EBI's Screening News Network Blog

Note from the Editor: Coming up next week, EBI is offering a webinar on new OSHA rules about reporting injuries in the workplace. That rule is being challenged in court by several groups of builders and contractors. They claim the rule’s anti-retaliation provisions go too far and will limit their ability to investigate accidents. Today, our presenter for the OSHA webinar, Tommy Eden, gives us a deeper look at the dispute.

The election isn’t a favorite topic with many people these days, but the outcome will definitely affect employers. We sat down with Mike Aitken, the vice president of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), to find out which HR concerns are most likely to be affected by our new president.


Applying for college is not easy. The list of things schools look at these days seems endless… SAT scores, transcripts, essays, extracurricular activities, even volunteer work. According to the Center for Community Alternatives, 66 percent of colleges and universities are now also looking at applicants’ criminal histories. There are plusses and minuses when it comes to using background checks for students. Most schools will point to the importance of campus safety on the positive side, but even the lowest-level offenses could boot students out of contention for financial aid and federal tax credits.


The US government is refusing to bow to peer pressure. Twenty five states have already passed laws to allow some kind of medical marijuana use, four others and the District of Columbia let people smoke for fun, and nine more have issues relating to the drug on this year’s ballot. Even so, the Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced it is rejecting requests to move marijuana from the Schedule I list of highly addictive drugs down to a Schedule II.


Businesses have always had to worry about frivolous lawsuits. Con-artists “slip” and fall, others find a bug in their food. Sometimes the hot coffee is just too hot. All of these kinds of things have cost companies money over the years, but now some of those who are out to make a quick buck are evolving.


Some of you might have discovered this blog post by searching terms like "background screening" or "background search". If so, you might also get a lot of ads popping up promising the chance to do all kinds of background checks on anyone you want. Some might even entice landlords to check out possible tenants, or encourage employers to make sure applicants are trustworthy enough for a high security position.

These online companies might sound dependable. They might seem reliable. But if they don’t comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), searches they do for you could be illegal. 


The handling and storing of data might sound like a dry, IT topic, but in this day and age of rampant identity theft, job applicants depend on employers protecting their information.

This is no simple task.

Every day, background screeners process thousands of pieces of data. Most of it is extremely sensitive information like candidates’ names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, employment history, education, motor vehicle records, credit and criminal history, and even drug testing results. Employers need to be sure that their screening partner does everything in its power to protect candidate data.