Reducing Bias in the Background Screening Process: Our Commitment to Social Justice

Discrimination, diversity, and inclusiveness are raising questions surrounding best practices for pre-screening bias. However, PlusOne Solutions has been committed to social justice since the company was founded in 2005.

 

Recent media articles demand that organizations who handle criminal record checks should be accountable for their role in social justice initiatives and understanding the impact these records can have on various groups. Specifically of note is the Washington Post article which calls data organizations to task for perpetuating discrimination by using and sharing criminal record information that is obtained from a system that is known to be flawed and unfair to some in our population.

We feel it is important to highlight our efforts and commitment to social justice and underscore the acceptance and accountability we take for our role in society. We share this now as a contribution to the dialogue that needs to occur and a reminder that for us, for more than 15 years, social justice is part of the foundation of PlusOne Solutions and this isn’t a new trend in response to more recent circumstances.

 

How we define the company against social justice principles

PlusOne Solutions believes everyone deserves equal economic and social rights and access to opportunities. We commit to social justice as an ongoing effort rather than a static end state. For us, social justice is based on the principles of respect, care, and equity; with an awareness of how race, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, family responsibility or family status, marital status, religious or political conviction, age, and disability may impact the opportunities for individuals.

By acknowledging the attitudes, assumptions, and judgments that shape our actions, we create policies and work processes that respect the dignity and value of every individual we background screen and work with. We know the work we do has real impacts on individuals and their lives – they may not be gainfully employed because of the information we provide.

That is a big responsibility and not one that we take lightly.

 

The Role PlusOne Solutions Plays in the Industry

We conduct thousands of background checks each year on individuals across the U.S. and Canada. This may include data such as driving record searches, criminal record and arrest information, and global watches and database searches. Many of these may also include demographic information which is used in our matching and identification process. How we use, protect, and share this information with Customers, our end users, and the opportunities we afford the individuals about whom we have information, creates the base for our social justice efforts. Also, our process regularly includes requirements that support reentry efforts like state, county, or even city-level Ban the Box or Fair Chance initiatives which seek to provide previously convicted individuals an opportunity to reenter society in a meaningful way.

 

6 Things We Do to Commit to Social Justice in Our Background Screening Process

 

1. Provide More Opportunities Through an Appeal Process
From the start of our business, we have always offered individuals both an option to dispute, as is their right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as an opportunity to appeal. Before a final decision is made about the individual’s inclusion in our Customer’s service network, they have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

The dispute process is focused on information that is incorrect or incomplete while the appeal process recognizes the information is accurate but provides the opportunity for the individual to disclose additional detail about their circumstances to explain why they feel they are still suitable for the role and eligibility in the Customer’s network. This allows the individual to explain why their past experiences or criminal history should not be a disqualifying condition.

 

2. Use Identification Numbers in Place of Individual Names
With all the individuals we deal with, we have a lot of “John Smiths”… so we have instituted a process that relies on a PlusOne ID (or “Tech ID”). This gives a unique number to each individual, which they are fully aware of, and is used in many of the Customer’s platforms and systems as well, and reduces the need to surface names which may provide ethnic, gender, or other information.

 

3. Create a Custom Risk Relevancy Matrix Based on the Role
Each customer we work with provides a risk relevancy matrix that outlines which types of records are relevant to the role the individual will hold and when reviewing records, we use this guide to determine which are relevant. Since arrest records are treated differently than criminal convictions, we regularly work directly with the individual to ascertain the more detailed circumstances which surround an arrest or booking incident and are specifically looking to see the relevance of the issue and the presence of a formal charge or conviction that can be evaluated. This affords the individual an opportunity, even before the appeal process, to provide additional details that may be relevant to the review and consideration of an individual. The matrix removes the subjective decision-making process that can occur and allows an individualized assessment of the individual’s suitability for work in our customer’s network. The goal here is to recognize that while not everyone may be suitable for every job, this must be a risk-based decision based on the requirements of each job.

