Author Archives: Sean

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Ex-Jacksonville Jaguars Contractor Had Failed to Register as a Sex Offender

Category : Uncategorized

A former operator of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Jumbotron was recently arrested for possession of child pornography and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The arrest occurred during an investigation into how the contractor had hacked the jumbotron to cause system outages. It was later revealed that the contractor had been previously convicted of a 1998 sexual offense involving a child and had failed to register as a sex offender upon moving to Florida.

This instance demonstrates that employers should not only properly vet all employees, but also contractors or other third parties that have access to their facilities, clients and workforce. Having established policies that detail how contractors are screened can help to mitigate your hiring risk. If relying on staffing companies, employers should be knowledgeable of their staffing company’s background screening policies and procedures, as well as the scope of their background check.  Since not all background checks provide the same comprehensive scope, convictions from outside of the standard 7 year reporting timeframe are often overlooked. Issues such as this are avoidable and HR teams can mitigate their risk by partnering with a background screener that can meet their reporting requirements.

Please feel free to reach out to CRC’s Sales team at (877) 272-0266 if you have any questions or concerns about your current process!

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Woman Sues Employer and Background Screener Over Mix-Up that Turned Life ‘Upside Down’

A Florida woman is struggling after a mix up with her employers’ background screening process allegedly resulted in her losing her home, her vehicle, and her children. She shares the same name and date of birth as a violent offender in Pennsylvania. The employee notes that this case of mistaken identity has happened before with the same employer, a transportation network company; she previously had to submit fingerprints and contact Pennsylvania’s authorities before being able to continue working. The mix up occurred once more when her employer’s new background screening company returned the same results and the employer suspended her again. This time, the employee decided to sue the company as well as the background screener for damages and is alleging that they willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Click here if you’d like to read more about this story:

This instance of mistaken identity demonstrates that employers should properly vet their background screening providers’ reporting policies, specifically their matching criteria. Most background screening companies have a separate policy in place for reporting common names that is more stringent than their standard reporting policy. Employers should also follow proper adverse action guidelines to ensure that the candidate or employee has a chance to dispute any incorrect information before a letter of denial is issued. Technical errors such as this are avoidable and HR teams can mitigate their risk by partnering with a background screener that thoroughly verifies the information they report.

Please feel free to reach out to CRC’s Sales team at (877) 272-0266 if you have any questions or concerns about your current process!

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Newspaper’s Hiring of a Convicted Sex Offender Raises Questions About Ban the Box Compliance

A newspaper in New Mexico hired a convicted sex offender to report on local schools. When it was reported that the employee was on the sex offender registry, the paper stated that he had failed to self-disclose that information. The employer then pointed to New Mexico’s recent passing of ban the box regulations to explain why they didn’t run a background check during the employment process. These laws, which have been enacted in over 35 states and 150 cities and counties, mandate that employers do not require candidates to self-disclose their criminal history during the initial job application.

Does this mean that background checks cannot be ran in states, cities or counties that have passed ban the box regulations? No. The best practice is to wait to ask about criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The candidate can then have an opportunity to self-disclose their criminal history and a background check can be conducted at that time. Additionally, employers may want to confer with legal counsel prior to making changes to their screening policies since misinterpreting the law can result in cases such as this.

Please contact CRC if you have any questions about Ban the Box and how it affects your organization!

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Nevada Passes Law Banning Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

Category : Legal

Effective January 1, 2020, employers will be barred from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana in the state of Nevada. Nevada is the first state to enact a law that will restrict employers from utilizing a positive marijuana drug test for employment screening purposes. The law states that it “is unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.” This law will apply to all types of currently acceptable drug screening methods: urinalysis, hair, blood, and saliva. The only positions that are exempt from this law will be emergency medical technicians, operators of motor vehicles who are required to be drug tested, firefighters, or other jobs that could adversely affect the safety of others as determined by the employer.

Employers located in Nevada should review their current screening policies and make the appropriate adjustments to stay in compliance. In addition, employers have the right to review their positions as well to see if any of their safety sensitive positions can be exempted. Since Nevada won’t likely be the last state to enact this type of law, CRC will monitor this trend and post updates as they occur. If you have any questions about your current drug testing policies or you’re in the market to work with a accredited background screening agency, please reach out to CRC’s Business Development team and they’ll be happy to assist.

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US Navy Expands Drug Screening Policies Due to Alarming Synthetic Opioid Statistics

Effective immediately, the U.S. Navy will start testing all drug screening urine samples for Fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid. The expanded screening initiative is due to alarming data issued by the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report on March 21, 2019. The announcement, which you can read by clicking here, states that overdose deaths due to Fentanyl rose from 1,615 in 2011 to 18,335 in 2016. According to the study, numbers and rates increased for all sex, age, racial and ethnic subgroups, and most public health regions. Pharmaceutical Fentanyl was developed to help cancer patients manage pain and is often applied as a patch on the skin, though it’s available as an intravenous injection as well as a pill.

As CRC covered in our previous article about Fentanyl, standard 9 and 10 panel Non-DOT regulated drug screens are unable to detect Fentanyl as well as other synthetic opioids. The Navy is following a trend set by other proactive organizations that have implemented expanded random drug screening policies to maintain a healthy workforce. If you’re interested in working with a provider that can screen for Fentanyl as well as other synthetic opioids, CRC offers an integrated drug screening solution that allows employers to schedule collections via a user-friendly paperless platform. Reach out to one of our Sales representatives for more information!