Fri, February 26th, 2010 - 5:24 am - By Gordon Basichis
With an economy in the downturn, eveyrone is trying to cut corners. But sometimes when you cut corners the few bucks you save up front may result in a series of consequences, not the least of them being expensive litigation. In the case of residential care homes in Oklahoma, background checks are mandated for the various caregivers employed by these homes. But according to an article in Group Homes, residential care homes have neglected to conduct background checks or have failed to review the background checks on some 26 workers.
So this brings to mind the obvious quesiton, what good is it to mandate background checks when no one bothers to review them? Of course, reviews reveal in some of these cases employees have serious criminal records. Not a surprise One employee is currently charged with rape, and a few have sexual offense charges against them. This would not be the first time a public service business or agency neglected the mandate only to discover that it hired some dangerous and unsavory employees. At one home, 25% for the applicants failed the background screening. One fourth of those who applied. That is a serious number.
Certain employers are hiring for their own businesses, and the background checks they conduct are a matter of discretion and in compliance with their own pre-employment screening program. While they should be comprehensive, at least enough to understand the background history on any employment candidate. But with public service entities and healthcare services, like hospitals, there is a different criteria. There is a matter of public safety and consequently the public trust.
Many of the people on social service or healthcare services are ailing and fragile. They are easy prey for the criminal element who will steal from them, sexually assault them and otherwise abuse them physically and verbally. Not a pretty thing. It is also the type of thing that may prove embarrassing to your business and costly in litigation.
Finally, I can in an odd way understand why a group is reluctant or, frankly, negligent in conducting background checks. Cheap. Avoiding the expense. Avoiding the results. I don’t know. But once you do order background checks, why wouldn’t you take time to review them? Remarkable.