Social Media Monitoring Part 1

Social Media Monitoring

There are many benefits to monitoring what others are saying about your business on social media platforms. There are also many tools that will help you monitor social media, but before you do, please read some of the pitfalls and rules pertaining to monitoring social media.

Benefits of Social Media Monitoring

An employee of a company has been terminated for some reason and this individual, who was working in a client-facing project, now reveals all the secrets related to the client publicly in a Facebook page. This is a serious security issue that affects both the company and its client. In such cases, SMM can help to find the issue, analyze it, and mitigate it by reporting it to the relevant authorities. The samples of abuse can be collected and further legal actions can be carried out.

The key benefits of social media monitoring are listed below.

  • singlebörse schweiz kostenlos Monitor Your Online Brand

    Monitoring the mentions of brands through various social media channels is beneficial for all businesses. The positive or negative mentions of a company or brand can be collected in real time and used to take relevant action. For example, responding to a positive mention by publicizing it or, in the case of a negative mentioned, by resolving it as fast as possible. By using social media monitoring tools, you are able to manage your brand across a number of different platforms. This allows seeing where people are engaging with your brand most and it will help to distribute your resources appropriately.

  • tampa dating Watching Your Industry

    Social media monitoring is a great way to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. It allows you to follow the major trends in your industry and keeps you ahead of the game.

  • free online dateing Monitor Your Competitors

    Social media monitoring tools can also monitor your competitors; this can help you keep your business ahead of them at all times.

  • single dating clubs Improve Search Engine Optimization

    Social media monitoring allows you to detect several commonly used keywords that can then be used to improve search engine optimization. This helps your organization to always show up on top in search engine results.

  • free online chatting sites in world Customer Service Enhancement

    Social media monitoring is a very effective customer service tool because it acts as a direct channel to your customers. You can interact with them quickly and efficiently in real time. Companies can improve their products by analyzing the comments and responses of the product through social media.

  • Improve Marketing

    SMM can be used to monitor people’s reactions to various marketing techniques by keeping up to date with the latest online marketing trends. Thus, by using SMM, you can choose the best strategy to improve the quality of your service and also find ways to expand it.

  • To manage Any Crisis That May Arise

    By monitoring social media, you can keep up to date with conversations occurring online in real time; this gives you the ability to address false accusations and negative comments quickly or prepare a response to the issue promptly.

Rules and Regulations for monitoring Social Media

IT RULES RELATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN INDIA

The Information Technology (Amendment) Act, of 2008 contains several provisions that recognize privacy protection and privacy rights. The sections that recognize the privacy issues and privacy rights are Section 43A, 72A, 69, and 69B.These sections are well drafted when it comes to fraud cases which happen through or by social networking sites. Encroachment on the right of privacy could be in the interest of national security.

  • Section 43A of IT ACT 2008

“Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 Section 43A makes a mandatory data protection regime in Indian law. The section obliges corporate bodies who ‘possess, deal or handle’ any ‘sensitive personal data’ to implement and maintain ‘reasonable’ security practices, failing which, they would be liable to compensate those affected and the compensation has no upper limit to be claimed which may even be in excess of 5 crore rupees. Corporate bodies have been defined as any company and include a firm, sole proprietorship or other association of individuals engaged in commercial or professional activities. Thus, government agencies and non-profit organizations are entirely excluded from the ambit of this section.”

  • Section 72A of IT ACT 2008

“Section 72A says that a person including an intermediary could be held liable if he discloses “personal information” which had been accessed while providing services under a contract. The liability arises if the disclosure was made with an intention to cause or knowledge that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or wrongful gain to a person.”

  • Section 69 and 69B of IT ACT 2008

“Section 69 of the amended Act empowers the state to issue directions for interception, monitoring, decryption of any information through any computer resource. Section 69B empowers the Government the authority to monitor, collect traffic data or information through any computer resource for cyber security. In the interest of national security, sovereignty, public order etc., the Central Government may intercept /monitor any information transmitted through any computer resource also for investigation of any offence.”

IT Acts liable for Social Media Crimes

  • Section 66 of IT ACT 2008

“This section is used when the imposter fraudulently and dishonestly with ulterior motive uses the fake profiles to spread spam or viruses or commit data theft. The act is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.”

  • Section 66A of IT ACT 2008

“This section is used when the imposter posts offensive or menacing information on the fake profile concerning the person in whose name the profile is created. Further, the fake profile also misleads the recipient about the origin of the message posted. The offence is punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and fine.”

  • Section 66C of IT ACT 2008

    “When the imposter uses the unique identification feature of the real person like his/her photograph and other personal details to create a fake profile, the offence under Section 66C Information Technology Act is attracted which is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and be liable to a fine which may extend to one lakh rupee.”

  • Section 66D of IT ACT 2008

“When the imposter personates the real person by means of a fake profile and cheats then the provision of Section 66D Information Technology Act is attracted which is punishable in the same manner as preceding Section 66C.”

IT RULES RELATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN USA

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

    “Employers who hire outside vendors to investigate either an applicant’s or an employee’s social media activities and content may be required by law to get written consent from those individuals. The information collected from a social media site may constitute a ‘consumer report’ under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition, the FCRA would require employers to provide information to individuals as to how they may dispute the accuracy of the report with the company that furnished the report. This requirement, however, applies only when the employer takes an adverse action based on the report.”

  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

    “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 has basic procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and the collection of foreign intelligence information. It also provides strict judicial and congressional oversight of any covert surveillance activities. Under this act, the US Government is authorized to conduct surveillance of Americans’ international communications, including phone calls, emails, and Internet records, exactly what is addressed by the PRISM program. These orders do not need to specify who is being spied on or the reasons for doing so. It is now possible for government agencies to collect information on foreign communications.”

  • Patriot Act

    “Section 215 of the Patriot Act, authorizes the existence of special procedures, authorized by the FISA court to force U.S. companies to deliver assets and records of their customers, from the metadata to confidential communications, including e-email, chat, voice and video, videos and photos. It expands the law enforcement power to spy on every US citizen, including permanent residents, without providing explanation, starting the investigation on the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Other Important acts related to Social Media

  • Impermissible discrimination in hiring based on social media research can subject a company to investigation by the EEOC, as well as possible action for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many other federal and state statutes.
  • Companies whose employees participate in conversations on social media platforms while using company computers may want to monitor their employees’ social media communications. Such monitoring is not without its legal dangers, though, as an employer may then be subject to liability under the Stored Communications Act (part of the larger Electronic Communications Privacy Act), if an employer accesses the content of non-public communications not stored on the company’s own server. In addition, if employees and/or managers engage in unprofessional exchanges online, that can lead to harassment claims against the company.
  • Social media legal risks may also be present if an employer decides to fire employees based on their Facebook interactions with other employees in the organization. In one incident, where an employee was fired for negative comments about her supervisor posted on a Facebook page shared with other employees, the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) said that employer’s action violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In the NRLB’s view, the firing interfered with employee rights under the NLRA stipulation relating to union organizing—which allows employees to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with co-workers and others, while not at work.
  • In another case, an employee alleged that a company’s social media policy restrictions on employee communications about the company (on such sites) were a violation of the NLRA. The complaint was resolved for an undisclosed amount, along with an agreement to revise the company’s social media rules.

