Continuous screening is an important tool that can assure you are avoiding people who can potentially injure your clients, your associates, your reputation and your company’s continued viability. It is a best practice that can help protect against negligent retention and negligent hiring.
Case in point, Cathy Sue Weaver was raped and beaten to death in her suburban Orlando, FL home on August 27, 2001. Her killer then set her home on fire with the intent of destroying any evidence. Six months prior to her murder, Sue had contracted with Burdine’s, a premier FL department store, to have the air ducts in her home cleaned. Unbeknownst to her, both of the men sent on the service call had criminal records. One of the men was a twice-convicted sex offender on parole. Six months after the service work was completed, Jeffrey Hefling returned to Sue’s home to rape and murder her.
In an article published by SHRM, it was highlighted that “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.”
There are many examples of situations where failed continuous monitoring could expose an employer to possibly not catching employees with an indicated propensity to injure members of your firm, your clients and members of the public. We have a prior blog post that contains some real life examples. So, an employee working with children could have had a recent sexual assault conviction. A lawyer may have had a license revoked. Health care workers could have had licenses revoked. Employees driving vehicle could have several DUI notices in the driving record. Any of these could happen in the time since the employee’s hire date and post the initial background check.
The SHRM article, also highlights the exposure to negligent hiring if an employer doesn’t engage in continuous monitoring. “Soon, it could be that if you’re not performing continuous screening when it’s available and an individual is exposed, that could fit into the new parameters of negligent hiring.”
Two more things an employer should assure concerns the working 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 any material false statement results in immediate dismissal.