December 2, 2009
In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for October and November, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:
- Florida Lawmakers Pledge Changes To Their Background Screening Program
- Sex Offender Safety Tips
- No Background Check? No Problem – Cracking Down On The Gun Show Loophole
- How A Woman Falsified Her Nursing Credentials For 18 Years
- University Removes New-Hire DNA Testing From It’s Background Check Policy
- Genes and Jobs: Can Employers Use Your DNA For A Background Check?
- 100% Of Companies Will Be Using Social Networks As Part Of Their Employee Screening Program By 2012
- How To Protect Your Company When Googling Job Applicants
Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy
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November 4, 2009
This is a fascinating and also sad story of how a woman stole, lied and cheated her way through life.
For years, she kept ahead of her lies, moving from state to state with false credentials that showed her to be a nurse. This week, the law caught up with Catherine Marie Connor.
The Grafton woman was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in federal prison in a wire fraud case in which she followed a trail of deceit to secure a nursing license and nursing or related jobs in multiple states.
Connor, 55, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
She pleaded guilty in July for a case that developed over a period of years, beginning in 1991 and ending in March 2009, court records state, during which time she made some $625,013.07.
A crucial element of the case was the woman’s background, dating to 1984 when, as Catherine Smith living in Virginia, she was sentenced to a two-year term on two felony counts of credit card theft and two felony counts of forgery, the indictment states.
Related Posts From FYI Screening:
- 3 Critical Reasons To Screen Health Care Employees
- 4 Ways That Employee Screening Boosts Employers’ ROI
- 4 Tips on How to Avoid Negligent Hiring Lawsuits
- More Background Checks
Photo credit: gbaku
December 19, 2008
Hospitals and health care facilities are in a uniquely vulnerable position. The problems that are associated with making a bad hiring decision are made worse by the fact that lives are at risk every moment. Not only is a hospital’s staff exposed, but patients can literally be defenseless. It’s important that any health care employee undergoes a criminal background check. Pre-employment screening should be done for doctors, nurses, other care providers, and even a hospital’s maintenance team. Plus, the screening should be ongoing for existing staff.
Today, I’ll explain the 3 most important reasons why hospitals and health care facilities must screen candidates before hiring them.
#1 – Danger To Staff
A hospital’s staff is often busy taking care of patients. Time is limited and it’s seldom spent wondering if a co-worker can be trusted or is going to cause physical harm. If an employee is hired with a violent criminal past, the staff is extremely vulnerable. Instruments can be used violently and medications can be used to poison others.
These things have happened in the past. They’ll happen again in the future. Health care employers must minimize the risk by performing comprehensive background checks on all applicants.
#2 – Danger To Patients
A prospective employee who has been convicted of a violent or drug-related crime is particularly unsuitable for a job that places him in close proximity to patients. Their immediate access to those who are helpless exposes both the patients and the hospital to enormous risk. Hospitals and other health care providers must screen both prospective hires and existing employees to manage this risk.
#3 – Potential Lawsuits
A negligent hiring lawsuit can be expensive. If a patient or staff member suffers physically as a result of insufficient pre-employment screening, they can sue the hospital for negligent hiring. It’s not uncommon for the courts to award compensation in the millions of dollars to victims of workplace violence.
Background Checks To Minimize Hiring Risk
Every business should screen applicants and conduct background checks. Health care employers, in particular, must be diligent with the screening process in order to protect their staff and patients from harm. By searching for past criminal records, verifying past employment and licenses, and clarifying any gaps in work history, they can avoid making a disastrous hiring decision. The alternative is exposing the staff, patients, and the hospital to a hiring catastrophe.
Photo Credit: José Goulão
November 13, 2008
In this tough economy hiring good employees who are both efficient and well-qualified can play a significant role in boosting an employer’s ROI. On the other hand, a bad hire can have a major impact on a company’s bottom line. It’s not uncommon for one poor hiring decision to result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Today, you’ll discover 4 ways in which employee screening and background checks can translate into a higher ROI.
#1 – Avoids Negligent Hiring Lawsuits
If one or more of your staff is injured at the hands of another employee, there may be grounds for a negligent hiring lawsuit. If an employer failed to properly screen the offending employee, that employer can be sued. Keep in mind that the average settlement for this type of lawsuit is over $1 million.
#2 – Minimizes Employee Turnover
Hiring and training a new employee is expensive. If an employer discovers that the employee has a substance abuse problem, criminal record, or history of violence, there may be a need to replace that person. By conducting pre-employment background checks, employers can avoid bad hires, reducing employee turnover costs in the process.
#3 – Increases Staff Productivity
Along with reducing staff turnover, hiring competent employees increases your staff’s overall productivity. There’s less likelihood of a disruption in the workplace caused by a bad hire. Plus, by limiting turnover, an employer can allocate fewer resources to redundant training.
#4 – Reduces Employee Theft
A bad hire is more likely to commit theft in the workplace. Even small, seemingly benign incidents (for example, stealing a box of pens) can signal the beginning of a habit. Eventually, the employee may begin pilfering valuable assets. Employers can limit employee theft by thoroughly screening applicants before hiring them.
Protecting The Bottom Line
A company’s bottom line involves more than merely revenues and the costs of doing business. Hiring a bad employee can have a devastating effect on an employer’s profitability. Negligent hiring lawsuits, employee turnover, low staff productivity, and employee theft can each have a significant impact. By performing comprehensive background checks and conducting pre-employment screening, employers can protect their staff while boosting their ROI.
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Photo Credit: AMagill
November 7, 2008
Recent estimates suggest that over 50% of job applicants lie on their resumes. And when asked, nearly 70% of college graduates claim they would consider lying in order to get a job. For employers, this should be a major concern. At best, hiring an employee who lied on her resume wastes valuable time and resources. At worst, it can lead to workplace violence, theft, and negligent hiring lawsuits.
