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Legislative Alerts – July 11th, 2014

 

Tennessee Negligent Hiring and Retention law Helping the Convicted Find Work

Ex-cons in Tennessee might soon find it easier to get a job.  The new Tennessee Negligent Hiring and Retention law went into effect on July 1.  Under the law, ex-offenders will be able to petition a judge for a “certificate of employability,” which says they are rehabilitated and ready to return to the workforce.   In return, employers who hire those with the certificates will be protected from liability suits if one of the formerly incarcerated employees assaults a co-worker.

Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey says, “This bill will help prevent future crimes by ensuring these individuals have access to good paying jobs and are not tempted to return to a life of crime.”

That protection for employers only lasts as long as the ex-offender’s good behavior.  If there are signs of danger or violence and the company doesn’t terminate their employment, the company would be liable if that person commits a felony.

Miners Go to the Supreme Court

The embattled EEOC continues trying to defend what some are calling its strategy of “sue first and negotiate later.”  Now, the US Supreme court has agreed to look at a dispute between the agency and Mach Mining out of Illinois.

The EEOC sued the mining company for failing to hire qualified female job applicants.  The government claims the company received plenty of applications from qualified women.  Federal law requires the EEOC to make a “sincere and reasonable” effort to settle cases out of court.  The mining company says the lawsuit should be thrown out because the EEOC didn’t try hard enough to negotiate settlements before taking them to court.

Appellate courts disagreed on whether “ineffective settlement efforts” can be used a defense against the EEOC. The Court will hear the case when it reconvenes in the fall.

Georgia Backs Off Drug Testing for Food Stamps

Earlier this year, the Georgia legislature passed a law requiring drug testing if food stamp recipients give authorities “reasonable suspicion” that they were using drugs.  A positive drug test would cause a temporary loss of food stamp benefits.

The law was supposed to take effect on July 1, but civil liberties advocates argue that this drug testing plan violates the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

Some of the bill’s sponsors planned to fight for the law, but have since backed away.  Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens the state could lose federal funding for food stamps if it goes forward with the testing. It could also face a federal challenge like Florida did over a bill requiring drug testing for welfare benefits.

Governor Nathan Deal, who signed the legislation in to law, says he will follow the attorney general’s guidance.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001-2008 certification for Quality Management.

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Legislative Alerts – July 7th, 2014

 

background check for ice cream manIs the Ice Cream Man Dangerous?

Does the ice cream man need a background check?  In this day and age, there are many who think it’s a very good idea.

Los Angeles County might mandate fingerprinting and a criminal background check for anyone who sells products directly to unsupervised children.

Don Knabe, who introduced the motion, points out that the vendors catering to minors tend to congregate near parks, school and libraries.  Often children make their purchases, or just hang out nearby, without any adult supervision.

The county already requires background checks for those who operate adult businesses.

The report on the feasibility of implementing these checks is due back to the Board of Supervisors in July.

Federal Background Checks Severely Lacking

The federal government needs to make some drastic improvements to its background screening efforts.

The inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released new details from its recent audit.  The OPM’s handling of background screening has been under a microscope since it was discovered that the same government contractor conducted background checks for both Edward Snowden and the Washington Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis.

The analysis looked at the process OPM and its contractors use to review background checks.  The results revealed that some background check contractors reviewed impossibly high numbers of reports.  One employee reported finishing more than 15,000 reviews in a single month.

Auditors also found weak controls that allowed cases to move forward without proper reviews.  The Department of Justice is currently suing that contractor, accusing the company of signing off on at least 665,000 investigations that were not properly vetted.

To help remedy some of these issues the OPM is going to require that all future contracts mandate proof that the background check firms’ employees have received the proper training. Firms are also being asked to re-evaluate their internal controls when it comes to training.

State Laws Stalled by the Feds

The state of Texas wants people from certain professions, like nursing and truck driving, to take a drug test before receiving unemployment benefits.  The legislature passed a bill, and Governor Rick Perry signed it.