Are the Rights of Individuals Challenged?

Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. In India, freedom of speech has no geographical limitation and it carries with it the right of a citizen to gather information and to exchange thought with others not only within orders but abroad also.

But India has started tracking public views and sentiments on social media platforms to step up its preparedness in handling sensitive issues and protests. For this purpose, the country’s first social media lab has been established by the Mumbai Police, Technical infrastructure and training is provided by NASSCOM and the tool is from SocialAppsHQ.com. Almost all countries are developing such an approach to monitor the public views.

Naturally, this raises questions about the freedom of expression and the rights of Indian citizens. But digging deeper into freedom of speech article give insights that the freedom has been liable to some restrictions in particular cases. Under certain conditions, such as state security, decency and morality, public order, incitement to an offence, etc., this freedom has been restricted and is punishable.

Last year, the law enforcement mechanism had failed to gauge the size and seriousness of public sentiments until things had gone out of control and, in almost all the cases, social media were used as drivers to ramp up support. Thus a real-time monitoring mechanism for social media adds a lot to reduction of these consequences by using social media monitoring mechanisms to analyze sentiment, identify behavioral patterns, influencers and advocates, track increase in chatter, and generate alerts in real-time on social media platforms. So the action of government for setting up a lab for social media monitoring cannot be criticized. After all, the intent of the social media lab is to prevent demonstrations and protests which can not only cripple a city, but the entire country.

Benefits of Background Checks

Applicant background screening has become a normal practice among companies today, with practically every business incorporating some type of screening service. It’s easy to see that a well-implemented background check can impact your cost-per-hire and lead to a wealthy ROI. The job market is weaker than usual, and this means that many people might not be truthful because of their desperation for employment. A background check will help your business sort through applicants to ensure you make good hires. Listed below are the benefits of background checks.

Higher Quality Candidates

The most obvious benefit of using background checks is that it helps you hire the best candidate possible. It’s difficult to acquire the necessary talent in your organization, and background checks allow you to eliminate some of the struggle with their accurate information. People with something to hide are less likely to apply to a position if they know that the company does background checks. Not only will you find better quality candidates, but background checks will save you time as well.

Education and Job Experience Verification

Background checks verify that the employee attended the educational institutions they listed on their resume and that they obtained their degrees or licenses. They also verify the employee’s past work experience with the companies they claimed they worked for. These checks show that they worked there, how long they worked there, if the employers were satisfied with their work, their salary, and more. People fabricate their educational and work history on applications every day, and a background check can prevent a bad hire.

Criminal/Legal History Verification

Another benefit of background checks is that you can verify if they have any criminal history. Background checks search for criminal convictions and can find information such as sex offender data, driving records, civil lawsuits, etc. This information is absolutely critical when making new hires, as someone with a criminal history can be detrimental to your organization. Hiring employees you can trust is essential to business growth and maintaining a good reputation.

Making Good Hires

Making good hires is crucial to the success of small businesses and professional practices because resources are often scarce and every employee must bring significant value.
If this sounds familiar, please DON’T commit these common, costly hiring blunders:
1. No job description.  Before beginning any hiring process, sit down and determine exactly what you want the new staff member to do.  Be specific for both of your sakes.  Include job title, description, areas of responsibility, primary goals & objectives, required knowledge, skills & abilities, the work environment, as well as the education, experience and characteristics needed to be successful.
2. Hiring a “jack of all trades.”  This rarely works. Determine what area you need help in and find the right person to do it.  Better to hire two part timers who excel in their specific fields than trying to make a salesperson out of a bookkeeper.
3. Grabbing the first warm body that comes along. This one is closely related to both #1 & 2.  Now this might seem obvious, but you won’t believe the number of small business owners who find themselves so desperate for help that they take the first person who comes along.
4. Focusing solely on skills and experience.  Of course these are important, but don’t overlook the importance of whether this new person will fit into the existing culture or if they have the right personality, attitude and behaviors to perform their job well.
5. “Winging” the interview.  A well crafted set of interview questions will help you determine whether this applicant should be on your short list.  Ask them questions about how they would handle typical situations that come up in your field.  Don’t focus only on talking with them.  Show them around, have them interact with others in the company as well.
6. Failing to ask for enough references and/or not checking references sufficiently.  Many SBOs feel that references are not important.  Now obviously, most applicants will give you the best references they have.  When  you ask for more than a couple, chances are you’ll get a more accurate impression of their capabilities, character and how they are to work with. Ask industry specific questions to uncover if they’ll be the right person for the job.
7. No training or on-boarding process. Even if the person you hire has done a similar job in the past, don’t throw them to the wolves right away.  Develop a simple training and on-boarding process to get them used to how you want things done and get them settled into their new position easily.
8. Overwhelming them with tasks and responsibilities.  Related to #7, this common hiring blunder often turns off a new hire before they even get their feet wet.  Slow down.  Resist the temptation to ask them to do everything you haven’t completed for the past 3 months at one time.  Prioritize and give them a chance to do it right.  Then move onto the next.
Article contribution from Susan Martin, Business Sanity

Not Performing Background Checks can be Costly to your Business

Background checks can be an upfront investment to the hiring process. Some businesses choose to call this a cost or expense, but really, shouldn’t this be an investment into risk management?

Society is keenly aware of the availability of performing background checks and at a low costs. We run them for dating and other activities on personal matters, why not to lower your risk in hiring employees? Background checks have many profitable benefits, such as, employee retention and keeping your business safe internally, but what about those businesses which the company’s customers are exposed to the employees?

By exposing the customers to your employees, you are saying your employee is a direct reflection of your company. That they are safe and by employing them you are giving them your credentials, your trust, and that your customers should trust them as well.

The following are 5 cases in which the employer was held responsible by hiring without performing a background check. Unfortunately, some paid with their very own lives. Limit your exposure by at least performing a background check and show your customers you are concerned for their safety and the reputation of your company.

