In 2009, a Nashville school district fired a middle school teacher after discovering that he was hired despite an outstanding criminal warrant for child molestation. Even though the teacher wrote on his job application that he was under police investigation, the school district still hired him because no red flags showed up during his routine criminal background check. (Source: Taylor English)
Theodore Pendergrass was falsely accused of stealing money from the register where he worked. The accusation was documented by a disgruntled employee on a generic automated background screening website a system which, unfortunately, many employers use to screen their employees. Even though the accusation was false, and Pendergrass was cleared of all charges, there is now a red flag under his name for any future employees that run a background check on him. Today, he makes substantially less income and fears that his career has been derailed. (Source: Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine)
In 2014, a transportation services company fired several of their drivers. One of them specifically had been convicted of a burglary felony, a misdemeanor for criminal damage to property, and a second misdemeanor for breaking into a car to steal a radio receiver. These offenses went unnoticed by the company’s multistate background check process. (Source: Pando)
The point? You get what you pay for. If you want to conduct quality searches, you can’t use mediocre screening processes. You may think you’re saving time and money by using less expensive and cheaper methods of background screening, but in these and many other instances, that’s just not the case. Your reputation, and the reputation of your company deserves much more.
The Nashville school district is receiving negative publicity due to their lack of stringent background checks for teachers or any other school employees and are even being threatened with lawsuits from parents of the students.
Pendergrass’ employers were forced to pay him nearly $1,000 in benefits because another employee with a grudge decided to besmirch his integrity on a wellknown screening firm’s website for all to see.
The transportation services company paid in other ways: reputation. Raising $307 million in venture, and reportedly making $213 million a year in revenue, they can certainly afford to use more stringent background checks. And in light of their recent growth in popularity and renown, they can’t afford not to.
Employers, take rigorous precautions now to avoid unanticipated conflict or legal troubles in the future. Perceiving that you’re saving money on background checks and screenings for your employees is not a worthy goal. With quality screenings, you are protecting yourself, your company and your other employees. A reputable background screening partner should always be able to ensure you’re getting accurate and complete information, normalized reports that are easy to read and understand, and compliant information allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
It bears repeating what we all instinctively know: you get what you pay for. This is true in all things, including background screening.
For more information, please visit The Cedalius Group online, or contact us at (404) 963-9862.
The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes. We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.