Criminal Background Checks Could Curtail Employee Theft in the Workplace

Employee Theft in the WorkplaceA 2014 study by the University of Cincinnati reported 64% of the 314 small businesses surveyed had experienced employee theft. While the study only took a small sampling of businesses into account, the percentages line up with nationwide numbers on employee theft. The financial impact to employers when employees commit larceny or embezzlement is massive. In fact, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety states that employee theft in the workplace accounts for approximately 80 percent of business losses related to crime.

Employee Theft in Colorado Leaves Customers Concerned

Employee theft also creates a sense of insecurity for customers. In October 2014, an employee of HuHot Mongolian Grill in Sheridan, Colo. was arrested for allegedly stealing the credit card information of multiple customers. Another employee of the restaurant saw Michael Alexander Stephens, 31 years old, in possession of a credit card reading device. Stephens had a prior history of employee theft and had even served time in prison for burglary. A thorough background check would have revealed the previous history of crime to the employer. Colorado criminal background checks are offered statewide or by county.

Background Checks Save Employers Time, Money and Frustration

Statistics from the National Institute of Justice showed that more than 82 percent of property crime offenders committed a repeat offense. Property crimes include a number of offenses such as burglary, larceny and theft–all of which significantly cost an employer when an offense takes place in an employer’s establishment. The National Federation of Independent Business recommends that employers screen applicants by obtaining background checks, checking references and contacting previous employers. Employers that utilize background checks would be able to see the criminal history of an applicant and make an informed decision regarding the potential hire.

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Negligent Hiring Lawsuits – Negligent Hiring and Retention Laws

Although negligent hiring and retention laws aren’t new, lawsuits surrounding negligent hiring have steadily been on the rise since the 1980s. According to Liability Consultant’s Inc., employers are often prime candidates for compensating the victim. Negligent Hiring and Retention laws hold employers liable for willful misconduct committed by their employees. This not only includes actions in the scope of employment, but may include employee actions outside the place of work. Liability Consultant’s Inc. reports that the average settlements in negligent hiring cases are now over 1.5 million dollars.

Companies have been judged negligent in court in many cases.

Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

  • Deerings West Nursing Center vs Scott – The nursing home was found liable for nearly $250,000 for negligent hiring of an unlicensed nurse with prior criminal convictions. The nurse assaulted an 80-year old visitor at the nursing center.
  • Butler vs Hertz Corp. – The employer settled for a $2.5 million lawsuit when held liable for negligent hiring. Its security guard had an on-duty traffic accident killing another motorist while driving a company car.
  • Porter vs Proffitt’s Inc. – The store’s security guard injured a customer while held as a suspected shoplifter. The plaintiff was awarded $10 million dollars in damages in a suit against the store for negligent hiring.
  • Liebman vs. Hall Fin Group, Inc. – A $5 million settlement was given the family of a murdered female tenant against the apartment complex owner. The female was killed by the complex’s assistant manager’s brother.

Since negligent hiring is based on the principle that employers have an obligation to protect their clients and employees from foreseeable acts of a fellow worker, employers should perform due diligence when hiring employees. This includes a comprehensive criminal background checks. The employee should not begin working until the background information is checked and verified. If it’s not done, the company is taking a chance that they could face a negligent hiring lawsuit.

Taxpayers Exposed To Risk Due To Lack Of IRS Background Checks

An internal federal investigation found that the IRS failed to conduct or to complete IRS background checks on at least 17 contractors who were hired to process sensitive and private taxpayer information. The failure to conduct or complete these background investigations violated IRS procedures, which require IRS background checks whenever contractors have access to what is called SBU — Sensitive But Unclassified — taxpayer information.

IRS Background ChecksThe audit of the IRS background checks procedures was conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, a government watchdog that provides independent oversight of IRS activities. The purpose of the Inspector General’s investigation and report were to find out how effective the IRS had been at ensuring that the required background investigations of contractors were carried out.

The investigation showed that the IRS had failed to ensure that the policies were properly carried out in the identified cases. The Inspector General made several recommendations to the IRS, including that the IRS provide better training to staff on security requirements when dealing with contractors.

The amount of information that may have been comprised due to the IRS’ failure to adequately investigate was huge. It included a CD containing the names, addresses, and social security numbers of 1.4 million taxpayers, which was handed to contractors who had not undergone the required background checks. With that information, someone with the intent to commit identity theft or other crimes could do an enormous amount of damage. Failing to conduct IRS background checks in such a situation violates not only government procedures, but also common sense.

Identity theft is an increasing problem. According to the AP and Yahoo News, the number of criminals who tried to file tax returns using stolen social security numbers in order to claim someone else’s refund has gone up sharply in recent years. A couple of years ago, in fact, the IRS paid out $4 billion in refunds to people who were later found to have fake identities, and it discovered an additional $12 billion in attempted fraud attempts that did not succeed.

Also in recent years, there have been several high-profile incidents involving government contractors who misused the information they had been given while performing the contracted work. This underscores the need for a consistently applied policy of background checks for all workers who will be handling sensitive data.

