Settles Lawsuit by Agreeing to Background Checks

Last week Internet dating site 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, was not conducting background checks on its members, despite the fact that another former member also had been convicted of raping his date. Instead 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 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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Background Checks Make Sense!

Whether your business is large or small, you know how important good employees are, both to your bottom line and to team morale. So it’s important to make the right choice for the business, and good, hard information can make it easier to choose among a field of prospective employees. And that means employee background checks.

Carefully consider the position you’re trying to fill. What will the employee’s responsibilities be? Will they handle sensitive information? Might they be required to operate a company vehicle? Will they be privy to company secrets? What kind of contact will they have with clients or customers?

It pays to have the facts in front of you before you make a decision about who is best to fill your vacancy. Most businesses don’t have the necessary HR to properly screen employees, and many smaller businesses only hire one or two employees sporadically. Employee background checks can help fill in the gaps left by employment records and personal references.

You could be protecting your business from something far more serious than hiring someone who can’t do the job well. The number of negligent hiring lawsuits is on the rise, and so is the size of the financial settlements awarded in such suits. In fact, the average settlement is now $1.6 million, according to one reliable source.

It just doesn’t make sense for a business of any size to take such a risk these days, when employee background checks are so affordable and accessible. It’s the easiest way to protect yourself, your business, and your other employees.

4 NEW Reasons to Background Check Applicants

Think you know all the reasons to background check new hires?  Here are 4 you might not have considered!

  1. Your applicant could be lying about ANYTHING on his/her resume.  It’s true.  From dates to company names to titles… and what employer wants to spend the time ferreting that information out?  It’s better to pay a background screening company to do their job!
  2. You can tell vendors that your background check all employees.  That way, they feel safe and comfortable doing business with you.  And speaking of security…
  3. You can have a better assurance that you won’t be putting your current employees at risk by ushering a “wolf” into the fold.  And that lets you sleep at night.
  4. You can market the fact that you background screen all new hires.  This has a two-fold advantage.  First, the public knows you’re serious about safety.  And secondly, anyone who wants a job at your company will realize he/she has to pass a background check.
  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Who Is Background Checking Temporary Workers?

    It’s no secret that in today’s cyclical business environment, companies often find themselves hiring temporary workers.  Those types of workers include:

    • Seasonal staff members;
    • Persons hired to fill short-term leave (e.g., maternity leave) absences;
    • Individuals brought on to fulfill a special project (e.g., consultants, outsourced graphic designers);
    • People who can fill a position until a permanent worker is found; and
    • Other temporary personnel as needed.

    So the question becomes:  Who is background checking those temporary persons being brought into the organization?

    In many cases, the answer is “no one”, which is not only unfortunate, but can result in serious problems.

    Consider the case of a temporary clerk who is hired by a company that expects to need some extra hands during October, November and December.  If the clerk never undergoes background checking procedures, should anyone be surprised when she turns out to have a less-than-honorable work ethic when it comes to “helping herself” to the till?

    Sadly, this happens frequently across the United States and it’s a relatively inexpensive and fast problem to fix.  Background checks through reputable companies like VerifyProtect are done quickly, affordably and conveniently.  And they take a lot of the risk out of hiring people for short-term needs.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Should You Hire Someone Who Filed for Bankruptcy?

    As an employer, you know you should background screen your employees… but what happens when the background check comes back and there’s a bankruptcy on your potential worker’s report?

    It’s a conundrum faced by many employers, especially since more and more people and businesses have filed bankruptcy since the market changed dramatically in 2008.  (The increase in percentages of bankruptcy filings are quite staggering — up over 30% between 2008 and 2009.)

    On one hand, a bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily equate to a person’s character as a worker.  Individuals and families may resort to bankruptcy for a number of legitimate reasons, including unexpected medical bills and identity theft.  However, this doesn’t mean the potential employer has to take on a risk.

    If your possible new hire has a bankruptcy on his or her background screening report and you still want to consider him or her for the position, it’s important to get further information.  The more you know the better your final decision will be.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Hire Illegal Workers at Your Own Risk

    That illegal nanny or day laborer you hired from a foreign country may be willing to work “under the table” for a low price, but you – and your family, clients and coworkers - are getting a terrible deal.

    There’s been a ton of buzz lately about illegal workers, especially with the passing of the new Arizona law (bill SB 1070) in late April. From our perspective, it’s a bad trend to get into hiring those who are not in the country legally for many reasons, including:

    1. You can’t verify them with a background check. Yes, you can try to find out as much as you can… but are you really willing to risk making a mistake?

    2. You could get in huge trouble with the government. Everyone knows you’re not supposed to hire someone who is in the country illegally. Be prepared to pay – heavily – if you get caught employing those who haven’t gone through standard (i.e., legal) immigration procedures.

    3. You will always be looking over your shoulder. Who wants to work like that? Isn’t it better to know that you’re operating an “up and up” operation?

    This is a clear-cut case of “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should”. Can you hire illegal workers? Yes. But should you? No way. The price is too high.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Skip Background Checks at Your Own Peril

    Whether you’re the CEO of an international, multi-million dollar corporation or the executive director of a local nonprofit, it’s imperative that you background check your employees and volunteers.

    Yes, this will cost you money… but what form of “insurance” doesn’t?  And that’s exactly what background checks ARE — insurance against a host of negative things happening to and within your business.

    Embezzlement.  Fraud.  Criminal activity.  Sexual harrassment.  Sexual offenses.  The possibilities are endless… and terrifying.

    Don’t put your business’s reputation on the line.  Always conduct comprehensive background checks… or risk the potential fallout.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Legitimate Employers Don’t Ask for Background Screenings Upfront

    No wonder so many job candidates don’t want to submit to background screenings; after all, there are plenty of scammers out there who try to get applicants to give them personal information before an interview has even taken place!

    It’s important for all job seekers to realize that legitimate employers never ask for background screenings as part of the initial vetting process.  It wouldn’t make sense (or “cents”.)  Instead, legit companies wait until they have someone they’d like to hire, at which point they initiate a background check on that individual.

    If you’re looking for new employment, never give out your information (e.g., social security number, bank account data, home address) until you and the prospective employer are in negotiations for your placement.  Otherwise, you’re probably taking a huge risk.