 

4. Sharing Only Relevant Information
When reviewing details of completed screenings, our team often have access to large amounts of demographic information on an individual – descriptors, tattoos, age, height or weight, complete legal names, gender, and possibly transgender situations. If the information is not relevant, it will be removed from the report and when the final report is provided, it contains only summary information with relevant details for the Customer. This again protects the individual, and our Customers, from inadvertently using irrelevant information for the decision at hand.

 

5. Managing the Submission and Use of Potentially Discriminating Information
The majority of the individuals being screened enter their information into a secure online system. The gathering of gender is not included but other items like address, DOB, previous address information, and other names, are captured and used by PlusOne Solutions in the screening process but not generally shared with the Customer.

When issuing reports, we also protect the individual’s full date of birth, and age so as not to unnecessarily disclose PII, but this also protects the individual and our Customers from using age in any of their decisions.

If there are situations where a name or gender change is identified, date of birth, or name requires clarification, or information is provided that may be considered incomplete, our standard process is to reach out to the individual to obtain the required details. This provides an opportunity for them to participate in the process, as well as clarify information that a purely automated, depersonalized approach would simply overlook.

This protects the individual’s information and again, creates a barrier between the Customer and what information they have, know, and can use in their process, and reduces the likelihood that the individual could be discriminated against. If the information is not available, it cannot be used to create a disparate impact.

 

6. Sensitivity to Gender
Communications, whether by email, regular post, or on the phone, contain a sensitivity to gender and use primarily the PlusOne ID, or in some cases we will use the individual’s name. In doing so, we do not confuse Whitney who is male, with a Whitney who may be female and do not rely on pronouns like “she/her” or “he/him” which may preserve the individual’s dignity concerning their gender identification preferences.

 

Our goals and commitment are not insignificant. By recognizing the value of each individual, we deliver on our goal to improve the world around us.

We work with our Customers, their service networks, and each individual being screened to ensure the criminal records review process followed promotes social change, specifically addresses the risk relevant to their work and role and respects their differing backgrounds.

It’s what we do, it’s what we have always done, and will continue to do in order to best serve you.

 

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel concerning their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

 

 

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments.

To learn more, visit http://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.

 

 

 

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Certificate of Insurance Management for Small Businesses to Reduce Risk and Improve Compliance

PlusOne Solutions, a compliance and risk management solutions provider specializing in contractor networks, released a new Certificate of Insurance (COI) Management service for small businesses.

As an insurance compliance partner, PlusOne Solutions ensures a contractor network is fully compliant with a company’s insurance standards, reduces the risk associated with working with contractors who may have improper insurance coverage and improves overall network compliance rates.

Managing all the certificate of insurance documentation in-house often means file cabinets filled with outdated COIs and a lack of tracking, leading to increased risk and liability with an out-of-compliance contractor network. Unfortunately, buying or licensing a COI tracking system is usually cost-prohibitive for companies with less than 250 contractor COIs to manage. To fix this common pain point, PlusOne Solutions created a Starter package, which offers all the essential components of a successful insurance compliance program.

“We realized that small and medium-sized companies needed an affordable option to improve their certificate of insurance management program, in such a way that would add value,” said Sara Everett, Insurance & License Operations Manager at PlusOne Solutions. “We developed a new range of insurance-related services that provide varying levels of our efficiencies, support, and safeguards to enhance their current insurance management process. The best part is that as the company’s needs grow, PlusOne Solutions can grow with them.”

As companies expand over time, they can upgrade to either the Professional or Enterprise packages for additional features, such as more robust support, consulting, and reporting. The varying packages are flexible to cater to the needs of networks of all sizes, however, there are some fundamental features included as a standard across all three packages. Each option includes a secure, centralized repository for stored insurance documentation with 24/7 customer access, and data entry assistance. Additionally, PlusOne Solutions takes a proactive approach by reaching out to the insurance agent and company for deficient insurance requirements.

“For the past 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been specializing in compliance practices for the unique needs of contractor networks,” said Craig Reilly, CEO & Founder of PlusOne Solutions. “Our new COI Management service for small businesses is yet another way we continue to adapt our solutions to the service industry’s unique needs, and we will continue to commit to serving the service industry through innovative solutions.”

