News & Resources

More states reforming criminal background screening requirements

Nov 12, 2013 Quinn Thomas

Background screening has been a major topic of discussion among government officials, civil rights advocate groups and business leaders in recent years, especially considering the recovering economy and improving employment situation. Decision-makers need to ensure that their background check policies are aligned with industry-recognized best practices and current regulatory compliance statutes.

The Associated Press recently reported that the state of Wisconsin has chosen to become the newest member of a 35-state coalition that requires child care providers to conduct enhanced criminal background screening procedures before hiring a new employee. Child care, as well as elder care and several other similar industries, has been the target of new legislation over the past few years.

Many states, including New York, had already expanded their legislation to protect children and the elderly who use these services, while the rest of the nation seems to be pulling together in this same fight. According to the news provider, Wisconsin, as well as the other 35 states that are involved in the constituency, will demand that child care providers conduct Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint background checks for all new hires.

This process dramatically lowers the chances that a convicted felon would be able to slip through the cracks during the onboarding process and threaten the lives of patrons and other employees. The source noted that Child Care Aware of America has been one of the main proponents of this new move to expand background screening processes.

Regardless of what industry an organization operates within, employers are responsible for ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for their staff members, patrons and visitors. At the same time, firms must oblige civil rights and liberties by following the laws governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Decision-makers who are not entirely comfortable with this process should consider outsourcing the tasks to a professional background screening service provider.