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August 24, 2012 No Comments

EEO-1 Reports – What you Should Know

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission collects workforce data from employers with more than 100 employees (lower thresholds apply to federal contractors). Employers meeting the reporting thresholds have a legal obligation to provide the data; it is not voluntary. The data is collected and is used for a variety of purposes including enforcement, self-assessment by employers, and research. Each of the reports collects data about gender and race/ethnicity by some type of job grouping. This information is shared with other authorized federal agencies in order to avoid duplicate collection of data and reduce the burden placed on employers. Although the data is confidential, aggregated data is available to the public.  This report must be submitted to the EEOC by September 30, 2012 of each year.

The Employer Information Report EEO-1, otherwise known as the EEO-1 Report, is required to be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee. The filing deadline for the 2012 EEO-1 Survey is September 30, 2012.

The preferred method for completing the EEO-1 reports is the web-based filing system. Online filing requires you to log into your company’s database with a Login ID and Password. All companies should receive  EEO-1 filing materials by mail no later than mid August 2012. If you cannot locate your Login ID and/or Password, contact the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee at e1.lostloginpassword@eeoc.gov.

Consent for Background Checks

Conducting a background check must be done properly.  There are many laws governing how one proceeds with an investigation.  These laws vary from state to state.  It is important that they be conducted properly.  I advise using an experienced, knowledgeable organization to ensure compliance with both federal and state laws.

There are several areas of liability from Title VII violations to Fair Credit Reporting violations.  It’s important to “know your stuff”.  Most HR Professionals are familiar with the process.  If you do not have an HR Professional in your organization, I would recommend using a third party so that you can be sure you are in compliance.

I’ve included a copy of a consent form in today’s blog for your reference.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this topic.Background & Credit check consent form – standard

A Pre-Employment Horror Story

Yesterday I spoke about the importance of pre-employment screenings.  Not to scare anyone or to have you think you are hiring the next “postal” worker but it should be taken seriously.  As an owner one must take precautions to ensure the safety of not only the stakeholders within the organization but also to anyone who comes in contact with that organization, vendors, customers, etc.

Case in point, what if your business suddenly picks up and you need to hire several new customer service reps to handle the  new volume of business.  You place an ad, receive a multitude of resumes and start the interviewing process.  You find the perfect person, they are well groomed, well-spoken, and have the perfect background experience . . . just what you are looking for.  In fact, you’ve fallen in love with them and hire them on the spot.  Good move?  No!!!!

In most cases it doesn’t take more that 24 hours to perform a thorough background check on that person.  You then have peace of mind knowing you’ve done your due-diligence and you have protected your business and all concerned.

You ask, “What about the Horror Story”?  OK, here goes:

This happened to John (names have changed to protect the “not so innocent”).  He needed to hire a customer service rep because business had consistently picked up and because of the overtime it was costing him.  He found the perfect guy (Steve) and hired him on the spot.  A week later he got a call from one of his customers stating that Steve “flew off the handle” when John called about an error on a recent order.  The customer knew that John stressed the importance of superior customer service and wanted John to be aware of the unusual behavior.

John called me to ask how he should handle the situation.  We asked about background screening and John said he didn’t have time.  We then conducted a “post hire” screening to discover that Steve had several counts of domestic violence charges all stemming from a “short temper”.

We discussed the results with John and he was not willing to give Steve a second chance based on the results of the report and his behavior with one of John’s customers.  Because Steve was within his 90 day introductory period, we advised John to terminate Steve immediately as he was within his introductory period and to state that Steve just wasn’t the right fit for the position.

John was fortunate because his customer cared enough to report Steve.  What would have happened to John’s business if the customer did not report Steve?  Take the time to check the backgrounds of those you hire, it will save you in the long run.

Don’t have time to do it yourself? Use a third-party vendor.  We’d be happy to assist you.

Has an Employee Ever Asked to See Their Personnel File?

Have you have been asked by an employee to review their personnel file? How did you answer them?
Here’s the general rule. Employers should treat all personnel files as they would treat any other sensitive company documents. They should be kept locked in a cabinet/room where only those authorized access to the information should have it. For various reasons, you may not want to allow employees access.
You may ask, why not allow employees access to their files? There can be very sensitive information that is retained on an employee that may not necessarily be for their eyes. For example, reference and/or background checks, incident investigations, to name a few.
There are eighteen states that have laws regarding employee access to their personnel files. If your business is in one of these states, you have no choice but to allow them access. The important thing is to know the law in your state and have your own policy that is compliant with your state law. You can have a policy on what documents get stored where, keeping all sensitive information separate.
I’ve always recommended employers maintain five separate files where employee information is stored. They are:
1) Records pertaining to an employee’s performance
2) Medical and benefit information
3) I-9 Information
4) Payroll Information
5) Worker’s Compensation records if applicable