24 Years ago today the tragedy of Pan Am 103 lingers, on this day in 1988, then 20 year old Sarah Philipps of Newton, MA (Newton North High School ’86) was seated in Seat 21F sitting next to her good friend Julianne F. Kelly of Dedham, MA (Dedham High School ’86) Seat 21E on their way home after completing the semester studying abroad with the Syracuse University study abroad program in London.
On December 21, 1988, 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 on the ground lost their lives when the Boeing 747 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland from a terrorist’s bomb.
A life stolen before it really began, like the 20 children and other victims from the shooting rampage in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School, what contributions to society have we missed by these senseless killings? We will never know.
Remember the Victims, the Victim’s Parents, Families, and Friends of Pan Am 103, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and all of the other man-made genocides.
Sarah…you will never be forgotten…in loving memory of your precious life…
Sarah Susannah Buchanan Philipps
8/15/1968 – 12/21/88
“Death Leaves a Heartache No One Can Heal, Love Leaves a Memory No One Can Steal.”
The five-member EEOC Commission is tasked with the job of administering Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and in their most recent meeting on April 25, the Commission itself was battling within itself over why they were even meeting that day to vote on New Guidance on Criminal Background Checks , it was Commissioner against Commissioner. As Commissioner Barker asked: “So why is this (New Guidance) even on the agenda today?”
Maybe it was because it was Democratic Commissioner Stuart J. Ishimaru’s last EEOC meeting? Ishimaru had made his resignation announcement weeks before the April 25th meeting. In fact, you got the sense from the meeting, that it was not an official U.S. federal agency meeting taking place, but a “going away party” for Mr. Ishimaru. Although Ishimaru was leaving the EEOC, he was not leaving Washington, as the 55 year old with the long pony tale has worked his entire life in Washington, he was just leaving one agency for another, Ishimaru’s income is still 100% taxpayer-funded. On April 30th, it was announced that Ishimaru was now the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as the head of the newly established Office of Minority & Women Inclusion (OMWI).
The EEOC was asked by the very committee responsible for their funding to hold off and make no changes. It was very clear, the EEOC was told to hold off and allow a 6 month period for Americans and American employers to provide comments and feedback on any new proposed changes to guidance that the EEOC was contemplating. The committee that determines EEOC’s funding each year is under the direction of Chairs Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and the Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and the Senate Appropriations committee subcommittee on commerce justice and science.
In addition, in a letter to the Office of Management Control (OMB), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked the that the OMB require the EEOC to allow a review by the OMB and public input before the EEOC prepares to issue any new guidance. There was also a request made by nearly 50 American Business Associations to the EEOC asking the same, a public review and public commenting period. If this all seems a simple and reasonable request, it’s because it is, it’s all very reasonable, and it is very little to ask for an agency that is supposed to be serving the public. However, it made sense to everyone, except the EEOC, they had their own agenda.
The EEOC chaired by Democratic Commissioner Jacqueline A. Berrien, “gave the bird” to everyone and went ahead and issued their new guidance at the objection of everyone on April 25. And here is the dirty little secret that the EEOC doesn’t want you to know about, and it’s cleverly buried in its 52 page guidance of confusing jargon, contracticting language, vague instructions, and Washington double-speak. Pay close attention to these words that are written inside the document:
“The Commission recommends that employers not ask about (criminal) convictions on job applications.”
Said another way, the agenda of some that are on the Commission is to not ask about or run a criminal background check on anyone for any reason.
And there it is, the secret agenda of the EEOC. The EEOC would ban background checks if they could, not because it makes any sense, business or otherwise, it just make sense to them. This is not true of everyone with the EEOC, certainly not anyone who has ever worked for a small business like dissenting Commissioner Constance S. Barker, she is one of the few who have any “real world” business experience on the EEOC Commission. However, others in the EEOC seem to have the opinon that you don’t really need to run a criminal background check on anyone and I include the recently departed Commissioner Ishimaru as one who holds this opinion. I wonder if Mr. Ishimura would hold the same opinion if it was him hiring someone to watch over his own son or daughter? Or if he was about to to hire a caretaker for an aging parent or grandparent? I presume that the EEOC could not legally use the word ban in their new guidance, so they did what they thought was the next best thing, they would just “recommend.” It is the only time that the word “recommend” is used in the entire 52 page document. Mind you, the EEOC has no legislative powers, they are not lawmakers, they are not from the legislative branch, and you will see this topic being argued in the transcript below of Commissioner Barker.
The other interesting observance that day on that April 25th meeting was Chairman’s Berrien’s remarks at the very beginning, she made it a point to acknowledge that is was Administrative Professional’s Day that day and Administrative Professional’s week, the unofficial secular holiday observed in some parts of the world.
