Is An Employee Criminal Background Check A Good Idea



If you are going to conduct an employee criminal background check prior to hiring anyone it is wise to create a policy that makes this a condition of employment.










Then there is the question of consistency.

What specifically will you disqualifying someone for?

Will it be for any previous criminal conviction(s) or only felonies?

Maybe you will only be trying to discover whether a person has been convicted for a crime that involves an act of violence, such as, robbery, assault and battery, murder, etc.

Maybe you will include those white collar types of crimes like embezzlement.

Of course drug or alcohol related crimes generally are an indicator of work related injuries sometime in the future. Of course they may be a recovering alcoholic but remember we are playing the odds and the odds tell you that they are not in recovery.

One more consideration and that is how far do we go back? You may feel five years is enough but some would tell you that ten is the right number in order for someone to change their life.

On the flip side of that many times when someone is just released from prison on parole they have a parole officer monitoring them and should they stumble in any way they will be headed right back to prison. This could mean this person is going to be on their best behavior for a number of years to come, or at least until they are off parole.

As you can see there are many things to consider and as my second sentence above indicates you must make every effort to be consistent. Why is that so important? Not being so is exactly how discrimination cases are born!

Especially if you hold a federal government contract with fifty or more employees which then subjects you to Affirmative Action! That translates into a possible visit by The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) of which I have been lucky enough to experience and survive.

If you are audited by OFCCP they will be looking at everything including your decisions to hire. They will review all your applications and determine qualifications based on your standard, provided it is a legal standard, and then determine whether you have been fair or not. So as an example if you ran an employee criminal background check on all applicants and two came back similar but you didn’t hire someone that was in a protected class you may be trying to explain why. If you are unable to explain why you made the decision to their satisfaction you may be subjected to a financial penalty.

Therefore, whether running an employee criminal background check or any other hiring filtering system you have make sure you always conduct yourself fairly. In today’s world people are very quick to cry discrimination and that they are a victim. Don’t give them the opportunity.

Thank you and May GOD Bless You!

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