Should Employers Conduct Background Checks on Current Employees?

Although an employee may have a clean background check when hired, anything can happen over the coming years. Therefore, some businesses consider re-screening current employees as a way to demonstrate due diligence.


When to Screen Current Employees


For some companies, screening current employees ensures legal and regulatory compliance or, in some instances, can uncover negative behaviors that occur after hire. A lot can happen during an employee’s tenure with your company. And lately there has been more and more talk about not just negligent hiring, but negligent retention as well.


So when should you rescreen current employees? At a minimum, consider re-screening employees when:

  • They are being considered for a promotion
  • They have had a workplace accident (specifically, driving record and/or drug screening)
  • They move to a position that requires additional screening (for instance, to a driving position from a non-driving position)

Keep in mind that a current employee is entitled to the same legal rights as a new applicant.


Steps to Follow When Screening Current Employees


While not everyone is convinced that post hire background checks are a cost-effective tool or advantageous to employers, here are some points to consider.

  • Know the law. Some states restrict the use of consumer reports for employment purposes. Be sure you know the laws in your state.
  • Notify the employee. Advise the employee that you might use information in their consumer report to make a decision on their employment.
  • Ensure consent. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), periodic checks require written consent (unless there is a specific investigation for suspicion of misconduct or wrongdoing).
  • Develop a document. Create a clear and understandable document to use to notify an employee and obtain authorization to get a consumer report.
  • Develop and communicate a company policy. Make sure to include your company policy in the employee handbook and disseminate the information during your new hire orientation or onboarding program.

For more information or help with your background check process, contact us. With over 20 years in the business, we are a full service background check and investigative firm specializing in FCRA compliant employment screening.

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