• September 11, 2004

Written by Darren L. Epstein, all rights reserved.  Copyright © 2020 / (DO NOT COPY)

An ever-growing need for security services grew once the events of 9/11 unfolded into our Present Danger. 

The growth could be felt within hours; we had our first influx of business with clients requesting security measures and guard services.  Within weeks, they tried to test the American way of life with the “Anthrax Scare”, and we responded with CDC recommended ultra violet sanitizers for mail-rooms to protect our clients and respective affiliates.  Within months the increase of security could be felt with different military branches contacting our offices for services and products.  Registered to do business with the government (CCR, today known as SAM) we could feel the influx for security from our own government. Requests for GSA paper shredders, handheld and walk-through metal detectors, email/phone/fax encryption and background checks increased.    

Risk management, security, and background checks are not new words; just topics and issues that were not pressed… until the tragedies of 9/11 brought us into our now and ever unfolding Present Danger.  

Transition is the key… for we all must adapt and overcome!

My Name is Darren L. Epstein, PI a United States Air Force Security Specialist and Gulf War Veteran.  Trained in Priority-A Security, anti-terrorism procedures and conducting investigations overseas for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), I too can help you understand the security infrastructure necessary in securing your business.

I founded Counter Intelligence Services, an international consulting firm in 1993 and we provide professional investigations, legal and corporate security services internationally.   We provide services to corporations, law firms, insurance companies, the financial industry and the United States military or government offices.  Offering you high-end (GSA) security products, procedures, and investigative intelligence to protect and deter against your financial losses and terrorist acts. 

Within each chapter of Protecting Business Intelligence (PBI), you will notice how every aspect of your business is scrutinized with retrospect to the security infrastructure. As a courtesy, below we offer the introduction and chapter 1, “Employment Background Security” for free.

A strong infrastructure starts with a secure foundation.  The Security you provide needs to be intertwined within every facet of your business and not just the common areas, like door locks and alarm codes.   My objective is to give you the insight and understanding on how to protect your Business Intelligence, and what can happen when your security is compromised, and trade secrets are lost.

I will teach you the fundamentals necessary in protecting you and your Business Intelligence.  We get complacent with security; we lock our front doors and click an alarm to protect our vehicles… but should it end there?  Years ago, our grandparents would have thought we were crazy for locking our homes not to mention cars.  Our way of life has expanded exponentially, hence our security responsibilities have also grown.  The future maybe more complicated with technology and the many devices we have to choose from… however, if we use them correctly and intelligently, we can make them work for us.  We start to accomplish this by realizing security is a fundamental infrastructure in all our lives. 

Spies still exist… and they’re more prevalent than you realize.  Years ago, it was the “cold war” and today it’s known as the “corporate spying game”.   You may not see yourself as a target; however, if you’re a CEO, politician, involved in research & development or perceived as wealthy, the chances of someone eavesdropping on you is greatly increased.  Competitors, disgruntled lovers, malicious employees, or greed in general will make you a target.

You have to ask yourself what makes your product so valuable; is it a formula that can be taken and re-manufactured?  Is it clothing, gear or leather goods that could be recreated in sweatshops?  Blackmailing, product theft, and kidnappings are running rampant today and you need to protect your assets by providing deterrence and a reasonable amount of security.  If you fail to act, you may find your new idea on your competitor’s product line or worse.  The old eavesdropping methods like the “cup against the wall” has certainly progressed into sophisticated equipment like laser listening devices, remote listening/viewing devices, covert wireless bugs, and so much more.    Eavesdropping protection and information security are becoming increasingly important to companies within the United States and around the world.  Unfortunately, many American businesses are completely unaware to the widening dangers of economic crime.  White collar crime cost corporate America approximately $300+ Billion yearly.

