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Arizona hotel crimes highlight importance of criminal background screening

Jun 10, 2013 Philip Burgess

Two hotels in Arizona are being sued due to assault cases that may have been prevented with proper pre-employment background screening. The Background Investigator recently reported that two hotels in Maricopa County are being sued for failing to conduct employment screens for a front-desk clerk who allegedly attacked two women.

The attacks took place at two different hotels in 2011 and 2012. The clerk is accused of using a key to enter the rooms of two female visitors during night shifts and assaulting them. What's disturbing is that the 40-year-old man accused of committing the crimes was a convicted level-three sex offender, the news provider explained.

Although it's important to conduct background screening, it can be a legal minefield for employers, according to the source. With many states starting to pass legislation in favor of workers, it's difficult for businesses to run proper searches on their own.

Across the country, lawsuits resulting from improper background screening have been increasing in recent years. With laws changing on a regular basis, it's easy for a business to make a misstep in the screening process.

According to WXIN-TV, Indiana will become the latest state to pass legislation that will make it more challenging to conduct criminal background screens.The source noted that individuals with misdemeanors and minor felonies on their records could have them expunged after a specified period. Once erased, employers would be unable to use these voided records in employment decisions.

With there being so many hurdles regarding employment screening, businesses would be wise to outsource background checks to a professional service. Many enterprises offer screening programs that are conducted by highly trained officials who understand the latest federal and state laws. Partnering with such firms could prevent costly lawsuits down the road.