The EEOC, Background Checks and NATSB’s Job Matrix

The EEOCDo you want to comply with the EEOC’s (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidance that was issued in 2012 dealing with background checks? We can help you build targeted, position specific background checks through our Job Matrix. Using our Individual Assessment tool, we contact your applicants and assess them for you. In 2012 and 2013 the EEOC has been extremely active. Even though the courts have been siding more with the employer, the EEOC is not showing any signs of going away.

At NATSB, we have learned a few things from recent cases:

  1. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC, as the plaintiff, cannot proceed to trial without making a threshold showing of disparate impact.
  2. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the EEOC can only sustain this showing with reliable expert statistical evidence, and cannot necessarily rely on nationwide criminal justice statistics.
  3. Limitations of the EEOC filing suit on a company if the employer does not have a single-step, across-the-board screening process, the EEOC cannot merely challenge the process “as a whole,” but it must demonstrate that the alleged disparate impact stems from specific elements of the process.
  4. Employers that want to assess potential disparate impact risks should conduct a review of their screening policies to identify areas to fortify Title VII compliance. Some questions to consider: Has the policy targeted background checks for different roles in your company? Does the policy account for the developing body of criminological literature discussing recidivism?

Now that you know the EEOC is active, you will need to know the steps to stay compliant. When ordering a background check, order one that is Job Related and Consistent with Business Necessity. This shows that you are building a targeted background check for the position you are screening. Each of your positions need to have position specific search criteria that includes the data behind the decisions for the background check.

When reading the background check, look at the crime and consider the nature behind it. Also, look at the nature of the job and the time elapsed from the crime. You can then provide an opportunity for an individualized assessment for applicants excluded by the background check to determine whether the policy is job related and consistent with business necessity. Always keep information gathered from background checks confidential. Only use the information for the purpose of hiring, retaining, not hiring or dismissing an applicant or employee.

The EEOC indicates that individual assessments should take into account any information provided by the individual in question regarding:

  • The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct;
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
  • Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison;
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
  • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
  • Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training;
  • Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and
  • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.
  • If an individual does not respond to the employer’s request to conduct the individual assessment, the employer can then make a decision without the information, according to the Guidance.

The EEOC did spell out what they view to be “Employer Best Practices” and they cite the following:

  • Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers about Title VII and its prohibition on employment discrimination.
  • Develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants and employees for criminal conduct.

At NATSB, our mission is to be the ultimate source of services to hire and retain superior employees and volunteers for our clients. Our core values consist of integrity; people first; client oriented; and innovation. We respect the value of human dignity. With people first, we’re building safe and secure workplaces along with nurturing relationships with our employees and clients. Always designing services to meet our clients’ needs. Providing education to add value. Making ourselves available to listen to our clients. With innovation, we embrace technology. Promoting industry best practices. Constantly improving service and products. We hope this is evident in the personal service and expert advice you’ll receive from our screening specialists.

CONTACT US: If you would like more information you can visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection or the NATSB website. To learn more how NATSB can help you with your background screening needs, please contact us at admin@natsb.com or call us at 316-263-4400. We can customize any background check to meet your unique needs. We offer volume pricing, NO signup fees, and NO minimum orders.

Successful Hire Seminar

Successful Hire SeminarThe Successful HIre Seminar has begun. With two locations under our belt, we are encouraged by the response of our attendees. Some have come to learn about EEOC compliance part of the background check. Others to see, just how our Electronic I-9 system actually works and to ask questions about I-9 audits. Drug Testing and how to implement a Drug-Free Workplace has been another big pull to the Successful HIre seminar as well. It’s a common thing for employers out there, even today, to not have a drug-free workplace in place. This may shock you! It has shocked some of our attendees. But it’s true. We see it everyday. Other topics also include HR Strategies and Development. This category is mainly focused on NATSB’s HR training courses. Our lead instructor, Dan Oblinger, briefly walks attendees through a few of our courses. Many attendees have already booked Dan to come onsite for training this fall. Our Successful Hire seminar is extending into the workplace of our attendees. The Successful Hire seminar was designed to help human resource professionals: maintain compliance in doing background checks; know the implications of not having a full drug-free workplace program; save time by implementing an electronic I-9 system with auditing; continue learning through NATSB training courses. Come to the Successful Hire seminar and learn more about these different topics and ask questions about the human resources industry. We look forward to having you at the Successful Hire seminar in one of the following cities. So come see us in Topeka, Salina, Manhattan, Lawrence, Emporia, Hutchinson or Wichita.