As applicants become increasingly comfortable with lying to potential employers, screening and background checks have never been more important. Today, I’ll expose 4 of the most common lies told by job candidates.
Lie #1: “Yes, I Earned That Degree”
Applicants lie about the degrees they’ve earned all the time. In some cases, they may have attended the school, but never finished their coursework. In other cases, they may have never attended the school in the first place. It’s a common lie because employers often fail to verify the information.
Lie #2: “I Don’t Have A Criminal Record”
Sometimes, applicants will lie outright about their criminal past. Other times, they’ll change small details such as how their name is spelled, the date they were born, or the cities in which they’ve lived. This can be a major hiring issue and employers need to carefully validate what they’re being told.
Lie #3: “I’ve Been Steadily Employed”
A lot of applicants realize that a gap in their employment history raises eyebrows. From an employer’s perspective, the gap may imply that the applicant spent in prison. So, candidates will lie about it, disguising gaps by changing dates or even creating jobs from thin air.
Lie #4: “My Salary At My Previous Job Was…”
Potential hires often inflate their salaries to give them more leverage over future salary negotiations. Offering a compensation package based upon misleading salary information can cost an employer tens of thousands of dollars.
Finding The Truth
Hiring an employee who has lied on their resume or application has become a significant problem for employers. But, the lies can be easily exposed by your hiring staff or an employee screening service. By doing extensive background checks on applicants, you can discover the truth. And that can make your business less vulnerable to a bad hire.
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Photo Credit: ktylerconk
October 31, 2008
In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for October, here’s a quick recap:
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October 21, 2008
Companies are becoming more aware of how a lack of employee screening increases their exposure to liability. As a result, they are taking measures to conduct background checks on all permanent staff. Oddly, many firms don’t use the same caution when bringing temp hires aboard. The main reason cited by many employers is that screening and background checks take valuable time. They slow the placement process, which is an important factor for short-term projects. But, sacrificing caution for expediency when hiring temporary staff can be catastrophic.
Screening Temporary Employees
A temporary hire can expose your firm to just as much risk as a permanent employee. After all, once they are on your premises, they will usually have the same level of access to computer files, customer databases, and other resources. The fact that a temp employee is only working on a short-term assignment is irrelevant. If you neglect to perform background checks, they still pose a significant risk.
Many employers think that since a temp hire receives a paycheck from a staffing firm, the employer cannot be held liable for that hire’s actions. So, they decide against screening temporary employees. That’s a mistake. And it can potentially cost an employer millions of dollars. In truth, employers can be held liable for the actions of a temp hire. If they disrupt the workplace and harm your staff or customers, your firm can be sued.
How To Avoid Unnecessary Risk
Hiring an employee always carries an inherent risk, regardless of whether that employee is hired on a temporary or permanent basis. You should take preventative measures to protect your staff, your workplace, and the core assets upon which your business relies. At the very least, screen temporary employees as carefully as you screen your permanent staff.
To further reduce your company’s liability, perform comprehensive background checks that search county court records for past criminal convictions. Studies show that temp hires often have criminal records and other issues that can lead to problems if you hire them. Remember, one bad temporary employee can lead to a million-dollar negligent hiring lawsuit. Insulate your business by screening them.
Photo Credit: Bludgeoner86
August 7, 2008
If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ll already understand how important it is to conduct an extensive background check on any person whom you’re considering hiring. That said, let’s review. Use the 5 reasons below as a reminder of why it’s essential to do employee background checks.
#1 – Avoid Legal Liability
If you fail to check the background and history of an employee and that employee hurts someone in the workplace, your company could be held liable. Negligent hiring lawsuits happen all the time and employers pay the price.
#2 – Validate Skills
Just because a job applicant claims that he’s adept at something or has experience in a certain field doesn’t mean that it’s true. You need to do a background check to validate his claims.
#3 – Prevent Office Violence
Violence in the workplace can carry an enormous cost. Not only does it potentially expose your staff to physical harm, but it disrupts your company’s operations. While doing an extensive background check doesn’t guarantee a new employee won’t act violently, it’s one of the most effective preventative measures you can take.
#4 – Avoid Employee Theft
A large percentage of the people who steal items from the companies for which they work have a history of doing so. Checking an employee’s background can reveal whether a prospective hire has been fired or convicted of theft in the past.
#5 – Avoid Nuisance Lawsuits
There are people who apply for jobs, secure a position and then sue the company that has hired them. It may take the form of a frivolous worker’s compensation claim or a sexual harassment suit. You can uncover whether a job candidate has a history of filing these types of lawsuits.
Conducting employee background checks is an important part of protecting your staff and your company. They help maintain the safety of your employees. Plus, they can shield your business from a host of potential problems that can result from hiring an undesirable worker.
July 22, 2008
In these tough economic times companies may be thinking about saving time and money by cutting back on their employee screening programs. This would be a big mistake! If you hire a dangerous or unfit person without doing proper “due diligence” and harm occurs, you are opening yourself up to a negligent hiring lawsuit.
Here are several tips to help you avoid a negligent hiring lawsuit :
1. Create a Program
Create an employee screening program for your company. This program should document employee screening policies and procedures for each position in the organization.
2. Train to Ensure Hiring Managers Follow the Program
Train all hiring managers on the employee screening policies and procedures. Document this training.
3. Audit Employee Screening Program
Create an audit procedure to make sure the employee screening program is being followed throughout the organization. Document this procedure.
4. Ensure FCRA Compliance
If you are using a third party employee screening service make sure they are in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).