Discrimination in 2019 | Be Careful With Questioning Applicants

There are a few questions that may seem normal, but as we know, 2019 is a different time in America. Both State and Federal Laws prevent employers from asking questions that can be regarded as discriminatory, and there are regulations in place that could make you liable. 

 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recognized discrimination in any of the following scenarios, as well as provided examples of what you can and can’t ask during the hiring process. It may not seem too difficult to cross some of these lines, but some of the others may surprise you. 

Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 and over. Some states have laws in place for ages under 40. 

Illegal To Ask

What year were you born?

When did you graduate high school?

What You Can Ask

When there is legal age requirements in place, employers may ask for proof of age. 

Disability Discrimination

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), it is illegal for employers to treat qualified applicants with disabilities unfavorably because they have a disability; a history of disability; or because they are believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory and minor, even if the applicant does not have such an impairment. 

Illegal To Ask

Do you have a disability?

Do you have asthma?

Do you have a heart condition?

Have you ever been treated for mental health problems?

What You Can Ask

 

You may ask whether potential applicants may need reasonable accommodations to perform, and what accommodations would be needed. 

You may describe physical requirements of a job and ask to demonstrate how they would perform the job.

Phrase any questions in a way that does not force the applicant to reveal if they do or do not have a disability.

Race, Identity, National Origin

There are several rules in place that prevent you from digging into a person’s genetics, nationality and race. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids treating applicants unfavorably because of any race or race characteristics. This is the case for ethnicity and genetics as well. Under Title II of The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants because of their genetic information. 

Illegal To Ask

Do You have a family history of Heart Disease?

Has Anyone in your family been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Where are your parents from?

Where did you grow up?

What is that accent?

Anything regarding applicant’s race. 

What You Can Ask

Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.?

Some employers may need further info regarding race for affirmative action purposes or applicant flow. You are free to ask this information on a job application* provided there is legitimate reasoning. Any questions during an interview are likely to be used as evidence of discrimination.

These are only a few examples of what you can and cannot ask a potential applicant in 2019. Even ten years ago, things were a lot different, but your company’s reputation is extremely important today. The wrong news story can go a long way in today’s social media driven world, and you should always do your due diligence in being best prepared to hire the best possible candidate. 

If you have any questions about pre employment background screening, just give us a call or reach out via our contact form!

 

Background Checks For Medical Employees | Don’t Put Your Patients At Risk

Every once in awhile a news story comes along that truly chills you to the bone.  Unfortunately, that is case with an article published just last month. It tells a sobering tale about Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a clearly unqualified neurosurgeon who was consistently allowed to perform spinal cord surgeries on patients.  The severity of the events that took place are extreme. Yet, they draw attention to the need for trustworthy advanced background checks on medical personnel.

Duntsch worked for four different hospitals around Dallas over the course of two years and had an abysmal surgical success rate.  Out of the 38 patients he operated on, 31 wound up paralyzed or seriously injured. Sadly, two suffered fatal consequences. Despite these appalling statistics, Duntsch was able to stay employed before the Texas medical board ordered an investigation.  As a result, his medical privileges were revoked. He was later sentenced to life in prison for multiple cases of aggravated assault causing serious bodily harm.

What makes this situation worse is that his surgical incompetence was compounded by an apparent history of drug and alcohol abuse.  The article states:

…… Duntsch was allowed to operate on the spines of patients despite his “background of abuse of cocaine, LSD, hydrocodone and alcohol.” …… according to witnesses, Duntsch “had a gallon jug of vodka under his desk,” “swiped his surgical assistant’s narcotics” and “a bag of white powder was found in a baggie in his office bathroom.”

It is clear that given this level of information, no patient would want this man performing such delicate surgery.  It’s hard to fathom how such an unsuited individual could find themselves in this position without anyone noticing or putting a stop to it.

Fox News | Read More: ‘Dr. Death’ podcast: Surgeon recalls Christopher Duntsch’s botched procedures: ‘He couldn’t operate at all’

Don’t Take Your Medical Background Checks Lightly

A thorough advanced background check could help your facility avoid a similar situation in the future.  Partnering with an experienced employment screening service will not only add an extra layer of protection for your patients, but it will also wind up saving you money in the long run.  Keep in mind, there is no such thing as being too thorough with a medical employee’s background check.

You have a lot of responsibility if you’re in charge of human resources at a hospital or other medical facility that involves treating patients.  In this industry it is of the utmost importance that you ensure all doctor and nurses are qualified and able to perform their duties. Contact ESS today to learn more about getting advanced background checks on your incoming medical staff and keep your patients safe.