  1. Melissa Danielle Jennings – A maintenance man working for TGM Associates Inc., entered the apartment of Melissa Danielle Jennings, raped her and murdered her. If the complex property managers had done a criminal background check, they would have learned the man had spent more time in prison than out and had a prior rape conviction. The courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff for $15.5 million. Premises security lawsuits are among the fastest-growing segments of litigation in the United States, second only to “slip-and-fall” cases.
  2. Mary Ruth Bales – Would you be shocked to find out that the worker sent over to fix your kitchen sink was a violent felon recently released on parole? Would you expect that the plumbing company would have your safety in mind and conduct some kind of a background check on an employee before sending him into your home? Unfortunately this was not done for Mary Ruth Bales when her sink sprung a leak and she called Reddi Root’r plumbing company.
  3. Leo Kohorst –  24-year-old Adam Sterling violently struck his landlord, Leo Kohorst, 22 times with a hammer as he was sleeping on the couch in his home. Mr. Sterling (who identifies himself as a woman) was one of Kohorst’s tenants and previously risked eviction prior to the incident for breaking house rules. A tenant screening and background check may have revealed Sterling’s less-than-stellar tenant record or a history of violence.
  4. Cathy Sue Weaver –  Cathy Sue Weaver was raped and beaten to death in her suburban Orlando, FL home on August 27, 2001.  Her killer then set her home on fire with the intent of destroying any evidence.Six months prior to her murder, Sue had contracted with Burdine’s, a premier FL department store, to have the air ducts in her home cleaned.  Unbeknownst to her, both of the men sent on the service call had criminal records. One of the men was a twice-convicted sex offender on parole.  Six months after the service work was completed, Jeffrey Hefling returned to Sue’s home to rape and murder her.
  5. Jane Doe v. TK Pizza – TK Pizza, a franchisee of Domino’s Pizza, employed David Taitte sexually assaulted a customer in her while delivering a pizza. He had been in prison 16 times and had a history of sexual assault, both of which would have disqualified him from working for TK Pizza. They did not conduct an employee background check. Mr. Taitte is now serving 25 to 30 years in prison.

 

Lack of running background checks can be costly to your business!
Call us, we can help you make the right choices in hiring personnel, reduce your liability risks, and be compliant with the law.
Call us at (800) 645-1211

Is a Background Investigation Necessary? Background Checks and Verifications – To Do Or Not to Do

People sometimes find themselves in a situation where they wonder if it would be appropriate to do a background investigation about someone. It’s not always easy to decide what the appropriate situation might be to do such a check. More often than not, however, an emotional process takes place which prevents a person from going forward on that investigation.

That process is actually the biggest problem today when investigators or detectives deal with people about something that has happened in their lives requiring that someone be “checked out.” As a society, we feel guilty about not trusting someone, worry that a person will find out we are checking on them, even though there are circumstances which invite, almost require that we do so.

Would the FBI or CIA hire someone but feel guilty about doing a background check? No; of course not. It even sounds ridiculous to mention it. Why? Because there is no emotion involved.

Under fairly normal circumstances requiring a background investigation, emotion between people is involved. Such investigations are usually conducted by someone hiring a nanny or child care provider, or domestic help who may or may not have contact with children in the household, and that someone has probably already been interviewed by the parents or homemakers. Thus a bond has been established between the parties, which then brings emotions into play no matter how hard someone may try to avoid them.

Background investigations are also often conducted to confirm that a person met through an Internet dating site is in fact the person he or she conveyed to a prospective date. Again, a relationship has already been established on some level during the initial “chase.”

Take the emotion out of the process in order to achieve your goal, which is to be as sure as you possibly can be that the person representing him or her self to you is in fact that person, free of criminal charges or convictions, particularly of sex offenses.

There is no asset, material or otherwise, more important than our children, yet people often hire a nanny or caregiver without anything more than a telephone call to a past reference. Unfortunately, as has been borne out on more than on more than one occasion, that reference is no one other than a relative of the person wishing to be hired. We must never entrust our children to someone who will be responsible for their physical and mental selves without knowing the background of that person.

Schools are required by state law to license teachers, which means they do a background check on persons they hire. Bus drivers for school districts are required to pass background checks as well. Why would anyone then allow someone to come into their home without a background check being done on that person?

A background check that is routine in nature costs no more than $75. This entails a confirmation of the address provided by the prospective caregiver, confirming a telephone number, and doing a criminal background check both state and federal, as well as sex offender registries. These steps are critical. If someone does not have a green card, a valid visa, or the appropriate documentation as a citizen of the United States, they should not be hired.

The background check should be even more extensive if the caregiver of children is going to be driving them anywhere in her vehicle or the family vehicle. I advised my clients that they must see proof of insurance, not from the caregiver, but directly from the insurance agent, in addition to proof of vehicle registration and an official driver’s license. That means a check of motor vehicle records for that state must be done to be sure of driver responsibility and accurate license records. If the party lived in another state, those records must be checked as well for at least ten years prior.

I discovered an interesting posting while preparing to write this article. A woman posted on the social web site Craiglist for someone to take care of her child on alternate weekends. This is how the post read:

“I am looking for a responsible and mature Babysitter to watch my daughter two weekends a month from Friday evening to Sunday morning. I live in [City] but I have a roommate so I would prefer if you could baby sit at your house as long as it is a clean, safe environment.

My daughter goes to pre-school in [City] and I am willing to pay for gas and time traveled if you are willing to pick up my daughter after school on Friday around 5:30 p.m. This would allow me to drive straight from work to [City], where I am working on a ‘personal project’ on the weekends.

I am looking for someone for this Friday Dec. 8th through Sunday morning. I pay $8.00 per hour for the hours she is awake and then a $50 flat rate for the time she is asleep. She is an extremely easy child to care for and a lot of fun if you have young children as well.”

The purpose of this is to not pass judgment on this young mother, but to point out what is critical to my investigator’s eye in this posting. There is no question but that she covered all bases as to the hours she needs someone, that the person she hires must take care of the child at her own residence rather than the child’s, that the pay is fixed for the services, and she wants her child to be in a clean and safe environment. She points out that her child is “easy to care for.”

What is missing in my mind is the clarity about what is necessary, such as: “You will be required to provide references that can prove your ability as a care provider, that you can pass a background investigation including sex offender registries, and that there will be no person in your home at the time my child is there who will not pass a background investigation as well, which will include sex offender registries.” Is there a husband or boyfriend in the home? Are there teen age children in the home?

There must be no emotions, no prior bonding, total clarity of expectations, necessities, without hesitation. So the same must hold true for anyone else in a situation where a party will be coming into your home to clean, cook, care for your children or elderly, who are not bonded through a company they work for.

Internet dating situations are out of control and people are not doing what they should to take care of themselves, and I’m not talking about “safe sex.” I am talking about “safe dating,” the reality of checking out the person you may wind up in bed with, if not on the first date, perhaps on the second.

