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Thoroughness imperative in background screening

Oct 23, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Thoroughness imperative in background screening
As fraudulent parties continue to expand their abilities to deceive businesses and individuals, thorough background checks have never been more important. It is an employer's responsibility to protect employees and clientele, and background checks can help ensure the security of all patrons.
 There are many legal requirements regarding background checks, all of which are meant to protect both businesses and job applicants. Employers will need to ensure they are following state and federal regulations when carrying out background checks on their employees to avoid fines and other issues. Risk of not being thorough
Several instances of lackluster background checks have reached the news in recent months, especially regarding those that do not adequately portray the applicant's history. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that the Transportation Security Administration was questioned for hiring a former priest that had been accused of molestation. According to the news provider, officials purported that the man was never prosecuted in a criminal court, as the church paid almost $200,000 in settlement costs to avoid the case. While the TSA was made aware of the former priest's history and the allegations that he had been inappropriate with children, it took no action. This angered travelers, as the man was once involved in patdowns for the TSA, raising questions of the appropriateness of his behavior. However, the TSA did conclude that not hiring him because of his past would have been against legal statutes that protect employees with criminal histories. Background check practices for success
In addition to legal requirements, there are best practices that every employer should follow when conducting background checks. All businesses should have some sort of policy in place regarding background screening, and it should be clearly outlined and readily available for all employees to see. Further, the policies built should fit the specific demands of the job, and should be up for constant review to ensure that all included portions are still applicable to current standards. Businesses should consider the guidance given by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) when conducting criminal background checks, as the agency recently released new guidance on what and what not to include. The requirements were released for employer consumption earlier this year, and is available on the EEOC's website.