To learn more about PlusOne Solutions’ COI Management services, visit https://www.plusonesolutions.net/solutions/insurance-management/

 

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit http://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.

 

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PlusOne Solutions’ Michelle Leblond Announced as Chairperson of PBSA Board of Directors

Michelle Leblond, Executive Vice President of Compliance and Privacy at PlusOne Solutions, is the new Chairperson of the Professional Background Screening Association’s Board of Directors.

Her one-year term officially commenced following the formal announcement during the 2020 PBSA Annual Conference, which was held virtually this year.

After joining PBSA more than 10 years ago when the Canadian Chapter was forming, Michelle’s involvement with the organization has been both progressive and global in nature. She has worked at the Committee and Leadership level within the Canadian Chapter including leading the Government Relations Committee (Canada), as well as on the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC), Global Advisory Council and Membership Committee before joining the Board more than five years ago. Her new role will be focused on the governance and oversight for the Association which counts over 815 member companies and 6,000 individual members around the globe.

“Being the first global Board Chair for our industry Association is an honor and a responsibility that I am excited to take on,” Michelle said. “The pace of technology, the importance of our work in protecting our workplaces, homes, and communities, and the evolution of regulation, demands a dedicated and passionate advocate to represent our members and work with an equally talented Board of Directors. I welcome the opportunity to bring the same energy and motivation I have shown in my work at PlusOne Solutions to PBSA as it continues to realize its mission to become the trusted global authority for the screening profession. I am privileged to support an Association whose mission it is to advance excellence in the screening profession and my unique combination of operational, technical, data privacy and compliance skills make PBSA well suited to deliver on our strategic goals to educate, advocate and impact legislation in the best interests of our members.”

In addition to her 25 years of experience in the background screening industry, Michelle is also a current member of Human Resources Professionals Association (Ontario), Society for Human Resource Management, and International Association of Privacy Professionals. She also holds Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) designations in both the U.S. and Canada.

“The PlusOne Solutions team is honored that Michelle has honed her experience and drive to lead PBSA to new heights in which every organization in our industry will benefit,” said Craig Reilly, Founder and CEO of PlusOne Solutions. “With Michelle’s leadership and her knowledge of the global stage, Michelle energized our company by developing new programs to raise our compliance, privacy, and security disciplines and driving us to meet the highest standards in the industry. We’re excited to see just how high Michelle can elevate our industry through her role with PBSA.”

 

About PlusOne Solutions

For more than 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments for everyone and is an Accredited Background Screening Agency by the Professional Background Screening Association.

 

About PBSA

Founded as a non-profit trade association in 2003, the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) was established to represent the interest of companies offering employment and tenant background screening services. Just as importantly, however, the initial members wanted to establish and promote a high level of ethics and performance standards for the screening industry. The Association currently represents over 815 member companies engaged in employment and tenant background screening across the United States. Member companies range from Fortune 100 companies to small local businesses, conducting millions of employment-related and tenant background checks each year as part of the hiring and leasing process. PBSA Member companies are defined as “consumer reporting agencies” pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and are regulated by both the FTC and CFPB.

 

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Interested in learning more about our compliance services? Contact us at (877) 943-0100 or send us a message using the form below.



PlusOne Solutions Expanded Driver Record Search Service to Canada

PlusOne Solutions, a compliance and risk management solutions specializing in contractor networks, announced the expansion of their driving record search service to Canada*.

Officially called Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR), driving record searches provide companies the opportunity to confirm eligible drivers have an active license. Since anyone driving for a company could potentially put the organization at risk, MVRs help distinguish between safe drivers and potentially unsafe drivers.

“Before you let an employee or contractor get behind the wheel of a company car, it’s a good idea to run an MVR search to ensure they are a safe driver,” said Michelle Leblond, EVP of Compliance & Privacy at PlusOne Solutions.  “Expanding our driving record search service to Canada will allow our Customers to mitigate the risk of hiring and contracting drivers.”

The MVR search includes the class of the license, citation history, accident history, suspension information, license restrictions, and the current status of the driver’s license. The search scope changes depending on the individual jurisdiction; however, the search will go back at least three years but could potentially show more historical information depending on the province.