For years a security infrastructure was pushed aside as secondary to a corporation’s yearly budget.  However, with the growth of economic crimes, corporations have been alarmed and motivated to handle company security as a priority.  Since 1994, the FBI’s caseload of industrial espionage has doubled. American companies are beginning to realize that they cannot depend upon law enforcement to secure their proprietary information.  Today corporations are forced to take matters into their own hands and employ qualified Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) investigators to ensure trade secrets are just those… secrets.  Regular sweeps of boardrooms, conference rooms, and presentation facilities prior to meetings in which sensitive information will be discussed is common today.  The TSCM sweep is a regular part of due diligence in protecting sensitive information from migrating into the hands of competitors.

United States government’s statistics suggests that $900+ million yearly is spent on the sale of illegal eavesdropping products in the United States.  In addition, the government estimates $434 million is paid each year to individuals to enter and install illegal eavesdropping equipment (Source: US State Dept./DCI, March, 1997).  In 1992, top executives at IBM testified before Congress that the company’s losses due to theft of their trade secrets and proprietary information totaled in the billions of dollars.  The Council of Economic Advisors to the White House reported that losses in sales to U.S. companies by foreign concerns amounted to $105 billion between 1985 and 1989. 

Because of the covert nature of illegal eavesdropping, it is impossible to determine how many businesses and governments are being bugged.   The United States government has conducted many studies, it’s a multimillion-dollar business. Even without exact statistics, some conclusions are extremely painfully plain. 

Conclusions:

1) Many businesses are victims of eavesdropping and don’t even know it.

2) Those companies who do discover eavesdropping do not want to report it.

3) In every major city, there are dozens of illegal eavesdropping operations going on.

4) For every illegal wiretap uncovered, there are at least ten times as many.

5) This results in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits.

6) This generates hundreds of millions of dollars of illicitly gained profits for criminals.

7) Potential victims of eavesdropping can save millions of potential losses by retaining a qualified technical surveillance countermeasures investigator.

Employment Background Security

Topics and Procedures

Chapter 1

Are employee background checks necessary?  Over a hundred billion dollars is lost each year due to embellishments, clientele theft, general pilferage and other unacceptable employee conduct. When hiring new employees provide yourself with information that is necessary in making an intelligent decision. 

As a manager, executive, or owner you are liable for all your employees and if you are negligent in your hiring practices this can come back to not only hurt but to destroy your business.   YOU CONDUCT BACKGROUND CHECKS TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM COSTLY LAWSUITS!  In 2003, a no named cleaning company located in Beverly Hills was suited for four million dollars when one of their employees was recognized in a home burglary at their residence.  The court award the plaintiff the judgment and the cleaning company was found negligent in their hiring practices, for a criminal background check was never conducted.  In another case a California Carpet company in 1998 was hit with a $9.38 million dollar verdict… which is being called “a loud wake-up call” to service type of companies that send employees into people’s homes. The Alameda County Superior Court jury found America’s Best Carpet Care negligent in its hiring procedures for they never obtained a background check on one of their employees who later stabbed to death a Kerry Spooner.  It was found that (Jerrol Gleen Woods) the employee had multiple robbery convictions and the court awarded the surviving spouse with damages of 9.38 million, surely devastated this company not to mention the spouse.

In a similar story, the Texas Supreme Court sided with a woman who sued The Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Company because she was raped by one of their door-to-door salesman.  The Kirby Vacuum Cleaner company was found to be negligent in its hiring practices for a background check was never conducted on their employee, which would have revealed previous complaints of sexual misconduct.

There are numerous heartbreaking stories and negligent hiring cases I can enlighten you to.  However, my position is to in heighten your awareness and your responsibilities towards the overlooked field of investigations, security and hiring practices (HR).

Depending on the position you’re filling and the access to key components within your infrastructure determines the severity of your background check and the extent of the security clearance you provide them.  Employees not only have access to key components within your business, but they also communicate with the companies clientele more often than the owners or CEO’s.  Our employees are our ambassadors and regardless of the position they hold each requires some type of background screening.  Out sourcing pre-employment services rather than having your own human resources (HR) department conduct them would aid in various ways; not to mention the plausible deniability by hiring a 3rd party company to handle this for you. Professional private investigative or security consulting firms  are normally employed by former police investigators, military or federal operatives that are trained professionals with the experience in locating information on people. 

