According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. This includes charities, foundations, fraternities, civic leagues, and similar organizations, all of which operate without generating profit at the end of the year.
However, many nonprofits turn a blind eye to the importance of employment screening services or volunteer background checks. They assume applicant screening is only necessary in traditional for-profit businesses. But the truth is that nonprofits are often held to a higher standard in the eyes of the laws, and failing to conduct background checks could result in legal action being taken against the nonprofit.
Nonprofit organizations typically consist of two different types of workers: employees, whom are paid like any other for-profit business, and volunteers, who are not paid. Just because someone volunteers doesn’t necessarily mean you should skip the background check. While circumstances vary on a case-by-case basis, most courts view volunteers in the same manner as paid-workers, meaning nonprofits are still required to conduct background checks on them.
Access to Living Quarters
Workers and volunteers for nonprofit organizations often have direct access to residences and living quarters. In nursing homes, for instance, nonprofit workers may bring food to tenants and assist them with their unique needs. When a worker or volunteer has access to living quarters, the organization for which he or she works for has a legal obligation to conduct a background check. Allowing a worker who’s been charged with assault or battery to work in a nursing home could result in a negligent hiring case against the offending nonprofit.
Interaction With Children
Many nonprofit organizations interact with children on a regular basis. While negligent hiring lawsuits can arise in any number of different occasions, they are far more common when children are involved. Nonprofits must take a proactive approach towards ensuring any workers who interact with children have a clean background. If background report reveals a candidate’s past history of child abuse, the nonprofit has a legal obligation to reject him or her for the position.
The bottom line is that all nonprofit organizations should conduct background checks on applicants and existing workers/volunteers. It’s a quick and easy process that can protect the organization from legal action. Furthermore, nonprofits have a moral obligation to ensure their workers and volunteers adhere to their standards.
Give us a call today for all of your employment screening service or volunteer background check needs!