Screening News Weekly Wrap: September 13th, 2019

About 7 min

Screening News Weekly Wrap: September 13th, 2019

A pre-employment background check solves a cold case, a new way to keep problem teachers out of the classroom, and another reason you may not want to use Apple’s Siri in this week’s EBI Screening News Network presented by Jennifer Gladstone.


Killer Brought to Justice 21 Years After His Crime

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley

This quote from American icon Elvis Presley popped into our heads after reading the headlines behind a recently closed Florida cold case. The reason? A pre-employment background and fingerprint check helped solve the 21-year-old crime.

It started last December when Todd Barket submitted his fingerprints as part of a job application to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Those fingerprints flagged those found at the scene of a 1998 murder in a Florida consignment shop. Sixty-eight-year-old Sondra Better was beaten and stabbed two days before she was to officially retire.

Barket’s fingerprints then led to DNA evidence – his blood was also found on the store’s cash register.

During the trial Barket admitted to stealing $100 dollars from the register but claimed he had not committed the murder. The jury did not believe him. He is now sentenced to life in prison.

While the FBI fingerprint database has come under scrutiny, in this case, the database helped bring a family peace after grieving the loss of their loved one. And the verdict serves as a reminder that Elvis was right – a person’s values are as identifiable as their fingerprints – even if more than two decades have passed.

More Information: What Employers Need to Know about the FBI Criminal Records Database by Robert Capwell, EBI Chief Knowledge Officer.

Teachers’ Licenses Immediately Revoked for Serious Crime Charges

Should a teacher charged with a serious crime – but not yet convicted – be allowed to continue to work? Illinois lawmakers say no. Senate Bill 456 now allows the state to suspend a teacher’s license immediately if they are arrested for a sex crime, drug offenses or Class X felony.

Lawmakers say they want to make sure teachers charged with these crimes are not able to get a job at another school until they have been cleared of all wrong-doing.

A teacher's license will be reinstated if acquitted.

The new law is a result of several high-profile sexual misconduct cases against former teachers where parents claimed the school district didn’t do enough to protect students. That’s because the old law allowed teachers charged with these crimes to retain their teaching certificates until the Illinois State Board of Education awaited to outcome of an investigation.

Under the new law, all school employees are required to undergo a criminal background check every five years. Previously, the state only required checks when someone applied for a job. Curt Schwall, Vice President of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at EBI, says five years seems too long for an ongoing screening policy.

“That’s a long time. Most employers who have recurring checks are on a two-year cycle, so five years is a bit much, especially where children are involved.” – Curt Schwall, Vice President of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at EBI

Post-hire screening policies requiring continuous background checks are becoming popular with employers who serve vulnerable populations; think school teachers who are with children and healthcare providers who care for elderly people.

“Things change and people change, and you can’t always assume the results of a background check at the time of hiring will remain the same in the future, says Jessica Cohen Taubman, Compliance Manager at EBI. “EBI is here to assist our clients with ongoing employee screening so employers can feel comfortable knowing they will have the most current information possible and, in turn, the safest workplace possible.” 

Apple Busted for Siri Spying

Here is an information privacy alert for you. Apple is apologizing to Siri users for letting third-party contractors listen to compromising recordings that included everything from doctor appointments to drug deals, and even, people having sex!

A whistleblower brought this issue to light in June. Apple says it uses these recordings to improve the app. Since then, Apple has fired hundreds of contractors hired to listen to the Siri recordings but actual Apple employees can and do still listen to Siri recordings.

You can, however, opt out of the program that saves your recordings.

Apple could face up to $10 billion in fines for failing to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations. EBI takes data protection seriously. As part of our commitment to data security, we were the first Consumer Reporting Agency to obtain ISO 27001 certification, which establishes requirements related to Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). EBI also participates in both the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework

[ICYMI: How did felons end up as licensed security guards? A major public safety flub. Watch this EBI Screening News Network report]

Stay up-to-date on Employment Laws & Regulations with EBI's Screening News Network.