Investigators call it a “quick and dirty” check – confirm the name, address, phone number other than cell phone, and any criminal record, state or federal. If you wish to dig a bit further for not much more money, you can confirm if the person has filed bankruptcy or has court actions, either state or federal (plaintiff or defendant), and determine tax liens, if any. Credit information can provide more detail but will cost more.

Don’t let emotions control doing the right thing to protect yourself or your children. Do a background check.

Many employers now do background checks that did not do so prior to 2001. Law firms have historically been the worst at doing background checks for non-lawyers, yet have a very high rate of embezzlement, which is usually covered up within the firm. Dirty laundry doesn’t bode well for prospective clients.

The industry where the most turnovers occur, and usually the most employee theft, is the hospitality industry – restaurants, hotels, bars, catering. For the most part, they do not want to spend the money because there is so much turnover, so they consider such losses a part of doing business. What gets lost in translation is that we as customers pay for their cavalier attitude in the higher price of our meals.

Anyone obtaining a gaming license in any state is put through a very strong background investigation, which includes checking spouses, relatives, ex-spouses, relatives of spouses or ex-spouses, former addresses going back ten years, motor vehicle records, credit reports, in addition to FBI, NCIC, and local and state agency records. This is one step short of top security clearance.

Most of us will never come close to that type of scrutiny or the need for same. But the ability to control those we invite into our lives, whether it is for something to do with our children, our homes, our relatives, our real or personal property, is just that, within our control. Background checks should be automatic in some situations.

They are not something to feel guilty about or apologize for, they are a safety net for us to retain the power over our lives that we have worked for and paid good money to achieve and attain. Do not give away that power for less than $100.

Patrick Baird is a Licensed Private Investigator and a recognized authority in the industry. He is co-founder of [http://www.a1peoplesearch.com] which provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you would need to know about the people search industry and public records retrieval.

For additional information about conducting a background check visit Background Check by Social Security

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Best Practices: Background Checks for Employees

Best Practices: Background Checks for Employees

By Kathleen Pohlid, Esquire, Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin, PLLC

A mistake in hiring of an employee can pose significant liability for a hotel establishment. Background checks provide a measure of assurance that the applicant does not have indicators of behavior or risk which may undermine security and safety of guests or compromise the establishment’s business. However, background checks can also expose employers to charges of discrimination. It is important that establishments use background checks as necessary, avoid improper use of background checks, and comply with federal and state laws when conducting them.

Here are some best practices to adopt with respect to background checks:

Be Aware of Your Establishment’s Duty in Hiring

Numerous decisions are involved in the hiring process and there is an element of risk in hiring any employee. Establishments, like other employers, have a duty to exercise reasonable care when hiring individuals to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of injury. A background check, coupled with checking employee references, is a measure of exercising such reasonable care to ensure that the employee is qualified to perform the duties in a responsible, safe and reliable manner.

When an employer can establish that it exercised reasonable care in making the hiring decision, it can avoid liability for the acts of employees done outside the scope of their employment which result in injury to other persons.

A background check provides evidence to demonstrate that an establishment exercised its duty of reasonable care before hiring. In Gargano v. Wyndham Skyline Tower Resorts, 907 F. Supp. 2d 628 (D.C. N.J. 2012), a federal judge held that Wyndham was not liable for negligent hiring of an employee who sexually assaulted an onsite employee of a housekeeping contractor. The hotel asserted that it had exercised due care by conducting a background check which did not reveal any past history of sexual assault and that the assault could not have been anticipated. The hotel was aware of prior incidents of outbursts by the employee and a pattern of argumentative behavior, none of which resulted in physical injuries or damage. Although the judge noted the outbursts indicated the employee “may not be a model employee,” the incidents did not make sexual assault foreseeable. The judge found no case law to support the proposition that the mere “evidence of general character flaws or lapses” in an individual is sufficient to sustain a negligent hiring claim.

Establishments should be aware that failure to conduct a background check could pose a risk that it could be subjected to a negligent hiring claim and other liability. This is particularly true if the employee causes injury to another and a background check would have identified past behavior to show that such injury could have been foreseeable. However, even if the employer fails to conduct a background check which, if conducted, would have revealed an employee had a prior conviction, employer liability will not necessarily follow when that employee commits a tort outside the scope of employment on the employer’s premises or while at work.

The duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring exists at the time of hiring and depends upon the degree of contact the employee has with the public or persons with whom the employer has a special relationship. For example, in Inverson v. NPC International, Inc., 801 N.W.2d 275 (S.D. 2011), the Supreme Court of South Dakota held that the owner of a Pizza Hut franchise was not liable for the negligent hiring of an employee who had two prior convictions and who assaulted a former employee at the restaurant. The employee was hired to work in the kitchen preparing food, doing the dishes and cutting pizzas and had infrequent contact with the public and customers. The employee called a former employee, who owed him money, to the restaurant. When the former employee arrived, the employee assaulted him and took the money. The court concluded that when an employee has minimum contact with the public, or with those in a special relationship with the employer, the employer is not required to conduct a background investigation. However, when the opposite is true, reasonable care requires a background investigation.

Identify Essential Job Requirements and Job Circumstances Involved

Numerous factors may justify an establishment’s interest in conducting background checks of employees. The key is to focus on the job requirements and the circumstances under which the job is performed. Background checks should not be conducted unless the requirements and circumstances involved with the job support such verification in order to accurately determine if the applicant will be a responsible, reliable or safe employee for that position.

Establishments should not neglect conducting background checks for hourly or lower paid employees. Although conducting background checks involves some level of time and expense, avoidance of potential liability is often a greater premium. Many jobs within a hotel establishment, at various levels of pay and responsibility, involve job requirements and circumstances that support use of background checks.

Hotel employees potentially have access to a trove of confidential information of guests from the moment of reservation until departure, including names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card information. Additionally, an employee may have access to the guest’s private rooms – their “home away from home” – where items such as prescriptions, identification records, personal belongings and valuables are kept. Most importantly, guests have an expectation of personal safety and privacy. All of these factors can support an establishment’s interest in conducting background checks for those positions which involve access to guest information, belongings, rooms, and areas accessible to guests and visitors.

A background check may also be supported where the job duties involve access to establishment finances and confidential and proprietary information and a risk of damage to the establishment from employee abuse of such access.

Ensure the Use of Background Checks Do Not Pose a Disparate Impact on Hiring

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which enforces workplace discrimination laws, contends that policies or practices which significantly disadvantage individuals on the basis of a protected characteristic – such as race, color, sex, national origin, and religion – are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, to the extent use of background checks by an establishment in making hiring decisions poses a disparate impact on the basis of a protected characteristic, such practice may be unlawful.