Rather than assuming you can run a quick computer search (i.e. criminal, civil, SS # verification) online and being able to determine your subjects’ demeanor is an assumption, an unclear picture.  A qualified investigative or pre-employment company needs to be acquired!  Did you check his/her past address history, did you know that other locations in their youth are more important than their current location?  Did you know that some states only provide county level criminal searches… and that there is no such thing as a nationwide search like so many information providers sell and claim.  Those searches are based on individuals that have been convicted or jailed, ONLY!  Being in the investigative industry working with attorneys for years, I can tell you many… if not most cases are dismissed or plead out.

Did you know that some states that offer criminal statewide searches don’t have their county offices report such information, due to human error; hence you get a false sense of security?  Do you know the laws, guidelines… the procedures in conducting an investigation and can you identify what a red flag looks like?  Well private investigators do and they have this knowledge and much more, due to the majority of PI’s having a long career history working for the military, federal government or local police authorities where they have spent countless hours learning the trade.

It’s not a search… it’s a service, and it’s not data… it’s an investigation!

Conducting background checks by clicking a button and reading a search from a computer screen is misleading and dangerous.   You need an investigation big or small conducted by a professional organization that knows what they’re looking for… you get what you pay for!

The “gathering of information” falls under “intelligence” … conducting a search on a computer screen is not a background search… there are red flags to look for and investigation knowledge that needs to be known.   It’s common to see clients from various industries employing their own staff to conduct investigations internally; however, in due time they always come back to the industry professionals. It always comes down to cutting budgets…however, by cutting some corners it can eventually cost your company.  Whether its poor results, improper training, or the costs out way the departments created.  Lastly… it’s always great to fall back on “plausible deniability”, you acted responsible in your HR practices by hiring a professional company to handle your employment vetting on all candidates.  By following all FCRA laws and hiring a professional investigative company you mitigate your risks. Cutting costs and generating a positive cash flow is your objective, however it’s also your responsibility to protect the company by not neglecting the company’s foundation… “It’s security infrastructure”.

Employers should 1st have a signed disclosure & release before pre-employment screening commences.

Laws and Regulations:

Background investigations for employment purposes are regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), GLBA and various other privacy laws.  Businesses make employment decisions based on background investigations that utilize records of credit, civil, criminal and other consumer record information.  When conducting a pre-employment background check, it’s imperative you follow all guidelines.

The ability to make intelligent employing decisions requires informed business intelligence with the ability to access this information in an efficient timely manner.  Employers have a duty to periodically investigate allegations of employee misconduct and to provide a consistent level of checks and procedures confirming accurate work, work performance, and courteous manners.  However, due to different laws and regulations i.e. a Federal Trade Commission letter (the “Vail” letter) issued in 1999 contends that workplace misconduct investigations are governed by the same consent and disclosure rules that govern initial credit and employment background checks.  This interpretation hampers the ability of employers to conduct misconduct investigations; however, there is a way to protect you and your company before and during their employment.  All employees should sign a DISCLOSURE AND RELEASE, before their employment; along with language within giving you the investigative freedom necessary in conducting professional employment screening before and during employment. 

Payment Procedures:

Currently the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour (Sept 2020), however some sales representatives are under different agreements with their employers.  Even knowing some sale representatives work on a commission bases, a variety of salespersons and professional employees are entitled to a weekly minimum wage.  Depending on the state you are hiring in or were hired in determines your entitlements.  On September 1, 2005 the weekly minimum wage for some sales representatives depending on the state has increased from $236 to $280.

The employer is also responsible for providing the employee a pay stub which should provide a breakdown into the entire check…the gross payment, FICA and Federal Withholding’s.  Providing employees with legal paid holidays is a perk and not a requirement; employers are not required by law to provide legal holidays off to their employees.  It is entirely up to the employer to give a holiday off with or without pay, or not to give any time off for the holidays at all.  It is also entirely up to the employer if they want to observe a holiday and if they do which ones.