What’s interesting was not for what she said, but for what she did not say that morning, and that particular week; you see, that week was April 22-28 2012, and that week commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. As in society much of the focus is on the those who have committed crimes and none given to the victims; millions of crime victims and their families and friends seem to forgotten, their voices fallen on deaf ears, the crime victims are not even acknowledged during the very week set aside to honor them - National Crime Victims’ Rights week. You could say that the EEOC is guilty of practicing the kind of discrimination that the agency was created to prevent.
By Kevin Connell, CEO & Chariman, AccuScreen.com
The following is a Transcript from the EEOC Commission Meeting: April 25 2012 Washington, D. C. of the Statement & Vote from Commissioner Constance S. Barker
“I object to and will vote against the new guidance for criminal background checks for four fundamental reasons:
First and foremost, I object to the utter and blatant lack of transparency in the approval process. The proposed revision before us today represents a major shift in the advice that we have given the American public for the past 22 years. Yet we are about to approve this dramatic shift in our interpretation of the rights of job applicants in the obligations under Title VII without circulating it to the American public for review and discussion. There is absolutely no justification for totally excluding the American people from this process or for this blatant failure to be transparent in how we conduct business. I am devoted to the issue of civil rights and the work of this commission. But if we vote to approve this guidance today, how can we expect the American people to have confidence that this agency operates openly and with full transparency. We are public servants, we work for the American people, what could possibly justify keeping them from knowing what is in this document before we approve it? This proposed new guidance which in reality is a kind of regulation has tremendous implications for Americans. It is exactly the type of policy shift that we should share with the American people. Ask them to take a look and tell us what they think, have we forgotten anything? Have we explained things well or is it confusing? And most importantly, how will this impact you? But we didn’t do that. Instead the document was rapidly brought to a vote without the American people ever having a chance to see what was in it. This is just plain wrong. There are people in this commission room today and throughout America who have considerable expertise in the subject of guidance this addresses, yet we are about to give approval without ever letting any of these experts or the public at large see a single word that is contained, and we are approving it without submitting it to OMB for expert review that begs the question, WHY? Why don’t we want America to see what is in this document before we make it final. We should have spent months reviewing and discussing this with the public as we have other regulatory and subregulatory documents. Yes, the commission did have a meeting on background checks and heard form stakeholders on the general subject of the pros and cons of conducting criminal background checks.
But seeking general input is a far cry from sharing what is actually in the actual proposed revised guidance. As soon as the revised guidance was drafted, the public was shut out.
Two, here is my second concern; it is my understanding that the Senate Appropriations committee subcommittee on commerce justice and science, the committee that determines our funding each year under the direction of Chairman Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) in the report attached to the appropriations bill specifically address their concerns about the haste with which the commission approved changes to the current criminal background check guidance and specifically instructed the commission to
a.) Encage stakeholders in discussion about the intended changes to the criminal background check guidance and
b.) Circulate any proposed changes to the guidance for public input for at least 6 months before bringing it before the commission for a vote.
When the Senate Appropriations committee, the committee that controls our funding attaches to the bill that will determine our funding specific instructions to hold off on taking any action on this guidance until we have circulated a copy to the public for at least 6 months, it seems to me that we should take that seriously. So why is this even on the agenda today? Are we seriously going to ignore this directive from the committee that provides our funding? Especially, and here’s the irony, there is absolutely no need to take action on this today or any time in the near future. What is the big rush to approve this guidance? What would justify ignoring a Senate Appropriations directive and ignoring our obligation to be transparent with the American people? There have been no changes in Title VII, no Supreme Court decisions that would compel a single change to our current guidance. In contrast, our guidance on the use of arbitration agreements and employment contracts has been out of date since the first Supreme Court decision on that in 1991. As far as I know, there is no effort being made to circulate a revision of that guidance or bring it before the commission for a vote.
Thirdly, I object to the guidance because it so obviously exceeds rescind procedural regulations we have no… < note from transcriber: unable to transcribe a couple or few words here – audio becomes inaudible for a second or two>… we are an enforcement agency; we have the authority to issue, amend, and rescind procedural regulations. We have no authority to make substantive changes to the law by issuing guidance that goes beyond what is contained in the statutes as interpreted by the court. Our job is to call congressional intent interpretations, not make new law. No matter how well intentioned we may be. No matter how much a change in law may be warranted. We simply lack the authority to make those changes to the issuance of guidance. It is congress’s job, not ours to weigh the pros and cons proposed in legislation and approve or disapprove it in congress. We are not part of the legislative branch. It is the job of the court to interpret the laws that congresses pass. We are not the courts; we are not part of the judicial branch. It is our job to explain what is already the law, not to expand it, no matter how much some of us may want Title VII to provide additional protection. We cannot use our authority to issue new guidance to create new rights of protection that Title VII does not provide; if we think Title VII should be expanded, we should make our concerns known to congress, not take it upon ourselves to do congress’s job.