How Long Does A Background Check Take? | Employment Screening Services

If you own a business, large or small, you should be aware of how important it is to conduct employment screens.  In today’s business environment advanced background checks are not only a good idea, they’re often required by law in many industries.

Have you ever worried about employment screening bogging down your hiring process?  Maybe you’ve even found yourself asking “How long does a background check take?” A uniform answer to this question can be elusive because the amount of investigation required will vary from case to case.  To try and answer this question thoroughly we’ll discuss the obstacles and processes involved in 5 of the most common types of advanced background checks.

Pre Employment Drug Test

A urinalysis test is most common but there are several other types that can be used to screen for any illegal substances.  On average it will take between 24 and 48 hours for one of these samples to be tested and the result returned to the employer.  If it comes back negative, the process ends there but positive results are more complicated. In this case, additional pre employment drug tests may be required for confirmation so you should expect a longer turnaround time.

Criminal Records Search

Results from criminal conviction checks are highly dependent on geography.  Different states have all kinds of different requirements and obstacles that can slow down a criminal records search.  In most cases it should still take only 1 to 2 business days if all goes smoothly. Expect a much longer delay for any international records searches though.  These have even more red tape and can take up to a month to get results. You should expect delays and plan accordingly with any potential international hires.

Education Verification

For any highly technical positions it’s imperative to be able to verify a candidate’s credentials.  Education verification can help you sift out a lot of unqualified applicants during the employment screening process.  Luckily this quick and easy check only requires contacting a university administrator to get all the details.  You should bear in mind that obtaining this information is dependent on university availability. It may take more time than expected during holidays and breaks when campuses may be shutdown or short on staff.

E-Verify and Employment Verification

The E-verify system is a government platform used to determine if an individual is legally able to work in the United States.  An E-verify check can be done almost instantly with a simple database search. However, you should be wary as the results aren’t 100 percent accurate.  It is a good idea to conduct a more thorough employment verification as well to keep your company safe during the hiring process.  This may take a little longer as your background screening company digs deeper and contacts past employers but the added security is well worth your time.

 

A lot of background screening companies only do online searches for their background checks.  This will yield quick results but there are a lot of flaws in this system. At ESS we do deeper investigations to get you the most reliable results possible.  The members of our research team all have prior experience in law enforcement or criminal justice at some capacity. We can find the background records that other companies would let slip through the cracks.

If you’re looking for a background check company that will provide you with accurate results, look to ESS.  Rather than fitting you into a predetermined background check package, we’ll work with you to get you exactly what you need for your business.  If you need more information on advanced background checks or if you’d like to speak with a representative about partnering with ESS don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

How Do You Get Your Advanced Background Checks?

You don’t need to be told that every business, large or small, needs to be conducting some form of pre-employment background checks.  Knowing that you’re employees can legally work for you and are qualified for their position is essential. If you’re a business owner you’re faced with only two options for your advanced background checks.  Employment screening can be handled by yourself through online databases or by a full service background check franchise.

It’s true that the online route is often faster and cheaper but there are serious drawbacks to this method. Employment screening is a complicated process and there are a host of federal and state laws that need to be followed.  Before you choose the easy “DIY” online route you should know how it’s shortcomings stack up against a professional service.

Professional Background Screening Services

Follow Federal Guidelines

It’s important for every business to make sure they are following FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) regulations during the hiring process.  Failure to do so could lead to fines and potential lawsuits. All background check professionals should be experienced working within these and other state specific guidelines as well.  Hiring managers and business owners should be aware that using an online service for your advanced background check is done at your own risk.

More Thorough Investigation

Additionally, online services only offer surface level information.  Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you’ve even pinpointed the correct individual.  And without any cross checking, the accuracy of any information is suspect. A professional background check on the other hand will be more thorough than simply entering a name into a search engine.  These experts will go the extra mile to verify their information directly from reputable sources like past employers, courthouses and universities. You’ll know the information they provide is instantly more credible so you can feel comfortable moving forward.

More Information Available

Perhaps the biggest drawback of online services is the limited information.  These services usually focus only on the big areas like criminal records and sexual offenses.  A professional advanced background check from ESS will get you everything there is to know. Whether it’s education verification, past employment history, reference checks, licence verifications, motor vehicle records, etc, we’ll get you the information you need.

What to Look for in an Advanced Background Check Service

If you’re convinced that employment screening needs to be handled by professionals, all that’s left is to find the right background check service for you.  For starters, you should make sure the company you choose hits the three points discussed above. Are they FCRA compliant? Is their information reliable? Will they be able to get you the kinds of information you need?  You should never compromise on these 3 points no matter who you work with.

