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What Part Of The Body Most Accurately Reveals Someone’s True Feelings?

liespotting

Liespotting is a necessary tool for anyone involved in the legal and law enforcement fields.  This week’s Bulletin covers the human body’s “tells” – subconscious actions that reveal the subject’s true feelings and intent. 

So, as the article title asks, what part of the body most accurately responds and revels someone’s true feelings?

The Feet

feet

The Eyes

eyes

or the Hands?

hands

It may come as a surprise to many people that the most accurate anatomical indicator of our true feelings is our feet. Sounds off?   You’re thinking the eyes (or face) or hands?  No, it’s definitely the feet.   Taking a quick refresher course on anatomy 101:

Our feet are the most reactive to our subconscious thoughts, mainly because they’re linked to our limbic brain; our brain is separated into three parts:

brain-01.png

Our brain controls ALL behaviors. Whether that’s going to the sleep (reptilian), feeling happy about a relationship  (mammalian), or figuring out how much paint is needed to cover an accent wall (neocortex).

The key to understanding the mind/body connection is that it’s reciprocal.  While medical science – through biofeedback –  has proven that our mind can control our body, conversely, our body can control our minds   Think about the latter for a moment and then try the two below exercises to control your mind via your body:

– Force a smile for three minutes.   (Dale Carnegie explores the power of smiling in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People:  “Don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you’re alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing.  Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.”)

– Stand with your hands on your hips for 2 minutes.   (Harvard social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, ran a study that became one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time  – currently at 27 million views. She explains how “power posing” can significantly boost our confidence and decrease stress.)

So why the feet and legs? Most people are not even aware that their feet send out strong signals as to their true state of mind. What you do with your feet and legs when you are bored, impatient, nervous, cautious, shy, stressed, confident etc. Virtually all our emotions manifest themselves in our feet and legs. This is in large part due to millions of years of human evolution.

A lot of what our feet convey today, comes from what we learned to do instinctively a long time ago. Our feet and legs would freeze when a danger is near, run away to further ourselves from that danger or kick in an effort to defend ourselves. These reactions were so effective (We are the proof. We are still here.), that they are still embedded in our DNA to date. We still react the same way when danger is near or when we are faced with something unpleasant. This is instinctive and for that reason, it is hard to hide what our feet and legs are saying.

Below we note the foot/leg activity and its corresponding meaning:

Point feet towards the speaker: Interest

Point feet away from speaker; Dis-interest, hostility

Knee clasping while seated; Desire to leave

Feet/Legs moving apart; Dominance, claiming (figurative) territory

Crossing legs; Confidence

Locking the feet while sitting; Anxiety, insecurity, feeling threatened

Freezing feet or leg movements; Deep emotional change has occurred (fight or flight reaction has kicked in)

Jiggling feet; Nervousness

Leg cleansing (rubbing hands along sides of thighs); Attempting to comfort oneself or wipe sweaty palms

Granted,  the body has many more subconscious intent “tells” than those just by the feet but always check these extremities and limbs first when trying to determine your subject’s true thoughts.

BTW, I just ordered a glass conference table.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

10 Steps To Erasing Your Digital Footprint (Part II/II)

footprint2

(Continued from Part I/II)

6. Have an alternate email account

Almost all services online require you to submit an email address to register with them and before use. Creating an alternate email account for these sites can help keep your digital footprint to a minimum.

If you need to send an untraceable email, use Guerrilla Mail for temporary, disposable email addresses.  You can set the time period for which the email address will be active.  You can also avoid disposable email blocks and generate untrackable email from your own domain.  Our job is not to question our readers motives as we all know that everyone has the need for anonymity or untraceability at some point in our digital lives.

7. Opt for the ‘right to be forgotten’

The ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling  recently enforced in Europe  means that search engines can be made to remove links to publicly available news items from their search results. While Google has appealed the ruling, many links have been removed — although this has resulted in the creation of lists to de-indexed pages in its stead — due to the belief that irrelevant and inaccurate information gives a data subject the right to request removal from a search engine data controller.

8. Delete unused e-commerce and retail accounts

Delete unused/inactive retail accounts, such as eBay and Amazon and any others that may contain your financial data. Given the massive uptick in cyberattacks on major retailers and services, and if you no longer use your account, there’s no need to keep sensitive data stored on company servers.

