Employers usually run background checks on new hires before employing them to ensure they can be trusted and won’t be a threat to their business or customers.
However, annual background checks are just as important. Even if an employee doesn’t have a criminal record when they were hired, that doesn’t mean they still won’t have a record in the future. Running annual background checks helps maintain a safe and secure workplace.
It will also encourage avoiding workplace violence, sexual harassment, legal liabilities, lawsuits, and any other issues that can be sourced from an unreliable or dangerous employee.
It also isn’t uncommon for companies to conduct an annual criminal background check or drug screening when necessary.
This step is especially important for employees that deal with the public or children, visit clients at their homes, work in the medical industry, have many responsibilities, or handle large amounts of money.
Why should you run a background check on current employees?
- Promotions or reassignments:
If you’re reassigning an employee or promoting them to a different position, a background check would be needed. With more power comes more responsibilities, redoing a background check will help reassure you that you’re making the right choice and that this person can handle more responsibility.
Backgrounds will also be needed for a retention or reevaluation process, it’ll help you make decisions on whom to keep at your company.
- Workplace accidents that need action:
If violence, sexual harassment, fraud, or any other crime happens within the workplace, it could lead to issues with entities like banks, insurance companies, or law enforcement agencies. You’ll need to reevaluate all of your employees to prevent something like this from happening again in the future. If companies neglect to do this, they can suffer from huge financial losses.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the average worker stays with an employer for a little more than four years. This is a long time and enough time for an employee to have engaged in any new criminal activity. In order to maintain safety and security, you need to have a set background check policy for all employees.
- Brand and reputation protection:
A business is as good as its reputation, if an employee is participating in ongoing criminal activity, this won’t only give your business legal trouble but it’ll tarnish your brand and reputation.
Customers will lose trust in your company and it can seriously harm your business. You need to ensure your employees aren’t doing anything inside or outside the company that can ruin your brand.
- Local or State Compliances:
In many states, there are specific laws about running recurring background checks, especially in government entities like schools or hospitals. This also includes positions that deal with the elderly or children like teachers or caretakers.
These are important and sensitive positions that require dealing with children or elderly people daily. You’ll need to check the state compliances and laws to find out what applies to you.
And even if there isn’t a law in your state about it, it’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure your employees can be trusted.
- Keep your records updated:
Whether it is for compliance or job promotions, your company records always need to be up-to-date. If you’ve had an employee for 6 years now, it doesn’t make sense that their latest criminal background check was 6 years ago.
You wouldn’t be updated with any new or current information on their record unless you conduct a background check.
How to run an employee background check on current employees?
- Each employer needs to set a background check policy that works for your company, for example, you’ll need to have a consistent program according to the position. If your employee is a driver, you’ll need to regularly check their driving record or if it’s an accountant, you need to stay up-to-date with their credit history and any major financial changes. Many employers fear running annual background checks because they think it’ll be expensive. With pre-employment background checks, more details and checks are involved so you might need to hire a consumer reporting agency to get the work done. However, with annual background checks, you don’t need to check on the information you already know like employment or education verification. You only need to check things that can change like a criminal background check, drug & alcohol test, etc.
- The next step would be getting your employees’ permission or consent to run a background check because according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers can’t run any type of background check on new hires or employees without their written permission. Announcing that you’ll be conducting background checks out of the blue may be alarming to your employees. A good strategy is scheduling it before the annual employee assessments so they’ll understand that it falls naturally with the process. With new hires, you’ll need them to sign a consent form before running a background check but you can also inform them that there will be recurring background checks annually. You can even include it in the pre-employment consent form to avoid any surprises in the future.
- And lastly, with your program set in place, you can have the employee get fingerprinted or live scanned for a criminal background check and many medical centers screen for substance use for as low as $20. You can also outsource this service to a consumer reporting agency if needed.
Make sure to take your time before making big decisions on the results you find and do not take actions based on findings that may not be relevant to the employee’s position.
However, if you do find something that would lead you to let go of an employee, you’ll need to send them a pre-adverse notice with the reason and attach a copy of the background check. This will give them a chance to dispute the result, in case it’s incorrect info or a mistake.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to get a live scan?
The requesting agency should provide you with a “request for live scan service form”. You will need to fill that out, you will also need to bring a primary form of I.D. such as a Driver’s license or a CA ID
Where do I get the Live Scan request form?
The agency that is requesting the Live Scan must provide you with the Request For Live Scan Service form. Your requesting agency should have their information entered for you on the “contributing agency information” section of the form. Livescan locations will not have the live scan request form for you on site.
How can I find my criminal background for personal use?
You can print out a Record Review Live Scan Form, take it to the nearest live scan location, and the results would be sent to your address, Read More.