What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? An Overview

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? An Overview

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the HIPAA Privacy Rule "establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically."

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Guide to Identifying and Dealing with Workplace Harassment

what is considered workplace harassment Guide to Identifying and Dealing with Workplace Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For employers, harassment which is protected under law is defined as any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or retaliation (such as retaliating against an individual for filing a harassment complaint or participating in an investigation) that occurs in the workplace.

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An Introduction to Background Screening Program Assessments

When working with a background screening company, it's important to understand the measurement programs they are utilizing, and making sure they are up to industry standards, best practices and legal compliance. In February 2014, we sat down with Greg Dubecky, President of Corporate Screening and one of ERC’s preferred partners, to discuss background screening checks and he shared some information that organizations may not have been aware of.

What are the core components of a Screening Program Assessment (SPA)?

“The core components of our background screening program assessment is education and value,” says Dubecky. “It’s introducing employers to the background screening service and the value that comes with it.”

SPAs not only help make a company’s experience a lot more efficient, it also helps employers understand how to apply industry best practices and how to better comply with background screening laws and regulations.

“The core components of SPA is really to allow employers to understand how they can better apply industry best practices, comply with laws that govern background screening regulations, and how they have the ability to make their program more efficient,” says Dubecky.  

What makes Corporate Screenings’ Screening Program Assessment unique? 

Corporate Screening really takes a deep dive into the screening program process. This is done through surveys and reviewing information of a company’s policy on background screening.

“Then we put all of that information together to create a gap analysis. After that, we identify where that company’s program can improve,” says Dubecky.

How much does a SPA cost?

According to Dubecky, the cost of a SPA depends on the size of the organization.

“Corporate Screening services organizations from small mom and pop shops to enterprise level organizations,” says Dubecky. “Customers who have signed up for SPA do not pay anything for it because that’s part of the service. However, organizations that don’t want to use Corporate Screening services as their screening vendor, but want the screening program assessment, will pay a fee.

Dubecky stresses that the fee is so minuscule compared to the amount of money that organizations will save as a result of being a more efficient shop. Also, they can expect to be fined for an improperly prepared or designed background screening program.

Why is a SPA important?

A screening program assessment is important for an employer because a properly designed program will help that employer:

  • Eliminate risk due to non-compliance
  • Streamline their candidate pipeline
  • Create a process that helps mold with their HR work flows
  • Maintain their strong reputation in their organization
  • Reduce overall background screening spending

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DOL Proposes to Revise FMLA Definition of "Spouse"

By March 2014 the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor (DOL) will issue a proposal to revise the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) definition of “spouse” based on the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the agency promised in its Nov. 26, 2013, regulatory guidance.

In Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined “marriage” and “spouse,” was unconstitutional. The court said: “The principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.”

Windsor does not obligate states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, which can be confusing for employers. “It is possible—and preferable from my perspective—that the DOL do away with this confusion and implement a ‘place of celebration’ rule, which would mean the DOL no longer looks to state of residence but to whether the same-sex marriage was valid where performed. This would be a big departure from the current regulations but resolve the challenges employers face in implementing constantly changing state recognition rules.”

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