“We’re excited to offer our MVR search service in Canada and to continue helping more companies commit to safety on the road,” Leblond said.

*MVR Search is not available in Alberta.

 

About PlusOne Solutions

For more than 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments for everyone. To learn more, visit http://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.

 

For more company news, read the past announcements:

 

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

 

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Interested in learning more about our compliance services? Contact us at (877) 943-0100 or send us a message using the form below.



How PlusOne Solutions is responding to COVID-19: A Letter from our CEO

 

UPDATE 3/20/2020

As communities continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic as well as restrictions impacting government offices and businesses, PlusOne Solutions is modifying our Operational Service Center hours to meet the needs of our Customers while protecting the health and safety of our employees.

Effective Monday, March 23, our temporary new service hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

If you have any questions about the above temporary change, please email us at CustomerCare@PlusOneSolutions.Net and our Customer Success team will assist you.

 


 

3/16/2020

As communities continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as restrictions impacting government offices and businesses, we want to share that PlusOne Solutions has already activated our Business Continuity Plan to continue to protect our employees and support the ongoing operations of our valued Customers.

In some parts of the U.S. and Canada, we are already seeing court closings and other processing delays due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Since we rely on the courts to get the most updated and accurate information for background checks, this may cause a delay in some requests. With COVID-19 testing soon to begin at all drug collection sites, we may see an impact on scheduling drug testing as well or a backlog at the labs in reviewing the results. Further, over the coming weeks, we expect businesses to close or reduce capacity including at the insurance agencies and carriers who we work with. In the service sector, we are already experiencing consumer requests to delay service.

How we’re serving you:

Our primary focus continues to be with the health and well-being of our employees, customers, partners, and communities. We will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves and we continue our commitment to the highest level of customer service during this time.

We are closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and local health officials around the world, and we will rely on their cumulative recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.

If you have any questions, please email us using the form below and someone from our team will assist you.

Thank you for your continued partnership and patience as we navigate this challenging situation.

Stay safe and healthy.

Best Regards,

Craig Reilly
Chief Executive Officer & President
PlusOne Solutions


 

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit http://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.

 

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PlusOne Solutions Now Offering Continuous Criminal Monitoring

PlusOne Solutions, a provider of compliance and risk management solutions that meet the complex challenges of contractor networks, announced the release of their Continuous Criminal Monitoring program.

A proactive approach to background checks, the Continuous Criminal Monitoring program is an FCRA-compliant service that provides near real-time alerts on U.S. booking or incarceration activity that occurs within your service network or workforce after the initial background screening.

Criminal issues that occur between the standard two-year rescreen cycles can often go undetected and the ongoing monitoring of employees and contractors allows companies to see alerts on their network’s criminal activity, including DUI, assaults, theft, and more, that may increase risk and liability.

“Since there is usually a two-year period between the background checks a contractor undergoes, Customers were searching for a solution to monitor potential criminal activity between these screenings,” said Michelle Leblond, Executive Vice President of Compliance and Privacy at PlusOne Solutions. “Although this doesn’t replace the need for a full background screen, this is another mitigation tool our Customers can utilize to demonstrate due diligence and monitor their network’s activity.”

Continuous Criminal Monitoring vs. Traditional Background Checks

 

Companies that rely on contractor networks of varying sizes are challenged with maintaining compliance throughout their relationship with a contractor. Although they conduct periodic background checks on their network every two years, how do they know if something happens in the meantime?

That’s the gap of information Continuous Criminal Monitoring could solve.

Instead of reviewing only historical results like a traditional background check provides, continuous monitoring is the ongoing process of reviewing U.S. county-level criminal records and provides notice within 24 hours of incarceration or booking event.

While continuous criminal monitoring does not completely eliminate the need for periodic comprehensive background checks, PlusOne Solutions’ sources cover over 85 percent of the population and is a suitable search to identify potential behavior that may pose a risk to your business, customers, brand, customer loyalty, and reputation.