Employers are not obligated to offer vacation time off with pay… for vacation time is considered a waged benefit.  However, if an employer promises vacation pay or vacation time off with pay, the employer is responsible for having a policy written explaining how vacation time is earned and how it can be taken.  If the employee quits or is terminated, any vacation time earned must also be paid during there last payment.  If the employer has a written policy within your employee agreement which express how vacation time can be taken due to failure to perform and documentation shows such…vacation time can be taken away.

Companies grant time off as a morale booster and to be as competitive as possible in attracting and retaining talented employees.  However, there are no federal regulations requiring employers to provide vacation days, but it has become common business practice to do so. Employers know that employees need a break, and that is why companies offer Paid Time Off (PTO) in the form of vacation days, holidays, personal leave, and sick days. Employees accrue hours of paid vacation time at a certain rate for each day worked; it all depends on the employers’ formula to calculate vacation time. Four or five weeks of vacation is not uncommon if an employee remains loyal to a company for more than 15 years.  However, its typically the top limit for vacation benefits.  Some employers have a specific amount of days for each form, while others provide a set amount for total days permitted to miss work.  Just like vacation time…the amount of days off generally reflects how long you have been at your job; the longer the employee has served the company normally the more (PTO) you receive.  The average of (PTO) within the United States is 14 days when working for an employer for a year, again, this includes total number of (PTO).  Two to three years of service is around 18 days off and it changes from there.  Source: Society for Human Resource Management, 2004 SHRM Benefits Survey.

Working Hours:

Generally, employers work their employees based on a 40-hour work week, minus lunch and personnel breaks; (however employers can work employees at a 48-hour work week).  Examples of some working hours are 8:30AM to 5:30PM or 9:00AM to 6:00PM, hence a total of 9 hours minus the one hour for a lunch break.  Employers can also make employees work overtime even if it was not scheduled.  The employer can also make overtime a condition for the job they are filling.

A misconception is an employer must pay for time and one-half during holidays or weekends and this is far from correct.  Time-and-a-half only occur when an employee has worked past a 48-hour work week.  

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) requires employers to have an “Approval for Excess Weekly Hours” prior to employees working hours in excess of 48 in a work week.  However, if an employer is able to satisfy a total of nine conditions which I provide below, an employer is able to work an employee up to a maximum of 60 hours in a work week. 

Nine Conditions

  1. The employer files an application for an Approval for Excess Weekly Hours on the Director of Employment Standards in accordance with the ESA.
  2. The application served on the Director applies to the individual employee, who would work the excess weekly hours.
  3. The employer’s most recent Approval for Excess Weekly Hours of Work, if any, was not revoked.
  4. The employer has posted and kept posted in the workplace a copy of the application for an Approval for Excess Weekly Hours. The application is posted in a location where it is clearly visible to the employees that the application applies to and is likely to come to their attention.
  5. The employer has not received a notice from the Director that the Application for Excess Weekly Hours has been refused.
  6. The employer’s most recent previous application, if any, for an Approval for Excess Weekly Hours of Work, if any, was not refused.
  7. 30 calendar days have passed since the employer served the Director with the application for excess weekly hours.
  8. The employee does not work more than the least of any of the following amounts: The number of hours specified in the application for the employee, or the occupational group which includes the employee, in the application. The number of hours the employee agreed to in writing, and 60 hours.
  9. The most an employee can work pending approval is 60 hours in a work week even if the employer has applied for approval for more than 60 hours and the employee has agreed in writing to work more than 60 hours.

Criminal Histories:

When conducting criminal searches on new employees first run an address history report to determine the locations in which these searches should take place.  Your applicant might have applied in your city or state; however, the location they grew up in requires your attention. Criminal searches are conducted on county and statewide levels; some states only offer county level searches and some counties criminal records are locked.

There is no such thing as a National Criminal Search that is available to the general public.  This type of search is limited to law enforcement agencies and it’s known as a NCIC (National Criminal Information Center) search.  It can be conducted by law enforcement officers ONLY and if they are found providing such information, it could easily cost them their job.

