Industry News 3/24/2010

EMP: The Importance of Employee Screening

EMP: The Importance of Employee Screening
By Michael Byrd, President – ScreeningONE, Inc.

Reduce Potential Liabilities:

Who is Liable?  An employer may be liable for negligent hiring if:

  • The company knows the employee is unfit, or has reason to believe the employee is unfit or fails to use reasonable care to discover the employee's unfitness before hiring him. 
  • The Plaintiff demonstrates that the authentication of the unfit employee's credentials would have shown the unfitness, thereby precluding the unfit employee's employment. 
  • An employer having no other reasonable basis upon which to believe an applicant is unfit, may avoid liability if it takes reasonable steps to authenticate the applicant's credentials.

Potential Consequences

  • Nursing home liable for $235,000 for negligent hiring of unlicensed nurse, with 56 prior criminal convictions, who assaulted 80-year-old visitor. 
  •  Employee with criminal record forces child to perform oral sex; $1.75 million award for negligent hiring and retention.
  •  Company liable for $2.5 million for negligent hiring and retention of deliveryman who savagely attacked woman customer in her home.
  • Employer settles for $2.5 million suit seeking to hold it liable for negligent hiring and entrustment of intoxicated security guard who had on-duty traffic accident in company car which killed himself and another motorist.

Companies Are Reducing Exposure to Liabilities
A 2003 study by Virginia-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that 80% of the companies surveyed performed reference and criminal checks on their employees.

Prevent Theft:  Pre-employment screening can help to decrease internal theft and embezzlement. Theft of money, inventory, equipment and intellectual property are rampant in American business. Nearly every business, large and small, experiences some kind of employee theft sooner or later.

Prevent Workplace Violence:  Pre-employment screening can decrease the potential for workplace violence. Violence occurring at work stems from three sources: outsiders, clients and current or former employees. Workplace violence resulting from physical and nonphysical acts committed by current or former employees is on the rise. According to Security Magazine, workplace violence is the leading concern of security managers in America's largest corporations. Both the emotional trauma and costs associated with workplace violence are staggering.

Combat Resume Fraud:  Pre employment screening can weed out applicants who lie, embellish and omit items on their application and/or resume. Many job candidates, from recent college graduates to top-level executives, commit resume fraud. Experts report a virtual epidemic of fake credentials and inflated resumes among those seeking employment. As the labor market tightens, more people are deliberately falsifying their education and experience to gain a competitive advantage. These deceitful applicants are hoping that overworked human resource departments will not verify the information contained in their job application.

Decrease Turnover: With thorough pre-employment screening, you can hire the right applicant from the start. On average, in US businesses, at least half of all new hires don't work out and it costs:
   $7,000 to replace a salaried employee
   $10,000 to replace a mid-level employee
   $40,000 to replace a senior executive

Promote a Drug-Free Workplace:  Pre-employment screening can help to promote a drug-free workplace, even if drug screening is not utilized. County-level employee background checks can be even more effective than drug screening alone, because candidates will often refrain from drug usage while seeking employment, and subsequently recidivate once employment is secured. Criminal background screening can uncover past criminal drug offenses in the last seven years.

For more information about ScreeningONE’s background screening products and services please contact Micah Mullens, Action Sports Regional Sales Rep at 310-746-5371, toll free at 888-327-6511 ext. 117 or e-mail her at  Please visit our website at