You performed a pre-employment background check on your prospective employee. Everything came back clear so now your obligation to conduct a background check is satisfied. Maybe, but maybe not. That person you just hired may commit a crime after their employment begins. That crime may involve the loss of a driver’s license which is critical to the performance of the job. Or the crime may involve assault or battery. In certain states and for certain fields such as transportation and medical fields, there is an obligation to conduct post employment background checks on an annual basis because of state or federal mandates. You cannot have a company driver without a driver’s license or someone who has a violent background working with vulnerable individuals. Volunteers who work with youth organizations are often subject to annual background checks to provide parents with a sense of security about the individuals working with their children.
Keep in mind, however, that you cannot use post employment background checks in an indiscriminate manner in which certain employees are screened regularly while others in the same position are not. Everyone needs to be treated equally. You cannot check the background of applicants and employees when that decision is based upon that individual’s race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information or age (40 or older). In addition, some states require the employee’s consent each time a background check is conducted.
In sum, used properly ongoing background checks can provide a sense of security for both other employees and customers, but to ensure they are being properly conducted be sure to consult an attorney in your jurisdiction.
Contact: Judith Downs, Esq. at Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson and Haluck, LLP, [email protected]