The law was supposed to go into effect on February 1, 2014, but it can’t be enforced yet because the federal government is dragging its feet.  A federal law was passed to allow states to require these drug tests, but the Department of Labor hasn’t laid out which job titles and job classifications are covered.

The Department of Labor was supposed to start the rule-making process back in March.  There’s no word on whether it actually did.  A spokesperson for the department said this is a long process and the final rules may still be several months away.
Texas is not alone in this wait.

Mississippi and Kansas have passed similar legislation, and are stuck in limbo too.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001-2008 certification for Quality Management.

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EBI Exhibiting - Booth #1849 at SHRM in Orlando

 

SHRM BoothEmployment Background Investigations, Inc. will be exhibiting at the 66th Annual SHRM Conference and Expo, the world’s largest HR conference, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from June 22-24.

The 120,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall will welcome over 14,000 Human Resources Professionals and 600 exhibitors. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Robin Roberts, Laura Bush, David Novak and Tom Friedman. Country Music star Tim McGraw will be the Tuesday night entertainment.

You can find EBI at booth #1849.  Our team of background screening, drug testing and occupational health professionals will be discussing how EBI can optimize business processes and create efficiencies with their award-winning global screening platform.

While we will be there to educate you, we know you're there to have fun too! Stop by our booth and play “Spin & Win“ to instantly win one of nearly 500 prizes, which include Kindle Fires, Apple® TVs, Google Chromecasts and iTunes® gift cards.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only background screening company  to hold an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

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Legislative Alerts June 19, 2014

 
Federal Custody Contrtol Form

New Federal Forms

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the 2014 Federal Custody Control Form (CCF) for all federal agency and federally regulated drug testing programs.

While the CCF can be used in either a paper or electronic (eCCF) form for HHS testing, it is important to note that the DOT has not yet approved the use of the Federal eCCF.

With regard to testing HHS regulated specimens, an HHS-certified test facility has certain steps that it must take before it can utilize the Federal eCCF.  They must submit a detailed plan and proposed standard operating procedures (SOP) to the NLCP for review.  Once approved, an onsite inspection will be conducted.  It is only after these tasks are completed that the Federal eCCF form may be used in lieu of the paper CCF.

The new form went into effect on May 31st of this year and expires in 2017.

Subcommittee Eyes EEOC

The House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing this week to take a closer look at the EEOC’s guidance on the use of criminal background checks. Several witnesses told the committee that the EEOC is overstepping its bounds when it comes to restrictions on background checks.

Federal law does not keep employers from asking about criminal history, but it does put restrictions on how the information is used.

President and CEO of the National Small Business Association, Todd McCracken, testified before the panel.  His main message was that more small businesses are giving up background checks so they can avoid the bureaucratic headaches that come with the EEOC guidance.

McCracken says the extensive, footnote-laden document does little more than make running a business more difficult and more expensive.  He said employers don’t use background checks to exclude minority employees, as the EEOC alleges, but to provide a safe environment for their workers and their customers.

Camille Olson, an attorney appearing on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce, testified that EEOC lawsuits have been “frivolous, unreasonable and without foundation.”  She says the EEOC’s guidance is flawed and has strayed from the agency’s core mission.

In May, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien testified before the same subcommittee.  She was asked about the Senate Appropriations Committee’s directive to fix the confusion about the 2012 guidelines.  Berrien says they still have a month to produce those changes, and neither she, nor any other representative of the EEOC, appeared for this most recent hearing.

BAN THE BOX

Illinois is about to add private employers to its Ban the Box regulations.  The “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” is on Governor Pat Quinn’s desk.  There is little doubt the Governor will sign it since he has already banned criminal background questions from most state job applications. He did that by executive order in October 2013.

Illinois will now be the fifth state to ban the box for private employers.

