Screening News Update: Utility Fined | FCRA Case Dismissed | Student Drug Tests [Video]

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Screening News Update: Utility Fined | FCRA Case Dismissed | Student Drug Tests [Video]

  • Hefty Fine for Slacking on Background Screens
  • Data Breach Case Dismissed
  • Random Student Drug Tests


Hefty Fine for Slacking on Background Screens

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) fined an energy supplier more than $50,000 for failing to conduct background checks on door-to-door salespeople. One of the 123 unchecked employees Vista Energy put on the street is now serving up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a woman at knife-point. Had a proper background check been performed, the company would have known that Christopher L. Henneghan had a criminal history that stretched back to 2013 and included aggravated assault. There was some confusion about who was responsible for Hanneghan falling through the cracks. He was hired by an advertising agency to get homeowners to change their energy provider to Vista. Vista blamed the agency; the agency pointed the finger back at Vista. The PUC determined that in the end, Vista was responsible for the actions of their sub-contractor, which means they are now responsible for the fine. And one more thing… according to the agency, Henneghan applied to get his job back in another office with a fake name – yet another reason to make sure those background checks are completed before allowing anyone to approach customers, especially in their homes.

Related: Why Background Screening is a Necessity – Not a Luxury: The Sue Weaver Story

Data Breach Case Dismissed

A Georgia court has granted a motion to dismiss an FCRA case in one of the largest data breaches in history. Last summer, hackers stole names, birthdays, Social Security Numbers and more from Equifax. Nearly 150 million Americans were affected. Many of the victims filed claims against Equifax alleging the credit bureau violated the FCRA by “furnishing consumer reports” without permissible purpose. They also sought relief for the time and resources they had to expend monitoring their accounts and protecting themselves against fraud. The court said Equifax never “furnished” anything since the information was stolen, and that stolen data cannot be considered a consumer report. For that reason, the FCRA claims were dismissed, but the others still stand.

Random Student Drug Tests

A high school in the Chicago suburbs has announced plans to randomly drug test students. Starting in the fall, students will be chosen randomly every two weeks to have their hair tested. Administrators at Carmel Catholic High School say this policy is not designed to be a punishment; instead, it is meant to give students an easy way to turn down drugs. They say it’s an “extra incentive” for saying no. The screening is mandatory. If a student tests positive, they will be referred to a counselor. If they fail three times, they will be kicked out of school.

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