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.

 

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Continuous Criminal Monitoring: A Proactive Approach to Monitor Contractor Networks

Since there is usually a two-year cycle from one background check to the next, Customers were searching for a proactive solution to monitor potential criminal activity before the next screen. In order to offer a proactive approach to the background screening process, PlusOne Solutions launched a new continuous criminal monitoring program.

Instead of showing historical results as a traditional background check provides, continuous monitoring is an ongoing process of reviewing records and provides notice within 24 hours of incarceration or booking events.

The continuous criminal monitoring program is allowing Customers an additional layer of due diligence and providing a way to identify potential behavior that may pose a risk to their business, customers or brand reputation.

The Challenge:

How do companies monitor in-between scheduled background checks?

Companies that rely on contractor networks of varying sizes are challenged with compliance.

Although they conduct background checks on their network every two years, how do they know if something happens in the meantime?

One Customer with a large appliance repair and service network of more than 5,000 individuals, and another energy management customer with less than 500 individuals, both faced this challenge.

Both were interested in knowing about potential risks within their network that may impact their reputation, network credibility or availability of contractors. Issues that occur between the rescreen cycles can often go undetected and some contracts do not include a self-reporting clause to ensure proactive and open reporting to the Customer of issues.

 

The Solution:

Continuous Criminal Monitoring Program for active monitoring

Continuous criminal monitoring is the ongoing process of using the individual’s name, date of birth, and SSN (where available) to access near-real-time incarceration data for US booking records from county jails and Department of Corrections facilities.

By reviewing records on an individual, Customers may flag internal threats and safety concerns.

While not nationwide coverage, 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 will typically provide notice to PlusOne Solutions within 24 hours of an incarceration or booking event and has provided a means to address the gap in background screening information that can occur between a typical two year rescreen cycle. The monitoring program also provides Customers ongoing risk mitigation tools throughout their relationship with a Service Provider and their techs to ensure that the requirements of their contract are upheld, and consumer safety and property are protected.

PlusOne continuously monitoring your employees and contractors

Results:

These Customers received alerts within 30 days of active monitoring

Both Customers received alerts through the continuous monitoring program within the first 30 days of active monitoring.

This is a summary of these initial cases within a short timeframe.

  • Driving Under the Influence

Booking occurred on 01/30/2020 and we were notified at 4:45 a.m. that same day.

Details on file indicated the individual had been booked related to Driving Under the Influence (M). Considering the individual is required to drive for his role, the first search we conducted was a Motor Vehicle Record search to determine his eligibility to drive.

While he is currently licensed, there was a notification on file that the license is pending suspension within the next three weeks. A county criminal record search was also ordered which confirmed that formal charges for Driving Under the Influence had also been filed.

The Customer determined that we should monitor this individual further to determine if the license is indeed suspended in a few weeks and then action that and any outcome of the criminal offense accordingly.

  • Driving Under the Influence and Open Container

Arrest Occurred at 11:21 p.m. on 01/29/20, the booking started at 12:01 a.m. on 1/30/2020 and we were notified at 3:00 a.m. that same day.

The individual was booked for Driving Under the Influence (M), Failure to Maintain Lane (M) and an Open Container Violation (M). The individual bonded out at 10:38 am on 1/30/2020.

Considering the individual is required to drive for her role, the first search we conducted was a Motor Vehicle Record search to determine her eligibility to drive. There did not appear to be any impact on her license status, so we also ordered a county criminal record check in the jurisdiction of the incident.

This also came back clear, meaning no formal charges had been filed. Based on this information, nothing further was done with this individual and her eligibility status within the network remained intact.

  • Felony Theft

The arrest occurred on 1/28/2020, we were alerted at 7 p.m. that day.

The arrest and booking data were very vague and we were uncertain what the nature of the issue was. A county criminal record was ordered in the jurisdiction of the incident and it was discovered that the individual had been charged with Felony Theft of Material – Aluminum/Bronze/Copper/Brass.

There is a pending court date showing but the nature of the offense is considered a pre-adverse condition for our Customer. It was determined that the pre-adverse process would be initiated.

Additionally, this individual also maintains relationships with at least five other Customers within the network, none of whom subscribe to the monitoring service at present.

  • Sexual Assault Charges

An alert was received at 11:40 a.m. on 2/18/2020 for an individual who had only recently been included in the monitoring program.

The alert indicated charges for Sexual Assault: Under 18 Years of Age, Custodian Sexual Battery, Sexual Assault: By Custodian Victim Under 12 Years of Age, Lewd and Lascivious Behavior: Molest Victim Less than 12 Years of Age, Lewd and Lascivious Behavior: Victim 12 Years or Older and Lewd and Lascivious Behavior: 18 Years of Age, Older Than Victim.