The new law will require employment agencies and private employers with more than 15 workers to evaluate an applicant based on their job skills and qualifications before asking about criminal history.  State representatives have been working to get this passed since 2007.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only background screening company firm to hold an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

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Camps Want a National Background Check System

 

Are They Asking for the Right Solution?

EBI BackgroundScreeningYou might be dreaming of those lazy, hazy days of summer, but for millions of kids across the country the next two and a half months are all about swimming in lakes, trying their hand at things like archery and singing around campfires.  It’s the stuff great childhood memories are made of.

As campers finish school and pack up, camps are still trying to fill positions.  According to the American Camp Association’s website there are almost 900 open camp jobs across the country. With campers arriving any day now, the hiring process is going to have to move quickly. 

Most parents assume camps are doing everything they can to make sure they don’t hire people who will pose a danger, but it’s not that easy.

Peg Smith, chief executive of the American Camp Association told YouthToday.org, "A gaping hole exists in federal law that keeps camps and other youth organizations from accessing federal criminal background checks.  Most parents assume there’s a national system and there’s not.”

With the support of Senator Chuck Schumer, the Camp Association is seeking to pass the Child Protection Improvements Act. The bill aims to give camps and other children’s groups access to federal criminal databases to do background checks on staff and volunteers.

If passed the bill would create a “one-stop” system where a local organization could get state and FBI information in one place for $25 or less.

From an initial glance you would think this is a comprehensive solution, but FBI and many state criminal record repositories are full of holes.  A U.S. Department of Justice report revealed that the database has an overwhelming amount of flaws.

As stated in the U.S. Depart of Justice 2006 report, “Users may not want to rely exclusively on an FBI and state repository check and may also want to check other record sources, such as commercial databases and local courthouses to obtain more complete and up-to-date information in support of criminal history background screening. In addition to the data quality issue of obtaining comprehensive criminal record information, there is the issue of ensuring that users are provided information that is accurate and up-to-date.

Under this proposed bill, volunteer organizations will rely upon flawed and incomplete data as their sole source of criminal information.

Summer camps face several challenges that are unique.  First, some are open just a few months a year and hires take place in a rush.  Staff and volunteers can come from all over the country- or even internationally- which also makes background checks more complicated.  The camp community feels this legislation is the best way to fix the problems and overcome these challenges. But background check experts are not so sure….

EBI Chief Knowledge Officer Bob Capwell says, “Comprehensive due diligence will never be achieved with the criminal information described in the bill.  Only a comprehensive criminal background check where an applicant has lived, worked, or even gone to school will return complete results directly from the original reporting court."

Capwell also says you can only rely on experts that utilize highly qualified court researchers that are fully vetted with the specific jurisdictional knowledge required to deliver the highest quality information.  An inexpensive state and FBI database search will only uncover limited information, which could produce a clean background check on someone with past convictions.

In addition to all of the above, a national search of all sex offender registries should be conducted to uncover any potential past sexual misconduct.

This might sound like a lot to do for each and every hire, but today’s technology makes it possible and cost effective.  The cost of neglecting this important aspect of hiring is immeasurable.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only background screening company firm to hold an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

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Legislative Alerts – May 29th, 2014

 

More Ban The Box

Ban the box, Rochester, New YorkIf you employ four or more employees within the city of Rochester, New York, you will soon be required to “Ban the Box”… and that goes for public and private employers alike.

The Rochester City Council voted unanimously to prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on job applications.  The ban, which takes effect in October, does allow exceptions for police and firefighters and other jobs for which a conviction would automatically take an applicant out of the running. Click here to read the whole ordinance.

City Councilman Adam McFadden says state law does not allow employers to discriminate, but those asking about criminal history before ever speaking with an applicant, are doing just that.  While a box asking about convictions will no longer be allowed on job applications, McFadden says employers are free to ask the question during an interview.

Supporters of Ban the Box legislation say this ability to explain the circumstances face-to-face might open doors for many who have not been able to get back into the workforce after a run-in with the law.

