Whether you’re applying for a job or have one already, a background check is necessary in the hiring process. Criminal history checks still play a significant part in hiring personnel, even though certain jurisdictions have implemented “Ban-the-Box” laws.
Reduces Workplace Violence
Regardless of one’s personal opinions on workplace gun violence, it cannot be disputed that business owners must take precautions to protect their staff, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. A background check can reveal a wide variety of information that may prevent a company from hiring someone who poses a risk of violence to those in the workplace or outside the office. Taking these precautions is an obligation under federal and Connecticut law.
A thorough background check can reveal a wide range of information affecting an employee’s suitability for a position, including previous convictions related to violence or other behavioral issues. Failing to conduct a criminal background check can lead to costly negligence claims if a person with a violent record commits an act of violence in the workplace and causes injury or death to a coworker or customer/client.
The likelihood of hiring applicants with criminal histories has been documented in numerous research. It has led to legislation such as “Ban the Box,” which prohibits employers from inquiring about a job candidate’s criminal record until they have made a conditional employment offer.
As the incarceration rate in the United States continues to grow, it’s become more critical than ever for organizations to conduct criminal background checks on all potential hires. It does this by lowering the likelihood of litigation alleging negligent hiring. According to regulations against negligent hiring, a business is usually responsible for any damage or injuries from employees who weren’t thoroughly vetted before being hired.
A comprehensive criminal history background check can uncover convictions that would otherwise go unnoticed, preventing an organization from hiring someone who could threaten the safety of its patrons or staff members. Organizations that engage with vulnerable populations, such as children and older adults, must also prioritize this.
Working with a professional screening company that can search records at the county level is essential, which can often provide more information than state-based searches. They can also help you decide what if any, convictions should disqualify an applicant from consideration for a position. In addition, many companies have a seven-year limit on when they can look at past felonies and five-year limits on misdemeanors.
Criminal background checks can help prevent theft and fraud by identifying candidates with records of such crimes. By doing this, you may ensure that your team comprises individuals with high expectations for honesty. It also protects your business against losses from cybercrime and other financial misconduct, such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and identity theft.
A background check can reveal your candidate’s criminal history for a limited time, depending on the state laws where you operate. It enables you to evaluate how much the crime may impact your company and makes it possible for applicants with criminal records who have served their time to get jobs. The law typically allows employers to only ask about your candidate’s criminal history after you have made a job offer.
According to a study, those with convictions are much less likely to get employed than those with no records, even if the sentence was for a minor infraction or was obtained years ago. It’s important to remember that someone’s criminal history does not always reflect their character, and it would be unfair for an employer to enact a broad “no hire” policy based only on the results of a background check.
Increases Job Satisfaction
While criminal history background checks aren’t necessary for every job, they can mitigate hiring risks and help businesses comply with legal employment standards. These checks provide essential information about a candidate’s past, including felonies and misdemeanors, addresses, and arrest dates.
They also show a company’s commitment to workplace safety and give candidates peace of mind that they vetted their background before offering them a position. Additionally, they boost employee satisfaction by showing that the company cares about its people.
Unfortunately, the use of criminal background checks is not without controversy. Studies indicate that racial discrimination is embedded in the criminal legal system, and those racial biases are brought into the hiring process through criminal background check policies.
Moreover, searching for criminal records is often complex and time-consuming, as court documents are stored in multiple ways, and laws vary by jurisdiction. Furthermore, pending cases are not always included in criminal history searches. It is mainly because these instances are only reported once a verdict or judgment is reached.
Reduces the Risk of Neglect
A criminal history background check is a legal investigation into an individual’s past that provides information and can help employers and volunteer organizations make informed hiring decisions, mitigate risk, protect company assets, and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. It is crucial, especially for safety-sensitive jobs that are mandated by law, to screen out convicted felons. Typically, a criminal background check searches national, state, and county records to provide a clear picture of an applicant’s history.
While employers need to screen out individuals with a criminal record who threaten their workplace, they must also ensure that they are not excluding BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) job candidates from applying and interviewing for positions that may suit them. It is why criminal records should only be used as a screening tool after an employer makes a conditional job offer.
It is vital to educate employers to guarantee that candidates with convictions can be examined on a case-by-case basis and that companies are correctly weeding them out.