Clarifacts

Diligence Briefings

Want the latest employment background screening news?

The Diligence Briefing from Clarifacts is a periodic, brief email with timely employment background screening news, the latest legislation updates and information on industry trends. 

February 12, 2016

151,000 Jobs Added in January 2016

Publication Date: February 5, 2016

There were 151,000 jobs added in January 2016. Job gains were seen in the retail trade, food services and drinking places, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

There was a slight drop in the national unemployment rate to 4.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed has shown little movement since June 2015, with 2.1 million people currently unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

To view the complete January 2016 Employment Situation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, click here.

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November 1, 2015

AzHREF Meeting Takeaways: Managing a Virtual Workforce

Members of the Clarifacts team attended the Arizona HR Executive Forum (AzHREF) October program, Managing a Virtual Workforce. Panelists included Eileen Kelly, HR leader at W.L. Gore Associates, Inc., Greg Wells, vice president of HR and employee development for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and Delta Emerson, executive director and vice chair of the Ryan Foundation, and is the head of global leadership at Ryan.

Key takeaways from the panel include:

  • Virtual workplaces help attract from a retention standpoint. Most people wouldn’t leave their current job for $5k more a year if they couldn’t telecommute at their new job.
  • Role reality. Certain roles have to have the employee physically be at the office. Make sure you set policies in place, up-front, about the expectations of each role. You also need to be able to say “No” to telecommuting for some employees. They might not have the work capacity or are struggling to perform.
  • Technology is key. Be careful not to burn employees out on technology. Some employees have a hard time separating professional time from personal time. Be mindful not to take advantage of that. A good leader must be comfortable with technology and not depend on face-to-face. Not all meetings needs to be face-to-face.
  • Start small; expand big. Get your CEO on board first. Pilot telecommuting somewhere within your organization. Start with a smaller department. You can’t have the mindset that telecommuting isn’t going to work. Be open-minded. Communicate effectively. Ask yourself the question, “What problem is my organization trying to fix? Will telecommuting help?”
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October 16, 2015

Arizona Unemployment Numbers Remain Steady at 6.3 Percent

Publication Date: October 16, 2015

The statewide unemployment rate remains steady at 6.3 percent, which is down 0.3 percent from this time last year. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona public employers added 28,300 jobs in September; and the number of workers in Maricopa and Pinal counties increased from 1.85 million in September 2014 to 1.9 million in September 2015.

Arizona is getting closer to its peak employment numbers from October of 2007, when there were 2,686,300 workers employed. Current employment numbers as of September 2015 are at 2,633,200 workers employed.

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October 1, 2015

AzHREF Meeting Takeaways: Trends in Today’s Best Companies

Members of the Clarifacts team recently attended the Arizona HR Executive Forum (AzHREF) September Program, Transforming How We Think About Leadership: Trends in Today’s Best Companies. Presenter Suzanne Peterson, Ph.D., discussed how to become a credible leader by following these six behaviors:

  1. Make small promises and keep them. Don’t leave conversations without making promises. Follow up with a plan for “next time.” Prep for the next conversation now.
  2. Feedback vs. feed-forward. They can change the future. They can’t change the past. Give constructive criticism and look toward what they can do better in the future.
  3. Focus on being present in the moment with people. Be brief. Be brilliant. Be gone. Constantly thrive to get 20% better.
  4. Understand the difference between availability and accessibility. Are you too available? Put the ball back in their court. Block time to be unavailable. Say, “I can’t do this, but I can do that.”
  5. You are more credible when you have white space. Try to plan, organize and prioritize activities. Always have 30-45 minutes a day of white space. You move with a sense of calmness when you have white space.
  6. What communicates an organization? Don’t over-communicate your words. Do what you say you’re going to do. Your meetings should have action goals.

Suzanne suggests picking one or two of these behaviors and work on those for a month. It may be too overwhelming to try and focus on all six behaviors at the same time.