Finally, I oppose the guidance because of the reach and impact it will have on American Businesses. Last night, I tried to read the guidance as a business owner would read it. What I came up with over and over again was if I were a business owner, no matter what business I was in, I would never again conduct another criminal background check on a potential employee unless I was required to under Federal law. Not just state law, but Federal law. I understand all of the well-intentioned reasons for drafting the revised guidance but I question whether it will achieve what it attempts to achieve. I am afraid the reality is the only real impact the new guidance will have is to scare business owners from ever conducting criminal background checks thus the unintended consequences will be each of the business owners we all agree should be conducting criminal background checks simply will not, why should they? The guidance tells them they are taking a tremendous risk if they do. The guidance tells them that even if they are no discriminating and if they are treating all races and ethnicities equally, they could be found guilty of unintentional discrimination under disparate impact theory. All this new guidance does is puts American business owners between a rock and a hard place, conduct criminal background checks to protect employees and members you serve then risk having to defend your actions. Don’t conduct criminal background checks and you take the risk an employee or member of the public will be harmed. This is no help to American business owners.
In summary, I object to the utter lack of transparency in the development of this guidance, I object to the inexcusable way the public has been intentionally shut out of the process. I object to the unnecessary haste to which this document has been pushed through and I object to the burden it places on business owners. I strongly oppose the guidance and will vote against it. Thank you.”
TRANSCRIPT of Commissioner Constance S Barker as she VOTED NO on Proposed Guidance on Employer’s Use of Arrest and Conviction Records
November 2, 2011 ( Tampa, FL) AccuScreen.com’s CEO and Background Screening Expert Kevin Connell will be interviewed tonight on Fox News Edge about the Herman Cain dilemma & the Sexual Harassment charges made toward him.
The interview will center on the subject of Sexual Harassment and the accusations brought forth by former employees that worked under the Republican Presidential candidate when he was the CEO of the National Restaurant Association during the 1990’s.
This is an interview that you will not want to miss!
If you are not in the Tampa Bay area, no worries, we will be posting the link to the interview afterwards, the video will appear under www.AccuScreen.com/blog
Watch Fox News Edge tonight at 11:00 PM on Fox 13 Tampa Bay.
Employment Background Investigations, Kevin Connell, will present a session at the HR Florida State Council Conference in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 11:45 am titled “Resume Fraud in Today’s Economy & Negligent Hiring”.
Join Kevin Connell to learn the types of resume fraud most common in today’s economy, as well as, the shocking cost of Employee Theft. Kevin will also present on Negligent Hiring and how HR professionals can reduce such risks.
In a complimentary webinar on April 20th 2011 at 3:00pm EST, Kevin Connell business coach, author, and founder of AccuScreen.com. Is inviting coaching extroadianre Kathy Eppley to help show you how to gain the clarity, confidence and certainty to help change your mindset.
TAMPA, FL — In an upcoming live webinar, speaker and coach Kathy Eppley will help you delivers results! She is a master teacher who enables her clients and audiences to quickly breakthrough limits and achieve far beyond what they ever imagined.
Some people may ask why is AccuScreen offering a webinar like this one? Kevin Connell explains, “Well, over the past 3 years, when the financial bubble burst, the economy receded, layoffs began…so did many people’s mindsets, where before people had certainty, many now have uncertainty about their future, and things have hit people financially, a spouse may have lost a job, others got behind on a mortgage payments, stress and pressure has been present like never before, but there is hope.”
“Not surprisingly, many people’s mindsets are wounded, their self esteem is low where it was once high, think of this presentation and discussion as one important step to help people’s mindset, get their heads uncluttered with all of the negative news that the media pounds us with, and this webinar is designed to help a small business owner as well as someone who may be a mid level manager at a corporation, whether you are an entrepreneur, an HR manger, an employee, etc. this is FOR YOU!”
Discover the Secrets of Astounding Results That Will Enable You to …
• Shatter the Glass Ceiling of Limitation in Your Mind Including All the Doubt, Fear, Excuses and Self Sabotage Holding You Back!
• Set and Achieve Big Goals Regardless of Circumstances & Market Conditions!
• Build Powerful New Beliefs & Gain the Clarity, Confidence & Certainty to Reach Amazing New Levels of Productivity!
• Re-Energize, Re-Ignite & Re-Vitalize Your Business
Bob Proctor, legendary transformational expert, author, speaker and featured teacher in the hit movie and bestselling book, THE SECRET said it best when he summed up the impact and results Kathy Eppley delivers to her audiences and clients… “Circumstances and conditions will melt away; put this program to work, it’s like taking money to the bank!”
To Register Click Here . The webinar hosts will provide free advice and challenge the audiences to think bigger than they ever have before, to engage their passion and to play life full-out.