“Continuous Criminal Monitoring is one more way PlusOne Solutions has continued to improve our risk mitigation portfolio, added value to our U.S. Customers and helped them improve the quality and compliance of their contractor networks,” Leblond said. “We look forward to continued opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to be a strong partner with our Customers.”

 

 

To learn how Continuous Criminal Monitoring is already having an impact, read our case study titled ‘Continuous Criminal Monitoring: A Proactive Approach to Monitor Contractor Networks’.

 

ABOUT PLUSONE SOLUTIONS:
For more than 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments for everyone and is an Accredited Background Screening Agency by the Professional Background Screening Association.

 

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.


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PlusOne Solutions Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary by Giving Back

Orlando based PlusOne Solutions, which specializes in compliance solutions, is celebrating 15 years in business by giving proceeds of each background check to charity throughout 2020.

For every background screening they perform this year, PlusOne Solutions will donate portions of the profits to The ​National Children’s Cancer Society​ as well as the ​National Eating Disorders Association​. The organization aims to donate tens of thousands of dollars by the end of the year.

“We started this company to make a difference – and I believe we have made a difference,” said PlusOne Solutions founder Craig Reilly. “What we’re doing with the social outreach is to continue that and give back on a larger scale now.”

One of PlusOne Solutions’ core values is family. The company has always strived to respect and treat employees fairly and promote work-life balance. Additionally, PlusOne has been an active contributor to the Orlando community for years, especially helping children and families.

“We’ve always been active in the community, one of our core values is family and as such we’ve been active in food drives and a variety of other charities and contributed to causes like the Boys and Girls Clubs alongside our clients,” said Reilly. “This being our 15th year of business as an industry leader, I am happy that we have the latitude to really make a positive impact for two great charities that do amazing work.”

About PlusOne Solutions:

For more than 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs such as background screening, drug testing and administering insurance and license programs for field service organizations that make use of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments for everyone and is an Accredited Background Screening Agency by the Professional Background Screeners Association. For more information about PlusOne Solutions, visit ​www.plusonesolutions.net​.

Media Contact:

Katrina Poggio, Marketing Strategy Manager
Phone Number: 407-359-5929 x7020
Email: katrina.poggio@plusonesolutions.net

 

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PlusOne Solutions Achieves Level 1 PCI-DSS Compliance

As an industry provider of compliance solutions, PlusOne Solutions is committed to cybersecurity. We are honored to announce we have again achieved the PCI-DSS V3.2 Level 1 certification and Attestation of Compliance.

More than 10.9 billion records with sensitive information have been breached according to public disclosures between January 2005 and July 2018, according to PrivacyRights.org. Compliance with the PCI-DSS helps to alleviate vulnerabilities and protect cardholder data.

This certification ensures we are taking the steps to protect the data we maintain and maintaining the security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. 

To achieve the PCI-DSS V3.2 Level 1 certification and Attestation of Compliance, we commissioned Intrinium, an Informational Technology and security solutions company, to independently examine and validate our compliance standards. This audit included document collection and analysis, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and on-site security assessments.

“Our completion of the PCI-DSS V3.2 Level 1 again this  year proves our continued commitment to security as we create a reliable environment for processing critical customer and consumer data.

Using an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) grants us the industry certification status instead of a self-assessment where many companies report they abide by the practices but are not audited for compliance,” Founder and CEO Craig Reilly said.

“We process massive amounts of sensitive and personal data and are committed to continually achieving the increasing standards of data security in this environment of evolving threats and changes to PCI Standards,” CIO Scott DiNucci said.

This PCI-DSS Level 1 certification supplements the company’s Background Screening Agency Accreditation awarded by the Professional Background Screening Association to companies adhering to a strict set of professional standards including consumer protection, legal compliance and data security standards.

 

About PlusOne Solutions:

For more than 15 years, PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs such as background screening, drug testing and administering insurance and license programs for field service organizations that make use of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments for everyone and is an Accredited Background Screening Agency by the Professional Background Screeners Association. For more information about PlusOne Solutions, visit ​www.plusonesolutions.net​.

 

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