Daily Archives: May 20, 2021

Pre-employment Criminal Background Checks

How deep should you go?

Given that nearly one-third of all Americans have some kind of criminal record, if you are using criminal background screenings as part of a safe hiring policy, you’re going to encounter candidates within your applicant pool that have a history of criminal activity. While there’s no denying the value of criminal record checks, using them appropriately for hiring decisions requires care. How deep should you go when performing a criminal search, and what should you do with the results? These three steps will help you weigh the risks and opportunities of individual applicants in a fair and balanced way.

Focus on the Position

Designing your background check policy begins by examining each position. Understanding the specific responsibilities and potential risks for each role within your organization will help you define what it means to hire wisely. Consider the following types of questions:

  • How much direct, active supervision does the position receive?
  • To what extent does the position represent your brand to the public?
  • What risks are associated with the position?
  • Does the position require interaction with vulnerable populations?
  • Does the position involve direct access to cash or other fungible assets?

As you can see, this type of analysis is critical. For example, for positions that require direct access to cash, a criminal history of theft is relevant. Likewise, a poor driving record is pertinent to positions requiring the operation of a motor vehicle. Conversely, if the criminal background check returns results that have little relevance to the job at hand and if the applicant is otherwise qualified, the record need not be disqualifying.

Follow EEOC Guidelines

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined three factors to guide employers in their use of criminal background checks:

  • The nature of the job.
  • The nature and seriousness of the offense.
  • Time passed since commission of the offense or completion of sentence.

With these factors in mind, employers will often find that an applicant’s criminal past does not disqualify them for the position. However, if there is deemed to be a significant risk, there’s one more step.

Make an Individual Assessment

Before taking adverse action, the EEOC recommends conducting an individual assessment. Talk to the applicant. Let them know their past actions may exclude them from the position and give them a chance to explain. Information about the circumstances, severity, subsequent rehabilitation efforts, and other mitigating factors may or may not alter your original decision, but you’ve done your due diligence to be fair and equitable.

The End Goal

The end goal is to hire qualified, trustworthy, responsible employees. Following these steps will help you collect and use the information you need to evaluate risks and make fair and wise hiring decisions.

How to Avoid Car Damage in Common Off-Roading Situations


Many models of Land Rover are popular choices for off-roading enthusiasts. They handle well, have excellent suspension to smooth out the ride, and are tough vehicles, inside and out. But if the trail gets a little too rough, even the toughest of vehicles can take some damage. For those who enjoy off-roading in their Land Rovers, here are a few tips to help prevent damage on your excursions.

Slow and Steady Keeps You Moving

Sure, it can be fun to throw some mud off your tires as you tear things up off the road. But be aware of the surface you’re driving on and how much traction it provides. Gravel, for example, can seem like a relatively reliable driving surface. However, it’s a constantly-changing, low-grip surface that can go from sturdy to slippery in an instant. Use your vehicle’s appropriate Terrain Response setting (if it doesn’t engage automatically) and keep it slow and steady.

The same goes for grass. Not only does an easy, consistent speed keep your vehicle from getting stuck in soft soil, but it can better preserve the grass you’re driving on. Stick to a low-range gear with your Terrain Response setting, and avoid any unnecessary churn or breakthrough. If you’re following other cars, don’t drive directly in their tracks; you’re more likely to go through areas that have been churned up by other tires and get stuck in the muck.

Keep Control on the Hills

Land Rovers are made for handling steep ascents and descents that most vehicles aren’t built for. But it’s important that you know how to stay in control on those steep inclines. When driving uphill, use the highest gear in which your car can comfortably “pull.” Never attempt to turn your vehicle on a steep slope, and keep the approach angle in mind so that your nose doesn’t hit the ground.

When descending, use your Land Rover’s Hill Descent Control if you have it. This engages automatic braking to maintain a steady speed while going downhill. If you don’t have this, stay in first gear and brake sparingly. When returning to flat ground, remember your angle so that the back of your car doesn’t scrape the end of the hill as your front side levels out.

Always Be Alert

Finally, always stay alert when driving off-road. Just because there aren’t other cars around, doesn’t meant there aren’t plenty of hazards. Watch for waters too deep to drive through, boulders that can high-center your vehicle, and other such dangerous while off-roading.

And if your vehicle is damaged on a trip, take it to a certified Land Rover body shop for repairs.


How Do You Dispose of Old Solar Equipment?


Disposing of solar equipment isn’t really something that’s become a common issue yet. Solar power is a relatively new technology—especially for widespread residential use—and most solar equipment that’s been installed hasn’t reached the end of its usable life yet. However, that’s bound to happen eventually. Most solar equipment is designed to last about 30 years, so when the time finally comes to retire your solar equipment, what will happen to it? How do you dispose of it? Keep reading to learn more.


Solar Inverters

Solar inverters tend to have a shorter estimated lifespan than the solar panels themselves, but most will still last you close to 20 years. When the time does come to replace, the solar company you purchase your new inverter from can likely assist with disposing of the old one. Some companies provide a take-back and recycling program for these products. If you can’t find one in your area, and the company you’re purchasing your new inverter from can’t help you get rid of the old inverter, you can dispose of it as you would any old electronics.


Solar Batteries

If you have a battery bank for solar energy storage, these are likely to burn out before any of your other solar equipment. Most batteries have a lifespan somewhere between 10 and 15 years. Solar batteries can be disposed of in the same way as old car batteries; you’ll likely want to contact the waste management office in your city to find out where you can dispose of batteries.


If you can, look for a place that can recycle your batteries instead of just throwing them away for you. Many cities will have to recycle boxes for batteries instead of just special waste drop-off locations. You may also consider contacting an automotive store, as these locations often handle battery disposal and recycling.


Solar Panels

The photovoltaic panels themselves are the longest-lasting piece of equipment on this list, and they’ll last you upwards of 30 years. When the time rolls around to get rid of your old solar panels, it’s a good idea to speak to your contractor about getting help disposing of them. Again, the individuals installing your new panels will often be happy to deal with hauling away and recycling those panels for you.


And, yes, solar panels can be recycled! Or at least, most of their parts can be. The metal framing, glass, and wires are easily recycled for other purposes. The silicon cells themselves can be a bit tougher. Recycling solar panels is still in its early stages, but some specialty recycling companies can melt down silicon cells and reclaim the various metals and silicon inside them.


When it comes time to dispose of your old solar panels, grid-tie inverter, and batteries, make sure you recycle them properly!