If someone offers you a National Criminal Search… as many web sites out their claim, due not be misled!  Those searches are based on individuals that have been convicted or jailed ONLY!  They are preying on our need for the “quick and easy cheap search” syndrome. Remember, you get what you pay for, so if it seems too good to be true it normally is. 

We suggest conducting both county and statewide searches.  Some local governments (county) agencies do not report this information to the state agencies due to misfiling of paperwork; hence the information is not updated.  To date there are thirty-seven states within the United States that offer a statewide search.  Statewide searching would be a quicker and more cost-effective method, although countywide is more precise.  The downside of running a countywide search however is that you have to run each and every county within a state to confirm there is no criminal activity, very precise but it can also be costly.  This is why we suggest an address history as it helps pinpoint what areas we should focus on.   When running this search, you need to provide the subject’s full name and date of birth, as well as any other vital information you may have.

Statewide:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, N. Carolina, N. Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin.

Country

We offer criminal vetting in 150+ countries!  Counter Intelligence Services represents the maritime industry, and our subsidiary (www.CrewBackgroundChecks.com) assists in worldwide criminal screening.  We often conduct criminal searching international for crew placement on yachts and large ships.

Civil Histories:

Locate possible judgments, bankruptcies and lawsuits on new employees that have filed or had filed against them.  If a large number of lawsuits, it may warrant caution or further review.  This search is conducted on a county level by the subject’s name, hence if your subject has a common name it might take time in reviewing which cases belong to your subject.  Conducting an address history report would help in locating accurate locations to conduct your research in.  Never assume your subject has resided in the application state only.

Credit Reports:

Employers are allowed by U.S. laws to scrutinize your credit report as a character reference.  They use this information to make employment, promotion and even firing decisions.  A credit report does not provide a true character reference; however, employers still rely on it as an indicator of your trustworthiness and responsibility level.  Unfairly as it might be, as not necessarily a true judge of your character.

Employers can get (employment) credit reports by paying a fee to consumer reporting agencies or employment background check companies.  It typically includes some or all of the following information; current address, social security number, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, marital status, employer name and address, child support obligations, names of those who have checked your report and loan and credit card payment history. 

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and certain state laws regulate how employers retrieve and use the information in your credit report. Employers must inform employees that they will be investigated and investigating their credit reports.   This permission should be provided in writing within a disclosure and release to the employer, which is then provided to the investigative agency conducting the work. 

When an employer takes unfavorable action against an employee due to information based on your credit report, they must provide you with a pre-adverse action disclosure, include a copy of your credit report and provide you with a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The adverse action notice should explain why the employer is taking such actions and they must also give you the name, address, and phone number of the investigative agency that provided this information.  This is done so that the employee can dispute inaccuracies on the information that was provided to the employer. 

The Federal Bankruptcy Act applies here too. An employer can’t discriminate against an employee solely due to negative information on their credit report; the employee is protected under the Bankruptcy Act. Basically, an employer can’t demote you or deny you promotions or employment because of bankruptcy or the bad debts you had before you claimed bankruptcy.

Discrimination laws protect employees and if an employee feels they have been discriminated against they should seek legal counsel.  For example, an employer that has had a history of using credit reports to discriminate against low-income minorities, or if you are able to prove discrimination through investigated methods.   Knowing the laws and employment procedures not only provides you with a qualified certified employment staff but it also protects you, the company, other employees, and your clientele.

Motor Vehicle Records (MVR):

Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) can provide you with invaluable information into your new employees driving history.  If the position requires the employee to drive during his/her employment this search is imperative.  The search can also provide you with an overview into the employee’s responsibility level.

Depending on the state or country your searching determines the accessibility to these types of records, as well as the time frame it takes in obtaining them.  Many states and countries MVR departments offer 3, 7, and 10-year driving histories.  This helps in locating driving violations, DUI, accidents, and other violations, which helps in making intelligent employment decisions.   The Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) 18 U.S.C. § 2721 et. Seq. was established in 1996 to protect the general public from open access to Motor Vehicle Records (MVR).  It was designed to limit public access to your social security number, driver license, identification number, name, address and other information contained within your MVR records. 