Kevin G. Connell is a renowned professional background screening expert; he is recognized for his expertise on employment background screening, criminal record checks, workplace fraud, embezzlement, employee theft, resume fraud and negligent hiring in the workplace. He is widely quoted and has been featured on television, including ABC-TV ‘Money Matters,’ the Fox News Channel and has been interviewed on more than 126 live talk radio programs.
Kathy Eppley is a law of attraction expert business transformation coach and dynamic speaker who specializes in helping entrepreneurs, solo-professionals and real estate professionals break through barriers to high six figure success.
Her passion is helping business owners and individuals raise the bar and stretch to attract the money and success they really want and deserve, and have the time and energy to live with passion, fully engaging in all aspects of their lives.
Kathy had a former career as an English Teacher and also spent over twenty years in Residential Real Estate Sales & Marketing as an Agent and Broker before founding Astound Yourself! Coaching/Consulting in 2011. Kathy resides in Texas with her two dogs, Patch and Dallas, and two cats, Sasha and Sammy.
In our recent webinar on February 23rd Kevin Connell CEO of AccuScreen and Mike Sankey discuss Google and Employment Background Checks.
Tampa Bay Fox News invited Kevin Connell CEO and Founder of AccuScreen, to discuss the latest settlement involving Facebook. This settlement that was reached on Monday involving Facebook is expected to set an important precedent for future fights between employers and employees.
Watch the interview below and tell us what you think about companies firing over Facebook posts?
What’s the difference between an Administrative Assistant and a Personal Secretary? Not a lot. Because of the fine line between many job titles, job applicants may feel justified by creatively changing their past job titles to better mesh with a prospective employer’s needs. After all, they had the same job responsibilities, right?
There is a big difference between tailoring a resume to reflect how one’s experience highlights the responsibilities of the anticipated position and outright lying about the duties one performed at a prior job. Hiring managers and employers need to be aware of how potential employees often fail to recognize that difference and protect their own interests when hiring.
Most hiring managers have come to expect a certain amount of resume embellishment. But, there’s no excuse for accepting the practice. Anyone willing to lie on their resume is not likely to perform their responsibilities in an ethical manner. Lying, fabrications, and self-interest are not traits that magically end once a job offer has been extended. Employers should never accept anyone into the company that enters the door as the result of a lie. Employees that lack integrity eventually degrade the integrity of the company.
As long as resume fraud is prevalent – and it doesn’t show signs of abating – employers have to ensure that they protect their own interests by performing stringent resume checks. In addition to contacting previous employers, references, and managers, HR departments must develop a sound policy of background screening. All of these aspects combine to portray an accurate picture of each job candidate, thereby allowing hiring managers to make the most informed decision possible.
So, what’s the best advice employers can heed? Verify! Do your homework. You’ll be pleased with the results.
AccuScreen creates an annual Top 7 Resume Lies Report. This year we have decided to go one step further and break each resume lie down for you. Over the next few weeks we will be featuring one of the top resume lies for the week.
This weeks lie is “Dates of Employment”
It is somewhat common for people extend the from/to employment dates on their resume to cover up gaps in their employment history, even small ones. After all, hiring managers want to know why a job candidate has such a gap. No applicant wants to be put in the hot seat, trying to adequately explain themselves.
There are many reasons for such gaps. Could be that the applicant took time off from work to raise a family. Maybe a parent was ill and needed round-the-clock care. Perhaps the candidate was fired from one position, and the next position was a long time in the works. Whatever the reason, job applicants will go out of their way to avoid having to explain why.
But, from a hiring manager’s standpoint, that “why” can be a big deal. In the worst case scenario, a potential employee that lies to cover up gaps in employment may be hiding a far more sinister reason than a much needed mental health break. Some reasons for doing so may even be criminal.
The job search process for convicted criminals is a tough one; far harder than for the average citizen. This is obviously because many employers won’t even consider a convicted criminal for employment, regardless of the crime. For this reason, many convicted criminals, especially those who were incarcerated, will cover up their incarceration by fudging the dates on their resume. Although the applicant may believe this is the only way he or she can level the employment playing field, employers may open themselves up for any number of liabilities after hiring such an individual.
The right to make an informed decision aside, hiring managers need to know the legal status of the people they hire. People who lie about the dates of their employment:
• Waste the time and money of potential employers
• Put employers and fellow employees at risk if they have a criminal background
• Clearly display a lack of ethics
• Rob hiring managers of the right to make an informed decision
In an ideal world, all job applicants would be completely honest on their resumes. However, since this is not the case, employers must implement a hiring policy that includes thorough vetting of a candidate’s resume as well as a criminal background check before an offer of employment is extended.
If you were not able to catch the latest interview of AccuScreen’s CEO Kevin Connell on Fox News 13 here it is.