API Update

Over the past six months, we have focused on our API and have made some exciting updates to improve our acclaimed XML gateway.  Our product offering has continually grown to compliment expanding demands.  Improvements have been made in the documentations to better suit both PHP programmers and .Net programmers.  We have also developed several new delivery methods to better suit each partner and their various needs.

The products supported through the full documented API now service virtually any need for pre-employment screening, tenant screening, volunteer screening, and various other data needs.  Products supported include;

  • Database criminal searches
  • Single state and nationwide sex offender registries
  • County criminal, statewide criminal, and federal criminal searches
  • Nationwide criminal eviction searches, statewide criminal eviction searches
  • Credit reports
  • Social security traces
  • Verifications including education (high-school, college, graduate, specialty degrees), past and current employment, professional references, personal references, professional licenses, landlord references, and income verifications
  • Workers compensation reports
  • Medical sanction searches and excluded parties list searches

Another very exciting update is our ability to communicate decisions made through our customizable scoring applications.  You have the ability to set your own scoring criteria for virtually any product or combination of products and our system will score the results.  Through the API, you have the choice to receive the full report or simply the decision or score that was generated.

Not only do we have a widely varied offering but we provide access to numerous different data providers.  Rather than having to integrate several providers based on your needs, you can accomplish everything by integrating with VICTIG.

Lastly, we provide much more than just data.  Many federal, state, and municipal regulations and guidelines accompany this type of data such as the FCRA, DPPA, EEOC Guidelines, Title VII, and nearly countless others.  Having a dedicated team to help you avoid any unnecessary liability and developing a plan for full compliance is priceless.  The VICTIG team is knowledgeable about the current legislative landscape and how it affects you.  It is imperative that you use data properly.

Suggestions for your companies background check policy

The workforce is the primary user of background checks. Companies hire individuals they trust with company secrets and financial information. Background checks are not always necessary, but are often recommended.

Even companies that have been in business for some time may consider running routine background checks on current employees. However, in order to comply with federal regulations, companies seeking background checks on present or future employees should have a policy in place before beginning the process, or revise it if you do have one.

Different positions within your company will require different information from a background check. Ensure that job descriptions are clear as to what information may be obtained during the interview and hiring process. Ensure that present employees understand what information their position might possibly be acquired on a routine basis.

Some good guidelines to follow when determining what should be included in your company background check policy are:

  • specific roles within the company that require background checks and roles that checks are recommended for
  • information on the background check vendor that your company or institution will use
  • a breakdown of when company background checks will routinely take place
  • information on state and federal compliance issues related to background checks
  • material for HR personnel and prospective employees to understand how background checks and the process of obtaining them works

Remember if your company or institution is government funded, you may be required to make a copy of your background check policy available to the general public.

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$2.6 Million Judgement Against HireRight for FCRA violations

The FTC has just announced that it announced a $2.6 million settlement with HireRight one of the largest background screening companies in our industry for violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines which mandate reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the information it reports. Here is the press release from the FTC website:

An employment background screening company that provides consumer reports to companies nationwide will pay $2.6 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to use reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of information it provided, failing to give consumers copies of their reports, and failing to reinvestigate consumer disputes, as required by law. The case against HireRight Solutions, Inc. represents the first time the FTC has charged an employment background screening firm with violating the FCRA, and is the second-largest civil penalty that the FTC has obtained under the Act. Only the 2006 $10 million civil penalty against consumer data broker ChoicePoint, Inc. was larger. The Department of Justice filed the complaint and proposed order against HireRight Solutions on the FTC’s behalf. Under the settlement, the company also is barred from continuing its alleged illegal practices. In its capacity as a consumer reporting agency, HireRight Solutions, provides background reports that contain information about prospective and current employees to help thousands of employers make decisions about hiring and other employment-related issues. Under the FCRA, the company’s reports qualify as “consumer reports.” They contain public-record information, including the individuals’ criminal history. (more…)

Workers Comp Searches

A thorough background check consists of many pieces working together to compile as complete a picture off an individual as possible before they are hired and entrusted with responsibilities. Some of these pieces include credit reports, criminal record searches, social security searches, landlord references, and worker’s compensation claims. The more comprehensive the background research is, the more confident you as an employer will feel about your decision to hire. Different records are recommended based on your company needs but a worker’s compensation report is useful for many reasons. However, there are different rules and requirements for worker’s compensation reports than some other documents.

According to a 2012 Federal Court case (Bachman vs. Donahoe, 5th Cir. 2012) workers compensation records do not fall under definition of a consumer report in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Consumer reports are limited to the following 7 categories:

  1. Credit worthiness
  2. Credit standing
  3. Credit capacity
  4. Character
  5. General reputation
  6. Personal characteristics
  7. Mode of living

Since a worker’s compensation claim does not fall under any of these categories, Federal Court ruling determined that an employer does not need written consent to request worker’s compensation records from an agency.

However, worker’s compensation records are effected by the American’s with Disabilities Act and should not be ordered along with other background check materials, but at a later time. The law requires that inquiries into medical histories should not be made until the final stages of the hiring process.

Why should you request a Worker’s Compensation Report?

Worker’s Compensation Reports cannot be used as a discrimination tool in the hiring process. They are provided to show proof of previous injury and the current known medical status of an applicant. Worker’s Compensation Reports are not available in all states and are not vital to the hiring process.

Some employers will request a Worker’s Compensation Report as a “truth test”. Comparing the information on this report to the applicant’s information is a common practice in verifying the legitimacy of the application.

What is included in a Worker’s Compensation Report?

This report contains a range of the following points:

  1. Injury date and time
  2. Nature of injury
  3. Body part(s) involved
  4. Medical Status
  5. Adjudication Dates (if applicable)
  6. Type of Settlements (if applicable)

Not all information is available on every report. The law requires that none of this information may be used in a discriminatory sense against an applicant. It is provided strictly for informational purposes.

VICTIG offers a thorough report in worker’s compensation records, provided these records are available in the state for which you are searching. Visit victig.com for more information on how to get started with background checks and worker’s compensation report requests.