FAQ

General Questions (5)

I know that someone has been arrested in the past. Will this report show that?

It may or it may not. The first factor is the “scope” of the investigation: how far back are we going? Generally we check at least the previous 7 years. Secondly are federal and various state laws that limit arrest only (as in it did not lead to a court conviction, just an arrest) data to 7 years. After 7 years, we cannot report arrest  information to you. An arrest that does not get prosecuted might only have a record with the arresting law enforcement agency. While we can, and at times do, check records of some law enforcement agencies, they tend to be more expensive, have fees associated with them and often require separate release forms that need to be signed in ink before a notary in order to submit the search request. Lastly is jurisdiction. If we check every place the applicant has lived or worked within the scope of the investigation and one summer they drove across country and were arrested in some jurisdiction a thousand miles from anywhere they have had a connection, the arrest would not show up in a background screening report. If it led to a conviction, and that court jurisdiction reported that conviction to a source such as our InstaCriminal Multi-jurisdictional database, we would pick that up and verify the hit directly with the court.

How can employers avoid negligent hiring liability?

Conduct your due diligence by screening your applicants. Background checks should be part of a good overall employment screening program.

What is negligent hiring?

While we are well versed in matters regarding backgrounds, we strongly suggest you contact a lawyer with any questions pertaining to employment law.

Having said that, negligent hiring may be found where the employee had a reputation or record that showed their propensity to misuse the kind of authority given by the employer. This record would have been easily discoverable by the employer, had the employer exercised ‘due diligence’. For example, a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace may have a cause of action for negligent hiring on the part of their employer if they can show that the employer was aware of the harasser’s termination from a previous position for the same behavior. (Wikipedia.org)

Negligent retention occurs where a party failed to remove an employee from a position of authority or responsibility after it became apparent that the employee was in fact misusing that authority or responsibility in a way that posed a danger to others. (Wikipedia.org) This is one reason why ongoing or “infinity” screening is conducted. You ran a background check on your employee when you hired him, but what do you know about their criminal or driving record 5 years later?

Premises liability is the liability for a landowner for certain torts that occur on the real property. In sum: Premises liability law is the body of law which makes the person who is in possession of land or premises responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises. (Wikipedia.org)

For these and other theories of negligence, you have not performed adequate due diligence when you hire employees, vendors, or volunteers, and have not checked their background.

Why conduct background checks?

That’s a good question, why should you screen your employees? For some organizations, they are required by a variety of federal, state, or local law. Federal acts such as HIPPA, the US Patriot Act, or the Federal Sentencing Guidelines discuss background checks for a variety of industries or positions. Other entities find that it is just good business practice. Did you know that 80 percent of U.S. companies use background checks as part of a pre-employment background screening program according to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)? Other situations are similar, such as organizations who utilize volunteers, students of a training or educational institution, etc.

 

What do I do if something is wrong on my background screening report?

If you find inaccuracies in a background screening report (Consumer Report) that we prepared for an organization, you may dispute those with us. Fill out our Consumer Report Dispute Form (below) online using Adobe or Adobe Reader (a free software program), print the completed form, sign the form (in black ink), attach any documents you may have proving your claim and fax everything to us at 855-879-0909. You may also mail the forms to us. Within 30 days, we will re-investigate the issues you bring to our attention.

Consumer Report Dispute Form

 

About Safe-Screen (7)

Is Safe-Screen a licensed and reputable firm?

Yes, we are licensed and certified through a variety of entities. Safe-Screen is a registered fictitious firm name (doing business as) and registered trade/service mark of Cage & Associates, Ltd.

Nevada Secretary of State, General State Business License No. NV20091078868

Nevada Private Investigators Licensing Board, Private Investigators License/Private Patrolman/Security Consultant #901/901A

Clark County Business License, Private Detective: 2000059.305, Security Firm: 2000109.307

Veteran Owned Small Business, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE)

FCRA Basic Certification, National Association of Professional Background Screeners

Dunn and Bradstreet, DUNNS Number: 135768302

Federal CAGE Code: 4X1W8

Federal System for Award Management (SAM): 135768302

The servers hosting the Safe-Screen platform site have achieved the Verizon Cybertrust Security Certification.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards validation, (PCI DSS) First Data PCI Rapid Comply

Verified Merchant, Authorize.net

Verified domain and business, SiteLock

Manta, Verified Business

 

Professional Associations

Safe-Screen as an organization and/or its members maintain an active membership in the following professional organizations. We believe that maintaining our professional knowledge is very important to providing quality services to our clients.

 ASIS International, Las Vegas Chapter Past Chairman/Vice-Chairman/Legislative Committee

 National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)

 Association of Certified Background Investigators (ACBI)

 Intellenet – International Intelligence Network

 Concerned CRA’s

 Nine Lives Associates, Committee Member (NLA)

 Academy of Security Educators and Trainers, Committee Member (ASET)

 American Federal Contract Investigators Association (AFCIA)

 Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

 Las Vegas Security Chiefs Association

 Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

 Southern Nevada Tourist Safety Association

 National Association of Investigative Specialists (NAIS)

 InfraGard, a FBI Public – Private Partnership

 Overseas Security Advisory Council, US Department of State

 

How will my searches be returned?

Through the same secure, online platform. From there you can review the report, assign decision codes that will help you to at a glance see which applicants “passed”, which ones you need to review, or which ones you are sending a required Pre-Adverse/Adverse Action Letter.

                                                                                                                                      

How do I order search requests?

Once we establish an account for a client organization (2-3 business days, an additional 1-4 business days if you want to receive access to credit reports), any authorized user can log into our secure system 24/7 and order a background screening report request. With our QuickApp™ feature, you can start a search with as little as your applicants name and email address. Our system takes care of notifying the applicant, electronic authorization and application and notification to you when the report is complete. You can also manually type in the required personal information and upload a copy of a signed authorization. For large volume clients, you can also merge information into a .csv template and upload that one template. Additionally we can set up a web page that can be linked to that contains a background application specific to your organization.

