Diversified Risk Management Identifies New Threat to Employers: the Professional Applicant

LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to Patricia Kotze, president of Diversified Risk Management, Inc. (DRM), there is a new threat to employers and their Human Resources departments: the “Professional Applicant.” “This is a person who applies for a position with a company but has no intention of sticking around to be a productive employee,” says Ms. Kotze. “Instead, their primary goal is in finding a weakness in your business and exploiting it for financial gain. Professional Applicants typically have a history of lawsuits against former employers, Workers Compensation claims, and/or complaints based on state or federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).”

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e9259e93-7933-4cf5-a8d4-56d1e3f918d4

Diversified Risk Management is an L.A. – based company that assists corporations, non-profit organizations and law firms in identifying, mitigating, and responding to risks through a comprehensive and integrated suite of specialized risk management and workplace investigation services, designed to control loss and minimize exposure. DRM recently published a White Paper called: “Professional Applicants are an Emerging Threat to Businesses,” which lists concrete steps employers can take to minimize the damage caused by these at-risk employees.

Cody Farzad, vice president of Employers Choice Screening, which works hand-in-hand with DRM by providing employer background screenings and employee compliance trainings, adds: “One of the biggest warning signs in spotting a true Professional Applicant is their history of using the same attorney to file their nuisance lawsuits, irrespective of the type of lawsuit being filed. Mr. Farzad notes that one particular Professional Applicant was found to have applied for 562 jobs over an 18-month span.

“His plan was to submit an employment application with an employer who would conduct an employment background check as part of the hiring process but violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At that point, he would threaten a class action lawsuit and demand a settlement,” says Mr. Farzad. Findings of filed court records show that his plan works as this individual was able to extort or extract more than $230,000 in legal settlements from companies across the U.S.

The economic harm that a Professional Applicant can inflict on a business ranges from excessive legal fees to putting you out of business permanently. In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had 114 complaints and lawsuits filed which resulted in employers paying out monetary benefits of over $52 million.

Ms. Kotze says much of the potential damage caused by Professional Applicants can be mitigated by following certain steps. These include: utilizing creative interviewing techniques, strictly adhering to state and federal laws, maintaining a strong attendance policy with increasing levels of discipline, documenting all complaints, using a qualified Employment Law attorney for issues that arise, and acquiring EPLI to ensure that you do not become a target. Each of these steps will help weed out applicants who are not planning to stick around and may prevent time in court, additional expenses and the grief of dealing with Professional Applicants.

Diversified Risk Management, Inc. is a full service workplace investigation firm that provides expertise in the areas of digital forensics, investigations into claims of sexual harassment and EEOC for employers in California.

Employers Choice Screening is a multi-certified Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) offering a host of employment background screening and employee compliance training solutions. Its pre-employment screening services enable employers to make informed hiring decisions regarding the suitability of potential employees, and vetting of contractors and volunteers.


Patricia Kotze

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