Workplace Violence: More Common Than People Think?

Workplace violence is a devastating but widespread problem. Criminal report checks can help prevent incidents.

When people go to work, they and their families should not have to be concerned about their safety and whether they will make it home at the end of the day. Unfortunately, violence in the workplace is a relatively commonplace occurrence that many Americans will face in their lifetimes. A variety of circumstances can trigger workplace violence, but instituting criminal report checks during the hiring process can help reduce the risk of violent crimes.

Workplace Violence: Far from Uncommon

A nationwide survey among private businesses, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), found that almost one out of every twenty non-governmental businesses experienced workplace violence at least once in the previous year. In the government sector, state government agencies had the highest rates of violence, with 32 percent reporting violence within the past year. These events can not only harm employees and any clients who are on site, but also harm employee morale, reduce productivity, and increase absenteeism and health insurance premiums.

Most Violent IndustriesWorkplace Violence and Criminal Report Checks

Some of the industries with relatively high rates are the healthcare, service, utilities, and delivery industries. These are some of the characteristics that are risk factors for workplace violence.

  • Direct contact with customers.
  • Exchanging money.
  • Location in high crime areas.
  • Working in community settings.
  • Working in a mobile setting.

Criminal Report Checks as a Strategy for Preventing Workplace Violence

Strategies for preventing workplace violence can take multiple forms.

  • Electronic surveillance
  • Security staff
  • Physical security

Fewer than 10 percent of those businesses that had workplace violence in the past year reported changing their workplace violence prevention policies in response, but adding criminal report checks to the hiring process is a strategy that can pay off. The human resources department of a larger business, or the person responsible for hiring in smaller companies, can hire a respected company to conduct criminal report checks. This process can reduce the chances of having potentially violent people within the workplace every day.

Workplace violence is unfortunately more common than people tend to believe, but it is preventable in many cases. A national criminal background check program can help keep workers and clients safer.

Source: http://www.bls.gov/iif/osh_wpvs.htm

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

For years, our clients at InstantCriminalChecks.com have relied upon us for up-to-date information about the industry and reliable national instant criminal check reports. We believe that our clients benefit from additional knowledge about the industry, which is why we recently released an information sheet about the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

 National Federal Background CheckThe National Instant Criminal Background Check System is a federal service that is provided by the FBI. The goal of this program is to reduce the number of gun-related incidents in the United States by preventing unqualified buyers from purchasing firearms. The NICS is a point-of-sale background check that is performed at federally-licensed firearms dealers. Private gun sales are not monitored by the NICS, unless it is mandated by the state law.

People who are interested in purchasing firearms will have their information submitted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System at the time they are looking to purchase the item. The clerk at the federally-licensed dealer will contact the system by way of the phone or the computer, and at that point the information is submitted electronically into the e-check system. In a matter of moments, the buyer will know whether or not they are qualified to purchase the firearm that they desire. Since the program was put into place in 1998, more than 100 million checks have been performed. Of those, nearly 700,000 people were denied the chance to purchase a firearm based on information found on their NICS background check.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 was signed into law by United States President Bill Clinton. The act went into effect in February 1994, and was named after James Brady, the man who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in March of 1981. The goal of the Brady Act was to institute a federal background check system for people who were interested in purchasing firearms in the United States. This act ultimately produced the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

We at InstantCriminalChecks.com have found that those who are interested in our industry — specifically our clients — benefit from additional information about background check services and our free background check resources. While we do not offer NICS services, we do offer accurate national instant criminal check reports. For more information, contact our company representatives today.

New Temporary Agency Background Checks Webpage For Staffing Industry

At InstantCriminalChecks.com, we pride ourselves on our diverse client base and our ability to meet the needs of many different types of customers. Recently, we wanted to reach out to recruiting firms, temporary agencies and staffing firms by providing them with specific solutions to their staffing background check needs. With that in mind, we have launched the temporary agency background checks webpage on InstantCriminalChecks.com.

Temporary Agency Background Checks On the temporary agency background checks webpage, those who work with temporary agencies or staffing firms can find the information they need about our national criminal check, state criminal checks and local temp agency background checks. Those who are involved in the recruiting industry know first-hand that many companies that are hiring today are looking for qualified employees who will not pose a risk to the safety of others. This means that many job seekers must provide potential employers with a criminal background check as a part of their application. Our temporary agency background checks allow recruiters and temp agency workers to get the criminal background reports they need in order to place their clients with the best companies.

At InstantCriminalChecks.com, we offer a variety of specific staffing industry background check options. Clients can order a national criminal check, or opt for a county criminal background check. No matter what choice they make, our staffing industry clients can rest easy knowing that they are working with the best staffing criminal background checks provider in the industry. We not only offer instant and accurate criminal reports, but we also value your security and privacy.

Whether you are a veteran at a local temp agency or you are just starting out in the field of recruiting, we welcome you to contact us at any time about the different temporary agency background check services that we provide. We value your feedback, and look forward to working with you.