The Importance of Quality Background Checks – What’s Hot in Background Screening News

December 1, 2011 · Print This Article

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Welcome to our monthly edition of what’s hot in employee background screening news. If you want to become smarter about background screening, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the news items that caught our attention last month.

Unauthorized employee recommendations, references on social media may put employers at risk

Employers are beginning to realize that their employees are sending or receiving recommendations on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, about co-workers’, vendors’, and customers’ work performance or services that are inconsistent with the employer’s policies.  Worse yet, they may even be providing false or fraudulent information.  Employers need to take a hard look at their employees’ recommendations on social media.

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Woman on a crusade for change after her sister was murdered by an air duct cleaner in Florida

When you have work done at your home, do you know who’s coming to your door?

Two local women thought they were safe calling Sears to have their air ducts cleaned.But it turned into a nightmare after a convicted felon with a history of harassing women showed up to do the work.

This could happen to you too, even if the company you hire does background checks.

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Background check law could get some Pennsylvania teachers fired

A new Pennsylvania law requiring all school workers to disclose their criminal history could see some employees who have been convicted of various crimes lose their jobs.

The law, signed by Governor Tom Corbett in June, went into effect in September and mandates background checks for all employees of public, private and vocational schools. Administrators must notify employees of the law and have them return a form reporting any criminal history by December 27.

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Employer held responsible for negligent hiring: Kansas City-area lawyers win $7M verdict over truck crash

A group of Kansas City-area lawyers won a $7 million verdict Thursday for the family of an Arkansas truck driver killed in a 2008 accident.

The truck driver who caused the accident — a driver whose license had been twice revoked — was hired negligently, said lead attorney Kent Emison.

In a statement, Emison said the company could have learned of Quisenberry’s driving history in 15 minutes through a simple background search. He said the verdict is part of a growing trend of employers being held responsible for negligent hiring.

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How effective are background checks in protecting children from abusers?

Experts point a various problems that make it difficult to truly protect children.

Many molesters fly under the radar and don’t have contact with law enforcement for years. Many organizations only do a criminal background check when someone is employed and don’t re-check periodically. Offenders at times plead to lesser charges that might not raise flags. And even Megan’s Law, designed to create as sex-offender registry, has loopholes.

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Cracks in background check system give drug abusers, mentally ill access to guns

Gaps in the Federal Background Check system may be putting guns in the hands of killers, according to a new report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The report finds two huge gaps in the National Instant Criminal Check System (NICS). The biggest one, and hardest to fix, boils down to a communication problem. Many states and state agencies do not cooperate with the system. The blame doesn’t fall on solely on state agencies, federal agencies don’t comply with the background check system either.

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Texas state criminal database is flawed

According to a recent report by the Texas State Auditor’s Office, nearly one out of every four criminal records is incomplete, while some are completely missing for the state’s database.

Thousands of Texas businesses, day cares, schools use the state’s database for criminal background checks.

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Photo credit: Johan AP

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