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Three ways forgoing criminal background checks can backfire

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile some jobs require employees to pass all kinds of criminal background checks in order to begin work — jobs like teachers and police officers — other types of positions may not be so stringent. However, whether you think background checks are necessary or not, it’s always better to err on the safe side. This subject was brought up when it was found that not all family fun centers or children’s organizations in Colorado screen their employees. (This is not such surprising news, as Colorado lawmakers recently shot down legislation requiring club sports volunteers and staff to undergo criminal background checks before allowing them to work with young athletes.) Spin City in Grand Junction, Colo., for example, provides family fun through bowling, laser tag, roller skating and an arcade, but does not conduct background checks on employees. “We don’t do background checks here just for the simple fact that most of our staff is kids or young adults and most of them don’t really need to have a background check,” said Spin City’s Sheila Johnson. (Employees are, however, required to pass drug tests.) She said that most of Spin City’s employees are in high school or their first year of college. Here are three reasons businesses — especially those whose employees will be interacting with children — should conduct criminal background checks. 1) Assumptions aren’t always accurate. Just because someone is young does not mean he or she is incapable of having a criminal or juvenile record. Even young adults can find themselves with a crime on record, and putting other people’s children in that situation, even via negligence, puts the company in danger of a lawsuit if something were to happen. 2) The EEOC could get involved. It’s one thing if the only people applying for a job at a particular company are teens and young adults, but it’s quite another to only hire young people in order to avoid the background check process. If an older candidate is denied a job due to age and chooses to sue, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may wind up getting involved, which can tie up your business in court for extensive amounts of time and money. 3) You’re putting the company, and its employees and clients, at risk. By not conducting background checks, you’re opening your business up to dangerous situations. What if your employee has a history of violence or theft? If you don’t screen, you’ll never know, and that can be a danger to your other employees or the customers you serve. It can also potentially open a door for lawsuits against your business. Always conduct criminal background checks when you’re hiring employees, especially if the employee will be working with children, the elderly, or in other situations that could put other people in danger. Working with a background screening company will help you further, keeping up to date on existing screening laws. Contact Mind Your Business today to learn more about the process of conducting criminal background checks.]]>

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