States Still Deciding How to Vet Healthcare Navigators

How would you like to hand over your social security number, birthdate and other important information to someone who has been convicted of a crime?  Seems like a pretty dumb thing to do, but that’s what some fear is happening as people try to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

With no background screens required, 31 convicted criminals got jobs as navigators in California, eight in Nevada and several in Delaware.  The Associate Press found that others had been sued, some several times, for unpaid debts and taxes.

Even though there have been no reports of identity theft…and the feds don’t require it… several states are adding criminal background checks or licensing requirements for those hired to handle consumers’ personal information.

The way the states are dealing with this issue seems to be falling right on party lines. Most of the states that have passed additional requirements have a Republican-led legislature.  Those with a Democratic majority tend to deal with criminal records on a case-by-case basis.

The ACA allows states to impose additional requirements, and at least 19 have done so.  Right now, Missouri lawmakers are in a legal battle after a federal judge blocked the enactment of a new law requiring a state-licensing test, nearly double the number of training hours and large fines for any violations. The judge believes the Missouri rules create an “impermissible obstacle,” which is not allowed. That appeal is still pending.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

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Education Verification: Fake Degrees are a REAL Problem

 

education verificationsJust how important is education verification?  Unfortunately, in today’s world, it is essential.  Google “fake degree” and hundreds of sites promising diplomas and transcripts pop up.  Choose your school and your degree and you are ready to go!

In their 2012 publication “Degree Mills: The Billion Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas,” Allen Ezell and John Bear estimated that fake degree sales easily exceeded the billion dollar mark in just a decade.

The degrees can be from high school all the way up to the top of higher education. How is this for a staggering statistic:

“The number of earned PhD degrees in the United States is 40,000 to 45,000 each year. The number of fake PhDs bought each year from diploma mills exceeds 50,000. In other words, more than half of all people claiming a new PhD have a fake degree.”

Ezell and Bear also note there are thousands of people practicing with fake medical degrees.

Just last week, a Connecticut man was arrested for weaving an elaborate scheme that put fake degrees into the hands of thousands of people.  According to the U.S Attorney’s Office James Enowitch and an accomplice created seven fake websites where buyers could purchase a degree for $550 or less. He even created a fake verification service in case someone called to check the degree out!

The issue is not just domestic.  Internationally, fake degrees are epidemic. Diploma mills in India are cranking out papers faster than they can be counted, and Pakistan’s national airline just fired 350 people after a crackdown on forged qualifications.

And for one more twist… verification doesn’t only uncover fake degrees, but can sniff out an exaggeration.  We saw a prime example of this when George O’Leary held the position of Notre Dame Football coach for just five days.  His resume said he had a master’s degree in education from New York University. Yes, he was a student there, but he never earned that degree.  O’Leary also said he played football at the University of New Hampshire.  You guessed it… that never happened either.

Former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson got an accounting degree, but for 10 years his resume claimed it was a degree in computer science.   The college he attended didn’t even offer a computer science degree until four years after Thompson graduated.

This week, a local election is getting heated over a similar issue in Cottonwood, California.  Challenger Harley North says current Tehama County School Superintendent Charles Allen lied about earning a master’s degree in educational leadership. Allen says he earned “the equivalent” of a master’s degree.  The job description requires a master’s, so North says Allen lied on his job application.  Allen says the Department of Education didn’t have trouble with his qualifications and the outrage is purely political.

So, with all of these examples, the issue of education verification should be crystal clear.  But what can you do. 

Here are some Best Practices for employers gathering information for education verification.