We feel that our team at ESS hits these 3 criteria perfectly.  Our goal since we started has always been to provide complete comprehensive information so that you can feel safe knowing who’s working for you.  Feel free to call anytime if you’d like to learn more about the kinds of information available through an advanced background check.

Understanding Pre Employment Drug Testing

Any successful company in today’s business environment needs to be looking for ways to improve efficiency.  The best way to boost productivity is to be sure you are hiring the right workers who will be able to get the job done.  One of the easiest ways to do this is through pre employment drug testing.

What is Pre Employment Drug Testing?

Sometimes employers don’t have the whole picture about the people they are looking to hire.  Simply put, pre employment screening services help identify potential hires that are likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.  This information is of paramount importance in many industries. Whether your employees will be in contact with patients and children or if the safety of other employees is at stake, you need to be sure they’ll be in a fit condition.

Pre employment drug testing can be done on any kinds of drugs including major players like opiates, THC, and amphetamines.  Additionally there are various methods for drug testing. Hair, blood, saliva and urinalysis tests are the most common. Different tests can be used to identify if drugs have been in the system anywhere from the last 30 days up to the last 6 months.

Why is Drug Testing Important?

Advanced background checks can help eliminate the unfruitful hires that only wind up costing you more money.  Every employer is aware of the hassle and cost of hiring new employees and should look to reduce mistaken hires.  Identifying candidates that are struggling with drug addiction before employment can help keep the day-to-day of your company running smoothly.  The bottom line is, pre employment screening services give you the information to make an educated decision rather than hiring blindly.

Is Pre Employment Drug Testing Even Legal?

Since the Drug Free Workplace Act was passed in 1988, pre employment drug screening has been legal.  This legislation gives the employer the right to know if potential employees are abusers without having to give any further explanation.  There are however, certain state specific guidelines that you may be required to follow.

Generally speaking, even if not required by law, it’s a good idea to follow these three practices.

  • Make sure the candidate understands that drug testing is required for the position
  • Test all potential hires for a position in the same way; avoid discrimination
  • Run all drug tests through a state certified lab

Our team at ESS wants to help your company rest a little easier during the hiring process.  Our mission is to get you all the information you need to know exactly who it is you’re hiring.  Before you make any more hiring decisions make sure you’re set up with pre employment drug testing.  Call us today if you have any questions about the employment screening process!

5 Types of Advanced Background Checks

In this day and age every employer should be doing some form of background check on any potential hires.  Some employers might feel secure by simply browsing through a candidate’s social media profile. Unfortunately a background check such as this will likely miss most of an applicant’s essential information.  This is why advanced background checks exist and are the preferred method.

There are many different paths to follow with advanced background checks.  How much information you need will usually depend on your industry. If you aren’t sure how deep to go or what is required by law, ESS can help you out.   We can supply a needs analysis to sure up the gaps in your current employment screening. For a little more information, here’s 5 of the most common types of advanced background checks.

1.)  Pre Employment Drug Testing

Probably the most common type of advanced background check is a simple drug screening.  The reasoning for drug test background checks is self explanatory. Most of the time it boils down to issues of safety and productivity.  There are some industries that are required to perform pre employment drug testing, like transportation or construction, but it’s something every employer should consider.

2.)  Criminal Records Search

As an employer you have the duty to provide a safe work environment.  That means providing the appropriate safety equipment but it also extends to monitoring the people who work for you.  It’s important you know about an employee’s criminal record to be able to understand if they pose a threat the rest of your workers.  With a criminal records search, you’ll know who’s been convicted for what and can move forward as necessary with that knowledge in hand.

3.)  Registered Sex Offender Search

One of the most important screening services is in identifying registered sex offenders.  If you’re looking to hire in healthcare, childcare, or education, this advanced background check is mandatory.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the rate of repeat offenses for sex offenders is four times higher than other offenses.  For this reason alone, it’s important to get potential employees checked out before you hire them.

4.)  E-Verify

The E-Verify system is set up as a post employment background check.  This government developed platform is used in parallel with I-9 employee authorization to ensure that your employees are not working for you illegally.  This is not a step in the employment process you want to take lightly as it can have serious ramifications.  Make sure your current employees are authorized to work for you.

5.)  Education Verification

If you’re hiring for a highly technical position you’ll want to make sure anyone you hire has the required knowledge and experience.  Unfortunately, some individuals attempt to boost their chances of being hired by putting false info on their resume; specifically relating to their education.  A background check education verification is the best way to be certain your candidates know what they claim to know.

