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HR ProFile Talks With Compliance Officer John Robinson

In preparation for HR ProFile’s upcoming FREE Webinar, FCRA: Are YOUR Employment Screening and Background Checks FAIR for your applicants?; to be held on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 2PM EST. HR ProFile (HRP) sat down with the Webinar presenter, John Robinson. Mr. Robinson shared information about his background, personal interest, and his thoughts on the Human Resource industry.

HRP: What do you think is the biggest challenge the industry will face in the next 12 months?

JR: Litigation continues to be the single greatest impact facing the Human Resource industry. Lawsuits from both the EEOC – focusing on alleged disparate impact-- and private individuals angling for FCRA-based class action status continue to permeate the industry.

The EEOC seems to have a laser like focus on disparate impact and is not shy using litigation as their agent of change. Recent claims against Dollar General, Kaplan, and Freeman are just a few of the many high profile lawsuits alleging improprieties. The EEOC has an operating budget of approximately $375 Million that affords them the opportunity and resources to flex their governmental oversight muscles.

Private individuals seeking class action lawsuit status have also greatly impacted the industry. With the perfect storm of huge potential payouts and a lower burden of proof, many lawyers use litigation as a business model. Lawsuits brought against Michaels Stores Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Publix Stores are just the most recent examples of this.

Companies large and small must be aware of the ever changing legal landscape and maintain hiring due diligence to ensure FCRA and EEOC compliance. Partnering with their CRA to develop, implement, and document proper procedures and policies is an important step to avoid becoming a headline in the newspaper.

HRP: Thinking specifically about innovations in regards to hiring practices, do you think companies are doing everything they can to promote best hiring practices in order to reduce involuntary turnover? What do you recommend they change and why?

JR: Technology is another element of impact on the HR industry over the recent decade. Applicant tracking systems, online job boards, competency assessments, and distance learning are all now common practice and wide spread. All of this technology should be used to create/maintain a company’s culture of success. I would encourage companies to take a futuristic mindset and ask themselves how this prospective employee can help - not just now - but in ten or fifteen years. Doing a thorough, high quality employment screening and assessment will help.

HRP: Do you think the government is doing enough to set proper regulations for the industry? Why/Why not?

JR: Unfortunately, these regulations are not clear and lack specificity. Under the current environment, I would have to say no. The purpose of all of these laws is to protect individuals for the greater good. Currently, there are too many layers of controlling legal authority– FCRA, EEOC, FTC, CFPB, and state EEO laws – and as a result have produced volumes of industry regulations. Too often, regulations without clear guidelines and specifics of how to comply with the law is the biggest trouble we face in this industry. HR Departments need hiring best practice leadership and a partnership approach from the government instead of the current “gotcha” mentality.

HRP: How will Globalization affect the Human Resource industry?

JR: With technological advances, today's business world is a global venture. Markets and talent once out of reach are more available. This international presence is not without peril as there are no uniform HR standards worldwide. Large and small countries alike - China, Russia, Germany, Honduras, India, etc - do not share the same laws and often differ in what legal, education, and reference information can be divulged. Differing levels of economic development, language barriers, time zone differences, and governmental structure all can impact a background search. Fraud is a huge consideration too – a recent study detailed that 58% of all international applicants contained derogatory or fraudulent claims on their resume.2 For example, online diploma mills can create the illusion of academic prowess, and this is something the HR Department must consider when vetting an international applicant. Having a strong relationship with their CRA will help a company with this critical component.

References:

1) Link to EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2016budget.cfm
2) This is the fact why Background Check is a “MUST”
inChina! http://www.idasan.com/idasan/company.aspx

This webinar is part of HR ProFile’s monthly webinar series and on-going commitment to communicate the latest and most innovative topics, compliance changes, trends, and best practices within the Human Resource Industry. The webinar will concentrate on FCRA Compliance for employers, how to follow the guidelines and avoid the lawsuits, Adverse Action Letters and how FCRA originated.

Attendance will count toward One HRCI Continuing Education Credit.

Key Take-Aways Of This Webinar Include:

  • What is the FCRA? Why do Employers need to follow it?
  • What companies have done incorrectly- why they were sued
  • Employers Best Practices/Action Steps to Avoid FCRA Lawsuits

About the speaker: John Robinson, Compliance Officer, HR ProFile
As HR ProFile’s Compliance Officer, John works to ensure that HRP is following all FCRA, ADA, EEOC, FTC and CFPB guidelines. He brings experience from law enforcement, asset protection, and compliance. John is well versed in the current regulations and congressional movements surrounding these federal requirements. John graduated Cum Laude with a A.A.S. & B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. jrobinson@hrprofile.com

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