  • Obtain full name used when attending school or institution
  • Obtain dates of attendance or graduation date
  • Have a clear indication of whether a GED, diploma or degree was earned, and what type.
  • Name of institution, including city, state and campus

Ways to spot a fake degree

  • Did the applicant provide all of the information indicated above?
  • Does the name of the institution seems obscure or similar to a well-known university?
  • Can the school’s physical location be verified through additional resources?  Is it a PO box or someone’s residence?
  • Verify if the school is accredited through a government resource such as www.chea.org or www.unesco.org.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only background screening company firm to hold an ISO 27001-2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

what employers need to know about the FBI criminal databaseOther Great Employer Resources

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Legislative Alerts – May 20th, 2014

 

Drug Testing Programs for Miner’s SafetyDrug Testing Programs for Miner’s Safety

The death of two West Virginia miners earlier this week puts the industry under scrutiny once again. The cause of the accident at the Brody Coal Mine has not been determined yet, but this unfortunate incident is a prime example of why the state and the industry are constantly trying to find ways to protect those who chose to go down into those mines.
A few weeks ago West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed a law that will require employers to report any positive drug tests for individuals associated with safety-sensitive mining positions, including current employees and certified applicants.

Employers have seven days to report positive drug or alcohol tests, a refusal to submit a sample or evidence of adulterated samples.

The law also requires employers to review their substance abuse screening programs to make sure they are testing at the time of employment, when employees change positions and on an annual basis.

Another One “Bans the Box”

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a bill this week that will add the nation’s first state to the growing list of municipalities that keep employers from asking about criminal history in the early stages of the hiring process.

The bill only applies to public agencies.  Law enforcement and private businesses are exempt.  As with similar legislation, employers in the public sector will not be able to ask about an applicant’s prior criminal record or credit history until after the first interview is complete.

While several other Ban the Box laws include private companies seeking government contracts, Delaware’s doesn’t go quite so far.  Companies will be told that the state does not ask about criminal history before evaluating an applicant’s qualifications.  Contractors will be encouraged to do the same, but banning the box will not be a requirement for winning state contracts.

No Pre employment Drug Tests Without Suspicion

A federal judge says the city of Key West was violating the Fourth Amendment by requiring job applicants to take drug tests.

Last year, Karen Voss was excited to begin her new job as Recycling Coordinator for the city, but that all changed when she arrived to fill out her HR paperwork.  When she was told she had to provide a urine sample for a drug test, Voss refused, saying the city couldn’t demand a test without suspicion. The city revoked the job offer and gave the position to someone else.

The ACLU took the case to court, arguing that the policy treated applicants like suspected criminals.  A federal judge declared the city’s policy to be unconstitutional, as it violated their protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.  There is no word on whether Voss has been offered another opportunity.

Screening of Volunteers in Youth Sports – What's It Going To Take?

 

Background Screening Youth Sports VolunteersAn article in this week's Baltimore Sun says Baltimore County is the only jurisdiction in the region that does not require background checks for coaches and other adults who volunteer for youth sports. Since I live in Baltimore County, have a son who plays baseball here, and I now work for a background investigations firm… I have to ask… what gives?

More than a decade ago, a volunteer was convicted of abusing a 12-year –old boy he met through one of the area’s recreation centers. It turns out, the man had been charged with abuse 8 years before, but no one was the wiser since he was allowed to walk out on that field without anyone looking into his history.

Ever since Jerry Sandusky made headlines for unthinkable abuse of kids at Penn State, there have been efforts to make background checks mandatory for coaches and volunteers, but progress is slow. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation has focused energy on preventing sexual abuse in sports. Part of their effort is aimed at trying to make background checks more affordable.

Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins is sponsoring legislation that would require a background check on anyone working with children as a coach or volunteer. The bill is not making much headway. Opponents are trying to delay the vote, claiming it's too expensive.

When I went to EBI's Chief Knowledge Officer, Bob Capwell, about this, he basically said it's unthinkable for a government to leave this kind of thing up to chance. Capwell says, "How do you even weigh the costs of conducting background checks against the safety of our children? Many pedophiles seek volunteer positions that don't require background checks as an opportunity to slip under the radar. It's like providing an open invitation to a sexual predator."