Employers should carefully screen employment applications to ensure that questions or requests for information which seem innocuous do not pose a violation with Title VII. For example, a question such as – do you own or rent your home? – may tend to have a disparate impact on minority hiring. For the same reason, background checks on credit history will receive heightened scrutiny as potentially violating Title VII.

Although bankruptcy records may be available as a matter of public record, or disclosed pursuant to a background check, hiring or termination decisions should not be made based upon bankruptcy. The Federal Bankruptcy Act, 11 U.S.C. § 525(b) prohibits discrimination in employment solely because a person has filed for bankruptcy.

Develop a Narrowly Tailored Policy Regarding Criminal Records

Employers should also develop a written policy for considering criminal records in making employment decisions. Such a policy must distinguish criminal arrests, which do not necessarily mean that the person committed a crime, from criminal convictions.

With respect to convictions, the employer policy should identify the job positions and the nature and gravity of criminal offenses which demonstrate that the applicant will not qualify for the job. The employer must be able to justify its position with respect to such criteria as job related and consistent with business necessity. Additionally, the duration of criminal conviction and how long ago the conviction occurred should be considered. State laws may also impose restrictions on such matters.

The EEOC position is that employer policies which prohibit hiring on the basis of criminal convictions, regardless of how many years ago the conviction occurred, are illegal. In June of 2013, the EEOC filed complaints against two employers over the use of background checks to exclude applicants with prior convictions. One of those cases involves BMW and is pending in South Carolina. BMW required employees who had previously worked for another subcontractor at its facility to undergo another background check in order to be rehired under the new subcontract. The EEOC contends that some of the employees who had prior convictions had been working at the facility and BMW’s policy prohibiting their employment was discriminatory.

In a separate matter, the EEOC Illinois office charged the retailer, Dollar General with violation of Title VII on the basis that the store’s policy excluded from employment applicants who had any conviction within the past ten years. The EEOC alleges that Dollar General declined an applicant employment, who had prior retail store experience and who was otherwise qualified, solely on the basis of a prior conviction occurring six years ago. The EEOC position is that such arbitrary policies violate Title VII.

Recently, a federal judge in Maryland dismissed an EEOC charge that an employer’s use of criminal background checks posed an illegal disparate impact upon African Americans. EEOC v. Freeman, No. 9-cv-2573 (D.C. Md. Aug. 9, 2013). The EEOC relied upon statistics to support its position that the employer’s policy posed a disparate impact. Freeman is a family owned business with over 3,500 full-time employees engaged in organizing expositions and conventions. The court held that the EEOC’s position would put the employer in the untenable position of “ignoring criminal history and credit background, thus exposing themselves to potential liability for criminal and fraudulent acts committed by employees, on the one hand, or incurring the wrath of the EEOC for having utilized information deemed fundamental by most employers.”

In Freeman, the court determined the employer was justified in its decision to conduct background checks. The judge noted the company had a high incidence of employee theft, embezzlement, drug abuse and workplace violence. Accordingly, it developed background checks with five goals: “(1) avoid exposure to negligent hiring/retention lawsuits; (2) increase the security of [Freeman’s] assets and employees; (3) reduce liability from inconsistent hiring or screening practices; (4) proactively reduce the risk of employee-related loss; and (5) mitigate the likelihood of an adverse incident occurring on company property that could jeopardize customer or employee confidence.” The employer had a legitimate interest in using background checks for these purposes.

These cases emphasize the EEOC’s current priority in challenging the use of prior convictions in making employment hiring decisions. Establishments should carefully consider developing a policy and ensuring that job relatedness and business necessity are justified. If an applicant has a prior conviction, the establishments should carefully consider the circumstances of the conviction and whether it would pose an undue risk to hire the employee. Arbitrary rules prohibiting prior convictions as of a set date should be avoided, for example a policy prohibiting any conviction occurring within the past ten years.

Minimize Potential Liability By Pre-Screening Qualified Applicants

Establishments should pre-screen applicants to identify those whose resumes and experience meet the job qualifications before initiating a background check. This will help minimize exposure to potential liability for failure to hire on the basis of information disclosed during the background check process. It also ensures that the establishment is not considering impermissible criteria – such as prior bankruptcy – in making employment decisions.

Comply with Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements and State Law

The Fair Credit and Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681-1681y (“FCRA”), sets forth the requirements with respect to the use of a credit reporting agency (“CRA”) to conduct background checks. Since state laws may impose requirements for conducting background checks, with or without CRAs, it is important that employers consult with counsel on their legal obligations.

Under the FCRA, use of CRAs for background checks may only be done for permissible purposes, including employment purposes for hiring and promotion decisions, where the “consumer” (or employee applicant) has provided written permission. Employers must provide the CRA with written certification that this requirement has been met and that the results of the background check will not be used for any other purpose prior to initiation of the background check. Additionally, when the information obtained from the CRA is used for employment purposes other than in the trucking industry (which has separate rules), employers must also do the following:
•Provide the employee applicant with a separate clear and conspicuous written notice before the report is obtained that a consumer report may be obtained;
•Obtain written authorization from the employee applicant prior to requesting the information from the CRA;
•Certify to the CRA that the above steps have been taken, that the information will not be used in violation of any federal or state equal opportunity law or regulation, and that if any adverse action is to be taken based upon the consumer report, a copy of the report and a summary of the employee applicant’s rights will be provided to employee applicant;
•Before taking any adverse action, the employer must provide a copy of the report to the employee applicant along with a copy of a summary of their rights. “A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA” is set forth in 12 C.F.R. Part 1022, Appendix K. A copy is available at this link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title12-vol8/pdf/CFR-2012-title12-vol8-part1022-appK.pdf
•If, after providing the employee applicant a copy of the report and the summary of rights noted above, the employer decides to take adverse action based upon the information obtained from the CRA, then the employer should wait a recommended period of five days, or longer as required by the applicable state jurisdiction, before providing the employee applicant with an adverse notice. The adverse notice contents must comply with the FCRA regulations and applicable state law.
•If the employer uses “investigative reports” based on personal interviews concerning a person’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, and lifestyle, the employer must give written notice that such a report has been requested and that the employee applicant has a right to request additional disclosures and a summary of the scope and substance of the report.
•Employers must also ensure that the information obtained from background checks is kept confidential and that it is effectively destroyed in such a manner that the information cannot be retrieved.
Train of Managers and Hiring Personnel

It is not enough for an establishment to have policies on hiring and the use of background checks. Managers and employees who make the hiring decisions must be trained on those policies and aware of the potential for liability.

Background checks are an important tool for establishments to use in order to ensure that they are choosing to hire employees who are likely to be responsible, reliable and safe employees. However, the hiring process can be fraught with potential liability, whether background checks are done or not. It is important that establishments be aware of their responsibilities, the potential for liability, and that policies are established to ensure that hiring decisions are based upon legitimate criteria and in compliance with federal and state laws.

