Lady PI

Michelle Pyan President Commercial Investigations LLC

Redemption – Is it possible . . .

“Is it possible to determine empirically when it is no longer necessary for an employer to be concerned about a criminal offense in a prospective employee’s past?”

Yes, I read Criminology from 2009.  Actually, a mentor of mine and I were talking about recidivism, and he mentioned this article.

I think the business world may finally be ready for what academia was into almost ten years ago.  However, it would be neat to see some updated statistics.  I did a quick Google search and did not find any.  With the labor pool getting tight employers are looking at candidates with a criminal past differently.  But they still need to weigh the risks to their businesses.

As an employer, would you be comfortable with using such statistics?  Would you be more likely to if there was protection under the law if you did and something went bad after you hired the person?

In one sense, the New York State Office of Court Administration took it upon themselves to not pass along misdemeanor records older than ten years if the person was not convict of a subsequent offense.  Do employers want to not see that information?  Are employers not able to make wise decisions themselves when paying $65 plus per name searched?  Why should they not get all the records?

I find myself in a bit of a quandary today.


Happy 14th Birthday Commercial Investigations LLC!

Thank you to our loyal clients and supporters for making this happen for us. I am so excited for our fourteenth year in business. Fourteen is my favorite number and has been ever since I realized you’re supposed to have a favorite number. This takes me back to the beginning and an article I wrote for our tenth birthday – The CI Fairytale

Super Bowl Commercial 2018

We had fun doing a ‘what if’ we could afford a commercial.  How would you highlight your company in a Super Bowl commercial?



CIware 2.0 Highlighted Services

Commercial Investigations offers Drug Testing services that are now fully integrated and have tracking details right in CIware 2.0!  This means you don’t need to log into another application to schedule a drug test and you can easily determine if a subject went for a scheduled drug test.

Our Electronic I-9 and E-Verify services are now also fully integrated and do not require separate logins.  Clients are also using the CBSV (Consent Based Social Security Number Verification) service.   Our Vigilant services (continuous monitoring) are also easily ordered and tracked in CIware 2.0.

CIware 2.0 is everything we hoped it would be for our clients!  If you are one of our few clients who have yet to convert, please contact us now to start enjoying these improvements and avoid getting caught in the sunsetting of our old software.

Email or call us at or 800-284-0906 with a date and time that works for you to get a customized webinar overview of CIware 2.0 and a conversion scheduled date before the sun sets.

CIware 2.0 Reporting and Communication

Account administrators have virtually unlimited reporting options in CIware 2.0! Our staff at Commercial Investigations see that some of the most popular reports are the Invoice Report, Turnaround Time Reports and Department Allocation Reports.

CIware 2.0 allows for improved interactions with CI staff regarding your background investigations. Whether it be a group of backgrounds or an individual background investigation, users can communicate directly within CIware 2.0.
As always, you can use email if it is your preferred communication tool, but this option can help you avoid switching to an email application to ask a question or follow up on something. We are confident you will love it as much as we do! We’re always be happy to hear from clients via phone as well.

Email or call us at or 800-284-0906 with a date and time that works for you to get a customized webinar overview of CIware 2.0 and a conversion scheduled date before the sun sets.

More on CIware 2.0

Commercial Investigations has been busy converting clients over to our enhanced software, CIware 2.0. Our new software platform works on all devices, from cell phones and tablets, to MACs and PCs. CIware 2.0 users also enjoy the improved quick and easy online password reset feature, which eliminates the need to contact a CI staff member to have your password reset!

There are many customizable email notification options within CIware 2.0, e.g. immediate notification when derogatory information is identified and verified. This draws your attention to adverse information sooner rather than later, so you don’t waste valuable time during the recruiting process. Users can also be notified by email when a report is complete, or when each portion of the report is complete. The options are endless!

Email or call us at or 800-284-0906 with a date and time that works for you to get a customized webinar overview of CIware 2.0 and a conversion scheduled date before the sun sets.

CIware 2.0 – Applicant Quick Invite

The staff at Commercial Investigations continues to amaze clients while demonstrating the many customizable features of our CIware 2.0 software platform for conducting background investigations. It offers many customizable features, that business owners and human resource departments are raving about!

Our president, Michelle Pyan, especially likes the Applicant Quick Invite feature. With only first name, last name, and email address, an applicant is invited to complete the online electronic consent form. Subjects are guided through a quick and easy application process by using a computer, tablet or cell phone. To save recruiters the hassle, invitations are automatically resent each day for 5 days if an applicant hasn’t completed their background consent form.

