Category Archives: News & Announcements

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Fingerprint Background Check Providers Suspending Services Due to COVID-19

Many Law Enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada are beginning to suspend services such as fingerprint collection and background checks for employment purposes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employers and non-profits that rely on fingerprint checks for hiring purposes in areas where these services are suspended will experience indefinite delays.

While these updates will undoubtedly affect many organizations’ ability to screen candidates for essential roles during the outbreak, there are alternatives available that can limit hiring risk. Many courts and federal agencies around the country are staying open so their public access terminals and databases can be utilized to access criminal history reports. If you’re unfamiliar with criminal record searches, an accredited background screener can help pull these records for you. Many screening companies are still operating and providing FCRA compliant results for name-based searches and some can even provide detailed reports within 1 – 2 business days so your team is staffed quicker.

If your organization is affected by the recent fingerprint service restrictions, let us know if we can help.

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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!

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New Executive Order Restricts NC Public Sector From Viewing Applicants’ Salary Histories

On April 2nd, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting agencies in his administration from reviewing the salary histories of their job applicants. The Governor stated that this restriction was put in place to reduce the pay gap between men and women in NC. Human Resources and Talent Acquisition managers in the public sector have been directed to comply with this law by removing salary history fields from state employment applications as soon as possible.

North Carolina joins 13 other states such as California, Massachusetts, and Oregon in passing laws restricting employers from asking about salary history. While public private sector employers do not have to abide by the new regulations, the passing of this law may inspire more restrictions in the future. CRC will post more updates to this story if they occur.

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CRC Exhibiting at Tri-State Healthcare Human Resources Conference – Connect, Innovate, and Transform

CRC will be exhibiting at the 2019 Tri-State Healthcare Human Resources Conference. This year the conference is being held at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes from Wednesday, April 3 to Friday, April 5.

Click here to learn more about the Tri-State HR Conference

Going along with this year’s conference theme of “Connect, Innovate, and Transform”, stop by our booth (#45) to learn about how connecting with CRC allows employers to innovate with cutting edge technologies and transform their background screening program.

While you are visiting our booth, don’t forget to drop off your business card for a chance to win a JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker!

Looking forward to seeing you there!


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Record Breaking Fentanyl Bust at US Border Raises Concerns Regarding Drug Screening

On January 31, US Customs and Border Protection made the largest ever bust of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s estimated to be 50 – 100 times more potent than morphine. Due to Fentanyl’s highly addictive properties as well as the fact that it’s often mistaken for and mixed with its less potent relative, Heroin, the American Medical Association states it is responsible for nearly half of all drug overdose deaths in the US. With that being the case, it may surprise you that Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are not commonly tested for on a standard Non DOT regulated 10 panel drug screen and thus employers may not be getting the results they need. Click the link below for additional information regarding the drug bust.

The good news for companies is that CRC offers an extended narcotics panel add on to the standard 10 panel drug screen which screens for Fentanyl and other opioids. CRC’s integrated drug screening services allow for company representatives to schedule collections via an easy-to-use paperless platform. Reach out to CRC if you’re a current customer who’d like to update their policy or if you’re an employer who wants to ensure they’re receiving the best service available.


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Walmart Faces Certified Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged FCRA Violations

Around 5 million people who applied for a job at Walmart, Inc are now eligible to pursue a class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs are alleging that the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by adding extraneous material to background check notices issued to its applicants. On January 17, 2019, Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court – Central District of California granted a motion for class certification, which will allow for affected plaintiffs to seek monetary reparations. CRC will be monitoring this case and will post updates once they’re received.

This case demonstrates how important it is for organizations to be aware of FCRA requirements and illustrates the costly monetary repercussions that can arise if the law is not followed. In this instance, the plaintiffs are alleging that Walmart’s disclosure and authorization form contained extraneous material that violates the FCRA’s requirement for this form to be clear and conspicuous. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers examples of what shouldn’t be included on the disclosure form such as a release of liability, a certification from the employee that the information is accurate, a requirement for the employee to acknowledge the company’s decisions are non-discriminatory, and authorizations that permit the release of information that the FCRA doesn’t allow to be included with a background report.

Have you reviewed your policies lately to ensure you’re in compliance? CRC offers free compliance resources to our customers, so please reach out to us if you’re unsure if you’re following best practices.

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Recent Animal Cruelty Charge for Dog Walker Raises Questions About Continuous Background Checks for Gig Employers

A recent incident that resulted in a contractor for a popular dog walking service being charged with animal cruelty has led to many consumers looking into this industry’s standard for background checks. The dog walker was reportedly caught on a surveillance camera in a customer’s home chasing their dog around the house, growling at him, and striking him over the course of 12 minutes. In response to this footage and the subsequent misdemeanor charge, the walker stated that he “needed to test [the dog] to make sure he understood who the pack leader was”. The complainants in this case, after looking into the service’s background screening standards, are concerned that if a walker commits a crime and does not report it to their employer that walker would be allowed to continue to work since continuous background checks are not commonplace.

