Pre-Employment Background Screening
Not all pre-employment screening companies are created equal, and the adage, "buyer beware" apply to employers and anyone who has reason to verify another individual’s background.
There are many organizations locally and on the internet who offer background screening services in this day and age. You should be aware that a lot of these companies rely on databases whose information is typically filled with inaccurate, and or, out of date information. Some even promise to do wild things like conduct FBI Records Searches. Don’t be fooled by wild claims promises of information for you.
What most of these services supply is "raw data" without the kind of interpretation that is essential in making good sound hiring decisions.
The impact of criminal records is a function of a number of variables; the type of offense, elapsed time of a conviction, the severity of the sentence imposed, etc.
The only accurate way to obtain this information in its “raw” form is to personally visit the courthouses of every county the individual in question has lived in or near. The reason for this is not all criminal conviction records make it to the State or Federal Agencies for reporting purposes. This situation has been reported in the news many times.
In fact, an article in the Dallas Morning News (10/03/04) P. 1A; Jennings, Diane; Spangenberger Darlean had this to say:
Texas' state criminal convictions database is accessed more than 3 million times each year by residents and state agencies to conduct background checks on individuals who apply for jobs, licenses, and housing, as well as criminal investigations. But police administrators say the database has so many gaps that pubic security is in jeopardy. The state possesses only 69 percent of the overall criminal records for 2002, according to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety. "Anyone who depends on the state database for a full and accurate check is foolish," says John Bradley, district attorney for Williamson County. The problem is especially critical in Dallas County, where less than 50 percent of county convictions in 2002 have been entered into the state database. Problems also exist with the state's online sex-offender registry, which features incomplete and incorrect records.
When you consider published articles suggesting fraudulent resumes are an issue with perspective employers to the tune of 35% in good economic times and increase to over 50% in bad you can reasonably assume there will be a significant amount of your job applications misrepresenting their criminal histories as well.
Current federal law “FCRA” mandates that prospective employees not only give permission to have their backgrounds screened, but also be afforded a copy of any communications which conveys detrimental information used in disqualifying them for a job. You can ill afford to shop for the cheapest information available to base your hiring decisions on. Neither can you afford to not check the backgrounds of prospective employees and in turn allow individuals with violent histories into your work environments which create potential Workplace Violence and Internal Theft situations.
The fact is our response as a society in general when things go awry is, sue, sue, sue. After all, someone’s got to pay, right? That means, you, the company will most certainly be named in the suit, but wait, that’s not all. Did you know that you the individual may also be sued. In this situation, there is a vast difference in being held “Negligent”, versus “Grossly Negligent.”.
According to Texas Legislation: Texas Civil Remedies; Title 2, Chapter 41:§ 41.005. HARM RESULTING FROM CRIMINAL ACT.
- In an action arising from harm resulting from an assault, theft, or other criminal act, a court may not award exemplary damages against a defendant because of the criminal act of another.
- The exemption provided by Subsection (1) does not apply if:
- the criminal act was committed by an employee of the defendant;
- the defendant is criminally responsible as a party to the criminal act under the provisions of Chapter 7, Penal Code;
- the criminal act occurred at a location where, at the time of the criminal act, the defendant was maintaining a common nuisance under the provisions of Chapter 125, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and had not made reasonable attempts to abate the nuisance; or
- the criminal act resulted from the defendant's intentional or knowing violation of a statutory duty under Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code, and the criminal act occurred after the statutory deadline for compliance with that duty.
- (c) In an action arising out of a criminal act committed by an employee, the employer may be liable for punitive damages but only if:
- the principal authorized the doing and the manner of the act;
- (2) the agent was unfit and the principal acted with malice in employing or retaining him;
- (3) the agent was employed in a managerial capacity and was acting in the scope of employment; or
- (4) the employer or a manager of the employer ratified or approved act. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 19, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
When it comes to hiring the right person for the job, Let us help by providing you with accurate information and experience.