Dan to Speak at KS SHRM State Conference

Six stories up on a warm Kansas evening. I was an inexperienced patrolman. She was a young drug addict, suicidal, and dangling off the edge of the guardrail. That was my definitive high risk listening situation. Many years have passed, but I will always remember how emotionally draining it was to try to carry on a compelling conversation with an emotionally compromised stranger for 45 minutes.

My name is Dan Oblinger. Now I’m a trained and experienced hostage negotiator. The role of a negotiator is to listen. The risk of negotiating is always life or death. The reward is the ability to bring order from chaos, to aid the vulnerable, and to have those bent upon violence turn back from the brink. In a similar way, human resource professionals make workplaces orderly, just, and safe using highly refined communications strategies.

Listening is a perishable skill, requiring empathy and attentiveness. There are basic techniques that enhance the listening process and influence our communications partners. As the lead trainer for the National Screening Bureau (NATSB), I work with business leaders and HR professionals to promote excellence in a wide variety of industries. They realize that listening is the “forgotten skill”, the key to unlocking their potential as leaders and lovers, and a task that demands formal training to achieve excellence – formal training that less than 5% of the population will ever receive.

  • Do you desire formal training in listening, THE foundational organizational leadership skill?
  • Do you catch yourself interrupting those speaking with you?
  • Do you want to know the secrets of the listening universe?
  • Do you wish you had a grab bag of tactics to use in unpleasant and challenging interactions with colleagues, superiors, and loved ones?
  • Do you know the 7 active listening techniques used by crisis negotiators all over the globe?
  • How good a listener do you want to be?
If so, then plan on attending my presentation, “Listen Like a Negotiator” during the Kansas SHRM Conference. I have been training folks just like yourself to build more richly rewarding careers and personal relationships using the same principles that I use to defuse armed barricades and dissuade suicidal jumpers.
The Kansas SHRM Conference runs September 25-27, 2013 in Overland Park, Kansas. Register today at this LINK. While you’re there, swing by the NATSB booth to meet me and the NATSB crew, learn about our innovative pre-employment screening and training services! You will pick up more listening tips, see live demonstration of “state of the industry” tools, and even get a chance to put on headphones and take the “Listen Like a Negotiator Challenge”! Stay safe, and keep listening!
To see a preview, visit NATSB’s Speakers Bureau website.
Dan Oblinger, Director of Training, NATSB
dan

What is a Dilute Specimen?

We hear this time and again, so, I thought I would answer the question, “What is a dilute specimen?” In this case, dilution is the process of reducing the concentration of a drug or drug metabolites in the specimen sample. Making a sample a dilute can be done by wateradding water or other fluid to the specimen. It can also be diluted by what is called “internal dilution” which is defined when someone drinks large amounts of fluids, especially water, before their drug test. All drug testing laboratories continue to test samples routinely to detect dilution. Dilutions should never be confused with adulteration. Adulteration is where a donor will add a substance to the specimen in hopes of gaining a negative or dilute report from the test. There are many products on the market that are intended to be taken orally and almost all of them require you to consume massive amounts of water with them. It’s no secret that consuming massive amounts of liquids will make you urinate more and ultimately produce dilute test results. This is why it is a great idea to have your Drug-Free Workplace Policy address how to handle dilute specimens. At NATSB, we require immediate re-screening for that individual and would recommend you do the same.