9.  Stay below the radar

For the average home/small business user, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer InPrivate Browsing, Chrome’s Incognito mode, and Firefox’s Private Window can limit trackable data — such as cookies — being collected by services as you browse.

10. Start fresh

Although extreme, if you have the need, wiping all of the aforementioned services and deleting your email inbox can be the best way to remove your footprint. Very little is ever truly forgotten, but falsifying social media account names, locking up security settings tightly, deleting email inboxes and e-commerce accounts will help wipe your presence from the Web.

Just remember that there is only so much you can do and that online information is reposited somewhere in the cloud and there will never be a thorough scrubbing of your digital footprint.  At best, your online presence can be minimized or modified in such a manner as to render search results fairly useless.  But, of course, the best was to control your digital footprint is to post as minimally as possible.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

In Memoriam; Dr. Tina Edler Flanagan

Tina

10.14.1971 – 07.19.2015

With a very heavy heart…

I am saddened by the passing yesterday morning (Sunday, July 19, 2015) of my niece, Dr. Tina Edler-Flanagan,. Tina graduated med school at an age when most were graduating college, fast-tracking her desire to help people. She was an ER physician – a career path she selected; enabling her to be on the front lines of saving lives. Unfortunately, her own life could not be saved yesterday.

“I recently had to take my 2 yr. old to the ER because she had been vomiting for 2 days.  Dr. Flanagan and the ER nurse, Cate Tillman, were wonderful!  They took excellent care of my girl!  She ended up having to be admitted.  The entire nursing staff and the CNA’s on the 4th floor took excellent care of us!”

– Samantha    (from the Colquitt (Georgia) Regional Hospital ER site.)

More importantly – especially to her – she is the mother of two young, brilliant and good-hearted children, Katherine Rose and Michael, and a loving wife to her considerate and caring husband, Ruben Flanagan. She also leaves behind her mother, my sister, Lucia Edler and her father, my brother-in-law, Hugh Edler, and a large extended family – all of whom are shocked and grieved by Tina’s passing.

tina family

Tina holding Rosie and Michael (and a little family friend on the left).

Tina Marie is now by God’s side, surely continuing her good works through the powers that be. Rest in peace, my beautiful niece. I do not know why this happened and may the purpose be revealed in time but know that you are loved. So very, very loved.

(I apologize to family members and Tina’s friends – all over the world – whom we were unable to get a hold of… which is why we decided to post this farewell…)

Finally, and with the deepest gratitude to Tina, she is the one who propelled me – through our mutual experiences in life that prompted my career change to investigations – to push forward with Beacon Network Investigations (BNI) and believed in what we do, particularly work (if one can call it that) with voices that might otherwise be silenced – not only by her words but by her actions too; she directed situations to BNI that she believed required our help.  Let it be known to all that I am reaffirming that we will continue with Tina’s wishes on certain ongoing matters.

The words to fully describe Tina’s beautiful soul have not yet been invented so this written commemoration will end now although her memory will live on forever.

Love you strongly, always… Aunt Lina

10 Steps To Erasing Your Digital Footprint (Part I/II)

footprint2

We all have something to hide.  Usually, it’s benign family or photobombed pics and then,  in some cases, a miserable and dirty divorce battle bitterly played out online. Time is the objective archivist of that which we’ve shared online; perception and therefore judgment, however, resides with the reviewer of our public personas.

The vast majority of people have been online now for several years at the very least; interacting on such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.   Some of us have fairly large, embedded digital footprints and others cast light personal shadows on the internet landscape but we are all there, in some detectable form.

Whether you are going for your first real job, seeking a post-divorce relationship or just realized that your kids can conduct an FBI-quality thorough background check on their parents, you’ve decided it’s time to clean up your online presence.  Although the task may at first appear overwhelming, the job itself doesn’t have to be – and, some things that are out there you are going to simply have to learn to live with.  So, let’s begin.  (To make this effort manageable in light of our busy lives, we are presenting this information is two parts – a week apart – to allow our readers time to complete the suggested tasks.)

footprint

1. Search yourself.

First things first, pull up your public profile.   It is now common practice among prospective employers to perform searches online when vetting job applicants. The information pulled up by search engines such as Google can be seen not only by you, but future bosses — and so if there is anything unprofessional out there, this will be the first glimpse they see of you. Run a search on your name (including maiden names) and see what appears.  Also, conduct image searches, as they can link to websites or accounts you’ve long forgotten about. Understanding your basic digital footprint is the first step in taking control of it.  By the numbers, run your self through:

Google

Bing

Yahoo

YouTube

InstantCheckmate

Spokeo

(For the curious, while you can certainly look up friends, relatives and co-workers with the latter two personal data-collection services, if you wish them to remain as such, we suggest you just check your own info.  Also, often the data on these sites and others like it can, and most often is, dated and limited.  For your own review however, it serves the stated purposes in this article.)