Exemptions:

A person or entity may only access the personal information if they are exempt under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), or they have obtained express consent. As an employer, you will notice within the following exemptions you have the right to verify who your employees are under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).  Even so… having your employee(s) sign a discloser and release before their employment protects the employer, and that is why I always recommend an employee should sign a disclosure and release in addition to their general employee contract.  

Below I list the following 14 exemptions under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).  The Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) allows the release of an individual’s personal information on a driver or non-driver license records to the following entities and under the following conditions:

  1. A government agency (federal, state or local) or employed by such, and authorized to request vehicle/driving records for the purpose of the government agency’s carrying out its functions.
  2. A Circuit, Associate Circuit or Municipal court, an out-of-state court, or employed by such, and authorized to request vehicle/driving records for the purpose of the court’s carrying out its functions.
  3. A law enforcement agency or out-of-state law enforcement agency or employed by such and authorized to request vehicle/driving records for the purpose of the law enforcement agency’s carrying out its functions.
  4. Authorized under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft; motor vehicle emissions; motor vehicle product alterations, recalls, or advisories; performance monitoring of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and dealers; motor vehicle market research activities, including survey research; and removal of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers.
  5. Authorized representative, agent, contractor, or employed by such, of a legitimate business and the vehicle/driving record being requested will be used for normal course of business; but only to: a. Verify accuracy of the personal information. b. Obtain correct information but only for purposes of preventing fraud, pursuing legal remedies or collecting a debt.
  6. Authorized under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitral proceeding in any federal, state, or local court or agency or before any self-regulatory body, including the service of process, investigation in anticipation of litigation, and the execution or enforcement of judgments and orders, or pursuant to an order of a federal, state, or local court.
  7. Authorized under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in research activities, and producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, re disclosed, or used to contact individuals. 
  8. Authorized representative, agent, contractor or employed by such, of an insurer, insurance support organization or self-insured entity and the vehicle/driving record being requested will be used only in connection with the following: a. Claims investigation activities. b. Antifraud activities. c. Rating or underwriting.
  9. Authorized under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in providing notice to the owners of towed or impounded vehicles.
  10. Authorized representative or owner of a licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service and the vehicle/driving record is being requested for the use of purposes permitted under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
  11. Authorized as an employer, or its agent or insurer under the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in obtaining or verifying information relating to a holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
  12. Authorized representative or owner of a private toll transportation facility and authorized under the Federal Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act to request and obtain the vehicle/driving record for use in the operation of the facility.
  13. Authorized under the law of the state that holds the record to request and obtain the vehicle driving record if the vehicle/driving record will be used in relationship to the operation of the motor vehicle or public safety.
  14. Authorized persons who have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, magazine, broadcast or similar form of public communication, including dissemination by computer or other electronic means, when such dissemination is related to the operation of a motor vehicle or to public safety.

NOTE:  Your photo, social security #, and medical or disability info may only be obtained for by:

• Any government agency in carrying out its function

• In connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or arbitral proceeding.

• Any insurer or insurance support organization or by a self-insured entity, or its agents, employees, or contractors in connection with claims activities, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting an employer to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a commercial driver license.

Workmen’s Compensation Check:

Workmen’s compensation insurance is one of the largest financial burdens for employers and it’s due to the large percentage of fraudulent claims.   The workmen’s compensation insurance field is unfairly robed each day with fraudulent claims of injuries that took place supposedly during their employment.  As an investigator that has worked the industry for years, I can tell you after working countless insurance cases a large percentage are fraudulent. 

As an employer you would not want to hire an individual that had countless workmen compensation claims made against them, it’s a sure sign of fraud, lost productivity for you and in the investigative industry it’s known as a “red flag”.  Available in 26 states and some states only offer historical data.  The search criteria is by the name and date of birth or social security number as well as the employees written release, which protects you the employer and the employee.  

States Available:  

Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, N. Dakota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Education Verification:

Confirming an employee’s education and degree is crucially important today for this type of fraud takes place more often than not.  Today, low quality printers can reproduce fraudulent collage diplomas as well as fraudulent certifications putting the employer at risk if these degrees or certifications are not confirmed.

