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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.

April 14, 2014

Appeals Court Rules Against EEOC, Slams Agency for Hypocritical SuitOn April 9, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a significant blow to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), saying the agency was “hypocritical” in its claims that Kaplan Higher Education Corp. violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by considering applicants' credit histories in hiring for select jobs (EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Educ. Corp., 6th Cir., No. 13-3408, 4/9/14). The court of appeals decision to reject the EEOC’s claims affirms an Ohio District Court’s decision back in January 2013 to grant summary judgment in favor of Kaplan, finding that the EEOC’s statistical evidence of disparate impact was not reliable and not representative of Kaplan’s applicant pool as a whole.

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April 11, 2014

Two Data Brokers Settle FTC Charges That They Sold Consumer Data Without Complying With Protections Required Under the Fair Credit Reporting ActTwo data brokers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they illegally sold consumer background checks – including criminal histories and sex offender statuses – to prospective employers and landlords without taking reasonable steps to make sure that they were accurate, or without making sure their users had a permissible reason to have them. According to the FTC’s complaints, both companies operated as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) under the law but failed to abide by the FCRA.

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April 10, 2014

OPENonline is an NAPBS Accredited Company and offers compliant screening solutionsOPENonline is pleased to announce their achievement in continued accreditation with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). OPENonline will continue to be formally recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited. This accreditation acknowledges the successful completion of the BSAAP Interim Surveillance Audit and is formal recognition of OPENonline’s commitment to industry-leading standards in data security, consumer protection, legal compliance, integrity and professionalism.

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April 9, 2014

Ohio Health by OPENonline for Home Health Agencies in OhioOn Tuesday, OPENonline presented “Home Health Agency Background Checks – HB 487” at the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) 2014 Spring Conference. The presentation educated attendees on how to identify, manage, and execute the mandatory employee database searches outlined in HB 487. OPRA says the conference was a great success, with hundreds of attendees and dozens of speakers and exhibiting companies.

HB 487 has been a hot topic in the background screening industry. Recently, OPENonline launched Ohio Health: a product to assist the Ohio Health Care industry in meeting the requirements of HB 487, which makes it mandatory for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) to conduct criminal background checks on applicants before hiring and on all employees at least once every five years.

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April 8, 2014

EEOC Seeks Dismissal in Texas Background Screening SuitThe EEOC asked a Texas federal court to dismiss the state's lawsuit challenging its guidance on the use of criminal background checks in hiring, claiming the state has no right to sue because it has suffered no injury from the publication of the guidance. The EEOC guidance at issue, Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, urges employers to use “individualized assessment” of each applicant, and identifying a “business necessity” for denying employment to an applicant with a criminal history.

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April 7, 2014

Social Media Privacy in the WorkplaceThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hosted a public meeting titled Social Media In The Workplace: Examining Implications for Equal Employment Opportunity Law in order to gather information and different points of view on social media privacy in the workplace.

In the meeting, professionals discussed how social media affected areas such as recruitment, harassment, records retention and litigation. The opinions came from both a management and worker side.

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April 3, 2014

An audit of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) by Auditor Suzanne Bump found unperformed medical screenings, inadequate background checks and foster children living near sex offenders.

DCF was unable to provide required documentation that it had conducted background checks for individuals living in homes with a foster child. A review of 29 case files found they were missing documentation for 48 of 63 required background checks. Additionally, the audit discovered 25 cases where the addresses of sex offenders matched addresses of foster care children.

When DCF investigated, it said none of the sex offenders were actually living in the same home and that they could not “substantiate” that any abuse happened. Additionally, DCF said the reports had been done but destroyed when no problems were identified, something the auditor said contradicts state recordkeeping policies.

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April 3, 2014

Principal Thomas Sander of Trinity High School in North Dakota set fire to the school for no explained reasoned. He became principal in July 2013 after passing a background check and positive references.

Sanders has been charged with felony arson and endangering by fire or explosion. The judge set the bond at $500,000.

When being hired for the position, Sanders seemed like the perfect candidate. He passed a background check and was recommended by clergy and mentors in other states.

"He's a graduate of a well-known and prestigious prep school in St. Louis. He has graduate degrees in administration," said Monsignor Patrick Schumacher, the board chairman for Dickinson Catholic Schools. "With his qualifications, recommendations and work ethic, we made the decision to hire him."

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April 3, 2014

According to ESPN, on March 25, former Manhattan coach Steve Masiello signed a contract with South Florida stating all the information on his official bio on the Manhattan website was "true and accurate." The contract was a five-year deal worth $6.06 million to become USF's coach. However, there was a provision on the contract -- item No. 10 -- stating if the information provided was "proved to be untrue within 30 days," USF may terminate the deal without any financial obligation. The USF contract referenced Masiello's bio on Manhattan's official website and even provided a link to the exact page.

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March 31, 2014

OPENonline, an industry leading provider of employment background checks and investigative services, has built a new product line to assist the Ohio Health Care industry in meeting the requirements of Ohio HB 487 with ease. Ohio Health was built to meet the requirements outlined in Ohio HB 487 that make it mandatory for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) to conduct criminal background checks on applicants before hiring and on all employees at least once every five years. On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, OPENonline will host the session “Home Health Agency Background Checks – HB 487” at the Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) 2014 Spring Conference to assist attendees in identifying, managing, and executing mandatory employee database searches as outlined in Ohio HB 487.

“We recognized the need for a specific customized solution that can assist Health Care Companies in Ohio,” said Heather Browning, Executive Vice President at OPENonline. “This new product line helps our health care customers to maintain compliance with not only HB 487 but with other state and federal requirements.”

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