2. Deactivate old social media accounts and check privacy settings.

MySpace (Yes, this dinosaur social site is still here, haunting us to eternity or the end of the Net – which ever comes first.), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are social media websites that can be mined by potential employers for personal information. If privacy settings are not at their highest, this could mean viewers can access pictures, posts and status updates best kept within your private life.

One thing to remember is that the Web often forgets about context — and so Tweets can be misconstrued, events from years ago can end up hampering your prospects, and your profile may not show you to be the type of person a company would want to hire.

In relation to accounts you actively use, check your privacy settings.

For Facebook, click on account Settings through the top-right button, and then select Privacy from the menu on the left. You can then decide who can see what information is posted — and whether you can be looked up based on your email address, phone number or search engines. You can also use another handy tool from your profile page to see what others view, by selecting the ‘…’ button and choosing ‘View as..’.

Twitter users, click your profile avatar in the top right of the Twitter.com screen, and select ‘Settings.’ From this menu, you can make your profile private or change a range of basic account options.

If you want to be completely hidden on social media, use a different surname.

3. Hide others, or add false information

Honesty may not be the best policy if old social media accounts hold information you’d prefer to keep low-key.   In addition, some services do not allow you to delete accounts — instead, they allow only for accounts to be “deactivated.” In these cases, consider changing your name, email address and uploading an innocuous profile picture — as well as deleting as much information as possible — before deactivation.

E.g., If you’ve conducted the above suggested Google, Bing, etc.  search and found pictures linked to old accounts you’d rather not have displayed, hiding your accounts may help in eventual refreshes. It will take time for search engines to stop pulling up these images, but the sooner you tweak old accounts, the better.

4. Contact webmasters

If websites have posted public information about you, contacting webmasters may be the only option to remove this information. Send them an email or give them a call, and explain what, and why, you need something removed.  If you are a member of the law enforcement community, most of these sites are very accommodating in removing identifying materials.  If you have field a police report in any criminal matter, likewise, with a short, concise letter attached to the report, most web masters are very helpful and willing to err on the side of safety in removing or modifying your public data.

5. Unsubscribe from mailing lists

Mailing lists are an integral part of the digital trail leading back to you, and unsubscribing can help break these connections — as well as uncluttering your inbox.

A suggestion for future subscriptions: add an identifier middle initial to your subscriptions so that you can quickly determine subscription categories: e.g., Lina N. Maini = news subs such as WSJ, NYT, etc.   This has seriously helped me identify, review and delete subscriptions in the past, rather than scour through each provider name and have to pop an email open to determine content.  (The Washington Post is obviously a news source – ok, keep the dissent to a minimum – but Birchbox?  I had completely forgotten that these are the wonderful folks who deliver my samples box – home products, beauty supplies, new foods on the market – each month.  I’ve loved everything they’ve sent thus far. ).

Next week, we bring you the next and final five steps in repairing, if necessary, and managing your very public online profile.

(For those looking for professional reputation repair and management services – in which we delve into archival materials deeply buried but ultimately findable by dedicated, prying eyes – we do provide unique, tailored packages that are maintained in the strictest of confidentiality – as is all of our work.)
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Can Someone Hack Your Passport? RFID Wallets and More.

scanner
As of now, most credit cards and debit cards issued within the past decade have RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology embedded in them. All US passports issued since August, 2007 and later have RFID chips that track your data and photo. RFID chips are a convenient way to store and read data – instead of having to swipe your card through a reader, you can simply wave your card in front of an RFID scanner without even taking it out of your wallet.  Such comfort!

Unfortunately, RFID technology used to track sensitive data in many of today’s portable identifiers (e.g. cards) can be easily scanned without you ever knowing.

How can RFID-hacking occur and how to protect your RFID-chipped documents when traveling:

What is RFID technology?

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency IDentification. The acronym refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. 

The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.

