A candidate comes across your desk and for most employers (approximately 60% according to Career Builder) it’s a natural next step to do a quick social media search.  Maybe a look at their Facebook page.. or Twitter account… and then YouTube.  Before you know it, you’re looking 54 weeks back on their Instagram!  What if you find something negative?  What about if it’s positive?  Should the information be used and more importantly, can it be used?  These are all good questions and all still a grey area of pre-employment screening.  However, it is a question that is gaining more attention.

Some 49% of employers who searched through candidate’s social media profiles found information that ultimately deterred them from hiring an applicant.  It could have been an unfavorable picture or video, insight into their habits or derogatory posts that don’t align with the company’s values. Most employers that engage in social media checking their candidates are not necessarily looking for negative information but are simply looking to get a holistic view of the person potentially joining their company.  Nevertheless, by doing so, it opens the door to risks and liability as well.

One potential risk is that social media checks can expose the employer to information that may be unlawful criteria to consider in hiring, such as an applicant’s demographic information (age, race, religion, etc.).

On the opposing side, employers are looking to protect themselves against potentially negligent hires.  Some argue that by not researching social media sites before employment, they run the risk of hiring an applicant who could potentially endanger the work environment and other employees.  The mass shooting in California last December created more attention to the topic after it was reported the shooter had comparable information that was publicly available via social media platform(s) that was not exposed through their visa background check.

Another concern amongst employers advocating for social media checks is the potential misrepresentation and derogatory talk about the company’s brand.  Some employers would like to see if a candidate has a history of bashing previous employers online or sharing too much information about their employers on social media.  In a recent case, Chipotle fired an employee after the employee’s social media post about wages went viral.  The employee began circulating a petition regarding working conditions, ultimately violating the company’s social media policy.  Later that year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deemed that Chipotle’s policy was too severe and was found to be illegal.  In this specific case, the NLRB ordered Chipotle to offer the employee their job back along with lost wages.

The issue of social media checks and the hiring process will continue to gain attention.  While there is more to come on this topic, it is important to note that if social media checking is part of your background checking process, that you are following Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines; and that your company has a sound and legal policy in place to do such screenings.

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At Subrosa we are celebrating the expansion of our offices into the state of Michigan!  Subrosa’s new presence in Michigan will support the growth and increasing demand for our investigative work in the Midwest. Subrosa is actively serving clients throughout the state, offering local services, including:

•  Surveillance
•  Social Media & Background Checks
•  Skip Tracing & Locates
•  Interviews
•  Process Service

The Michigan office is also supported by Subrosa’s wide reach of global investigative services, including:

•  Litigation Support Services
•  Transactional Due Diligence
•  Pre-Employment Background Checks
•  Asset Checks
•  And more

Reach out to a Subrosa team member to ask about our exciting new additions!

Posted in Asset Investigations, Franchisee Background Checks, Internal Investigations, International Investigations, Internet Resources, Locating and Interviewing Witnesses, Pre-Employment Updates, Subrosa in the News, Surveillance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

As many of you know, more and more cities and states across the country are beginning to instill Ban the Box laws, restricting employers from asking their job applicants about their criminal history.  Oregon is the most recent state to incorporate such laws and it is imperative that businesses in Oregon comply with the new regulations.  Following is a summary of the regulations and a quick look at the new laws.

Oregon

• As of January 1, 2016, Oregon businesses cannot include any questions asking applicants about criminal histories on their job applications.  These questions can be asked during the interview process.

• Oregon employers need to review their job applications to ensure such questions are removed.

Portland

• Effective July 1, 2016, most businesses operating in Portland will be prohibited from asking prospective job applicants about their criminal history until after a conditional offer has been made.

• Additionally, these questions cannot be asked at the job interview or at any point before a conditional offer is made.

• Additionally, employer will not be allowed to inquire about or access an applicant’s criminal history from any source before making “a conditional offer of employment.”

• Conditional Offer of Employment is defined as any offer that is conditioned solely on the results of the criminal background inquiry or some other contingency that is expressly communicated to the applicant at the time of offer.

• If an employer learns of an applicant’s criminal history after making a conditional job offer, the employer can rescind the offer after determining that rejecting the applicant would be job related and consistent with business necessity.

• The new law does not cover businesses with fewer than six employees.  Any businesses with more than six employees are covered if they have workers who perform a majority of their time within the City of Portland.

Suggestions for Remaining Compliant

• Review and update your job applications as soon as possible.  Ensure that any and all questions pertaining to the applicant’s criminal history are removed.

• Make sure that the necessary personnel, such as hiring managers, are trained and informed of these laws.

• Do not request a criminal background check until a conditional job offer is made.  Review your authorization page and be sure to indicate that a background check will not be conducted of the applicant until a conditional offer is made.  Of course, make sure you have received signed authorization from the applicant before requesting a background check.

• Conduct individualized assessments of your applicants.  Start preparing for instances when an applicant voluntarily discloses having a criminal history, and be ready to make an assessment based on the situation at hand.  The Portland ordinance requires employers to consider the nature and seriousness of the criminal history and the time elapsed since the most recent crime(s).  Other considerations are the applicant’s age at the time of the crime(s), the applicant’s entire work and educational history, and employment references since the last crime(s) occurred.

• Make sure you have sufficient documentation procedures in place.  Be sure to document all stages of the hiring process and make sure all documents are dated.  Provide a dated document to applicants informing them of the conditional job offer and the remaining steps required before the offer is finalized.  Include the criminal background check and any other contingencies associated with the position.  Should you decline an offer, it is suggested that employers create an internal document explaining the decision-making process that addresses the facts and reasons that contributed to the decision to reject the applicant.

