Employment Screening Checks
These employment screening checks will vary in their depth and some may overlap. This is merely a list of the kinds of checks you might run:
Social Security Number Trace – Sometimes people will change names and often do when they get married. Any trace that is only based on the person’s current name might not include problems from before the name change.
Criminal record check – Criminal records checks should be run on all names and in all counties that are turned up in the Social Security Number Trace. Request information available on both felony and misdemeanor convictions.
Driver’s license check – An employer that sends an unlicensed driver out on assignment, may find themselves liable if that employee has an accident. This is especially true in cases where the employee is transporting a client. Merely looking at the license to ensure that there are valid dates is not enough. A driver may have a revoked or suspended license in which cases, they are not legally able to drive.
Employment verification – All employment applications require information related to past work history. However, it has been reported that about 40% of all work applications and resumes contain falsified information. Since you need to be able to trust your employees, it is recommended that you do comprehensive employment verification before hiring anyone.
Employment verifications come in all sizes. The basic verifications generally include dates of employment, salary history, job title, and whether the employee would be available for rehire. More extensive verifications can also include one on one interviews with former associates and supervisors.
Drug testing – Keep in mind that drug testing isn’t just about finding out whether your prospective employee is partaking in recreational illegal drugs. Employees who are on extensive pain killers or mood-altering medications can become a liability as well. A full panel drug screen is recommended to make sure that your employee is not going to fall asleep at the wheel or on the job because of medications that you should have known about.
Credit history reports – Checking on your employees financial situation may sound like a violation of their privacy to begin with. Yet this problem is solved if you have your prospective employees sign a release before you hire them.
For many jobs, there is no reason to go this far. But remember that in the home care business, you are sending your employees into the homes of your customers, many of whom can be too trusting, easily duped, often forgetful, and sometimes easily confused. As the business owner, you are in fact standing behind the honesty of your employees.
When a person is faced with severe economic pressure at home, desperation can be the trigger that causes even a normally honest person to violate a trust. More than once, a person facing financial ruin has violated that trust in the home of a client, especially when that client is a bit confused. As the owner of the business, you can certainly choose to fire an employee caught stealing, but the financial liability can still rest with you because the employee was in the home as your agent.
Civil history reports – Civil actions are those that are brought against an individual for wrongs that may or may not include criminal action. Because the standard of proof is not as high in civil court (a preponderance of the evidence) vs. criminal court (beyond a reasonable doubt), some criminal cases may not be strong enough to survive criminal court, yet are still won in civil court.
Other cases such as slander or libel are not criminal offenses, yet these can be serious. If your employee slanders the competition, you as the employer can also be sued. As important as it is to see if your employee was a defendant in a case, it is just as important to see what or if they have ever been a plaintiff and what that was about.
Note: It is not necessarily a negative if your prospect employee has ever been in court. It is everyone’s right to go to court when they have been mistreated and sometimes, there are just some sincere disagreements.
The reason that you want to look at the plaintiff side is that you want to determine whether there were one or two isolated instances or if suing people is a pattern of behavior. If you found that they’ve sued their last four employers for the same thing, you can pretty much figure what your chances are as the fifth employer.
Medicare/Medicaid fraud report – This report is especially important if your company participates in either of these programs.
Professional license verification – You might be surprised how many people claim to be licensed that are not or have had license suspensions.
Professional reference report – Perhaps not as important as others, this report has to do with the way that professionals in the industry regard the applicant.
Sexual Offender’s Registry report – This report is obvious
Worker’s Compensation history report – Does the applicant have a history of accidents on the job? Has there ever been a case where the applicant was caught attempting to fake a work-related accident? This one might just be a little bit bigger than you. Could the worker be gaining employment for the purposes of creating an accident and then going after your client?
In most cases where you are protected by workman’s compensation insurance, this wouldn’t be a big problem for your client. But neither would it stop them from filing a lawsuit against them.