RFID Works Better Than Barcodes

A significant advantage of RFID over barcodes is that the RFID device does not need to be positioned precisely relative to the scanner. We’re all familiar with the difficulty that store checkout clerks sometimes have in ensuring that a barcode can be read. And obviously, credit cards and ATM cards must be swiped through a special reader.

In contrast, RFID devices will work within a few feet (up to 20 feet for high-frequency devices) of the scanner. For example, you could just put all of your groceries or purchases in a bag, and set the bag on the scanner. It would be able to query all of the RFID devices and total your purchase immediately.

 

It’s a scary thought to entertain and if it bothers you, keep reading to find out what you can do about it.

How can you stay safe against hacked RFID chips?

Unfortunately, the danger is that someone could build a counterfeit reader – which wouldn’t be too difficult for anyone who is experienced in that field – and pick up your RFID information without your consent or even knowledge. Counterfeit card readers existed before RFID, but you were required to physically swipe your card through a slot; counterfeit RFID readers can pull or delete data without so much as you walking by.

On the market now are RFID-blocking sleeves, pouches, wallets and other such personal item carriers. A proper RFID blocker will utilize something called a “Faraday cage” (a grounded metal screen surrounding a piece of equipment to exclude electrostatic and electromagnetic influences) and the specification you want to look for is “electromagnetically opaque”. These RFID blockers will prevent illegitimate reading of your RFID-embedded objects.

Not all RFID-blocking wallets are made equal; some are more effective than others. In addition, even the most effective RFID-blocking wallets can fail, whether due to wear and tear or user error. These products will help keep you safe, nonetheless, exercise caution and common sense when traveling.

 

At Corporate Travel Safety, you can purchase RFID-reader blocking items such as wallets, full-sized/mini document holders, ladies’ clutches and handbags, neck holders, inside front pocket sleeves, etc.  We’ve bought and used several of their products and have for years with no negative incidents to date.

neck pouch

BNI Operatives: Situationally Aware.

As always, stay safe.

Wishing Our Readers A Happy And Proud Fourth Of July!



happy fourth

Happy Independence Day!

Be strong and safe and stand proud, America!

 

 

Nationwide and Global Emergency Phones Numbers

1332919142155

EXPANDED STATE-BY-STATE LISTINGS   

Alabama:  Cellphone-only: *HP (star 47)

Alaska:  911

Arizona:  911

Arkansas:  911 or Cellphone-only: *55 (star 55)

California:  911

Colorado:  911 or Cellphone-only: *CSP (star 277) or *DUI (star 384) —to report DUIs

Connecticut:  911 or (800-443-6817)

Delaware:  911

Florida:  911 or 800-459-6861 or Cellphone-only: *FHP (star 347)

Georgia:  911 or Cellphone-only: *GSP (star 477)

Hawaii:  911

Idaho:  911 or 800-233-1212 or Cellphone-only: *ISP (star 477)

Illinois:  911 or Cellphone-only: *999 (star 999)

Indiana:  911

Iowa:  911 or 800-555-HELP (800-555-4357)

Kansas:  911 (Statewide) or Cellphone-only: *HP (star 47 for Salina, KS;
*KTA (*482) —Kansas Turnpike and for Wichita, KS

Kentucky:  911 or 800-222-5555

Louisiana:  911 or Cellphone-only: *LHP (star 547);
Lake Ponchartrain Causeway: *27 (star 27 —cellphone-only) or 504-893-6250

Maine:  911 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77)

Maryland:  911 or Cellphone-only: #SP (pound 77)

Massachusetts:  Cellphones: *MSP (star 677) – in the 413 areacode; *SP (star 77) —outside the 413 areacode

Michigan:  911

Minnesota:  911

Mississippi:  Cellphone only: *HP (star 47)

Missouri:  Cellphone-only: *55 (star 55) or 800-525-5555

Montana:  911 (emergency only) or 800-525-5555 (non-emergency)

Nebraska:  911 or 800-525-5555 or Cellphone-only:*55 (star 55)

Nevada:  911 or Cellphone-only:*NHP (star 647)

New Hampshire:  911 or 800-622-2394 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77)

New Jersey:  911 or Cellphone-only: #77 (pound 77 —to report aggressive driving)