All of these were felony charges that had occurred in November 2019. The alert populated likely because this individual had some change to their booking/arrest record, possibly a court date being set.

The individual was last screened in January 2019 and had been previously screened three times and was considered authorized and eligible to work in the network. He also worked for four different Customers through his service provider.

 

A Measured Approach

After PlusOne Solutions received these alerts, we worked closely with the Customer and reviewed each unique situation on a case-by-case basis by following agreed processes.

Understanding the severity and relevance of the potential charges is also important in determining how to proceed. The information and understanding of activity within the overall service network is where Customers are seeing the most value.

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.

Is Continuous Criminal Monitoring right for you and your network? Contact us for more information at contact@plusonesolutions.net



Negative Effects of False Advertising: Criminal Background Checks

Here’s one fact we can all agree on: false and misleading advertising is illegal and unethical.

Here’s one fact we can all agree on: false and misleading advertising is illegal and unethical.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, types of false advertising include untruthful or misleading claims about company products or practices promoted on:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Billboards
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Internet/online websites

But did you know false advertisement cases even include misleading background check claims?

Unfortunately, this type of false advertising is a very real threat to consumer safety. Not to mention, the action also goes against U.S. Code.

In this article, we will explain:

  • Why an in-home repair organization is under fire for the promotion of misleading background check claims
  • Negative effects of false advertising verified background checks
  • The simple solution to avoid falsely advertising background checks

Keep reading to learn why disclosure of criminal background check for employment is important for public safety.

False Advertising Examples 2018: Criminal Background Check

In 2018, an in-home repair organization received major backfire for the promotion of misleading information on its website. 

According to California News Wire Services, the San Francisco District Attorney has filed a civil lawsuit against this prominent nationwide in-home repair organization for falsely advertising background checks performed on its service providers and contractors. 

But why?

#1 Reason for False Advertising Lawsuit 

Simply put, the complaint states that consumers can be misled to believe that all workers, service providers, and contractors that may enter their homes have undergone thorough background checks. 

However, this is not the case. The company at fault clearly states on their website that they perform background checks on the “principal/owner or relevant manager of all Certified Service Providers.” 

Nevertheless, in other statements and collateral, the company implies that everyone entering a consumer’s home has been properly background screened. 

This has caused the San Francisco District Attorney to flag the in-home repair organization for false advertising.

Business owner distressed over false background checks

Negative Effects of False Advertising Background Checks

According to the San Francisco District Attorney, these statements are likely to deceive consumers into believing that the individuals coming to their homes have undergone a criminal background check.

As stated by District Attorney George Gascon, “We embrace innovative businesses, but it is imperative that consumers are not misled.”

Here’s the bottom line…

“It is a matter of public safety that consumers are provided accurate information, especially when they are deciding whom to let into their homes,” Gascon added. 

And this is where businesses run into trouble. Even when companies do not advertise their background screen individuals, it is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. 

In fact, according to a 2011 study completed by MindSpot Inc®, over 83% of consumers believe that when companies send service personnel into their homes, they have already undergone a criminal background screen.

So what is the solution to this problem?

Establish Verified Background Checks 

The solution is simple: require verified background checks

Before companies hire new contractors, they should require all individuals who plan to enter or access a consumer’s property to undergo contractor screening

Furthermore, if a company plans to advertise that its service performs background screens on employees or contractors, then they must ensure that all statements are in alignment with the company’s policy.

Protect Your Assets with PlusOne Solutions

It all boils down to this: false and misleading advertising is illegal and unethical. 

Not to mention, consumer safety is at risk! And no one wants their company to be at fault for a potentially avoidable mishap. 

That’s why PlusOne Solutions is here to help. As a Nationally Accredited Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), PlusOne Solutions seeks to help organizations with large networks of independent contractors. PlusOne Solutions mitigate risks through:

  • Background screening
  • Drug testing
  • Compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and EEOC guidelines
  • Document management
  • Insurance verification 
  • Badging and credentialing

Through a reliable and verified background check plan, companies can reduce employee, contractor, and vendor risk.

To learn more about PlusOne Solutions or to discuss your contractor screening program please call us at 877-943-0100 or visit our Resources page.

 

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.

Gig Economy Platforms: Scary Truth About Background Checks

Today, gig economy platforms have become the latest business boom in the US. 

This umbrella term is used to describe technology companies that have built platforms, like rideshare apps, that deliver quick and seemingly safe services. 

Simply put, gig economy companies play matchmaker between individuals that wish to offer their service (a car ride, for example) and consumers in need of such service. 