Teacher screens fail students

By Scott Reeder, sreeder@qconline.com

SPRINGFIELD — In July 1977, Mark Wolff was a 12-year-old attending music camp at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

“I was an irresponsible kid and didn’t lock the door to my dorm room before I went to sleep. Someone entered my room, and, well, he violated me,” said Mr. Wolff, who is now a 43-year-old college professor in Oneonta, N.Y.

“I’d never seen the man before. I have no idea why he picked me. Maybe he spotted me somewhere at the camp and followed me. I just don’t know.”

Police eventually identified George Tolbert as the man who entered the room, pushed back Mr. Wolff’s covers and performed an oral sex act on the slumbering child. Mr. Tolbert pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child and burglary in that 1977 case and received probation. In an unrelated 1978 case, he victimized another child and again was convicted of indecent liberties. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Even with three Illinois felony convictions and a stint in prison, Mr. Tolbert was able to obtain an Illinois teaching certificate. In 1993, he was certified to be a school guidance counselor. In 2003, he received an elementary school teaching certificate. He worked in Chicago Public Schools as a guidance counselor and a teacher for 11 years.

The school district’s response to learning it had a twice-convicted child molester in its ranks? He was allowed to resign in 2004. State officials were not informed of his convictions, and his teaching certificate remained valid until it expired this year. Mr. Tolbert declined to discuss the matter with Small Newspaper Group.

His case illustrates the pitfalls in how Illinois screens those entering its teaching ranks.

A state-by-state analysis of criminal history screening procedures and disciplinary actions conducted by Small Newspaper Group found Illinois to be among the most lax in both areas.

Perhaps these two statistics best illustrate the state’s legacy of indifference:

– Illinois ranks 49th in the nation in the rate at which it suspends or revokes teaching certificates.

– In 2004, Illinois became the 46th state to require FBI background checks for those entering the teaching profession. But the law exempted all teachers hired before 2004 from background checks.

“It looks to me like the state not only has had a blind eye toward bad people within the teaching ranks, but has done little for many years to prevent these people from joining the profession,” said Jeff Mays, executive director of the Illinois Business Roundtable, a group that has pushed for greater accountability within the teaching profession.

Unless a public school teacher takes a job in another school district or state law is changed, educators hired before 2004 will not have to undergo a background check for the remainder of their careers.

Both of the state’s major teacher unions, the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, say they oppose fingerprinting educators because of cost and logistics concerns.

Rep. Careen Gordon, D-Morris, introduced legislation to fingerprint all teachers but said lobbyists for the two teachers’ unions objected saying that it “picked on teachers.” Her bill was amended to fingerprint just those entering the profession or moving from one school district to another.

“People have been approaching me and saying, ‘I can’t believe teachers aren’t putting children first. They are choosing to stand behind the worst people in their own profession rather than protect children.’ That’s just not right,” Ms. Gordon said.

Rep. Gordon said she will reintroduce legislation in the upcoming session to require all of the state’s teachers to go through FBI background checks.

Because Illinois was one of the last states to implement FBI background checks for its new hires, some worry that Illinois is a haven for educators with criminal convictions.

“Sex offenders are mobile. They go where the gittin’ is good. The later a state implemented background checks the more likely it is that pedophiles moved there to teach,” said Tom Lawson, a national expert on employment screening and the owner of California-based Apscreen, which created one of the first national online databases of sex offenders.

Former Maine Gov. Angus King said this worry is what prompted Maine to take action. In 2000 — four years before Illinois — Maine became the 44th state to enact a teacher fingerprinting measure. Unlike Illinois’ law, Maine’s was for both new and existing teachers.

“It was the most controversial initiative during my administration. The teacher unions were angry about their members having to be fingerprinted. But we were one of the last states to require fingerprinting, and our education department would get calls where they would be asked: ‘Does your state fingerprint teachers?’ When the caller was told ‘no’ the caller would just hang up. That frightened me.”

But the effectiveness of Maine’s law cannot be publicly evaluated because, as a compromise to Maine’s teacher unions, legislators passed a law prohibiting the public release of any information on the number of teachers who have lost their licenses as a result of the fingerprinting, said Mal Leary, president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition.

No one knows how many teachers in Illinois would be weeded out if the state required all educators to undergo FBI background checks.

But what is known is that the state’s screening system has allowed people into the teaching ranks who never should have been there.

For example, Thornton school counselor John E. Wheatley was convicted by a judge of sexual battery in 1989. This conviction didn’t prevent him from subsequently being hired by four other Illinois school districts.

He served as a high school principal in Orangeville in 1996 and in St. Anne in 1997. He also worked as a guidance counselor in Astoria in 1991 and finished an eight-year stint with Chicago Public Schools three months ago. In 2006, Chicago schools paid him an annual salary of $72,589.

But his case is hardly isolated. Suburban, downstate and Chicago schools consistently have failed to adequately review the backgrounds of job applicants.

During the course of its investigation, Small Newspaper Group found numerous examples of Illinois licensing teachers who have been convicted of serious crimes or who have lost their teaching certificates elsewhere.

For example, in 1994, Michael Buehler was certified to teach in Illinois and hired as an elementary school principal in Warsaw School District in Hancock County despite having his name being on a national database of educators who have lost their teaching credentials. He worked as a principal for about seven years said Don Roskamp, president of the board of education. About six months after the school district promoted him to superintendent, Mr. Buehler’s past came to light and he was fired.

Mr. Buehler had surrendered his Wisconsin teaching credentials in 1993 after a $770,000 lawsuit settlement with a former student who alleged that Mr. Buehler had impregnated her three times and engaged 400 to 500 acts of sexual intercourse beginning when she was 13.

Gregg Heidenreich, the attorney for school district in the 1993 case, said there was no admission of liability in the settlement. Mr. Buehler did not return a reporter’s phone call seeking comment.

According to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction records, police did not become involved because the woman identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents came forward as an adult, after the statute of limitations had expired. In a 1993 letter to Wisconsin education officials, Mr. Buehler disputed the woman’s allegations.

After the Wisconsin allegations came to light, he surrendered his Illinois teaching credentials in 2001.

The Illinois Teacher Certification Board knowingly has issued teaching certificates to individuals who have convicted of violent felonies.

For example, when Chassappasi Rain applied for a job with Chicago Public Schools in 1990, he put on his application that he had shot two people in 1978. The state licensed him and the school district hired him despite his conviction for assault with intent to do bodily harm.

Mr. Rain was fired 12 years later, after he wrote a letter to a female teacher who Mr. Rain contends was sexually harassing him. A tenure hearing officer described the letter as “vicious, graphic, obscene and threatening.”