New Mexico:  911 or 505-827-9301

New York:  911

North Carolina:  Cellphone only: *HP (star 47) or 800-662-7956

North Dakota:  911

Ohio:  911 or 800-525-5555 (OHP) or 800-877-7PATROL

Ohio only, to report non-emergency safety concerns) or
800-GRAB-DUI (to report erratic driving)

Oklahoma:  Cellphone-only *55 (star 55)

Oregon:  911

Pennsylvania:  911 or Cellphone-only: *11 (star 11) —on turnpikes

Rhode Island:  911 or Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77) or 401-444-1069

South Carolina:  Cellphone only: *HP (star 47)

South Dakota:  911

Tennessee:  Cellphone-only: *THP (star 847) or 615-741-2060

Texas:  911 or 800-525-5555 or Cellphone-only: *DPS (star 377)

Utah:  911 or Cellphone-only: *11 (star 11)

Vermont:  911 or DWI Hotline: 800-GETADWI and *DWI (star 394 —cellphone-only)

Virginia:  911 or Cellphone-only: #SP (pound 77)

U.S. Virgin Islands:  911

Washington:  911

West Virginia:  Cellphone-only: *SP (star 77)

Wisconsin:  911

Wyoming:  Cellphone only: #HELP (pound 4357) or 800-442-9090

When in doubt:

0 (zero) —Operator assistance
411 —local directory assistance
(area code) + 555-1212 —non-local directory assistance

MANY STATES:  511 (for Road/Weather/Traffic Conditions)


International emergency numbers

We’ve become a global society, with many of us traveling overseas for business and vacationing. The international emergency number to dial from a cell phone is NOT 911. For all GSM cell phones, (82% of cell phones worldwide operate on the Global System for Mobile communications platform), the international emergency code is 112. This applies to all EU members, South Africa, many other African nations, India, Israel, Indonesia, Iran (don’t ask), Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. For a complete listing, check wikipedia’s emergency telephone numbers entry.

 

In the United States, the FCC requires networks to route every mobile-phone and payphone (are there any left?) 911 call to an emergency service call center, including phones that have never had service, or whose service has lapsed.  As a result, there are programs that provide donated used mobile phones to victims of domestic violence and others especially likely to need emergency services. Over the next six years emergency responders will be able to better locate callers who dial 911 on their cellphones from indoors as the U.S. wireless industry improves caller-location for the majority of such calls.The “heightened location accuracy,” available to supporting networks and handsets, will find callers through nearby devices connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that will be logged with a specific location in a special emergency-services database.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

Are You Letting Criminals Into Your Home? Vetting Your Service Person Before He Comes Through Your Front Door.

repairman

Think of all of the repair people who have entered your home.  Did you know them personally?  I doubt it.

Over the course of the past decade, legislation has been introduced – and often passed – to limit an employer’s ability to request a job applicant’s criminal history.  Admittedly, every speeding ticket you’ve received is in some database somewhere and can be found, but how do we as a society balance minor infractions with the right to privacy?  I’m not sure where the balance of publicly available data lies but I do know that every time we let a stranger into our home, we have exposed ourselves to potential danger.  That’s a practical assessment, not fear-mongering, but caution should be second nature to us all.  Unfortunately, life bears out the need for proactive security measures as we sadly witness from the below tragedy:

From the local ABC station:

An exterminator has been found guilty in the murder of a young pediatrician and researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

35-year-old Dr. Melissa Ketunuti had graduated from Stanford University medical school, worked in Botswana and spent about five years at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a physician and researcher.

37-year-old Jason Smith was found guilty of murder and related offenses Wednesday. Police say he was the last person known to have visited her home.

It happened in a row house on the 1700 block of Naudain Street in January of 2013. Police say Smith from Levittown, Pa. ended up strangling Ketunuti and setting her body on fire in the basement.Shortly after he was arrested, Smith gave police a lengthy confession.

He told them Ketunuti confronted him in the basement and started questioning his work. He said he eventually became enraged and started choking her.

One such tragic incident is horrible enough but we all know from news accounts of the many instances of homicides, rapes, theft, etc. that have stemmed from letting strangers into our homes.   Giving strangers access to our homes can hardly be avoided as everyone, sooner or later, will have the need for a repair, delivery or pest removal.  We hope and trust that the stranger has been vetted but why would leave such critical background information gathering in anyone else’s hands or go on faith that the repairman is a good guy – or woman. Also, as more concierge services such as Magic emerge to help us in our busy lives, we’re removed another step from clearly being able to identify service or delivery people coming into our homes.  (Magic operates via text.  Customers text 83489 with a request – for anything from pizza delivery to an electrician service call – and Magic agents coordinate delivery/service via partnered companies.  The service calls are still in beta mode.)