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September 1, 2015

New York City Credit Report Law Goes Into Effect September 3

On Thursday, September 3, the New York City law that prohibits employers from using credit checks as part of the employment background screening process will go into effect. For the majority of private NYC employers, an applicant’s credit history can only be used during the hiring process for positions that are exempt from the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act. A few of these exemptions are for employees that are required to have security clearance under state or federal law; are non-clerical employees that have access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information; and employees with the authority to use and have access to the employer’s security systems.

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August 21, 2015

Arizona Unemployment Rate Rises to 6.1 Percent in July

Publication Date: August 20, 2015

Arizona’s unemployment rate rises to 6.1 percent in July, while the national rate remained the same at 5.3 percent. The leading factor for the slight increase is due to a loss of 13,500 education jobs in the month of July. According to Phoenix Business Journal, while there were 67,600 jobs added in July, those 13,500 education employees won’t be re-employed until August and September. The latest jobs numbers show an upward trend toward economic growth and job market. Arizona’s job growth is around 2.7 percent, which is faster than the national average of 2.1 percent.

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June 20, 2015

NYC Follows Nationwide Trend – Adopts “Ban the Box” Legislation

On June 9, Nevada Governor Sandoval signed Senate Bill No. 409, revising the law related to background reports prepared by consumer reporting agencies (such as Clarifacts). Among other revisions, this eliminated the seven-year reporting restrictions for criminal convictions.

Nevada now joins the large majority of states that, like the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, do not have time limitations for which a criminal conviction may be reported. This means employers, if they so choose, can now receive this additional information from their background screening provider.

While this law expands the extent of Nevada criminal records available to employers, you must continue to take into consideration the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; the time that has passed since the offense, conduct and/or completion of the sentence; the nature of the job held or sought; and other individual assessment criteria listed in the 2012 EEOC Enforcement Guidance.

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June 1, 2015

Nevada Removes Seven-Year Criminal Record Reporting Restriction

On June 9, Nevada Governor Sandoval signed Senate Bill No. 409, revising the law related to background reports prepared by consumer reporting agencies (such as Clarifacts). Among other revisions, this eliminated the seven-year reporting restrictions for criminal convictions.

Nevada now joins the large majority of states that, like the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, do not have time limitations for which a criminal conviction may be reported. This means employers, if they so choose, can now receive this additional information from their background screening provider.

While this law expands the extent of Nevada criminal records available to employers, you must continue to take into consideration the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; the time that has passed since the offense, conduct and/or completion of the sentence; the nature of the job held or sought; and other individual assessment criteria listed in the 2012 EEOC Enforcement Guidance.

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May 2, 2015

Is There a Need for Background Checks on Volunteer Firefighters?

Emergency managers across the U.S. are debating the need for screening volunteer firefighters. According to Emergency Management, some states, such as New York, have laws requiring background checks to ensure volunteer firefighters aren’t carrying a sex offense conviction. There are two sides to the debate: Those who believe there’s a need for background checks saying, “There is the potential for our volunteers to come into contact with children or vulnerable populations, and we want to ensure that in those instances we are doing our due diligence.” And then there are those concerned that background checks will scare off potential volunteers, since they are willingly donating their time to help.

“The upside to a background check is that you have confidence in the people you are working with, you can feel comfortable sending them out in the community under your own banner,” said Bruce Fitzgerald, director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

Listen to Clarifacts President Kevin Klimas’ radio interview on The Nonprofit Journal LIVE with Dee Suomala as he discusses the important role background checks play in volunteer screening, and better ways to protect your organization, assets, employees and other volunteers.

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April 5, 2015

Arizona Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Since June 2008 – Not Due to Job Growth

Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5 percent to 6.2 percent. According to the AZCentral.com article, the decline is a substantial drop, but was said to be largely driven by fewer unemployed people rather than because of job growth. The Super Bowl and spring training season may have had an impact on the latest hiring data as many short-term positions in the hospitality industry were added in the past few months. And, even though Arizona has still yet to replace thousands of jobs that were lost during the downturn, it still had its best first-quarter for jobs since 2007.

