Category Archives: Industry News

Criminal Records – CORI Reform in Massachusetts

Masschusetts recently enacted a signficant revision affecting the access, use, and inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history.  A good summary of the act by the law firm Ropes & Gray can be found here and on the official Commonwealth of Massachusetts site which can be found here

Some of the changes include making it unlawful for an employer to ask an applicant about recent felony and misdemeanor convictions as part of the initial written application form.  Additionally, for most felony convictions information will be provided only for the past 10 years and misdemeanor convictions will be reported for five years after final disposition.

There are also new requirements for providing an applicant with a copy of an criminal records information that might be used in an adverse employment decision prior to questioning the applicant concerning it or making an adverse decision on the basis of it.  There are also new requirements to maintain a written CORI policy and to provide applicants with a copy of the policy.

ACFE Fraud Survey – Importance of Training Programs

According to the recent fraud survey conducted by Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the most effective fraud prevention tactics were “non-accounting controls” such as hotlines and training and support programs for both employees and managers.  The human factor also played a significant role in the discover of fraud.  The most common method of catching a fraudster is a tip-off.  In fact, tips expose fraud three times as often as do management reviews, internal audits, and account reconciliations.

For more information, click here.

New Anti-Harassment Provisions in Manitoba, Canada

Manitoba has followed the lead of other Canadian provinces by introducing new measures to protect against psychological harassment in the workplace, labour and immigration minister Jennifer Howard announced Thursday.  Changes to the Workplace, Safety and Health Regulation will add new requirements to protect workers from all forms of harassment, including intimidation, bullying and humiliation.

“Manitoba now joins other provinces such as Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec in requiring employers to provide protection from such harassment,” Howard said in a provincial government release. “This builds on other measures that protect workers from harassment based on age, race or gender and ensure that workplaces are respectful and safe for everyone.”

Employers will be required to put in place measures to prevent such harassment and address it if it occurs. The province will help develop and implement policies and educate workers and employers about their responsibilities to ensure a respectful and healthy workplace.  View article from Winnipeg Free Press here.

On-line Fraud and Information Theft

Two recent studies reflect the growing risks of on-line fruad and thefts of information and electronic data.  In this Financial Times article recapping a recent Kroll study, it states that on-line have become bigger problem for global companies than physical property crimes.  And, this recent report at www.internetretailing.net, shows that approximately 1.6% of on-line transactions are fraudlent.

New FCRA Obligations May Impact Employers

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission determined that certain companies, such as reference-checking providers, are consumer reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  As a result, employers that provide payroll and other employee-related information to certain third parties in connection with outsourced services, such as unemployment processing and reference checking, will be considered “furnishers” within the meaning of the FCRA and, therefore, subject to applicable federal and comparable state law regulations.  Federal regulations that impose new responsibilities on employers that provide consumer credit information to consumer reporting agencies took effect on July 1, 2010.

For a good summary of the new regulations, click here.