What are your employees doing in their spare time?
Most employers today in the U.S. conduct a background check on a candidate prior to employment. And that report of the individual you hired is a snapshot of that person’s history at the point in time—but things can change over time. Employees who previously had no criminal history may now have a criminal record over the passage of time in which they are your employee.
Over the course of employment, a person could have reportable criminal records that came about after they were hired and after that initial background check. An employer may not necessarily be aware of a reportable criminal history of their current employee—particularly if the conviction resulted in no jail time or absence from work.
We conducted a study of over 10,000 employees of our current clients. Our data shows 1 percent of that population had new reportable criminal histories which were new from the time of their original pre-employment background screen. Think about that statistic. Using the data from that study, it could mean that some of your current workforce has been convicted of a crime since the date of hire.
Why is that important? Consider the following:
- Violence: According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 2.8 million workers were victims of workplace violence in 2017.
- Harassment: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) received 26,978 claims of workplace harassment resulting in $134 million in monetary benefits without including the employer legal costs.
- Theft or Fraud: According to Report to the Nations: 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)., there were 2,690 real cases of occupational fraud totaling $7 billion plus in total losses.
One of the ways to protect your company and your workforce is to consider supplementing your current background screening approach to include ongoing screening—using a criminal records watch product—which reports near real-time criminal record information on current employees. As technology and data continue to develop, access and delivery of this type of criminal record information is now possible in an FCRA-compliant product.
While getting set-up for continuous monitoring is very straight forward, there are few key things you need to consider:
- Employee communication. Make sure your candidates and employee understand that you are working on their behalf to help create a safe workplace.
- Employee disclosures and authorizations. Generally, the same requirements for pre-employment screening apply for rescreening and for continuous screening. Consult your legal advisor or employment lawyer for best practices here.
- Keep your roster of employees and contractors updated. In order to obtain consumer reports on your employees you would need to keep and acknowledge that your roster is current.
At First Advantage we offer Criminal Records Watch to continuously screen your employees and contractors for criminal records. It is an FCRA-compliant ongoing monitoring product that alerts employers whenever an employee or contractor has reportable criminal records history after they begin working for the employer—giving employers the opportunity to initiate intervention or adverse action, without waiting for a periodically scheduled re-screen.