However, there is one major concern about these services: 

Do gig economy independent contractors receive verified background checks

In this article, we will discuss:

  • Why inadequate background checks are a growing problem 
  • How verified background checks will ensure consumer safety 
  • How contractor screening solutions will reduce company liability  

Keep reading to find out how verified background checks will keep customers safe and reduce company liability.

 

Gig Economy Pros and Cons: Major Safety Concern

Gig economy platforms have transformed our society in tremendous ways. With the press of a button, we can have a car ride waiting at our door, food delivered in a dash, or access to hundreds of house sitters and handymen. 

How convenient!

Happy Young Man Looking At His Female Friend Standing Outside The Car   Happy Blonde Women Sitting Inside Car With Her Friends

While the popular rideshare companies are the most well-known gig economy platforms, the trend has also spread to dog walkers, house sitters, in-home healthcare, handymen, nannies, and just about any other area you can think of. 

However, there is one major concern that the gig economy must face:

Safety. 

Think about it. These service providers are given access to our most precious assets: our homes, families, pets, and even our lives.

Good news: most gig economy platforms do recognize this and advertise background checks as a part of their vetting process. However, are they conducting the best criminal background checks

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always a definitive yes.

 

Gig Economy Platforms: Need for Verified Background Checks

Companies often feel the pressure to:

  • Deliver quick results to their clients
  • Build their own provider databases
  • Book “gigs” as quickly and as efficiently as possible

That being said, many organizations take short cuts with background checks. 

On one hand, this is due to the lack of education on the types of checks available. 

On the other hand, some gig economy platforms may make a very deliberate decision to run quick, inexpensive, and less than comprehensive checks – just to say a screening has been done.

 

Gig Economy Jobs: Types of Background Checks

A woman searching online for the right vetting company

Typically, gig economy workers undergo a national criminal database check. They may also undergo a sex offender registry search and a driving record check, if applicable for the role. 

Sounds pretty thorough, right? 

Well, not always. These searches are mainly instant database checks. In other words, they are not comprehensive, detailed background checks that exude diligence. Instead, they are fast, cheap, and get the job done.

And what’s more?

With the volume of individuals in need of qualifying background checks on the rise, companies have sacrificed quality to keep costs down.

 

Problems with National Background Check

Unfortunately, since the United States does not offer a single national criminal history repository, the NATCRIM search will oftentimes miss large numbers of important records. 

Furthermore, many jurisdictions don’t actually report into databases. In fact, they may only report limited information on incarceration records.

Of the records that are returned, many have:

  • Incomplete details 
  • Information that is not reportable under state or federal law 
  • Records that are not properly verified sources

As you can see, this can lead to a series of unwanted problems!

So, what is the alternative solution?

Improve Customer Safety with Identity Searches

Companies that truly care about protecting their customers should set a higher standard for their background checks. Through the creation of more robust requirements, gig economy platforms should screen their independent contractors with:  

  • County-level searches
  • Federal level searches
  • Identity searches

These searches tend to increase the depth and breadth of criminal background checks. For example, a county-level background check will screen where the individual has resided for a set number of years, most often seven.

In addition, identity and federal level searches may provide a list of other names identified, be they alias names, previous names or other developed names, with the potential employee or contractor. This vital information will improve the reliability of the background check.

But that’s not all!

By ensuring up-to-date and reliable details of each search intent, companies can also improve compliance with state and federal consumer reporting laws – an area not to be taken lightly.

These qualities are all very advantageous for both the company and the customers.

Advantages of Verified Background Checks

Here’s the bottom line: 

Quick, cheap database checks are NOT adequate enough to protect the consumer or relieve you of liability.

While thorough criminal background checks are more expensive, the results are reliable and can save a company’s reputation. Not to mention, protect its greatest asset – the customers!

This is why it’s so important to practice ethical screening practices. Companies can reduce the likelihood of incidents BEFORE they happen.

So what is the best background check solution for companies with a high volume of independent contractors?

PlusOne Solutions: Verified Background Check Solution

Founded in 2005, PlusOne Solutions is a Nationally Accredited Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) that seeks to help organizations with large networks of independent contractors. PlusOne Solutions mitigate risks through:

  • Background screening
  • Drug testing
  • Compliance with Fair Credit Reporting Act and EEOC guidelines
  • Document management
  • Insurance verification 
  • Badging and credentialing

Through a reliable and verified background check plan, companies can reduce employee, contractor, and vendor risk.

Ready to Improve Customer Safety?

A simple contractor screening solution can improve the safety of the users of gig economy platforms. And the best part: screening will also reduce company liability.

To learn more about PlusOne Solutions or to discuss your contractor screening program please call us at 877-943-0100 or fill out our contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you.

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.