Changes to MVR Audit Instructions in the State of Washington

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Why Has New York City Nixed Salary History Questions During Hiring Process?

Recent legislation, passed April 5, 2017 by the New York City Council, has barred employers from using the salary history of job applicants to determine post-hire salary if the information is already known or established. Additionally, employers are prohibited from asking about salary history. Period.

The new legislation, according to Thomas Ahearn of ESRcheck.com, is about six months away from taking effect in NYC. What were the motivations for this legislation and how will it potentially set a precedent for the country? First let’s explore what constitutes salary history.

What is Salary History?

“Salary history” is exclusive to the applicant’s current and prior wage, benefits, and other compensation and doesn’t include objective measures of the applicant’s productivity (i.e., sales revenue, production reports, etc.). In other words, salary history deals with what the employee has historically earned from previous employers, not what they have earned for other employers.

Why Does this Legislation Exist?

According to the legislation itself, “When employers rely on salary histories to determine compensation, they perpetuate the gender wage gap. Adopting measures like this bill can reduce the likelihood that women will be prejudiced by prior salary levels and help break the cycle of gender pay inequity.”

Essentially, in the absence of salary history, new employers will hopefully be encouraged to establish starting salaries for female employees based on resources and market rates as opposed to perpetuating other precedents set before them by previous employers. The purpose is to combat wage discrimination.

How Does this Legislation Effect Country-Wide Policies?

Other such laws are waiting to take effect in Philadelphia and Massachusetts, with proponents hoping to see it expanded across the country.

Questions?

To learn more about appropriate employee verification questions for you area, contact VICTIG.

What is Big Data and How Does it Affect Employee Background Screening?

The term “big data” refers to the tools and practice of accumulating and evaluating thousands of pieces of information on an individual, collected through the use of algorithms and data scraping. Attorney Lester Rosen of ESR reported in October of last year, 2016, that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) met to discuss how big data was being used by employers to make hiring decisions, the natural concern being the different avenues created by big data for discrimination to take place.

Advantages of Big Data

Big data helps employers because the rapid accumulation of information on a candidate speeds up the hiring process by giving hiring managers a more detailed picture early on of the candidate’s many qualifications, or lack of. In business, faster is always better as long as accuracy can be ensured. Many screening providers can promise such accuracy and speed during background checks, but the main issue remains compliance.

Disadvantages of Big Data

In a press release, EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang talked about big data’s “potential to drive innovations that reduce bias in employment decisions,” but with that potential comes the caveat that such innovations must be geared to “promote fairness and opportunity, so that reliance on these expanding sources of data does not create new barriers to opportunity.”

The Obama administration shared these concerns in a report titled Big Data: A Report on Algorithmic Systems, Opportunity, and Civil Rights, in which the assumption that big data is objective was challenged: “It is often assumed that big data techniques are unbiased because of the scale of the data and because the techniques are implemented through algorithmic systems. However, it is a mistake to assume they are objective simply because they are data-driven.”

Going Forward

The use of big data presents unique challenges for hiring managers to maintain compliance, which makes it all the more critical to partner with screening providers who know how to responsibly navigate its challenges. Contact VICTIG to learn more about our approach to big data and our commitment to FCRA and EEOC compliance.

What to Look for When Choosing a Background Screening Provider

Landlords, hiring managers, entrepreneurs, and employers have something in common: when choosing a background screening provider, the issue of whether or not prospective providers can assure compliance with background check laws when conducting checks remains a top concern. Other concerns may include:

  • Cost. Will the cost per check ensure a significant ROI?
  • Turnaround. How long will each check take? The clock is ticking.
  • Accuracy. Will the background check fail by missing any critical information about the applicant?

Compliance Concerns Are Paramount

According to a recent article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), background screening providers are far more likely to beat out the competition if compliance with the governing laws can be assured through very specific means: the provider must be FCRA compliant (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Cost, turnaround time, and accuracy remain critical factors, but non-compliance with laws, both local and federal, representations a severely troubling risk of future liability and litigation.

What Does it Mean to be FCRA compliant?

The FCRA was designed to protect consumers, and is a law designed to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy for data used by consumer reporting agencies.

Why Should Compliance Be at the Top of Your List?

Landlords and employers should verify FCRA compliance before considering any provider, because even if the cost is low, a quick turnaround time is guaranteed, or there is a promise of accuracy, without compliance, your organization or even you personally are at risk of litigation. Ultimately, working with a non-compliant screening provider can and will cost you in the long run.

Protect Yourself

Contact VICTIG to learn more about our compliance with local and federal laws.

Airport Launches Employee Screening Pilot Program

In response to the congressional investigation of the presence of insider threats in U.S. airports, launched by Rep John Katko and conducted over that last two years, one airport in Miami has responded by launching a pilot program that may change the way other airports screen their employees.

Robert Harding of auburnpub.com reports that Miami International Airport has utilized the following techniques since January to eliminate the security risks introduced by the employees themselves:

• explosive trace detection equipment
• x-ray technology
• daily screening
• identity screening

The Nature of the Risk

From gun smuggling to drug rings, airport employees have been complicit in serious crimes while exploiting their privileged access to the airways. Because of the security clearances required to do their jobs, the risk of insider threat among airport employees is great. Ongoing screening practices are essential in order to continue protecting the inherent vulnerabilities that an airport represents.

Ongoing Screening and the Average Business

Ongoing screening of employees is pretty standard in the typical business setting, too, even if the risks may not be as apparent as they are in airports. Especially in the financial sector, it’s crucial to ensure that your long-term employees maintain eligibility throughout their employment.

Conducting routine background checks will protect your interests, your workplace, and the rest of your staff. Simply make sure that your background check policy is clearly outlined in your company’s paperwork and you’ll be set.

Questions?

Contact VICTIG with questions about ongoing employee screening and our role in helping you protect your company.

Drug Testing: How Does it Work?

Drug use and the workplace just don’t mix. In fact, workplace drug use accounts for $75 to $100 billion in lost revenue for U.S. employers annually thanks to lost time, accidents, healthcare, and workers’ compensation costs, according to the Department of Labor. While drug screening practices are currently in flux in locations where marijuana has been legalized, most Fortune 500 companies still require drug testing in their employee screening processes.

When is a Drug Test Typically Conducted?

Employers are generally required to obtain written consent from applicants before conducting a drug test. It should be clearly understood that their eligibility is contingent on the results of the test as well.

Employers outsource the drug screening portion of the hiring process to specimen collection sites, or drug testing vendors. Typically, the applicant is required to perform the testing within a couple days of their application to narrow the window of time they can “get clean,” as most drugs are detectable within 2-4 days of use, some for up to 14 days.

Which Drugs Do Employers Care About?

Never get drunk on the job; that’s a given. But if a job applicant has any of these drugs in their system, whether or not they’re impaired during the time of the test, it may be grounds for ineligibility:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • PCP
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines

What Happens After the Test?

After the specimen (typically urine) is sent to the lab, the results are available pretty quickly, especially if the applicant is found to be drug-free. A positive test will take longer as it is re-verified before the employer and applicant are notified. The lab will keep samples of the positive test in the event that the findings are challenged.

Questions?

Contact VICTIG if you have any questions about our role in employee screening.