|Lord & Associates
Private Investigations/Security Consulting
Phone (931) 583-0352
Representative Ed Bryant
Reference: H.R. 3408
Dear Representative Bryant,
Ive written your office earlier about similar legislation to the reference; namely H.R. 4311 and I am requesting your assistance on a matter of immediate importance regarding the safety and security of your constituents. It is my understanding that Congress must act before adjournment, or employees throughout the United States shall be put at substantially greater risk in the workplace. I am sure you are aware that the greatest single cause of death in the workplace for females is homicide.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the permission of a suspect before any third party investigation can be conducted in the workplace. Therefore, an embezzler can now simply refuse to provide this authorization and continue embezzling --or be provided with an early alert in order to cover his/her tracks. Workplace drug dealers and sexual predators are also included and are unlikely to authorize an investigation of their activities.
The law also mandates that any report prepared by an investigator be provided, in unedited form, to the suspect employee if any adverse action is taken. As a private investigator, and former Federal Agent, I am fully cognizant of the requirements to incorporate all details of an investigation into my final report; to include names of sources and witnesses. Therefore, a source or witness to an investigation may expect to receive repercussions from any individual involved in the aforementioned activities. Likewise, an employee who simply reports a coworkers subsequently documented possession of a firearm in violation of company policy is also placed at risk.
As ridiculous as this sounds, it is the current position of the FCRA, and an unintended consequence of the 1996 amendments to FCRA. As a result, employers are being left to their own devices to deal with suspected sexual harassment, employee theft, drug abuse and potential workplace violence.
At present, employers are unable to utilize impartial third party professionals, such as licensed investigators, human resource officers and attorneys to conduct investigations. In fact, the Department of Commerce has ceased using outside counsel to investigate civil rights cases as a result of the law; thereby effectively denying employees the ability to obtain justice.
At a hearing of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee earlier this year, a wide range of interests, including business, labor and consumer representatives agreed that the law should be amended. Your colleague, Congressman Pete Sessions, has introduced H.R. 3408 to correct the problem.
Although all parties are in agreement that the law must be amended, there are disagreements about the details of the proposed legislation. I am asking that you urge your fellow members of Congress to move forward to correct the statute so that private investigators, human resource officers, attorneys and employers can once again do their job to protect their employees, customers and assets.
I am specifically asking that you join as a cosponsor of H.R. 3408 if you have not already done so. In addition, I would appreciate it if you would urge your colleagues to do so as well. This is a bipartisan issue and we should not let the election clock delay a solution.
Thank you for your consideration in this most important matter.
Kenneth P. Lord, III