Despite being fired by Chicago Public Schools and having a felony record, Mr. Rain continues to be certified to teach in Illinois and is employed by Dolton School District, where he has taught seventh-grade for the past four years.

“In this country, there is a mean, cruel vicious streak that says, if you have a felony conviction, doors are no longer open to you,” Mr. Rain said. “If I don’t say so myself, I am an excellent teacher. There is nobody living or dead that can say I don’t have the right to seek a decent living. The state of Illinois has nothing to hassle me about.”

Terri Miller, president of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation, or SESAME, a national organization that works to prevent sex abuse by educators, said, in addition to background checks for new hires, criminal histories should be checked periodically during a teacher’s career.

“The people we are entrusting with our children’s well-being should have to go through the same battery of screening much like law enforcement officers undergo to deem them fit to serve. That includes psychiatric evaluations, polygraph tests in addition to background checks. This type of scrutiny will weed out many bad apples simply because they will not subject themselves to this level of screening.

“The states that worry me are the ones like Illinois where very few cases are pursued,” she said. “Misconduct is going on there as much as anywhere else, but it is being ignored. Where is the outrage? Where is the concern? Children are being harmed. We need to keep these people away from our children.”

Preparing for the Interview

Preparing for the Interview

prepare for the interview

Interview Guidelines

BYU recommends interviewing at least three (3) qualified applicants. If fewer than 2 applicants are selected to be interviewed, we suggest the department re-open the job to allow more applicants to apply. Predetermine what you are looking for based on your job description, with adjustments if needed. Design questions that are open-ended and that will give you the answers you need. For example: “What experience do you have using Microsoft Word?” Instead of: “Are you good at using Microsoft Word?” Learn the rules of legal interviewing and play by them.
In general, do not ask questions that cover the following:

  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Arrest Record
  • Marital Status
  • Gender
  • Anything About Children and Childcare
  • Height and Weight
  • History of Alcohol or Drug Addiction
  • Hobbies and Sports Activities
  • Disabilities or Physical Limitations
  • How They Feel About Unions

Interview Tips

Each member of the interviewing panel should review these guidelines as well as the Americans with Disability Act.

Interviewing and Questioning Techniques

In making the transition from small talk to the interview proper, the first question asked should be open and not difficult to answer. For example: “Please tell us about your experience and training as it relates to this position”.

Interviews should flow more like a conversation, not an interrogation. To achieve this, comments and spontaneous conversation about relevant topics are encouraged; however, if the candidate self-discloses information that would have been inappropriate to obtain, further probing or documentation of the information should not occur.

Interview Objectives

David Cherrington in The Management of Human Resources gives 4 purposes of interviews:

  • To obtain information about the applicant.
  • To sell the organization.
  • To provide information about the organization.
  • To establish friendship.

80/20 Rule

The job of the interview committee is to ask questions and listen for predictive information from candidates. Candidates should do approximately 80% of the talking, interviewers 20%.

Silences

Interviewers do not need to be overly concerned about silences. Sometimes candidates will fill in a silence with important additional information; however, the situation should not be allowed to turn awkward.

Follow Up Questions

Probing or follow up questions will encourage further conversation. These questions can elicit useful information beyond rehearsed responses. Basic example: “Can you provide more detail on that?” or “Then what did you do?”

Consistency in Questioning

Generally, all candidates should be asked the same series of questions. It is much easier to compare candidates if everyone is measured against the same criteria.

Inviting Questions

Candidates should be invited to ask questions. The committee’s answers will assist candidates in evaluating their “fit” for the job. The quality and quantity of questions asked by candidates also provides useful information to the interview committee.

Scheduling Considerations

  • Determine the length of time for each interview.
  • Hold the interviews relatively close together to provide a better comparison of the candidates.
  • The interview room or location should be free from interruptions.

Informing the Candidates

  • Day, time and location of the interview.
  • Directions and parking instructions.
  • Approximate time to allot from arriving on campus to departure.
  • What he or she can expect in the interview.

Setting the Stage

  • Interviews should be free of interruptions (no phone calls, visitors, etc.).
  • Interviewers should not be late to the meeting or act rushed.
  • A warm greeting and suitable introductions should be made.
  • “Small talk” at the beginning of the interview can be made; however, interviewers need to be cautious to avoid small talk that could lead to inappropriate questions.
  • Candidates should be informed as to what will occur in the interview.
  • The position should be explained, including working hours and any special schedules (required to work weekends, swing shift, etc.).

Be Aware of the Candidates

  • Give them a chance to sell themselves.
  • Give yourself a chance to evaluate their qualifications.
  • Stay neutral in the interview.
  • Don’t be overly positive or optimistic.
  • Explain how you will handle the selection process.
  • The interview should be ended with a friendly, positive “Thank you.”
  • Candidates should not be rejected until the entire process is completed and a candidate has accepted an offer.
Tenant Management: Step 4 Accept or Deny Tenant

Tenant Management: Step 4 Accept or Deny Tenant

By: Atlas Risk Management

The 4th and final step in tenant management is to complete your due diligence and either accept or deny the application. What is tenant screening? It’s using all the tools provided in this and previous articles to make an educated guess in who you are allowing to rent your home, apartment, office, or building.

This 4th step combines the tools used in the first 3 steps to make an informed decision and accept the type of tenants you or your organization needs. It’s not that much different from performing interviews to find the right employee.

Let’s begin by reviewing the first 3 steps and putting it all together.

Step 1 Defining the Standards of Tenant Management

The 1st step is defining the standards, this step will assist you in determining the type of tenant you are looking for. What are the attributes you are looking for in a tenant?

Their Ability to Afford the Rent Payment:

The first and foremost quality of a good tenant is their willingness to pay the rent. Can they really afford the set rent amount?  Without proper payment, you’ll be forced to evict and be faced with potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of legal fees, lost rent, and damages. Most tenant management companies require that a tenant earn at least three times the monthly rent from their job. This can be a measurable amount and needs to be backed up with documentation and verified as their true income.

Pay on Time:

Using the tools of verification, checking their background and verifying they have a trend of paying their rent on time. Is there a history of not paying on time? It is also up to the tenant management company to determine consequences if they choose not to pay on time.

Cleanliness:

Will they leave the property, will they leave it in the same condition as they started? If you show new tenants on the property, will they present the right impression? If they do not care for the property it can cost the owner thousands to clean or repair the property.

Crime, Drugs, and Other Illegal Activities:

A good background check may discover their history of aversion to these activities. Checking their references can often be a good indicator of their behavior. It is extremely important to determine if the potential tenant has been evicted in the past. Also, by communicating the minimum standards can help to screen tenants before the process even begins.