To see the latest unemployment rate numbers in your state, click here.

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April 4, 2015

Protect Your Employees from Identity Theft in the Workplace

Identity theft in the workplace is growing as fraud and security breaches become all too common. Many organizations aren’t ensuring they have the correct processes in place to protect employee and customer information and data. According to an interview with ID theft expert Johnny May, to better protect your employees, “you need to focus on employee cybersecurity education, ensure third parties and vendors are not inadvertently putting employees at risk, and have services in place to help employees protect their identities in the wake of a corporate breach.” May believes that criminals used to focus on targeting consumers, but now, they are targeting employees in the workplace.

Want to learn more about how you can help protect your employees from becoming victims of identity theft? Here are some important tips for acquiring, storing and destroying information.

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April 2, 2015

Google Executive Chairman Urges Congress to Increase Work Visa Availability

In an attempt to grow the economy and improve the selection of highly-skilled workers in the U.S., Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wants Congress to increase the number of work visas made available to foreigners. According to U.S. News & World Report, Schmidt stated that the U.S. would benefit from more people with specialized technical skills, as those workers would start their own businesses and in turn, hire more workers. If passed, the bill “would expand the current annual cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to between 115,000 and 195,000 visas, depending on market condition and demand.”

Are you set up with E-Verify to ensure your applicants have a legal right to work? Ensure your organization is compliant with state immigration laws.

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April 1, 2015

Federal Government Busts Major Insurance Corporation Identity Theft Ring

The personal information of more than 5,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan subscribers was stolen by 11 people who used the information to open up fake credit cards to go on thousand-dollar shopping sprees across the country. According to the Detroit Free Press, a BCBS employee printed out screenshots of subscribers’ information, then gave it to the 10 others who went and opened up counterfeit credit cards using the stolen information. The screenshots included subscriber names, birth dates and social security numbers.

Protect your employee and customer data. Confirm the true identity of your applicants with verification and reference background check.

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March 10, 2015

Are Employers Failing to Screen IT Professionals Due to High Demand?

Many professionals in the IT field have no issues finding a job. IT jobs are highly sought after positions, and some employers are in such a need for experienced tech professionals that they are foregoing a diligent screening process. According to an article from Fortune.com, most employers are not doing thorough background checks on IT job candidates, or worse yet, some aren’t screening at all. Organizations can help protect themselves from potentially detrimental IT hires if they verify everything on resumes, including education and employment, have IT workers give reference checks on other IT workers, and have a thorough background check conducted.

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March 8, 2015

Diminishing Fraud in the Financial Sector: Protect Your Employees, Trustees and Company Reputation

The American Institute of CPAs has seen myriad fraud cases, particularly around company retirement plans. In one instance, an HR employee diverted payroll taxes and plan contributions into his own account. In another case, a plan administrator overrode all investment earrings into his own account. In company retirement plan fraud, the plan trustees are liable for replacing the stolen funds. It’s important for organizations to have a plan set up to prevent and detect fraud, and one of the three key areas according to the Philadelphia Business Journal, is to make sure to check references saying “past behavior is a good barometer of future behavior.”

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March 6, 2015

Environmental Protection Agency Falls Short on Employment and Reference Verifications

The inspector general’s office for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported they don’t require managers to verify employment history or references of job candidates. Reviews of the EPA’s hiring practices were requested from Congress after a former EPA senior policy adviser was charged with stealing $900,000 from the government by pretending to work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). According to the Washington Post article, “the inspector general’s office found that its own HR division does not do anything to identify false statements in an applicant’s information, including job history or accomplishments.”

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February 10, 2015

Phony Background Check Overlooked: Results in Employee Theft

A woman in Texas is accused of stealing from her employer while she was out on parole for theft by public servant. All employees were required to submit a background check. The woman submitted a false background check, but was not fired when the owner discovered the truth. According to the affidavit, the local police said the woman had charged more than $21,000 in merchandise on 13 company credit cards that she was told to destroy; altered customer checks; and sold several tablets that had been purchased for employees.

