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Should You Run a Background Check on a Current Employee?

Running a Background Check on a Current Employee

Your company recognizes the importance of screening new hires. So, is one and done enough? Or should you run a background check on a current employee?

Reasons to Run a Background Check on a Current Employee

  • Suspicion of Misconduct
    You may decide to background check a current worker if you think something is wrong. For example, many factories ask any employee involved in a workplace accident to take a drug test. However, be careful not to single out individuals without a legitimate concern. This could get your organization into trouble with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • Legal and/or Insurance Mandates
    Some industries and/or insurance carriers expect companies to screen their employees regularly. This especially is common for Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs). For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires annual MVR searches on truck drivers.
  • Promotions or Reassignments
    If an employee is moving within an organization, a rescreening may be necessary. This often holds true if their new position involves more responsibility or access to confidential information. Let’s say a salesclerk receives a promotion to a management role. In this case, their original pre-employment screening may not have been rigorous enough.
  • Policy Changes
    Over time, your company’s screening requirements may change. Schools are a good example. Recently, many private and public educational institutions have mandated sex offender registry searches to keep their students safe. Yet, these rules probably didn’t apply to those hired over twenty-five years ago. Catch-up screenings ensure everyone is treated equally.
  • Due Diligence
    Even over the course of a few months, an employee may be arrested, declare bankruptcy or go through a nasty divorce. And sometimes, these devastating events are surprising easy to hide. Regular rescreening or continuous monitoring will help keep your business safe. You’ll know about and be able to address potential issues before they become serious problems. Just remember, regulations like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) apply whether someone is a new hire or current employee.

What Should Your Organization’s Policy Be?

You know you CAN run background checks on current employees, but should you? The correct answer depends on your situation. If your industry mandates regular background checks, then of course, you should. Regularly updated screenings also are appropriate if your employees handle sensitive information or work with vulnerable individuals. Nevertheless, there is a point where excessive checks become expensive and invasive. While running an annual credit report check on your CFO is reasonable, this may be overkill for lower-level employees. You’ll end up paying for a report you don’t need, and your team will think you don’t trust them. Thus, it’s important carefully develop a overall screening policy before jumping into background checks. If you’re not sure where to start, an accredited background screening firm can guide you through the process.

Are You Interested in Running Background Checks on Current Employees?

Metrodata Services provides background screening for both new hires and current employees. As a PBSA accredited firm, we can assist you in developing a program to best meet your organization’s needs. Learn more about all the screening services we offer today!

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