Many industries such as healthcare, finance, and security run continuous background checks due to the sensitive nature of these positions as well as their employees’ exposure to the public. Having a continuous screening policy in place allows employers to identify criminal charges and convictions that may affect the employee’s position after the initial background check. Some gig-employers like Uber have already recognized the benefits of annually screening their employees and are leading the charge for their industry by updating their policies.

Are you an employer who’s interested in learning about your rescreening options to ensure your company is ahead of the curve? If so, please reach out to CRC for a free consultation!

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Virginia’s Statewide Criminal Database Recently Revealed to be Missing More than 750,000 Records

A recent review of Virginia’s Central Criminal Records Exchange revealed that more than 750,000 records were missing from their database. The Central Criminal Records Exchange is a resource that’s used by agencies and employers nationwide to determine, among other reasons, whether or not their subjects are eligible for a job or to purchase a firearm. The system, which is managed by the Virginia State Police, had omitted multiple serious cases including 300 murder convictions, 4,600 felony assault convictions, and 1,300 rape convictions.

It’s important to know exactly what to expect out of a criminal record check when you order a search for one of your candidates. A statewide record check generally casts a wide net at a reasonable price, but at the expense of varying degrees of quality as shown here. Not all local agencies reliably report case information to state agencies and this can result in incomplete records, or no records at all, being entered into their databases.

However, state agency databases are not the only sources of criminal records; an industry standard alternative is to run countywide checks. These searches, while narrowing the scope of the request, can yield more detailed records. Running a countywide search in conjunction with a statewide check can help ensure you’re receiving a comprehensive criminal history report!

The good news is that if you’re a CRC client, you don’t have to worry about the missing database records! Our compliance team has analyzed each state’s repository’s turnaround time, scope, availability of records, and special requirements so databases such as Virginia’s Central Criminal Records Exchange are not utilized. Instead, we have a list of approved states where statewide criminal searches can be conducted without the addition of a countywide check.

Update – 01/09/2019: The Virginia State Crime Commission (SCC) recently provided recommendations to remedy the issues that led to the Central Criminal Records Exchange database’s missing records. In addition to providing steps to make the appropriate internal policies and procedures updates to complete the database, the SCC also suggested that gaps in the law could be amended to account for finger printable offenses moving forward. According to the SCC, about 90 percent of the 750,000 missing records lacked fingerprints while around 10 percent were missing due to other errors. As there is no current timeline on when the SCC’s recommendations will be implemented, countywide searches continue to be the most comprehensive source for records in that Virginia. We will continue to monitor these database developments and post updates as they’re received.

Do you have any questions about the differences between a statewide and countywide search or are you interested in running background checks with CRC? Are you a current client who would like more information about our Approved States list? Give us a call at (877) 272-0266 and we can help!

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Nearly 130 Chicago Public Schools’ Employees Dismissed Due to New Background Screening Policies

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has reevaluated their background screening policies to address safety concerns that their previous guidelines allegedly missed. As a result of these updated rescreening policies, nearly 130 employees have been terminated, recommended for dismissal, or have resigned. While CPS hasn’t notified IL’s Board of Education that the dismissals were related to abuse or neglect, it should be noted that schools do not have to tell the board the reason they are referring an educator for misconduct if the dismissal is not related to these two factors.

Cases like this demonstrate the importance of establishing detailed and compliant rescreening policies for your organization. A longtime employee that was hired prior to the establishment of a comprehensive background screening policy could have records you’re not aware of. Furthermore, conducting routine post-hire checks on employees will identify criminal records that occur after the pre-employment check. Choosing an NAPBS accredited Consumer Reporting Agency can ensure you get the information you need to protect your organization.

Click the link below to read more!

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HomeAdvisor’s Background Screening Policies Resulted in a Family Unknowingly Hiring a Contractor With a Criminal Record

A couple in Union County, North Carolina hired a contractor through to conduct renovations on their home. They selected HomeAdvisor since, according to one of the homeowners, “The things I had read on HomeAdvisor’s site were that they had background checked pros in our area that were experienced.” Unfortunately, the licensed contractor they selected eventually abandoned the job after mishandling the renovation. At a later point, the family learned that the contractor had a federal felony conviction from 2014 that should’ve been located on his HomeAdvisor background check and that he was on supervised probation while he was working in their home.

This story demonstrates the importance of understanding what type of background check is conducted on any third parties you work with. Not all background checks are created equal, so the best practice is to determine what (if any) searches are being conducted as well as the scope of these searches. For example, HomeAdvisor’s site states that their criminal background checks consist of a National Criminal Database search for any relevant criminal activity associated with the owner of a business with a three-year scope from their HomeAdvisor membership application date. A National Criminal Database search, while useful for identifying records, is not a comprehensive search since federal records as well as cases in jurisdictions that do not report to these databases would be missed.

Click the link below to read more of this story and reach out to CRC to learn more about what types of searches constitute a comprehensive criminal background check!