DOT TESTING of DILUTES
When DOT testing if the creatinine level is greater then 5mg/dl and less then 20 mg/dl, the employer can require the applicant to submit another specimen. The second specimen taken CANNOT be done under direct observation and with all re-collections, the donor must be treated the same as before. The employer, however, may treat different types of tests differently. For example, they may elect to re-collect for pre-employment tests but not choose to for random tests and so forth. If the re-collected test turns out to be a negative dilute, the company must accept this test result and MUST NOT continue to re-collect. The second test is the collection of record. Under the DOT rule, if the employee refuses to submit a sample for the second collection, this is considered a refusal to test.

So if you hear of employees discussing “body cleansing,” you may be assured that the drug culture has penetrated your workplace. People in the drug culture shop around for  companies that they know do not have a drug-free workplace program in place. While pre-employment screening is good and may deter some drug users from applying at your company, it will not deter them all. They will clean up for a week or two, pass the pre-employment drug screen and begin using again once in the workforce. So what do you do? You must have a drug-free workplace program that includes an in depth policy on drug screening, pre-employment screening, random screening, supervisor training and employee training. The supervisor training should meet the DOT standard requirements of two hours and cover such topics as signs and symptoms  screening processes and documentation of events. If you would like to know more about how to make your company a drug-free workplace, please contact Troy Trussell at NATSB.
Troy Trussell - NATSB

Social Media Screening

Social Media ScreeningThe big questions these days for employers is, “Should we use social media to screen job applicants?” The fact is, social media and other networking sites can tell you a lot about the patterns and behaviors of a potential employee. BUT, using the internet to screen your applicants can put you at risk in seeing protected class information that you will never be able to un-see. This can be problematic. We have found that many employers are taking the risk and for those companies we offer some tips on how to mitigate that risk.

Tip One: NEVER ask applicants for their passwords. It is illegal to do this in six states and 21 other states are discussing similar legislation to make this illegal. Also, if it is known that your company is asking for this information, it may make it harder for you to conduct successful hires.

Tip Two: Please consider FCRA implications. Employers who use social media sites must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act procedures by obtaining prior written consent from each job applicant to conduct these searches. They must also supply them with advance adverse action notices.

Tip Three: Designate someone, other than the person in charge of hiring, to do the social media searches. More importantly, consider a well-trained researcher that is used to reporting information found on the internet and someone familiar with social media sites. This person doesn’t need to be a lawyer, but needs to understand the basics of Title VII along with other legal issues that may arise when searching social media.

Tip Four: Never use social media inconsistently as this could lead to legal problems. Just like a regular background check, you must be consistant in your searches.

Tip Five: Please be aware that you can always gather too much information. You will more than likely find more information than you bargain for. On facebook, just looking at someone’s homepage could open you up to Title VII discrimination claims. You cannot un-see something you see. You can’t “put the toothpaste back in the tube.” So make sure the person delegated to do the hiring knows this.

Tip Six: Create a policy for social media screening. You may incorporate a policy statement into your regular background screening service agreement so that your applicants know beforehand you will be using social media as a part of their background check.

Tip Seven: And finally, don’t believe everything you read online. Especially everything you SEE online. With programs like Photoshop, it is extremely easy these days for people to manipulate photos, videos and audio content on the web.

Social media screening is on the rise, but it is certainly taking the slow road. We believe it is great tool to utilize with your regular background check, but you must take precautions and know the risks associated with social media screening. Consider using a third party like NATSB that can redact any protected class information to keep you safe from legal action against your company.

Troy Trussell - NATSBWith ten years experience in the field of advertising, web design and video production, he quickly became the Director of Marketing for National Screening Bureau (NATSB). Since then, he has engulfed himself into the world of Drug-Free Workplace Programs by becoming a Certified Professional Collector, a Breath Alcohol Technician, a Certified Designated Employer Representative Trainer and he has created online drug-free workplace training courses for employers. Troy is a member of the Wichita, Central Kansas and Salina Chapters of SHRM.