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Background Screening and the Legalization of Marijuana

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jan 12, 2018

*Note: This post has been updated from its original post date of November 10, 2016.

As of January 2018,  8 states and Washington D.C. have passed broad legislation for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use and 29 states for medical use. States that now allow adult citizens to smoke weed include Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Other states have passed laws allowing marijuana for medical use. This list may not be comprehensive and could be outdated as more legislation is passed. We will continue to update when possible.

These results may have employers concerned about background screening and marijuana use on the job. Here are some things to consider.

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Topics: Types of Background Checks

New State Employment Laws for 2018

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jan 05, 2018

With the new year, many laws that were passed in the previous year become active. For employers, these new laws may require big changes to employment manuals, hiring documents, or important parts of the hiring process. To help make things easier, we've done some research and compiled a list of new state laws that went into effect on January 1 and others to expect this year. This information may not be completely comprehensive, for instance, not all wage laws are covered, so employers must still be aware of integral legislation in their state or local community. 

Here are the hiring and state employment laws going into effect this year...

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Topics: Human Resources, Hiring and Recruiting

Top 10 Background Check and Hiring Blogs of 2017

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 29, 2017

With only a few days left of the year, we are looking back to find trends or ideas for posts for the next year. Previous lists from 2014, 2015, and 2016 have helped to guide the direction of this blog to ensure we're providing the necessary information to keep employers and HR professionals informed. Please comment below if you have any topics where we need to take a deeper dive. Our goal is to be a trusted resource to our readers.

What were the top hiring and background check blog posts for 2017?

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

List of Top Background Check Practices

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Dec 14, 2017

Background checks are important for employers to avoid claims of negligent hiring, reduce employee turnover, and create an overall safe work environment. Screening best practices will also reduce cost, reduce the risk of non-compliance, and create consistency in hiring processes. Employers who use background checks to their advantage will be ready for any investigations by regulatory agencies such as the EEOC and the FTC enforcement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  

Employers are wise to follow this...

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

When Should Employers Consider Criminal History Records?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Dec 07, 2017


Employers depend on accurate criminal history records when making a hiring decision based on background screening. A criminal background check is used to ensure a safer workplace and reduce the risk of negligent hiring claims. When making a hiring decision based on a background check report, however, the employer must show that there is areason that the criminal record affects the hiring decision. The employer's policy must be reasonably related to the job requirements.  

So when should employers consider criminal history records? Here's what you need to know...

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

2017 Background Check Trends: What Employers Need to Know for 2018

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 01, 2017

Employers and HR professionals have quite the task to keep up with updated state regulations and background check industry trends. Changes in employment and recruiting provoke changes in laws and protections for those seeking work, currently working, or working independently. Employers must also be mindful of their hiring practices and screening processes to prevent discrimination or negligent hiring. 

Here are 2017 background check and hiring trends and what employers need to know in the new year.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance, Hiring and Recruiting, Immigration

Is it Time to Rescreen Seasonal Employees?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Wed, Nov 22, 2017

The holidays are approaching and ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers are already hiring for the season. Some retailers also employ some of the same individuals as previous seasons. With the mad rush of seasonal hiring and the familiarity of previous seasonal employees, background screening may be skipped because it costs too much or takes too long. Employers must consider that 30% of merchandise or cash stolen is due to employee theft. Even a temporary or trusted employee can cause damage to a retail business' bottom line, reputation, and more. 

Retailers: Is it time to screen or rescreen seasonal employees? Here are some questions to consider to understand why background checks are important to seasonal hiring.

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Topics: Cost of a Background Check, Hiring and Recruiting

Why Periodic Background Screening of Current Employees is Important

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Nov 17, 2017

When employers screen an applicant and their criminal record is clean, it doesn't necessarily mean that their record remains that way.  Unfortunately, employers facing claims of negligent hiring due to workplace violence and employee theft know this all too well. Employees face hardships and challenges in their lives that may lead to activities the employer would deem harmful. New hires may also be held to a different standard than employees who were hired years before. 

Is it normal for employers to do periodic background screening of current employees?
Why is it important?

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Topics: Employee Relationship Management, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

How Accurate are Employee Criminal Background Checks?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Nov 09, 2017

When background screening a new employee or current employees, accuracy is vital. Not only do employers want the truth about potential criminal activities, candidates and employees don't want to lose an employment opportunity due to false information.  Employers must also allow the screened applicant time to dispute inaccurate information through the use of FCRA adverse action procedures.  In other words, the veracity of criminal background checks is very important.

When screening an employee, how accurate are criminal background checks?

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

Court Rules Against Employer in FCRA Compliance Case

Posted by Ryan Howard on Wed, Nov 01, 2017

Not only do employers have the task of running their businesses but they must also stay aware of laws that relate to employment. There has been a sharp increase in litigation brought against employers who may be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act during their hiring and screening processes. If an applicant doesn't pass a background check, the employer must follow a set of "adverse action" procedures to inform the applicant. When these procedures aren't followed, employers are facing fines and lost resources.

A recent court case reveals another potential hit for employers if their hiring processes aren't FCRA-compliant.

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Topics: FCRA Compliance