That said, it can cost between $30-$40 dollars every year to run a background check on a volunteer. When you have 30,000 volunteers in the county, that kind of money can be hard to come by.
So what do you do? Well, you don’t put your head in the sand like Baltimore County seems to be doing.

Capwell says there are other ways to handle the cost. "A way of deferring cost would be to have volunteers pay for a portion of the background check. Volunteers, especially parents, are more willing to pay a nominal fee to have a background check run with the peace of mind that other volunteers with access to their children have done the same."

Right now, the county’s "parent's code of conduct" explains that the county doesn't do background checks because experts say parental involvement is a more effective means of protecting children. As I mentioned before, I am one of those parents, and while I am all for parental involvement, I didn't even notice that disclosure.

So what do we do? I guess being aware of these shortfalls is our best weapon. I know I’ll be paying much closer attention from now on. Wherever you live, it might not be a bad idea to investigate and to find out exactly how much you can trust the people coaching your athletes… and how much trust you can place in the people hiring them.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only background screening firm to hold an ISO27001:2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) created by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

Find out how EBI can help you build the perfect screening program to fit your needs.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

what employers need to know about the FBI criminal databaseOther Great Employer Resources

Download our free whitepaper "What Employers Need To Know about the FBI Criminal Records Database"

EEOC: Suing Less—But Still Pushing Too Far

 

EEOC: Suing Less—But Still Pushing too FarOver the last couple of years, the EEOC has made it harder for employers to discriminate against job applicants with criminal pasts.  With the promise of protection, more workers have come forward with complaints of discrimination… everything from age discrimination to issues regarding past criminal records. On the surface, that’s how the new regulations presented by the EEOC in 2012 were meant to work.

But then the Commission started filing lawsuit after lawsuit, forcing companies of all sizes to defend themselves.  Obviously, having the federal government knocking on your door is intimidating, but two years into these regulations, it seems the Commission’s lawsuits are often not only over-zealous, but down right sloppy.

Over the last year and a half, the EEOC has suffered several high-profile losses, and is being accused by attorneys in the private sector of conducting overreaching and open-ended investigations, instead of focusing on the individual charges of discrimination.  The numbers show the Commission is filing fewer suits, but there is still plenty of money flowing into and out of the EEOC.

Several judges across the country have found for the defendants in these cases. An Iowa judge ordered the EEOC to pay $4.7 million in attorneys’ fees and court costs to a CRST Van Expedited Inc. after a lawsuit accused the company of failing to protect hundreds of female employees from sexual harassment.

In the summer of 2013, a judge ripped an EEOC case to shreds, calling the work shoddy, and saying much of the statistical analysis seemed “fudged.” 

Read more about the case EEOC vs Freeman

In another case, an Atlanta magistrate judge refused to enforce a subpoena against a Georgia nursing company.  The company was accused of discriminating against home health aides who were black, disabled or had pre-existing genetic conditions.  The judge accused the EEOC of conducting an FBI-like raid on the company… even though the complaint they received was filed by a worker who, “is not disabled, is under the age of 40, has no pre-existing genetic conditions and is Caucasian.”

The general counsel for the EEOC points out that there have been some very big wins on the Commission’s side. For example, Hill Country Farms paid $1.6 million after a jury decided the company subjected 32 “intellectually disabled” workers to lower pay and abuse. And last year the EEOC won $675,000 for a RadioShack manager who was fired after filing an age discrimination complaint.

The bottom line seems to be that both sides have reason to complain.  The EEOC does find and fix discrimination problems, but employers do have a valid argument about over-zealous prosecution.

The one big take-away for employers is that the EEOC is not infallible. Too often, fear leads companies to automatically settle.  Remember to always talk to your attorney before making any snap decisions.

Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational healthcare and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only background screening firm to hold an ISO27001:2005 certification for information security and to be accredited by the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) created by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

Discover how EBI can help you build the perfect screening program to fit your needs.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

 

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