APSCREEN Warns Businesses of Common Background Check Mistakes
That Could Lead to Negligent Hiring Lawsuits
Background Check Pioneer Tom Lawson Serves as Expert Witness on Many
Court Cases that He Says Could Have Been Avoided
Santa Margarita, Calif. (PRWeb)
October 2, 2006 -- Background check pioneer Tom Lawson serves as expert witness
on many court cases that he says could have been avoided.
"If they only knew what I know," says Thomas Lawson, CEO of
APSCREEN , "then businesses could
avoid negligent hiring lawsuits altogether." According to Lawson, today background
checks are becoming a standard procedure that provides a false sense of security
due to processes fraught with pitfalls.
Lawson pioneered the background check industry in 1980 when he was among the
first to provide corporations with a comprehensive pre-employment screening
service. His first clients were from the aerospace industry who demanded the
highest level of background checking.
A Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified International Investigator, Lawson
is also recognized as one of the first court-certified "expert" witnesses on
cases requiring testimony (in trial and depositions) related to negligent hiring,
human resource management, employment screening, and use, interpretation, as
well as compliance of Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Consumer
Credit Reporting Reform Act (CCRRA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in the Human Resource context. He has been listed
in O'Brien's Legal Expert Pages since 1993 and also has testified regarding
hidden assets research, white collar crime/fraud, embezzlement, factual due
diligence, internal theft and investigative standards of care.
To help avoid negligent hiring, Lawson suggests the following:
- Know the rules. The FCRA and FACTA contain crucial information for anyone
hiring. For example, "you must always tell your applicant that you are running
a background check and you must get written consent to do so. The applicant
must also receive a copy of the report within three days whether or not
the state law requires it," Lawson said.
- Get positive candidate identification. Lawson also said it is critical
to verify the applicant's name, including akas and aliases, social security
numbers as well as dig up a complete address history and confirmation of
date of birth. "Better to confirm the applicant is who they say they are
or you may be opening yourself up to a variety of possibilities."
- Know your applicant's responsibility attitudes. Lawson says, "use common
sense when reviewing financial records including credit reports and driving
history. How a person handles this part of their lives tells you a lot about
how their responsibility will translate into the workplace."
- Check criminal history in the courts, not online databases. The FACTA/FCRA
allows reporting of felonies and misdemeanors back seven years. "With this
kind of search, knowledge is power so be sure to use a certified consumer
reporting agency and not an online database," he said. "Databases are often
out of date and incomplete." He added businesses should include a national
sex offender registry and terrorist watch list checks.
- Determine other screening options. "Each applicant may require different
background checks depending on their employment classification," Lawson
said. "Know everything necessary to assure the applicant will fit into your
organization including drug screening, I-9 verification (immigration), personality
testing, and reference checks. You should always verify education and previous
Founded in 1980, APSCREEN
in Rancho Santa Margarita, California and is the originator of the factual employment-screening
coverage for businesses seeking the highest caliber, most comprehensive background
checks for pre-employment screening. Thomas Lawson, CEO of APSCREEN and a Certified
Fraud Examiner, authored the Pre-Employment Screening series, published in The
Complete Workplace Violence Prevention Manual, which is used as the gold standard
in Best Hiring Practices. APSCREEN also offers tenant screening and employee
locate services. More information is available by calling toll-free (800) 277-2733
or register online at APSCREEN
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