To read the full article by SHRM, please click here.


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Earlier this month Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, signed Enactment: 2015/037, which bans the use of credit reports by some employers.  This ordinance will go into effect early September 2015.

There are some exceptions to the restriction, including:

•  Employers, or agents thereof, that are required by state or federal law of regulation to obtain a credit report.
•  Self-regulatory organizations under §3(a)(26) of the Security Exchange Act of 1934.
•  Peace officers
•  Those governmental appointed positions in New York City that have a “high degree of public trust” as defined by commission.
•  Positions required to be bonded under local, state or federal law.
•  Non-clerical positions having access to: trade secrets, intelligence information, or national security information.
•  An employee having signatory authority over third party funds or assets of $10,000 or more.
•  An employee having authority to enter into financial agreements on behalf of the employer for over $10,000.
Positions that allow employee to modify digital security systems.
Persons required by §12.110 of the New York City code to provide disclosures relating to conflicts of interest.

A copy of the law (Int 0261-2014) may be viewed at:
http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Legislation.aspx

Information from CRA Helpdesk.

Posted in Franchisee Background Checks, Internal Investigations, Pre-Employment Updates | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In investigations you have to think outside the box and figure out unique ways to use resources. Here are our top 5 FREE website picks.

Spy Dialer

Spy Dialer is a free and anonymous way to find out who called you from a random phone number. Instead of calling the unknown number back, you can type it in to Spy Dialer where you have the option of hearing the voice mail message attached to the number.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Using the “Print Your Receipt” function, enter a person’s last name and driver’s license number, and it will pull all rentals for that person in the last six months.  It is a sneaky way to make sure someone was where they said they were.

Google Image Search

Upload or drag a photo into the search bar and Google will search the Internet for every place the photo appears.  Very helpful to uncover dating scams and catfishing, as many scammers use the same photos for different profiles.

Carfax

The CARFAX Report Search allows you to search by VIN or by entering the license plate and state for the vehicle. For free, you can find out the make, model and year of the car.  This is particularly helpful in Arizona as our DMV records do not list the vehicle’s model.

WayBackMachine

The WayBackMachine is a Web Archiving Tool that captures aged web data.   It is a great way to validate a company’s business model throughout time.  Older versions of company sites can show past employees, board members and other key personnel.  Check out what your domain name looked like before you purchased it; find old versions of a manufactures website for troubleshooting tips on an old product.

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The short answer is NO. If you’re only ordering a “Criminal Package” on your Applicant, then Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection are not covered because of their civil nature. A police report may be filed at the same time as a Restraining Order or Order of Protection, but if the victim doesn’t press criminal charges against your Applicant, then that also won’t be caught in a criminal search during your background check.

Please email aperez@subrosapi.com with any Questions regarding Pre-Employment Background Check and we will incorporate the Answer in the next month’s PE Tip!

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Time is of the essence when you’re trying to garnish a bank account during tax season.  According to the IRS, most e-filing tax refunds are issued in less than 21 days.  If you’re like most financial institutions, it can typically take you between 1 to 5 days to capture the garnished funds and securely deposit them into your account.

So how do you increase your chances of timely garnishment collections?  We recommend processing bank searches on uncollected judgments as follows:

•April 9th (to capture refunds to early filers)
•April 30th
•May 12th
•May 26th

Keep in mind that this approach is recommended for collecting from individual judgment debtors.  If you have a judgment against a company, and in particular an LLC, the profits and losses “pass through” the company to its members (and your individual debtor).

Disclosure Statement: The proposed bank search schedule does not guarantee positive results.

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Quick tip! When you pursue bank and brokerage account searches, add PayPal to your list!

Keep in mind that PayPal requires a Subpoena sent to the below address before the release of any such information.

Writ of Garnishment must be served to PayPal’s Legal address as:

PayPal, Inc.
2211 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95131

Further questions? Contact (402) 952-8384 or email executiveoffice@paypal.com.

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There have been recent developments in the Ban the Box campaign which have resulted in different requirements for making a conditional offer to a potential employee.  These requirements are based on whether or not your city or county has banned the box.  What is a conditional offer?  It’s an offer that you, the employer, extend to a candidate pending the successful completion of specific conditions.  So, let’s find out if your city or county requires a conditional offer by referencing the NELP (National Employment Law Project) Ban the Box Resource Guide:

http://www.nelp.org/page/-/SCLP/Ban-the-Box.Current.pdf?nocdn=1

For a quick reference, here are the states where cities or counties have banned the box:

• California
• Connecticut
• Delaware
• Florida
• Georgia
• Illinois
• Indiana
• Kentucky
• Louisiana
• Maryland
• Massachusetts
• Michigan
• Minnesota
• Missouri
• New Jersey
• New York
• North Carolina
• Ohio
• Oregon
• Pennsylvania
• Rhode Island
• Tennessee
• Texas
• Virginia
• Washington
• Washington DC
• Wisconsin

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The average Organized Retail Crime ring costs retailers upwards of $46,000 per month, with the holidays being their busiest time of the year.  As these criminal prepare to stock up on your merchandise this holiday season, are you ready for them?

Join Subrosa Investigations as Darin Fredrickson presents on the skills required to combat the Organized Retail Crimes driving your losses.  Receive inside tips on strategies to improve your case resolutions and proactively combat ORC activity.

Effectively Engaging Law Enforcement in Your ORC Investigation

Wednesday, October 1st

10:00AM – 11:00AM (MST)

$45 per participant

RSVP at aperez@subrosapi.com by Friday, September 26th.

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