ESS is one of the most experienced background screening companies in the Buffalo NY area.  If you need more information about job applicants, ESS can help you out with an advanced background check that will fit your needs.  Don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions or concerns about how the background check process can work for you.

Construction Industry Background Checks

Employment Background Screening for the Construction Industry

Any industry can benefit from performing pre employment background checks, but is crucial in high turnover industries. For construction company owners and leadership, one of the main ways to avoid turnover is to do your due diligence in the beginning of the hiring process. That way is through screening employees prior to their start date, to weed out the wrong hires. Because it’s also a dangerous and high risk field of work, supplementing OSHA standards with FCRA compliant background checks helps keep your company productive, and safe.

Recommended Background Check Services

We Understand the Challenges Associated with the Construction Industry

Safety & Security

According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, 50 percent of on-the-job accidents are related to drug abuse. Drug testing before and during the hiring process can be a way to avoid unnecessary accidents and keep your team safe. In addition to avoiding potential accidents due to negligence, and the cost associated with that, keeping your property, equipment and proprietary information secure is also important. Find out if your applicant has a criminal history before you put valuable assets in their hands.

Drug Testing

Alcohol and substance abuse is a significant factor for workplace accidents, as we’ve mentioned. When working in the construction industry, it obviously increases the risk factor. According to the US Department of Labor, 35 percent of all absences are due to substance abuse. 40% of Thefts, and 35% of workplace injuries or fatalities are linked to substance abuse. Because all construction workers are typically in danger of risk of workplace accident, it’s imperative to properly screen all employees.

Employment Screening Services is a full service employee background check company with clients all over the United States. We offer boiler plate style pricing, enabling more of an ongoing partnership than a membership fee. If you’re in the construction industry, and you would like a free needs’ analysis to see what you’re paying for background screenings, just give us a call and we will follow up with you.

Background Checks for Healthcare Employees

With the nursing industry being a true 24 hour a day profession, there is always going to be a high demand for workers.  Because of this, the employment process essentially never stops. With nurses constantly having direct contact with patients and their sensitive medical information, it’s important know who your hiring in advance.  Background checks for healthcare employees are a necessary part of the employment process and need to be done well to ensure the safety of the patients in your care.

 

State Specific Requirements

Healthcare is one of the most highly regulated industries in the nation and is subject to both state and federal laws.  Requirements for the employment screening process can vary significantly from to state to state. Additionally, in recent years, it’s become clear that across the nation the requirements for background checks for healthcare employees are growing more severe.  Before you hire a nurse to your staff, make sure you’re partnered with an experienced employment screening service that understands all the state requirements for background checks and drug tests in your area.

Lower your Employee Turnover Rate

Background checks for healthcare employees can benefit your organization in other ways. A staple feature of the nursing industry is it’s high employee turnover rate.  There are many reasons for staff departures that are out of your control but termination isn’t one of them. If an employee is unsatisfactory or doesn’t even meet the requirements of the position it can cost you significant time and money as you search for a replacement.  This is why employment verification is important. Background screening companies, like ESS, are here to help mitigate the risk of unnecessary employee turnover.

 

Why ESS?

When dealing with hiring in the healthcare industry you don’t want to make a mistake that is going to raise liability issues down the road.  You want to work with an employment screening service that you can trust. ESS has worked with hundreds of organizations all over the country.  With over 30 years of combined law enforcement experience and an expertly trained staff we can help you make the best informed hiring decisions possible.  If you need help hiring with confidence, call ESS today.

Mollie Tibbetts’ Murderer Passed Background Check & E Verify, worked Illegally for 4 Years

It’s not every day you hear a story that connects the tragic death of a bright young female to a failed background check. The story of Mollie Tibbetts is unfortunately one of those stories. Mollie was found dead in a cornfield following a 39 day investigation into her disappearance. The FBI led the investigation which led to a confession from Christhian Behena Rivera, who would lead authorities to the place he left her body. The tragic loss has left the entire town of Brooklyn, Iowa struck as there has been no motive reported.

Rivera claims that he began following her in his vehicle, and then ran behind her on a back road outside the town. He then “blacked out” and would come to while pulling into a cornfield with a bloody body in his trunk. Rivera worked just under 3 miles away, employed by Yarrabee Farms for over 4 years. According to a statement from Yarrabee Farms, Rivera cleared all necessary background check procedures.

“This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing,” Yarrabee Farms said in the statement. “On Monday, the authorities visited our farm and talked to our employees. We have cooperated fully with their investigation.”

National media outlets covering the story have now begun digging into how her murderer was even allowed to work in the United States, after determining he is in fact, an undocumented illegal immigrant.

