCRA matters. The FCRA imposes statutory penalties of $100 to $1,000 per willful violation, so damages could really add up if thousands of applicants received the same form and are potential class members, she said.

This decision is another reminder that employers must review their hiring paperwork and processes to ensure compliance with the FCRA. These matters are not taken lightly by the courts. The more documentation an employer puts into the disclosure form, the greater the legal risk. A waiver is a particular hot-button item that would draw a court’s attention. The inclusion of an employer waiver of liability in a document intended to warn an applicant that background information may be sought is at odds with the statute’s protective purpose, the court said.

Syed v. M-I, LLC , 2017 BL 16499, 9th Cir., No. 14-17186, 1/20/17

Express Services Settles Background Check Class Action for $5.7M

Plaintiff Jose Flores sued Express Services alleging that they violated pre-adverse action notice to employees and job applicants, as required by the FCRA, by not affording them the opportunity to correct any inaccuracies in background checks before Express took adverse action against them. Defendants deny that their actions violated the law.

Mr. Flores and Express Services agreed to settle the claims alleged in the case to avoid the cost and risk of trial.

The Settlement Agreement provides the following benefits:

  • Defendants have changed practices to address the conduct complained of in the litigation.
  • Defendants will pay the sum of $5,750,000.00 into a Settlement Fund.

Important lesson to employers: Over the last few years, federal courts have increased scrutiny of employer compliance with the FCRA’s adverse action requirements. Employers must follow the requirements if they intend to take adverse action against a job applicant or employee BEFORE the adverse action is taken.

Simply put, if you intend to deny employment based upon the results of a background check, you must provide a pre-adverse action notice to the individual, including a copy of the consumer report. This action gives the applicant or employee an opportunity to correct any mistakes in the report and discuss it with you before the company takes adverse action. Failure to do so – now more than ever – will most likely result in a lawsuit you cannot win.

To learn more on FCRA compliance click here or contact a CARCO Specialist at 866-557-5884.

 

FINRA Fines Several Large Financial Companies $14M for Non-Compliance

finra-logoOn December 21st, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it fined several large financial companies a total of $14 million for record -keeping issues that may have allowed company and customer documents to be altered.

According to FINRA, the companies failed to keep millions of electronic documents in a “write once, read many” format, which would have made it impossible to modify or destroy records once they were written.

FINRA is an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. The do so by:

  • Writing and enforcing rules governing the activities of 3,869 broker-dealers with 641,133 brokers;
  • Examining firms for compliance with those rules;
  • Fostering market transparency; and
  • Educating investors.

CARCO has several products that help financial companies stay FINRA compliant, including:

  • FINRA Broker Sanctions Search Solution
  • Financial Anomalies Search Technology (FAST)
  • Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC)
  • Self-Regulated Organizations Checks (SRO)
  • Many more

Let CARCO be your first line of defense against FINRA non-compliance.  Contact a CARCO Specialist at 1-866-557-5984 or click here to be contacted directly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starbucks Hit With Class Action for Violating the FCRA Relating to a Background Check

starbucks-logo-051711Jonathan Rosario claims that Starbucks Corp. denied him a job based on inaccurate results of a background check, without giving him a proper chance to correct those results. In doing so, he claims, Starbucks violated provisions of the FCRA.

In March 2016, Rosario applied for a job at Starbucks in Castle Rock, CO. The background check performed on him listed criminal felony and misdemeanor records from counties in Pennsylvania, some of which involved violent crime and drug-related charges.

Rosario claims that by the time he received the letter from Starbucks informing him that the results of his background check did not meet the company’s requirements, Starbucks had already removed him from consideration for employment.

Rosario says the criminal history that showed up in his Starbucks background check is inaccurate and false. He believes those entries resulted from identity theft, especially since he has never been to Pennsylvania.

Rosario challenged the inaccurate background check by following the dispute procedure of the consumer reporting agency that performed the background check for Starbucks. The errors were corrected, and a representative confirmed to Rosario that a corrected report had been forwarded to Starbucks.

Rosario then contacted Starbucks in an attempt to revive his job application, he says. However, the company declined to revisit its decision to deny him a job.

The law requires that before an adverse decision is made, the job applicant must get a copy of the report and be given a chance to dispute and correct its contents. By failing to give Rosario a meaningful opportunity to dispute the contents of his Starbucks background check, he claims, Starbucks violated the pre-adverse action notification requirements in the FCRA.

Rosario proposes to represent a nationwide plaintiff Class that would include U.S. persons who applied for a job at Starbucks and who were the subject of a Starbucks background check report on which the company based an adverse employment decision, but who did not receive a timely copy of that report or the FCRA summary of rights.

He seeks an award of actual, statutory and punitive damages for himself and the plaintiff Class and reimbursement of court costs and attorneys’ fees, all with pre- and post-judgment interest.

There is an interesting lesson for employers here: Employers may want to revisit their policies regarding keeping a job open while the selected candidate is disputing a background report. The FCRA does not require that jobs be kept open during a dispute. No one can predict what a judge or jury might decide, but either way it will be extremely costly for Starbucks to defend their actions. If this case is decided in plaintiff’s favor, employers will certainly want to revisit their dispute waiting policy.

