Authored By W.Barry Nixon, SHRM- CMP
Although most employers recognize the importance of completing background screenings on new employees, many don’t realize how quickly things can change for a hire who started off with a clean record. What began as the best fit for an open position, later can become an issue of fraud, embezzlement or even workplace violence without the proper steps to ensure a safe and honest work environment.
Fortunately, there is a vast amount of screening tools that can help employers keep track of their employees throughout their employment. Information like status of professional licenses, certifications or driving infractions, criminal convictions, immigration status changes and other details can be tracked using programs like Infinity Screening. Tracking changes surrounding these important elements can help eliminate future problems like fraud, embezzlement, identity, information and property theft, workplace violence, safety violations and lawsuits. In fact, employees are responsible for about 60% of the losses faced by businesses.
Not only that, but, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, U.S. organizations also lose about 6% of their revenues to occupational fraud, estimated at about $6 billion annually.
Workplace homicides, averaged to cost about $800,000, has decreased over the years, but remains a concern for employers who face suffering and financial burden due to workplace violence. Continued screening of employees can raise red flags that may indicate a problem with the mental health of one of its employees.
Not only does Infinity Screening help manage risk, but it also helps a business meet its fiduciary responsibilities and eliminates negligent retention, or its responsibility to take action if and when an employee is suspected of wrongdoing. It is far better for an employer to be proactive in its screening than to find themselves in a reactionary position that could cost them thousands of dollars to correct.
While it is important for businesses to have a firm understanding of the legal issues associated with background screenings, as defined by the Fair Credit Report Act, Infinity Screening also is cognizant of the requirements. Several industries, including medical and healthcare facilities, now are legally required to perform ongoing screening in an effort to ensure licenses and certifications are current. And the Department of Transportation faces penalties when they fail to perform ongoing drug testing on its employees. Banks and brokerages must be aware of guidelines similar to those detailed in Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which prohibits any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense involving finances from participating in the conduct of the affairs of an insured institution.
Ongoing background screening with tools like Infinity Screening can protect businesses from potential future problems with good employees turned bad. By being aware of the red flags associated with things like fraud, embezzlement, drug abuse and mental health concerns, employers can prevent issues that may cost them thousands to repair.