Your background check will show everything in a person’s background, right?

No. First of all, we don’t know what is meant by “everything”, as that tends to mean different things to different people. The arrest record example above is the most common for unreported issues. Also the reporting restrictions vary. For example, in Nevada, we can report a criminal conviction for any amount of time, unless we also supply you with a credit report, then we can only report to you criminal convictions during the preceding 7 years.

While we can conduct a background that equals that the government does for a Top Secret security clearance, those cost thousands of dollars and take a couple of months to complete. The majority of our background screenings take less than 3 business days, depending on responses from other agencies.

 

How much does a background check typically cost?

There is no standardized fee for a “background check”. We operate off an a la carte concept, picking those specific products that make sense based on the specifics and risks of the job for which you are hiring. When signing up for Safe-Screen services, we consult with a company representative to determine what types of positions you are hiring for, what the specific risks are for those positions, and make a suggestion for each type of position. We highly recommend that each position receive the same background check. We have numerous background screening packages ranging from $24.00 to several under $100.00 to a high of $495.00 for a in-depth, comprehensive background investigation.

At Safe-Screen, pre-employment screening generally costs less than the employee’s first day of pay. This is a small price considering that a bad hire can cost 30% of the employee’s first year salary, according to US Department of Labor data.

An additional consideration is that Safe-Screen is managed by real investigators. We are not an instant online data provider, simply providing you with pages of raw, meaningless data. While most of the instant, online data sellers are in violation of federal and often state law, Safe-Screen is in full compliance with the FCRA, other federal and state laws. Safe-Screen is a fully licensed private investigative and security consulting agency. All background screening reports are reviewed by a live person familiar with the field before we send it out to our client. We have many years of experience and access to multiple resources with the most up to date information on the many laws regulating what can and cannot be reported.

Our system meets all relevant regulations regarding the transmission, storage and use of the background screening reports we provide.

There are NO Sign Up Fees, NO Term Contracts, NO Minimum Orders and NO Monthly Fees. If you elect and are eligible to receive employment related credit reports, an inspection will be required by a third party firm of your business offices. This is a requirement by the credit bureaus and a fee is charged one time for this inspection.

All fees charged by Safe-Screen regarding searches are for us conducting the search. There may be additional feels, as some courts, DMVs, etc., occasionally charge a separate fee. Many courts, DMV’s, schools, etc. charge a separate fee. We pass that nominal charge along directly to our client. Should an applicant have used a different name (married, maiden, name change, etc.) during the scope (period of time we are searching, almost always at least 7 years) will require us to conduct a separate search of each original source, with the associated additional charge. The fees charged for county/federal court-house criminal records searches do not include obtaining copies of actual documents. Contact Customer Support for information about obtaining documents from any courthouse in the US/Canada. International records are often obtainable, although at an increased cost and turnaround time from our US searches. There are a few countries that we are unable to conduct our services due to their laws, political issues, armed conflict, etc.

 

What does Safe-Screen do?

Safe-Screen conducts background checks for pre-employment screening, screening of current employees, and screening of volunteers, students and members of professional associations.

Who can use Safe-Screen?

Safe-Screen is a service for employers and other organizations with a need to legally screen employees, volunteers, vendors, students and members.  We do not conduct backgrounds for dating or personal purposes, to find out about your neighbors or other purposes not covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Laws and Regulations (2)

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), provides the guidelines employers need to follow when performing employment screening. The FCRA requirements apply whenever an employer requests a “consumer report” or “investigative consumer report” from a Consumer Reporting Agency such as Safe-Screen. A “consumer report” includes any written, oral or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency regarding an individual’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living which is used as a factor to establish eligibility for employment. The FCRA requires that employers must comply with certain reporting requirements when using an agency to screen employees or applicants.

To obtain a report, the employer must first provide certification to the consumer reporting agency that they:

• Are requesting the report for employment purposes (which includes evaluating an applicant or employee for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention).

• Have provided the required disclosure to the applicant or employee.

•Have obtained the necessary written authorization to request the report.

•Will provide the applicant or employee with a copy of the report and a written description of the applicant or employee’s rights before taking any adverse action based in whole or in part on the report.

•Will not use the information from the report in a manner that violates federal or state equal opportunity laws.

 

The FCRA requires any employer intending to obtain a consumer report to first make a clear and conspicuous written disclosure to the applicant or employee that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. The disclosure cannot be included in an employment application or other document that contains additional information.

For the complete text of the FCRA,

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq

 

Do you use database searches for your criminal record searches?

Like most background check companies, we supplement our county level criminal record searchers by obtaining data from one of a couple of huge, private databases that obtained data from many original sources, such as courts, administrative office of the court, department of corrections, etc. Conducting a search of one of these databases with hundreds of millions of records is a good idea because it’s essentially instant and inexpensive.

However, we don’t report “hits” immediately. Why? The FCRA requires us to only report the most accurate, up to date information. As the information comes from a database and not original source information, any changes to the record would not necessarily show up in the database information. Therefore, if we receive a “hit”, we go to the original source information (i.e. the actual courthouse where a criminal record is maintained) to ensure the “hit” is on the correct person (some database “hits” don’t have enough identifying information to conclude that this is the correct person) and that we have the most up to date information, such as disposition, cases closed, dispositions that are withheld, etc.

In addition to a trained, experienced court-house records researcher available for all 3,143 counties (or equivalents) in the US, we have direct electronic access to over 1200 different court jurisdictions for an instant or very short-term turn around records search.

        
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