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Background Screening News & Legal Updates

At OPENonline, we notify you of the most recent background screening and investigative news with our timely news alerts, press releases, blog articles and legislative & compliance updates. If you are interested in submitting an article to appear on our website, please contact our marketing department.

July 24, 2015

After a month of being offline, the Office of Personnel Management announced it is bringing its background-check system back online after suspending its operation last month in the wake of two massive data breaches last year that exposed the personal information of more than 22 million people. The system, known as e-QIP, was suspended for "an extended period of time" last month in order to work on security upgrades. The decision to take the system offline effectively froze the government's ability to perform background checks on personnel applying for jobs in the federal workforce. OPM was temporarily processing the checks on paper.

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July 22, 2015

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) conciliation process has historically been frustrating for employers. The good news is that according to the Supreme Court of the United States April ruling, an unsupported demand letter cannot constitute a valid attempt by the EEOC as an adequate attempt of conciliation. The very first case to interpret the ruling is EEOC vs. OhioHealth CorpBeing one of the first cases to review the sufficiency of EEOC conciliation efforts after authorization by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision, it is clear that courts are not willing to rubber stamp the EEOC’s purported conciliation efforts and will delay the lawsuit until actual conciliation takes place, according to Employers’ Lawyers. According to Seyfarth and Shaw, here is a summary of the facts:

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July 21, 2015

Hacks of OPM databases compromised 22.1 million people and -- A former U.S. attorney’s office employee filed a proposed class action in Kansas federal court Wednesday, accusing the Office of Personnel Management of allowing hackers to steal the personal information of millions of current, former and prospective federal employees by failing for years to address deficiencies in its security systems.


Two major breaches last year of U.S. government databases holding personnel records and security-clearance files exposed sensitive information about at least 22.1 million people, including not only federal employees and contractors but their families and friends, too U.S. officials said Thursday.The total vastly exceeds all previous estimates, and marks the most detailed account of cyber-attacks the government has seen according to by the Office of Personnel Management of how many people were affected by cyber-attacks that U.S. officials have privately said were traced to

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July 21, 2015

Since the decriminalization of marijuana, there’s been a rapidly spreading trend of certain states legalizing varying degrees of use. The newest state to follow suit in permitting the recreational use of marijuana is Oregon as of July 1, 2015 according to CNN Money. Although states are legalizing the use of medical and recreational use of marijuana left and right, it is still considered a schedule one drug – the same schedule as heroin and LSD according to the Federal government based on a report from the Los Angeles Times.

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July 16, 2015

Sorry, this only applies for volunteers. House Bill 1276 promptly initiated after exposure of the Jerry Sandusky scandalstirred controversy over background checks in Pennsylvania because agencies were translating and enforcing it in the strictest sense. According to state Representative, Dan Truitt, “A lot of organizations are interpreting the new law to mean that all of those volunteers have to have the background checks” 

This initiated a fear that the state of Pennsylvania would see their volunteer population begin to diminish, according to News Works. Thus the amendment was passed in the senate with a whopping 49-0, then the house at 190-5. Now, the bill is getting passed on to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe for enactment. According to The Patriot News, the main clarifications can be summarized as follows:  

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July 16, 2015

In the wake of the Office of Personnel Management’s hacks from China (read more here), the government decided the best course of action was to take the e-QIP system down until the exposed security flaws could be patched, and quickly had to come up with a solution to keep the background check workflow from piling up after senators began expressing their concern. 

The amount of information needed to perform some Federal Background checks equates to nearly150 pages, all to be individually printed and filled out by hand according to the memo signed by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence.

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July 8, 2015

Ohio’s BCI background check system is so broken Chris Mabe, Ohio Civil Service Employees Association Presidentis calling it a “Crisis of confidence. [Ohio BCI] Employees cannot be sure that people with criminal records are not slipping through the [State of Ohio’s BCI background check] cracks”. 

According to WBNS-10tv, some counties in Ohio didn’t send or receive any updated records for a whopping 15 months. Only 16 out of 88 counties in Ohio send their records by mail. For over a year, the organizations that use the Ohio BCI background checks such as law enforcement, schools, day cares, healthcare organizations and others could have received background checks so outdated, that dangerous criminals are welcomed in as new employees. 

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July 8, 2015

In the wake of the Office of Personel Management (OPM) being hacked and Federal agents’ personal information being compromised, the OPM decided it would be best to shut down their background check system. However, they aren’t admitting that it had anything to do with the malicious access to sensitive information in the very same database they’re shutting down. Instead, they’re stating that it had to do with routine security check that revealed vulnerabilities, as reported by the Washington Post

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July 3, 2015

According to The Official Website of the City of New York, Mayor Bill De Blasio signed into law The Fair Chance Acteffectively banning the box in New York City June 29, 2015 that was initially passes by the New York City council June 10, 2015. This new act will go into effect October 27, 2015, according to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). 


What changes will be required of private employers in New York City? According to a NAPBSmember advisory, “[An] employer may ask about an applicant’s criminal history and conduct a criminal background check only after extending the conditional offer. If the employer then withdraws the offer, it must explain its decision to the applicant in writing and hold the position open for three (3) business days so that the applicant can respond.” 

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July 3, 2015

With an aging boomer population, new elderly healthcare laws, a shortage in the skilled workforce for the home healthcare industry and a “broken BCI background check system” we have a recipe for disaster! Many home health agencies’ decision makers used to feel secure in their background check process but is that still the case? In April of this year, Jon Hersh owner of Homewatch Caregivers stated "I'm very concerned. We're dealing with an extremely vulnerable population here, I fingerprint potential employees, swipe their driver's licenses, and check backgrounds to screen out criminals.  I start with the Ohio Attorney-General's website.” This was before the Ohio BCI problems were publically exposed by the Columbus Dispatch not long after. 

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