Step 2 Pre-Qualify Tenants

Pre-screening begins with the very first contact. How are you advertising for your tenants? Where you advertise for tenants can determine the quality of tenant’s applications you will receive. Adding the price can pre-screen those that cannot afford the set price and help avoid phone calls of unqualified applicants. How do they present themselves? Often even if on the phone, your first impression is the right one. Pay attention to the questions they ask, this may give you a clue of their intentions. This is also a good time to communicate your standards for the tenants.

Be very careful not to give any impression you are screening by class. For example:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Handicap

While it is vitally important that you don’t discriminate against those classes, it is also important that you don’t even ask questions about those topics. This means don’t ask what their race is, how many children they have (you can ask how many people will be living there,) or if they have a husband or wife. Save yourself the legal trouble and simply do not ask. This also applies for advertising: DO NOT advertise for “no kids,” “great Hispanic neighborhood,” or “home great for families.” This is against federal law.

Be sure to check with your State and local laws to ensure compliance to your fair housing standards. A simple Google search for “your state” and “fair housing” should give you the answers you need.

Step 3 the Tenant Application

The following is a list of must-have sections to include and ask on your application:

  1. Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number
  2. Social security number and date of birth.
  3. Current and past landlords with contact info.
  4. Employer and job details with contact info.
  5. Have they ever had an eviction filed upon them or broken a lease?
  6. Release of information signature

These questions are the most important for knowing the past history of your potential tenant. A good strategy to use is to not ask “have you” but instead “how many” or “when.” This makes it tougher for a tenant to lie. For example, by writing “have you been evicted” a tenant will more easily write “no” than if it said “how many evictions have been filed against you?”

The following is a list of other questions you may want to ask your tenant to find out more about them:

  • Requested move in date?
  • How many animals do you have and what kind?
  • What may interrupt your ability to pay rent?
  • Are you on Section 8?
  • How much money do you have?
  • How many felonies do you have?
  • Do you have enough cash to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit?
  • What kind of car do you drive?
  • Do you have a checking account? Savings Account?
  • How many people will be living here?
  • Emergency contacts?
  • How is your credit? Explain…
  • How did you hear about this listing?

Step 4 Accept or Deny

This step could be considered as putting it all together.

Running a background check will discover criminal history, evictions, and any other fraud or deceptions. Running a credit check will illustrate the tenant’s ability to pay their bills and obligations.

Some common tenant screening searches Atlas Risk Management offers:

  • Social Security Number Trace

This search identifies aliases and fictitious or unauthorized use of social security numbers. People wishing to distance themselves from a troubled past frequently change their names and/or social security numbers.

This index will quickly identify those individuals and includes current and past addresses and employers that may have been intentionally omitted from the employment application.

  • DMV Driver’s Records

This is a surprising source of pertinent information providing yet another indicator of the applicant’s level of responsibility.

Arrest warrants issued for failure to pay minor traffic fines, alcohol or illegal drug convictions and multiple accidents are just a few of the warning signs found in the DMV report.

  • Consumer Credit Report

Shows the complete credit/financial profile of the applicant. Includes trade lines, balances, payment history, address and employment, and significant public record information such as bankruptcy, tax liens and judgments.

Allowed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for any permissible purpose, including employment screening.

  • Employment Verification

As a result of several strident court decisions, verifying previous employment can seem an exercise in futility. Our professional background investigators are skilled in gleaning information from even the toughest sources.

Some of the areas we address are job title, length of employment, salary, reason for termination and re-hire status.

  • Statewide Legal Search

Shows filings of small claims judgments, bankruptcy, all federal, state and county tax liens, notices of default and evictions.

This index is an excellent complement to the criminal conviction search.

  • Civil Litigation

Shows all litigation filed at the higher court level from Superior court upward. Lists both plaintiffs and defendants in civil actions. Municipal court cases such as small claims, evictions and other judgments are not included in this search.

These searches are conducted at the county level for greatest accuracy.

  • Federal Court Records

Shows all criminal and civil matters brought before the Federal court system. Includes criminal filings, civil litigation and bankruptcy courts.

Searches are conducted at the Federal district level for the greatest accuracy.

  • Sex Offender Registry

Sex offenders, predators and child molesters are required by Federal and State laws to register with local law enforcement wherever they reside throughout the United States. Our sex offender registry search will quickly identify those who have been convicted and registered as sex offenders.

This search is a must whenever there is any possibility of sexual assault such as nannies, coaches, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, day care facilities and other establishments and personnel that cater to children and women

Atlas Risk Management offers a service to simplify the tenant screening process for property managers and landlords.

Tenant Scorecard by Atlas Background:

Tenant Scorecard is a simple, powerful recommendation tool for property managers and landlords.  It provides an automated means to quickly and efficiently analyze the credit, criminal, and eviction history of applicants and then generate a “pass”, “fail”, or “conditional” recommendation based on customizable screening criteria.  The Atlas Background Tenant Scorecard can help improve decision turnaround time, reduce delinquency rates, and increase bottom line margins.

Tenant Scorecard Features:

A “Pass” / “Fail” / “Conditional” recommendation for each report.

Scoring criteria can be easily customized for each property.

Credit criteria can be configured based on the ‘type’ and ‘date’ of certain credit elements, as well as income-to-rent ratio, income-to-debt ratio, credit score, trade-line payment history, collection/charge-off history, bankruptcy history, tax lien history, and judgment history. Set special rules for medical collections, student loans, and amounts owed to property managers.

No software to install. Enjoy a seamless integration with our InstaScreen screening system.

Accurate, automated and objective scoring recommendations reduce exposure to fair housing discrimination.

Reduce security and training concerns by setting options to deliver only the Scorecard recommendation to leasing agents and small/individual landlords.

Scorecard delivery can be set to meet Experian’s no physical inspection program.

Integrated data sources provide virtually instant results.

Multi-state criminal and eviction database checks are instantly passed or set to review hits.

Instant credit data is available from all three bureaus.

Cybertrust certified system.

Tenant Scorecard’s low price gives you a competitive edge in the market place.

Score multiple applicants (roommates) together for a merged recommendation and easily remove any unqualified roommate(s) to recalculate the recommendation.

Behind the Scenes

The Tenant Scorecard is designed to provide maximum flexibility to each property manager.  This, coupled with our highly customizable system, allows you to tailor each Scorecard to each property.  Credit data is seamlessly integrated and available from all three bureaus.  Criminal and Eviction data is available instantly from multi-state databases.  Additionally, more in depth, manual searches can be configured with the scorecard to provide the ultimate in assurance.

Summary

Atlas Background’s Tenant Scorecard provides the most powerful and simple means available by which to score applicants.  The combination of comprehensive data sources and customizable scoring criteria means property owners can decrease delinquency and increase profitability.

– See more at: http://atlasbackground.com/screening-solutions/pro-check/property-management/tenant-scorecard