Military Verification:

Military verification should also be obtained, for fraudulent DD214 papers (Active Duty Release) can be created or tampered with.  Normally all your need to run this type of research is the employees full name, social security number and their release form. 

Reference Check:

Through physical investigative legwork (canvassing), investigators are capable of interviewing neighbors, delivery persons, relatives, school teachers/professors, former employers, friends & business associates.  We are also capable of obtaining gambling activates and tenant eviction history providing you with a more concise profile on the person your employing.  The US Government uses these types of methods during their high-end background checks for secret and top-secret clearances. 

Drug Screening:

Drug screening employees can help you obtain lower insurance rates, improve productivity, and provide an overall drug free workplace.  When hiring a new employee this is considered one of the basic procedures.  It is critical to conduct this at the beginning of their employment for it locates the employees work performance, reliability and loyalty.  Many companies today receive government contracting from local, state, and federal governments with the majority of these departments mandating drug-screening requirements.

President Reagan signed Executive Order 12564 on September 15, 1986 in an attempt to establish a drug-free Federal workplace. It was a condition that all employment for all Federal employees to refrain from using illegal drugs, even when off-duty, The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. This applies only to Federal employees, contractors, states, and local jurisdictions however private-sector employers have also followed the lead of the federal government.

There are various levels of drug screening you can perform.  A popular cost-effective drug screening search is one that covers five of the leading used drugs, ones that are the most common.  This is a urine test that looks for marijuana, cocaine, opiates (opium/heroin), PCP and ecstasy/amphetamines, costing you between $50 – $125 pending your city/state location.  Depending on your employer, state or local jurisdiction; employers might have the rights to deny you promotion or fire you. If fired for failing a drug test or if you received an injury during employment and you test positive, your state might even deny you worker’s compensation, or unemployment benefits.  

The federal government encourages treatment and rehabilitation for employees, for not all employers have a mandatory zero-tolerance policy.  Your employer might offer you assistance, ask you to seek help or some type of treatment program.

It’s difficult finding good employees hence it’s not necessarily only the employees’ benefit as much as it is the employers. It costs employers a lot of money in firing employees and hiring replacements, therefore, an alternative approach might produce a cheaper solution and a more grateful employee. There are pending lawsuits challenging drug testing is a violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. There are cases where employees have sued and won, even when they had tested positive. Other cases, they’ve won because employers failed to follow the state’s law. There are some states that…

  • Forbid random testing.
  • Limit testing only to jobs for which safety or security is a concern.
  • Limit discipline for employees who test positive the first time.

There are also suites where employees have lost and the employer has won, so it all depends on the case, the state and if you had a DISCLOSURE & RELEASE filled out allowing you to conduct drug screening during their employment.  I would suggest consulting an employment attorney before firing an employee to confirm your acting within the guidelines of that state.

Contract Signing:

During the hiring process a contract between the employer and employee should commence.  The agreement should state the employee’s responsibilities, employer’s responsibilities, a non-compete clause and the signing of a disclosure and release.   The disclosure and release protects the employer and allows you to conduct a background check on new employees.  During this signing period or within the disclosure and release you should have a clause that allows you to monitor the employees work habits during or after hours if necessary in protecting corporate assets and preventing corporate theft. 

As I read the laws, statutes and take advice from attorneys… I have learned one thing and that is, there are no answers to those difficult questionsHowever, there are ways in protecting yourself; and that is to go beyond the means in protecting people’s privacy.  Follow all laws & regulations, have updated signed contracts covering your non-compete clause and a disclosure and release.  You have complied with all laws to the full extent and if there should be an incident you are covered with showing compliance.

Sexual Harassment:

Coming soon…

Establish Polices against Workplace Violence:

Coming soon…

Name Badges:

Coming soon…

Access Control:

Coming soon…

Employee Monitoring / Surveillance:

Coming soon…

Emergency Evacuation Drills:

Coming soon…

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