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JBaxLaw
JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 11313
Experience:  Experienced in business formation and licensing issues
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I am an executive working in a fortune 500 for-profit Higher

Resolved Question:

I am an executive working in a fortune 500 for-profit Higher Education firm. A Likely felon was just hired in our IT department in Senior Leadership: He was arrested and likely convicted in California of Insurance Fraud (but California law protects records of felons. No data on record after 7 years). This man has access to sensitive FASFA/ISIR information on College Students as well as all employees. I have used the MySafeWorkplace to complain over 2 weeks ago but he remains employed. What other remedies are available since he poses a risk for employees and students alike? Given I am unable to ascertain specifics on his felony, should I remain silent? If I were to give you his name, would you be able to provide information about the felony that occured in California in the 2000 timeframe? How can an average person further this investigation if the HR department is mute on this matter? I have received no response to my initial inquiry in "mysafeworkplace" and feel a duty to our students and fellow employees to continue an investigation of this matter. Now what?

The company that I work for is located in Illinois. We are NCA accredited. I have looked on their website for advice but there are no remedies there.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 4 years ago.
To be clear, this is a private higher education company?

Does the company work as a government contractor?

Does management at your company know of the issue?

Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, this is a for-profit, higher education company.

 

As such, the company takes Title IV funding, state/federal loans/grants for students. I would not consider it a direct government contractor, per se, but a firm involved in serving the goals of higher education which implies some obligations to do so ethically and in the best interests of society.

 

Management was informed. My response on the "MySafeWorkplace", just checked it today, from the HR and Global Compliance Officer was: "This matter was investigated with all available facts and will be closed".

 

The problem is that the facts are not available to them given the uniqueness of California Law where the individual likely served time for insurance fraud (he was self-employed immediately after the arrest for 18 months) but that after a seven year period, no information on felonies are provided in background checks.... So, they my company is either unable to get the information that they need or they are unwilling. ?

Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 4 years ago.
There is no absolute ban on hiring persons with felony records into such positions. Employers generally will consider the issue among other factors in the employer's application. A complete bar on persons with criminal histories can result in a discriminatory impact in that certain racial groups end up being excluded more often than others. In an analysis of a single applicant there is nothing preventing an employer from refusing employment on the basis of a criminal history.

In this instance, the conviction record may have been sealed or expunged in which case this employer will not consider that criminal history. Your employer has determined there is no threat or failed to receive all needed information to make an informed decision.

If the problem is the employer has determined there is no threat, then there is little that you can do. If the employer has made a decision based on insufficient information, then you may have recourse. You may obtain the information yourself and submit those records to the employer anonymously. You may also bypass human resources or compliance if you believe they are ineffective and submit your concerns in writing to management. Ultimately, this issue is entirely left to the employer's discretion. This will change if fraud or mishandling of funds actually does occur.

It appears that your company handles Department of Education funds. As such, you may report suspected mishandling of those funds to the Office of Inspector General at:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html?src=rt




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JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 11313
Experience: Experienced in business formation and licensing issues
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