CARCO can help keep you FCRA compliant. CARCO’s onboarding platform allows clients to be notified if a dispute has been opened based on the clients’ work flow and their decision on whether or not to keep the job open during the dispute.

Contact a CARCO Specialist at 1-866-557-5984 or click here for information on how CARCO’s onboarding platform can keep your company FCRA compliant!

 

Jonathan Rosario v. Starbucks Corp., Case No. 2:16-cv-01951, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Wegmans Hit with Class Action for FCRA Violations Related to Background Checks

wegmans_logoTwo Wegmans Food Market employees have accused the supermarket chain of violating the FCRA by inappropriately using consumer background checks to screen job applicants and not telling them first.

Plaintiffs Ashleigh Wheeler, who was hired in 2013 as a cashier, and Jerah Brewster, who was hired in 2015 by the grocer as a pharmacy technician and later worked as a coffee shop attendant, filed the proposed class action lawsuit in New York federal court.

Wheeler and Brewster say they completed Wegmans’ standard electronic documents related to their employment which included an authorization to conduct a background check and a credit check.

However, the pair contend that Wegmans’ online authorization for a background check failed to properly disclose to them that the grocery chain would obtain consumer background reports.

According to the class action, Wegmans, “acted willfully and in deliberate or reckless disregard of its obligations and the rights of plaintiffs Wheeler, Brewster and other class members without making the required disclosure.”

Additionally, under the FCRA, job applicants have a right to obtain their consumer reports and to have errors in the reports corrected. But Wegmans’ background check authorization document allegedly failed to inform job applicants of this right.

Instead, the lawsuit states that the document contained wording that released Wegmans from all liabilities related to information found in the background check.

The authorization allegedly included the following language: “I hereby release Wegmans, my former employers, and all other persons or entities contacted by Wegmans from any and all claims, demands, or liabilities arising out of or in any way related to the release, disclosure, and use of such information.”

The Plaintiffs’ allege that the inclusion of this provision in the same document as the background authorization is a direct violation of the FCRA.

The pair claim they were misled about the nature and purpose of giving consent for the consumer background check and had their privacy subsequently invaded.

They are seeking to represent a nationwide Class of all Wegmans employees and job applicants who were the subjects of consumer reports obtained by the supermarket chain over the past five years.

The lawsuit is requesting not less than $100 but not more than $1,000 in compensation for each FCRA violation as well as punitive damages.

Over and over again we hear about class action lawsuits regarding FCRA violations. The FCRA is very clear. Organizations must ensure they are in compliance or risk being sued. Partnering with a reputable background screening company is one way of ensuring compliance. Contact CARCO Group to see how we can help – 1-866-557-5984.

 

 

Wheeler, et al. v. Wegmans Food Markets Inc., Case No. 6:16-cv-06825, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

Remember to use the new Form I-9 as of January 22, 2017

reminder-icon

The revised Form I-9 and instructions on how to use it can be found on the USCIS website.

Some notable changes:

  • It asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”
  • The certification process for certain foreign nationals has been streamlined
  • It has dedicated areas for adding additional information, rather than having to add it in the margins
  • Prompts have been added to help ensure information is entered correctly, and
  • Multiple preparers and translators can now be entered.

USCIS is also saying that the revised Form I-9 is easier to complete using a computer, thanks to:

  • Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates,
  • On-screen instructions for each field
  • Easy-to-access full instructions, and
  • An option to clear the form and start over.

To ensure I-9/E-Verify compliance, contact CARCO today 1-866-557-5984 or click here to be contacted by a CARCO Specialist.

 

 

City of Los Angeles Bans the Box for Private Employers

bantheboxEffective January 22, 2017, the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance will ban private employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history or conducting a criminal background check until after extending a conditional offer that is only conditioned on the result of the check.

The Ordinance applies to any private employer that employs at least 10 people who perform at least two hours of work each week within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. Exceptions include employers who are required by law to obtain an applicant’s convictions, or those who are prohibited by law to hire an individual convicted of a crime.

Banned Hiring Practices

The Ordinance is one of the strongest fair chance hiring laws in the nation, stating that an Employer shall not:

  1. Include on any application for employment any questions that seek the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history.
  2.  At any time or by any means, inquire about or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment has been made.
  3. Take adverse action against an applicant to whom a conditional offer has been made based on criminal history unless the employer performs a written assessment linking the applicant’s criminal history with risks inherent in the duties of the position at hand.

Employer Assessment of Criminal History

  1.  The employer must provide the applicant with a Fair Chance Process, including written notifications of the proposed adverse action, a copy of the written assessment and any other information supporting the adverse action.
  2. The employer cannot take adverse action or fill the position sought by the applicant for a period of at least 5 business days after the applicant is informed of the proposed adverse action in order to allow the applicant to complete the Fair Chance Process.
  3. If the applicant provides information or documentation during the Fair Chance Process, the employer must consider the information and perform a written assessment of the proposed adverse action.
  4. If after reassessing the proposed adverse action decides to proceed with the adverse action, the employer must notify the applicant and provide a copy of the written assessment.

