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Reducing Overcrowding in California Prisons?

  This fall, California voters will vote on a move to reduce prison crowding. Fox News reports that a measure called Prop 47 would “dramatically change how the state treats certain “nonserious, nonviolent” drug and property crimes, by downgrading them from felonies to misdemeanors.” It would also “allow those currently serving time for such offenses to apply for a reduced sentence, as long as they have no prior convictions for more serious crimes like murder, attempted murder or sexual offenses.”

Increased Risk for Taxpayers?

  A recent audit of the Internal Revenue Service revealed that taxpayers were exposed to “increased risk of fraud and identity theft” after the agency handed private information over to contractors who had not undergone background checks. The Washington Post and WBAY reported that the IRS:

Changing Background Screening Laws Affect Seniors

  A recent article in Senior Housing News serves as a good reminder that changes in laws regarding background screening can impact seniors. In most cases, federal and state laws require employers to do background checks on their employees who provide direct patient care. The laws apply to “licensed communities, such as assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and these components of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).” On the other hand, independent living facilities are generally unlicensed in most states, and are not subject to federal background check laws.

Going Back Two Years on a Background Check. Is That Enough?

  After assaults on two women earlier this month by a taxi driver in Honolulu, HI, there are new concerns about safety. At issue is background checks done on cab drivers. According to police, the current city ordinance requires that background checks only go back two years. KHON2 in Honolulu reports that several owners of cab companies recently met with members of the Honolulu City Council at a hearing committee to discuss expanding background checks to more than two years.

Growth in “Ban the Box” Movement

  “Ban the Box.” The movement keeps growing. If you have visited our blog and website, you know that we’ve blogged, written newsletter articles and client alerts on the subject. Earlier this month we posted a blog informing you that California’s state-wide public-sector law went into effect on July 1, and in a client alert posted last week, we informed employers that a New Jersey bill was approved by the legislature and was sent to the governor to be signed.

Home Depot Sued for FCRA Violations

  Employers, here is another lawsuit against a large employer that alleges Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. Henderson v. The Home Depot, Inc., filed at a Georgia federal court, alleges that the Home Depot runs background checks without proper notification, and does not provide applicants or employees with copies of the reports prior to taking adverse action, thereby violating the FCRA.


Home Healthcare Background Checks: a Mixed Bag of Standards

  As the Baby Boomer population ages, issues such as retirement and healthcare (i.e. Medicare) are becoming increasingly prominent in the news. Home healthcare has become a fast-growing industry, and the patients who use these services are a vulnerable population for criminals looking to prey on easy targets. Relevant to this, a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article reported on the widely varying state background requirements for home health workers in the U.S.

Background Screening News Briefs: Round Up

  Our blog this week contains follow up information about the Manhattan College basketball coach we wrote about earlier this spring. We also discuss the varying state background check requirements for people hired to work as health insurance enrollment assistants.

EEOC vs Kaplan: Appeals Court Rules against the EEOC

  In a move that employers who rely on background checks in hiring can appreciate, on April 9, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a unanimous summary judgment in favor of Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, ruling against the EEOC. Some background on the case:

FTC Reports: Two Data Brokers Settle FTC Charges

  Employers are not the only ones under a microscope when using background checks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also continues to target background screening companies, even those that do not consider themselves to be consumer reporting agencies (CRA).

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