Increasing demand for caregivers underscores importance of background checks

America’s aging population is having an effect on the healthcare sector, with more people entering the healthcare field to meet the increasing demand for professional caregivers to aging and ailing parents whose children live an hour or more away.  

According to the National Institute on Aging, about 7 million Americans are long-distance caregivers for their aging parents, and that number will continue to rise, as the number of adults ages 20 – the age group most often faced with caregiving – shrinks while the share of people 65 and older rapidly expands, according to the Associated Press.

With more displaced workers switching careers in order to find a job, the need for quality background checks has never been higher. The healthcare field is a unique one, in which the criminal background of a potential employee is as important as the breadth and depth of their experience in the field. Employers in the healthcare field need to be diligent in their pre-employment screening process, as more workers apply from outside the healthcare sector to fill the growing need for quality care.  

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More job applicants performing background checks on themselves

Job applicants conducting background checks on … themselves? According to some industry experts, the latest trend in pre-employment screening is something called the “self background check,” where the prospective employee conducts a background check on themselves just to see what kind of personal and professional information is available in the public domain.

Self background checks can enable a job applicant to see just how much information a prospective employer can find out about one’s criminal record, educational background and job experience, before handing in a resumé laced with half-truths or taking the leap from a current job to a new one that might not pan out. It’s along the same lines as obtaining one’s credit report to make sure there are no surprises before applying for a loan.

While we encourage this trend of job applicants making sure their public information is accurate, we advise employers to continue to conduct their own professional pre-employment screening on every prospective employee.

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Match.com Settles Lawsuit by Agreeing to Background Checks

Last week Internet dating site Match.com agreed to conduct background checks on its members in order to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who was raped by a man she met on the dating service website. The man had six previous convictions for sexual offenses. He pleaded “no contest” to a charge of sexual battery and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 19.

Before the lawsuit, Match.com was not conducting background checks on its members, despite the fact that another former Match.com member also had been convicted of raping his date. Instead Match.com included disclaimers on its website that advised members to meet in public places and take other safety precautions.

But because it is sending potential dates to other members, there will be more responsibility taken to lessen the risk of harm being done to a Match.com member by using background checks and sex offender registries to weed out those with criminal records.

The development signals a probable shift in the way other online dating services conduct business as well. Industry experts and lawyers expect other dating sites to follow suit with some kind of formal, across-the-board criminal background check.

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Criminal Record Not Necessarily Grounds for Unemployment

Deciding to use pre-employment screening tactics for all potential hires is one of the wisest moves an employer can make. Employing a reputable company to carry out those background checks is the second wisest move. But there is a third step, one that involves just as much business savvy and interpersonal skills. That step is interpreting those reports correctly — particularly the results from a criminal background screening — and making fair, unbiased judgment calls based on the information gleaned from the screening.

For example, many employers believe they can disqualify an applicant based on a criminal conviction, with no further reason beyond “You have a criminal record.” But not only is that logic faulty, that business tactic is illegal. Once a person has served the applicable punishment for his crime, the law does not allow him to be indiscriminately penalized for the rest of his life by being rendered unemployable. If the job parameters have nothing to do with the crime he committed, his criminal past should not affect his employable future.

Of course there are exceptions. A wise employer knows not to give a convicted sex offender a job as a camp counselor, for example. But job applicants have the right for the sum of their experience, education and job history to be taken into account, particularly if the criminal conviction was eons ago and for something completely unrelated to the job for which the person is applying.

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Former Nasdaq employees case is example of why pre-employment screening is so important

Donald Johnson is a prime example of why a thorough criminal background screening is needed on all employees —and why the results should be taken seriously.

Johnson, a former Nasdaq executive, recently pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud for trading on confidential information about companies listed on the Nasdaq. In three years, Johnson acquired more than $755,000 in illegal profits, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But Johnson’s story got even more interesting when it was uncovered that he had a history of fraud and drug abuse. Three years before he was hired at Nasdaq, he’d been discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves for stealing drugs from the Army hospital where rite smoke electronic cigarettes he worked as a nurse. He also had admitted to falsifying hospital records in order to steal drugs at another hospital. His nursing license was revoked in 1987, and in 1989 he was hired at Nasdaq.

According to Nasdaq, Johnson underwent a background check and a drug test when he applied there. Though times are different now, people are not. Pre-employment screening services dig into a potential employee’s criminal history and employment history to give employers the full picture on the kind of person they’re considering, and what their past says about then.

Johnson’s story is a word of warning to employers who think employee background checks are unnecessary.

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Match.coms Move Toward Background Checks A Sign of The Times

Online dating opened the door to a whole new world for people hoping to meet Mr. or Miss Right. But now some in the popular industry are realizing they need to more carefully scrutinize who they let in that door. Online dating service Match.com recently announced it would begin conducting background checks on its members by cross-checking users against a national sex offender registry. The decision came in response to an alleged sexual assault that occurred by a Match.com member on a date set up by the dating service. A lawsuit has been filed against them in the case.

 

The move is a simple step but a significant one, and is most likely Pokies a harbinger of other changes to come. While more employers in businesses across all industries have been recognizing the need for thorough a background check on employees, all those in the business of people — child care, elder care, health care, dating services, churches, support groups and the like — should heed the call to conduct a comprehensive criminal background screening to make sure they don’t have a criminal record.

 

Such screening can provide protection against online predators with previous criminal convictions, including assaults, domestic violence, burglary, fraud, identity theft, drug offenses and many other crimes that could endanger the welfare of other employees, members or patrons. 

 

 

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Background Checks for Massachusetts Door-to-Door Salespeople

It’s a new concept in door-to-door selling in Fall River, Massachusetts – the sales person must now jump through hoops before he or she can knock on someone’s door.  And one of those hoops is that anyone soliciting through door-to-door mean has to undergo a criminal record background check.

Along with the background check, door-to-door salespeople must also wear IDs, have their vehicles registered with City Council and obtain police department permits to solicit.  It’s a sweeping reform that comes on the heels of the problems inherent with door-to-door sales.

Some of those problems include:

  • Door-to-door scams, which are often targeted at the elderly.
  • Door-to-door “salespeople” who are criminals canvasing homes.
  • Door-to-door sales persons who intimidate buyers.

As a start to this new Fall River ordinance, any door-to-door sales professionals must provide City Council with their information, including social security number.   The exception to this rule is school fundraisers, who do not have to complete background checks to ask for donations or purchases.

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