According to a recent survey conducted by a ARS, 53 percent of employers never re-screen members of their staff. As a result, their employees could pose a risk to their business. While education, credentials, and employment details should be good for the long term, other factors often change—including criminal history, financial history and driving record. Because drunk driving incidents, speeding tickets, petty theft arrests and bankruptcies do not always cause a disruption in the employee’s work schedule, a repeat employment background check. may be the only way to reveal such issues.
Consider the following situations in which employee re-screening is always wise:
1. You’re considering the employee for a promotion. Promotions generally lead to increased responsibility. If your employee will now have access to money or sensitive information, or receive a key to the building or areas of the workplace that are off-limits to others, a repeat background check may be in order.
2. The employee is changing departments. When an employee moves to a new department, his or her responsibilities are likely to change. Unless your pre-employment screening policy mandates the same background checks for every department and position, you may need to re-screen. For example, if an employee moves from administration to transportation or accounts payable, you might want to check their driving record or consumer credit report.
3. The employee has a workplace accident. While drugs do not cause all workplace accidents, the use of alcohol and narcotics contributes to more than a few. According to the National Drug Free Workplace Alliance, drug-using employees are almost four times more likely to be involved in workplace accidents and five times more likely to file a workers compensation claim.
4. You’re in an industry where re-screening is mandatory. State laws vary, but employers within healthcare, transportation, education and other such industries may need to conduct periodic repeat background checks on their employees.
If you elect to re-screen employees, it’s important to remember they have the same rights now as they did when you conducted their pre-employment background check. You must notify the employee of your intentions, obtain written consent, and follow the pre and post-adverse action requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Should you uncover something negative—like a new criminal record—and you don’t have a formal re-screening policy in place that outlines factors that lead to immediate termination, you may want to consult with legal counsel before dismissing the employee.
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