Policy Focus: Background Checks
Multiple states and cities have enacted laws in recent months that govern the use of background checks, so this year’s survey takes a closer look at those policies. We kicked it off by asking how many survey participants have background check policies (74.4%) then moved on to ask how many apply background checks to all newly hired employees and found that 79.4% use them. We learned a few other things about background checks as well, including:
- HR staff checks work references only, 26.6%
- HR staff conducts criminal and/or credit background checks, 23.9%
- An outside vendor conducts criminal and/or credit background checks, 66.5%
Social Media Background Checks
Social media is used to check out potential new hires by 14.7% and used sometimes by 20%. Various social media sites are utilized with LinkedIn topping the list at 67% followed by Facebook at 60.8% and Google at 34.5%.
Positions Requiring Background Checks
When it comes to which positions require background checks, accounting, HR, key holders, management, and purchasing positions cover 35.8%. All positions are required for 17.9%, and none are required for 21.8%.
A look at the survey participants that use outside vendors to conduct their background checks reveals that 10.4% use ADP and 9.5% use Hire Right. Making it easier for employers to utilize their services, background check vendors’ systems integrate with employers’ ATS (Applicant Tracking System) for 28.2% and with their HRIS (Human Resource Information System) for 30.9%.
When asked how likely they’d recommend their background check vendor, 46.5% would, and 30.4% probably would recommend their service provider. Another 17.7% might make a recommendation, and 5.4% absolutely would not.
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Policies are enforced somewhat effectively for 51.7% and very effectively for 42.6% of survey participants. Another 5.3%, however, indicate that policies are not effectively enforced.
Management team members’ tendency to enforce only some policies is a problem for 32.3%. Some team members’ practice of not bothering to enforce any policies, however, is cited by 51.9% of survey participants as the biggest stumbling block to overall policy enforcement. The need to update policies is a stumbling block for 29.3% and having policies that are difficult to understand is an issue for 9.2%. Retaining policies that should be canceled is a stumbling block for 7.2% and inadequate or lack of distribution is a problem for 6.8%.
Progressive discipline is utilized for some violations of policy for 55.7% and for all policy violations for 37.2.1%. It is never utilized, however, for 5.2%.
How to Enhance Enforcement
Survey participants indicated that more successful enforcement of policies could be enhanced by:
- More training, 39.4%
- More consistent implementation and/or discipline, 17.6%
- Greater support from management team members, 15.2%
- Accountability for the management team, 16.8%
- Better communication of policies, 9.3%
- Updated and/or better written policies, 6.2%
- Bringing HR into the loop earlier, 3.1%
A total of 2,262 individuals participated in this survey, which was conducted in July 2014. Of those that identified themselves, 62.2% are privately owned for-profit organizations, 17.8% are private, not-for-profit companies, 8.6% are public sector, and 8.5% are government entities.
Companies with 1–250 employees account for 60.1% of survey participants. Companies with 251–500 employees make up 13.6%, and organizations with 501–-1,000 compose 9.1%. Rounding out the group, companies with 1,001 to 5,000 account for 11.3%, and organizations with more than 5,000 employees account for 5.9% of survey participants.
Less than 9% of the employers surveyed have a 50–100% unionized workforce. Also, 78.4% have a workforce with no union representation. Less than 23% of the respondents have a workforce of more than 50% exempt employees.
Just over half (51.6%) of the participants are in service industries; 21.7% are in agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing, or mining; 6.8% are in wholesale, retail, transportation, or warehousing; and 19.9% are in real estate, utilities, or “other.”
Staff level employees account for 13.7% of the survey participants who self-identified, and supervisors represent 4.9%. Manager level survey participants account for 56.9%, and VP or higher represent 24.4%.
Policy creation and maintenance—just one more daily challenge. Compensation and benefits are never as easy as you wish they were. Even the most basic challenge—wage and hour—should be simple, but it’s just not. Complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the most confusing and challenging things comp pros have to do.
Even the most savvy practitioners get tripped up, and the law’s complex requirements can easily land you and your company on the wrong side of a lawsuit or in a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation.
Fortunately, there’s help—Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR provides you with detailed guidance on how to comply with the FLSA, and it takes you through the most complicated wage and hour issues that HR practitioners encounter.
When you’re faced with a supervisor’s travel time question, an employee’s request for comp time, or another executive’s suggestion that more assistant managers be deemed exempt from overtime, you’ll find answers in seconds from a reputable and reliable source.
Wage and hour lawsuits are expensive—and easily prevented. Here’s how to protect against crippling judgments. Go here for information or to order Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR
Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR features:
- Real-world examples of wage and hour challenges and how to solve them;
- Multiple quizzes, so you can see where you need to review more carefully;
- An overtime exemption audit checklist, so you never make the wrong call;
- State-specific charts, for comparing your multistate obligations;
- Sample policies, easily modified to fit your specific preferences; and
- A quarterly newsletter, Wage & Hour Compliance Bulletin, to keep you aware of the latest developments in the law and why they matter to you.
Why are aggressive attorneys so eager to file claims on behalf of employees? Because there’s so much money to be made! Some examples are:
- $4.75 million: Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, settles wage and hour lawsuit over miscalculated overtime pay and failing to compensate workers for missed meal and rest periods.
- $1.15 million: Las Vegas construction company to pay back wages to 1,060 current and former employees.
- $976,327: New Mexico aerospace company settles with 900 employees who were routinely required to work through lunch breaks without compensation.
- $340,400: New Jersey convenience store agrees to pay back wages and damages for violations of overtime and recordkeeping.
- >$84,541: New York physical therapist agrees to pay 22 employees for minimum wage violations.
- $30,000: Texas chain of four gas stations agrees to pay their six hourly employees, again, for recordkeeping and overtime violations.
Avoid steep fines. Go here for information or to order Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR.
Buyers’ Benefit: To make sure your Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR remains current with changing interpretations and court decisions, we monitor courts, Congress, and state legislatures. Each year, we’ll rush you an updated edition and bill on a 30-day review basis. You pay only if you decide to keep the updated edition.
Stay up to date with wage and hour changes. Go here for information or to order Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR.