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Using Background Screening for Continuing Employees

Conducting Background Checks on Current Employees

Pre-Employment background checks are becoming a normality in many companies. Background checks can not only determine the eligibility of the candidate, but also can maintain workplace safety, help you avoid negligent hiring claims, and see the honesty and integrity of the applicant. Background checks are a great way to start the employee’s tenor with the company, but what about after they have been hired? Throughout their history with the company, many circumstances may arise to warrant a background check. Some examples include:

Suspicion of criminal activity
A change in work performance
Feeling that the employee is putting others at risk
Reassigning the employee to a different position
Promotion of the employee

It is important to ensure you are staying unbiased in your reasoning and that you have a permissible purpose for conducting the background check.

Background Check Consent Forms

When conducting a background check, if it is before the employment or after, those who are getting the check run on them must sign a consent form. If your company conducts background checks for pre-employment, the consent forms they initially signed may state that the consent is considered indefinite throughout the applicant’s time with the company. Some states, however, do have laws in place that state that there needs to be new consent forms signed for every background check conducted. No matter the case, it will behoove you to explain to the applicant that you will be conducting another background check on them. This may lead to problems, however. Some employees may feel that they are being discriminated against which can break employer-employee relationships and may lead to bigger problems with discrimination claims. A way to avoid any lawsuits is to make sure you are staying compliant with the EEOC and by having a clear permissible purpose for conducting a background check.


Under the federal law, employers cannot illegally discriminate against a job applicant during the hiring process. Types of illegal discriminations include discriminating against age, gender, race, appearance, disability, pregnancy, or religion. Eliminate questions that would evoke discrimination such as asking for the applicant’s ethnicity, the religion of the applicant, the marital status, and other questions that do not have relation or correlation to the job that they are applying for. Though these laws apply to candidates before they are hired, they should also should be considered rule throughout their time with the company. Making sure that you are not conducting a background checked based of off any of these biases will help you make a clear decision as to why you are considering screening the employee. If you want additional tips on how to hire without bias, check out our blog post here

Screening Matrix

A great way to help you stay consistent in any background check, either if it for pre-employment or a background check for current employees, is to develop a screening matrix. A screening matrix is a guideline that compares an applicant or employee to the qualifications that are needed for a job. These matrices can determine education that the position needs, the employment history necessary, and explains what criminal history and applicant can and cannot have. Every part of the guideline must have direct relation to the job and they can change throughout positions. For example, a traffic violation wouldn’t be considered a red flag for a store clerk because their job doesn’t involve driving, but for a company driver, it might be considered one. If an employee gets moved into a higher position after completion of a college degree, conducting a background check to verify that they have obtained their diploma may be necessary. If you have a driver for the company, conducting background checks consistently may be required to recognize any traffic violations that may have occurred. It is important to make sure the guidelines you set for the positions all have relation to the job the applicant to avoid disputes on hiring and retention.

Adverse Action

Just like any background check, there needs to be an adverse action process. Now that you have made guidelines or ground rules for termination, you must discuss it with your employee and they must help you determine if the information is accurate or not. If it is not accurate, they can dispute the information and it is up to you, or the third-party background screening company to reinvestigate the information.
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