There are several reasons to conduct background investigations on a promoted employee.
A promoted employee may have exhibited unacceptable behavior in the time since the last background investigation. Without conducting another current background investigation there is no way to be aware of pertinent violations. The new job responsibilities may include increased access to a more vulnerable class of clients or unsupervised access to clients or the general public. Thus, a recent unacceptable behavior may include crimes of violence, neglect, abuse or violence.
Perhaps the new job responsibilities include operating a vehicle on the road in which case you would want to assure a valid driver license is currently held.
And, in this case, the employee was promoted to a job that requires a professional license. On February 3, 2020 the Alameda County DA announced $7.5 Million Settlement with Walgreens. The complaint alleges that Walgreens failed to vet an employee thoroughly when it promoted her to positions requiring a license. The complaint alleges that the employee performed one or more of the pharmacist-required steps for over 745,000 prescriptions, including over 100,000 prescriptions for controlled substances. The employee was required to have a valid professional pharmaceutical license and apparently did not have such a license.
And while on the subject of screening current employees, we wrote a previous blog post on the importance of not only screening a promoted employee but all employees. Continuous screening is a best practice that can help protect against negligent retention and negligent hiring. People are dynamic and so is the risk they pose to organizations. One-and-done background checks don’t account for the dynamic nature of risk factors.
Two more things an employer should assure concerns the wording of the authorization and a clear statement on the application. First, assure that the wording in your authorization allows for the procurement of investigation records both before hire and for the duration of employment. Without this proper wording, an employer would technically have to obtain the employee’s authorization each time the employer wishes to do an investigation. Secondly, assure there is a clear statement on your application that a signficant false statement results in immediate dismissal. This latter statement can be effective if an error is found while in your employ.