If you choose, applicants can also include their employment history, education details, and reference contact information. Since applicants enter this information themselves, many are enjoying reduced data entry errors and a significant time savings.

After we receive the information from the subject, you can either opt to have the background investigation begin immediately, or you can have it save to a draft format and be choosier as to which investigations to move forward with.

We are converting all of our clients over to CIware 2.0, one at a time. Let us get you started today – you’ll find it painless and efficient, we promise! Watch for more exciting features explained soon.

Gallows Humor at Commercial Investigations LLC


So, I literally laughed out loud (yes, lol) when we received some drug testing results over the past few days. We, yes, us at Commercial Investigations LLC, not a client of ours, were supposed to have three new people start this month.  Two of those three tested positive for illegal drug use.  The drug of choice, Marijuana, for both of them.  Well, I just had to share our misfortune.  We are working hard to get two other new hires in place and actually we are looking to get three new hires in place in the near future (see our ad on Indeed).  I hope you also found the humor in this!

National Reentry Week 2016


If you’re like most employers you missed that this past week was National Reentry Week. And if you knew that, you may not have really understood the meaning of reentry. Here are some more details to help you better understand the concept behind this past week.

Many job applications contain a checkbox that asks about criminal history. Often, qualified applicants are rejected at this step prior to obtaining an interview. The stigma of a record negatively contributes to recidivism, and unproductive reentry of citizens into society. President Obama met with members of the business community to encourage them to participate in “The Fair Chance Business Pledge”. In this voluntary initiative, the Department of Justice has spelled out measures that will ultimately reduce recidivism and help formerly incarcerated individuals meaningfully integrate back into their communities.

To date, there are 23 states and over 100 cities and counties nationwide that have adopted “fair chance” policies to help limit hiring hurdles. Seven states, and many cities and counties, have removed the box from private employers’ job applications, which advocates hail as an important step in policy reform. Removing the checkbox that asks about an applicant’s criminal history on a job application, and requesting this information later in the process, after the applicant has had a chance to get through the door, is one of several actions “The Fair Chance Business Pledge” outlines. Suggested ways to promote fair hiring practices include:

• “Ban the Box” and ask questions about criminal history later in the process
• Train human resources staff how to make fair decisions for applicants with a criminal history
• Ensure accuracy by utilizing the services of reliable background investigation provider
• Host a Fair Chance Job Fair

Will you take a chance?


national reentry week image

Background Investigations – Perception vs. Factuality

Did you know?

There are many factors that go into a background investigation, which leads to numerous misconceptions on what goes into conducting one. Here are five important misconceptions that should be addressed with applicants to put both the employer and the prospective employee at ease.
This is a fallacy. The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) states that to deny an applicant a job due to criminal history, said criminal history must be related to the job at hand. If Due applies for a truck-driver position, it’s important to know if his license has been suspended or revoked as a result of a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) convictions. If Due applies for a job as a Nurse, his DWI record does not directly pertain to his position, unless he operates a vehicle as part of his duties. A criminal record does not immediately disqualify a person from consideration of employment.
False. Many companies processing background investigations only dip their metaphorical toes into the verification aspect of the industry. Most focus instead on the criminal aspect, employment verifications, and credit checks. CI’s clientele keep us busy with a variety of requests. In addition to full time investigators on staff, who comb through data multiple times to verify information through a primary source (school, employer, etc.), the thoroughness of the reference checks we
conduct set us apart from our competition. A thorough multi-level investigation conducted by CI is proven to save employers time and energy, in addition to expensive litigation costs.
False. When someone has lied on their résumé, I guiltily admit that I get some satisfaction checking that little “Adverse” button! We’re not talking about people who forget their dates of employment, or embellish a position title to “Shipment Processor” while the employer calls it “Laborer.” Rather, it is when people flat out lie about a position calling themselves a Manager, when in reality they were a Sales Associate. As they say, “The truth will reveal itself.” That is, of course, as long as you hire a background investigation company that does their Due Diligence (and we do)!
This is only half true. CI offers a service called “Cyber Investigations.” In this thorough search, we scrutinize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and all other profiles online to gain a more comprehensive look at a subject. The information found on these sites can reveal reasons to further investigate a candidate, which may lead to further investigation that could end in the loss of a potential position.
No! While many companies use third party sites that assist in verifications, not all educational history, employment history or even criminal history can be found online, e.g. the New York State Sex Offender Registry only shows Level Two and Three offenders in their online database. We research to learn if a candidate is a Level One offender. Less reputable companies may get a name match, but don’t verify what are often false records. We conduct primary source verification.

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