Referring back to the homicide of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti,  in the below video, our friend and renowned security expert/analyst, retired law enforcement and black-belted martial artist, Steve Kardian of Defend University – a women’s self-defense institute in NY, outlines several basics of home security when admitting a service person past the front door:

1. Hire from a reputable and known company.

2. Request the full name and, as is now possible, a text photo of the operative coming to your home.  Check this info against a government photo i.d. – not the company i.d.  Of course, s/he has a government I.D. – didn’t s/he drive to your home?

3. Have someone else in the home with you during the repair appointment.

4. If you can’t have another adult with you during the service call, video and audio record the repair person, transmitting in real time to a remote pc or trusted person. (Many service people may object but remember, this complete stranger now has access to you, your family and your home. Tough.)

5. Run your own criminal background check on the repair person.  (Steve suggests various services such as Intelius that perform criminal history searches.)

In any and all cases, as Steve emphasizes, listen to your instinct.  You should be uncomfortable with a total stranger in your home.  Protect yourself as best possible – that is your only true obligation.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy-Fathers-Day-2012-Picture-fathers-day-Copy
Enjoy a happy, healthy, safe and wonderful Father’s Day!

Federal and State Employer Use of Arrest And Conviction Records.

job application

(From Nolo.)  Given that nearly 65,000,000 Americans have an arrest history, now more than ever we are seeing new laws to address the legal rights of a potential new hire when it comes to his/her criminal history.

There are two current federal protections in place to shield job applicants from discrimination based solely on an arrest and or conviction history. I.e. :

Federal Protections for Applicants With a Criminal Record

– Title VII: Discrimination Based on Criminal Records

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in every aspect of employment, including screening practices and hiring. Because arrest and incarceration rates are higher for African Americans and Latinos, an employer that adopts a blanket policy of excluding all applicants with a criminal record might be guilty of race discrimination.

– The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Inaccurate Records

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) addresses the issue of inaccurate criminal records. Criminal background checks may include errors, such as information on convictions that have been expunged, multiple listings of the same offense, incomplete information (for example, failing to report that the person was exonerated of a crime or that charges were dropped), misclassification of crimes, and even records that belong to someone else entirely.

The FCRA imposes obligations on employers who request criminal background checks and on the firms that provide them. Employers must:

  • Get the applicants written consent ahead of time.
  • Notify the applicant if the employer intends to disqualify him or her based on the contents of the report. The employer must also give the applicant a copy of the report.
  • Give the applicant notice after the employer makes a final decision not to hire him or her based on the information in the report.

Each state also has employment laws on the book in regard to hiring those with a criminal past.

New York Law on Use of Criminal Records

New York gives applicants a number of protections when it comes to employer use of criminal records in making hiring decisions. Employers may not ask about or consider arrests or charges that did not result in conviction, unless they are currently pending, when making hiring decisions. They also may not ask about or consider records that have been sealed or youthful offender adjudications.

Employer with at least ten employees may not refuse to hire an applicant based on a criminal conviction unless hiring the applicant would pose an unreasonable risk to property or to public or individual safety, or the conviction bears a direct relationship to the job. The law defines a “direct relationship” strictly to mean that the nature of the criminal conduct underlying the conviction has a direct bearing on the applicant’s fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities that are necessary related to the job.

An employer that considers an applicant’s prior conviction must look at these eight factors:

  • the state’s public policy to encourage the hiring of those who have been convicted of crimes
  • the duties and responsibilities that are necessarily related to the job
  • whether the conviction has a bearing on the applicant’s ability to perform those duties and responsibilities
  • how much time has passed since the conviction(s)
  • how old the applicant was at the time of the offense
  • the seriousness of the offense
  • any information the applicant provides about his or her rehabilitation, and
  • the employer’s legitimate interest in protecting property and the safety and welfare of individuals and the public.

An employer who decides not to hire someone based on a criminal conviction must, upon the applicant’s request, provide a written statement of the reasons for the decision. This statement must be provided within 30 days of the request.

Look here for state-by-state hiring regulations and information as they relate to applicants with a criminal history.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

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