Background check rule change contains flaws
USA Today; Arlington; Feb 24, 1998; Del Jones;

Caught off guard

Final passage caught everyone off guard. For three years the amendment was before the banking committee and nearly passed on the last day of the 1994 session when it was killed.

It was all but forgotten for two years, then dusted off without notice and attached at the last minute to the 1996 appropriations bill.

"This whole thing came out of nowhere," says Cindy Franklin, president of Background Bureau.


Doing the WRONG thing 48% of workers admit to unethical or illegal acts
USA Today; Washington, D.C; Apr 4, 1997; Del Jones;

Lapses vary

Many workers might consider some of the 25 ethical violations far less serious, such as calling in sick when they're feeling well. But that's really theft of time, and the problem is ``just phenomenal,'' says Cindy Franklin, president of Background Bureau, a company in the booming business of checking the backgrounds of job applicants.

Constant ethical violations have made workers so callous that deception passes for good salesmanship, Franklin says. ``If someone can talk me into buying an $8,000 copier rather than one that sells for $4,200, they're going to get a pat on the back. I see that as unethical if all I need is the $4,200 model.''

But unethical and illegal action by employees is taking a heavy toll. Most employee theft goes unreported, but employee screening company Guardsmark estimates it at $120 billion a year. Retail stores lose more to employee theft than to shoplifting, according to a University of Florida survey. Entry-level restaurant and fast food employees confidentially admit to stealing an average $239 a year in cash and merchandise, according to a separate survey by McGraw-Hill/London House.

Another survey of 2,500 cases of employee fraud by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners says small businesses suffered a median loss of $120,000 per occurrence. A survey by CCH shows that the more sick leave companies give employees, the more days they call in sick.