Notice and Posting Requirements

An employer must state in all advertisements that it will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Ordinance. Employers also must post a notice informing applicants of the provisions of the Ordinance in a “conspicuous place at every workplace, job site or other location in the City under the employer’s control and visited by employment applicants.” Employers must also send a copy of the notice to each labor union with which they have a collective bargaining agreement covering employees located in the City.

Record Retention

Employers must retain all records and documents related to applications, written assessments, and reassessments performed pursuant to the Ordinance for three years following the receipt of a job application.

Enforcement and Penalties

Civil enforcement can be brought after applicant or employee has reported the violation to the Designated Administrative Agency (DAA), which must be done within one year of the alleged violation. At that time, the administrative process must be completed or a hearing officer’s decision must be rendered, whichever is later.

In terms of administrative enforcement,  penalties and administrative fines for an employer violation can be up to $500 for the first violation, up to $1,000 for the second violation and up to $2,000 for the third and subsequent violations. Penalties and fines will not apply until July 1, 2017. Prior to July 1, 2017, the DAA will issue written warnings to employers that violate the Ordinance.

Recommended Actions in Preparation for January 22, 2017

  • If you have not already done so, review job applications and remove any criminal records question.
  • Review all employment material and remove any question regarding the applicant’s willingness to submit to a background check before a conditional offer.
  • Rescind any automatic rules in place to exclude candidates with criminal records from employment.
  • Review your hiring and interview policies and processes. Revise them to delay inquiry into criminal history until AFTER a conditional offer of employment.
  • Train all individuals involved in recruitment, hiring, interviewing, and individualized assessments to comply with the requirements of this law.
  • Establish protocol for handling individualized assessments.

To help ensure Ban the Box compliance, contact a CARCO Specialist at 1-866-557-5984 or click here.

 

 

Judge Dismisses Petco’s Motion to Dismiss Class Action for Violating the FCRA

petco-logo On November 22nd, a California federal court rejected Petco’s motion to dismiss a class-action suit that accuses Petco of not disclosing plans to conduct background checks on potential employees.

According to the court, the Plaintiffs suffered sufficient concrete injury for the case to continue. The Plaintiffs allege that Petco knew it was violating the FCRA when it buried information in pages of paperwork, instead of providing a separate document disclosing the background check.

According to the lawsuit, the FCRA requires that “an employer may not procure a consumer report concerning a job applicant or employee unless a ‘clear and conspicuous’ disclosure is made in a stand-alone document that ‘consists solely of the disclosure’ informing the applicant or employee that a report may be obtained for employment purposes.”

The complaint alleges that instead of a “clear and conspicuous” and separate disclosure, Petco has a text box in the middle of its online application “which appears on a screen with small font wording in the middle that the applicant scrolls through by dragging a scrollbar on the right hand side” called the Background Check Disclosure.

The class action states that if printed out, the disclosure would take up five pages, and which supposedly authorized Petco to conduct regular consumer reports of its applicants and employees. This disclosure does not meet federal requirements, the class action asserts.

In addition, the lawsuit claims that if an employer makes an “adverse decision” based on something in a credit report, they have to notify the consumer of that fact. The complaint alleges that Petco fails to do this.

 

Feist et al. v. Petco Animal Supplies Inc. et al., case number 3:16-cv-01369, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

 

Sweeping immigration law changes are coming! Know your responsibility as an employer.

istock-passport-image

All indications are that the new President’s key initiatives will include sweeping changes in immigration. According to immigration law, employers have certain responsibilities during the hiring and background screening processes. Federal law requires that every employer who “recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S. must complete Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

It’s time to review your I-9 program and ensure it is compliant. Here’s why.

  • Monetary penalties for knowingly hiring and employing undocumented workers can be up to $16,000 per violation.
  • Penalties for technical violations, including failing to produce a Form I-9, can be up to $1,100 per violation.
  • Criminal penalties can be up to 6 months in prison for engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring, recruiting or referring for a fee unauthorized aliens.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) audits are serious. In 2015, Hartmann Studios was hit with the largest fine ever ordered$605,250 – for more than 800 I-9 paperwork violations. Most of the violations were due to repeated failure to sign section 2 of the I-9 form. Employers need to have an audit proof process to ensure forms are properly completed and retained.

As part of our Onboarding Solution, CARCO can facilitate an electronic Form I-9 process (using e-signature technology) AND complete the E-Verify process through an interface with the DHS. The results of this process are available to clients within seconds. The employee’s I-9, along with the supporting documents, are then stored in compliance with ICE requirements.

In addition to the mechanics of providing the documents, CARCO’s I-9 solution allows its clients to achieve a far higher level of compliance than would otherwise be possible by having e-mail reminders, reporting, and e-mail escalation notices if these tasks are not complete.

Now is a good time to review your I-9 process with a CARCO Specialist to ensure compliance. Contact us a 1-866-557-5984 or click here to receive more information.

Don’t forget that the new Form I-9 must be used starting January 21, 2017.