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Sunday, May 31, 2020

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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.

Two Recent Ninth Circuit Decisions Concerning the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Background Checks With Mostly Employer Favorable Outcomes!

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The Ninth Circuit ruled generally employer favorable in two recent decisions concerning background checks and disclosures. The highlights in these two cases were that the background check disclosure may contain explanatory language as long as it isn’t excessive and confusing; the disclosure can be presented at the same time as other materials, as long as the disclosure is on a separate form; the language in a separate authorization form has no impact on the disclosure form’s compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) standalone requirements; and the pre-adverse action letter does not have to require the opportunity for the applicant to discuss the report with the employer.

OPENonline Will Be Closed in Observance of Memorial Day

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OPENonline will be closed to observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 25, 2020. Customers will still have online access during this time; however, please be aware that many courts, state offices, employers and educational institutions will be closed during this holiday and may cause delays in the return of criminal, court and other orders. If possible, place your requests early to ensure timely receipt of required information.

OPENonline would like to take this opportunity to remember, honor and sincerely thank all the brave men and women who have served our country!

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe holiday weekend!

#OPENonline

Suffolk County, NY Joins the Ban-The-Box Movement Restricting Use of Criminal History in Hiring Process!

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The law takes effect on August 25, 2020, and employers with more than 15 employees will have to comply. The law prohibits asking questions about an applicant’s criminal history until after an application has been submitted and an initial interview has been conducted, with some exceptions.

FORM I-9 ANNOUNCEMENT, COVID-19 Temporary Policy for List B Identity Documents

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An update from E-Verify and the USCIS. Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Form I-9 Completion by Non-E-Verify Agricultural Employers of Certain H-2A Nonimmigrants

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On April 20, the Department of Homeland Security published a temporary final rule to amend certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.  The temporary final rule expires on August 18, 2020.

COVID-19 is Creating Background Screening Challenges. Social Media Screenings Added to Close Information Gaps!

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We found this Forbes article discussing the current challenges of obtaining candidate’s information due to court closures during the coronavirus pandemic. The article highlights the perils and potential risks associated with relaxing and changing policies around to navigate current circumstances, but those changes might possibly create discriminatory practices going forward. The article also discusses alternate screening methods some employers are adopting, such as social media screening, to close gaps where traditional screening results are not currently available.

Health Care Industry Requirements. OIG/GSA explained!

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The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an Updated Special Advisory Bulletin on the Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Federal Health Care Programs on May 8, 2013. These guidelines recommend that health care providers screen their employees and contractors monthly to confirm that they are not on the OIG’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (EXCLUSION LIST).

In the past few years, we have seen an influx of complex regulations and increased litigation in the industry, making it even more difficult for companies to adhere to compliance best practices. Inadequate due diligence and negligent hiring practices in the healthcare sector harms not only an organization, but its patients, as well. More often than not, poor hiring decisions are a contributing factor in the rise of lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, and subsequent multimillion dollar settlements.

The big questions?

  • Is your business in the health care industry?
  • Do you participate in any Federal health care programs?
  • Do you receive any Federal funding?
  • Are you aware of the screening requirements?

DHS announces flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance

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This just in from the Department of Homeland Security: Due to precautions being implemented by employers and employees related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers also should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate. These provisions may be implemented by employers for a period of 60 days from the date of this notice OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.

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