E-Verify is the online system put in place by the Federal government, to provide employers information on eligibility to status to work legally in the United States. It checks I-9 records from the Social Security Administration as well as the Department of Homeland Security. ESS works with E-Verify to double check everything we do, but have experience in law enforcement, and know the varying degrees of fact checking across state lines.

Fox News | Mollie Tibbetts Murder Suspect Worked Less Than 3 Miles From Where She Was Staying

So how was it that an illegal immigrant worked for over 4 years in a small town, and cleared the background check system put in place by Yarrabee Farms?  Dane Lang, one of the mentioned owners of the farm had this to say in response.

“Yarrabee Farms follows all laws related to verifying employees are legal to work in the United States, and we regularly seek outside counsel to ensure we stay up-to-date on employment law matters,” the statement read. “We keep records on all employees and have shared that information with authorities.”

It remains to be seen how this happened. A detainer was issued for him by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday. When you hire an employee, you’re hiring someone that will represent your company both in the workplace, and out of it. It’s truly unfortunate to talk about a story which led to the death of an innocent girl, which by all accounts should have never happened.

There are particular intricacies put in place to avoid having individuals that are not legal to work in the country, as well as attention to detail that falls on the responsibility of your background check company. That attention to detail is something that Employment Screening Services is built on. When you put your trust in a team to help cover your background screening process for new hires, you expect them to provide factual and complete results. We can promise you that.

You can learn more about the Mollie Tibbitts Case here, and of course if you have any questions regarding your current background screening process, feel free to give us a call anytime.

CareerBuilder Employment Screening | Why You Choose a Partner You Can Talk To

There’s an endless amount of employment screening companies around the country. Careerbuilder, the popular service comparable to indeed.com or ziprecruiter.com has even launched their own version. CareerBuilder Employment Screening promises things like “dedicated account management,” “fast turnaround times,” and “unmatched”compliance. Careerbuilder employment screening even boasts that “their” system can be integrated into any ATS or HRIS workflow. Hmm. Sounds familiar..

The reality is, Careerbuilder employment screening may not be a scam per-se, but it is in a sense, a MacDonald’s version of what Employment Screening Services has been providing for almost three decades.

Think of it this way. No matter how you dress it up, if you’re looking for an employment screening company, are you partnering with a company that prides itself on helping people? Or are you partnering with a company just feasting on an opportunity that slides in perfectly with what they already do?

Let’s take a deeper look into some of what Careerbuilder employment screening boasts as being a differentiator.

Unmatched Compliance

This statement just screams overspeak. How can compliance, something that requires one to be compliant with given regulations, be “unmatched.” Here at ESS, we have prided ourselves in providing the most seamless and helpful partnership possible, with compliance clearly holding weight in any background investigation. It’s just a part of the job.

Fast Turnaround Times

With as many employees and dedicated staff, along with being compliant unlike any other, one should hope turnaround time shouldn’t be an issue. Because we’ve been in this game for so long, we know the in’s and out’s of the court system, and how to work smarter not harder. You don’t just walk in to the bar and know everyone in the place. Unless of course, you’ve been going to that bar and meeting people there for 20-some years! We’ve built relationships all over the country to ensure fast results. Plus, with our integrated online login system, you can have results in 24-48 hours.

Integrate into ANY ATS or HRIS Workflow

Careerbuilder employment screening talks about how their system, that they developed, will integrate into any Applicant Tracking System (ATS), or Human Resources Information System. Well, hate to say it, but they’re behind the 8 ball. ESS has been capable of integration with existing systems for years, and we’re even in the process of improving that user experience for our clients. In the upcoming months, we will be unveiling a seamless backend update that will only improve our existing system. Stay tuned for more!

Dedicated Account Management

Once again, this is a little bit like MacDonald’s telling you that your hamburger was made by a special hamburger maker, specifically just for you. The fact of the matter is you’re not getting anything anyone else isn’t getting from Careerbuilder. You’ll be a number assigned to a temp. Just look at their online reviews if you don’t believe us.

Dedicated account management means human interaction. It means trust. Dedicated account management means knowing you feel comfortable with that person you work with. You know that they are out for YOUR best interest. Our team at ESS, led by Bob Wright, has dug our heels in and worked for years to help build that image in the minds of our clients. When they think about ESS, when they see that logo, when they pick up that phone to call, they know the unrivaled dedication to providing efficient results for every single client.

For more information on partnering with a company who truly cares about the client, and cares about the benefit that background screening provides, just give us a call! We’re more than willing to answer any questions that you may have, and we can have a conversation about what we can do to help.

Remember, if you want delivery, don’t buy a Digiorno.