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February 1, 2015

New State Law Expands Background Checks on Fire and EMS Members

A new law took effect on January 1, allowing fire and EMS officials in North Carolina to perform background checks on all of their members, not just new applicants, according to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS). Periodic criminal background checks allow officials to continually evaluate their active members, and while a criminal violation would not necessarily mean dismissal, it would initiate an employee review. Some officials said that one of the driving forces behind the new law was to give broader powers to volunteer fire departments to check their members’ records.

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January 15, 2015

Employee Theft for U.S. Retailers Accounts for Billions of Dollars of Lost Revenue

Retailers all around the world deal with shrinkage, but there is one big difference separating the U.S. and the rest of the world in terms of product loss: Globally, dishonest employees are to blame for about 28% of inventory losses, while shoplifters account for 39%. In the U.S., on the other hand, employee theft accounts for 43% of lost revenue – which is about an $18 billion hit, or $2.3 billion more than the cost of five-finger discounts taken by customers. According to Fortune.com, the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer study shows that key reasons for these numbers are due to “ineffective pre-employment screening, less employee supervision, and easy sale of stolen merchandise.”

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January 10, 2015

Indiana Proposes Legislation to Improve Rider Safety for Taxi and Ride-Hailing Passengers

A new bill passed committee on a split vote in Indiana on Tuesday, January 27, in hopes of improving rider safety for taxi and ride-hailing passengers. The bill would require all taxi and ride-hailing drivers to pass a background check every seven years. The bill was introduced due to safety concerns, as no statewide law currently exists requiring background checks for taxi or ride-hailing drivers. If passed, the bill will go into effect July 1, 2015, and would affect all taxi and ride-hailing services.

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January 5, 2015

Jobs Report May Indicate Shrinking Labor Pool

The December jobs report had many a-buzz and raised questions surrounding whether it signaled an increase in number of jobs, or simply showcases the fact that some job-seekers have stopped looking altogether. While the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, the labor force shrank by 383,000 for the month, giving a yearly total of over a million fewer workers. A significant number of those leaving the workforce are people over 55, according to the Labor Department estimates.

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March 1, 2014

Arizona Bill to License Home Care Providers

Cypress HomeCare Solutions executives testified before the Arizona Health and Human Services committee recently to encourage support of a bill that would require licensing of non-medical home care providers. The bill has been put forth several times already, according to recent news, and opponents say they are concerned about the added costs of licensing. Supporters say the time is right to regulate this rapidly growing industry, especially for Arizona’s large senior citizen population.

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January 20, 2014

Overcoming Hidden Bias in the Workplace

Did you know that “hidden bias” training is one of the most requested diversity trainings in the workplace today? According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, as many as 20% of large employers in the U.S., including Microsoft and BAE Systems, are conducting unconscious bias training to help managers recognize a preference for certain groups – say extroverts – and how these preferences can impact workplace decisions. The FutureWork Institute says this number could hit 50% in the next five years.

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May 5, 2013

State Credit Report Restrictions: Nevada Makes 10

Last week Nevada became the 10th state to restrict the use of credit reports for employment screening purposes. It joins California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont and Washington in passing such legislation. Nevada employers should reassess their current practices and make any necessary changes before the bill goes into effect on October 1, 2013.

View the full Senate Bill 127

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March 9, 2013

USCIS Publishes New Form I-9

On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of the Form I-9 employers are required to complete on all new hires. While you may implement the new form now, beginning May 7, 2013, employers must only use the newly revised version. If you are a current Clarifacts client utilizing our electronic Form I-9 solution, no need to worry, the form is updated.

Download the revised form and learn more about I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

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January 2, 2013

Required Date To Use New Summary of Rights Under the FCRA Has Arrived

As of January 1, 2013, the federal government requires that you use an updated version of the Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The most significant difference in the new version is that it reflects FCRA oversight, now with the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. To avoid any penalties, we recommend you implement it into your employment background check processes immediately.

Review the new Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA.

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