Monday, April 3, 2017

Pending Charges ~ What You need to Know Before You Hire!

Imagine this… have found someone you think will be a perfect fit for your company and the job. They have all the right qualifications and they interviewed well. And while you have no reason to think you will find anything negative, it is time to start the background check process to make sure.

That is when it happens. While checking the courts for a criminal history, you find a case. But instead of it being closed, it is an active or pending case. There is no disposition. No sentence. What do you do? 

How Should You Treat Pending Cases found in Your Background Check? “Tweet This” 
Whether you are an employer, or a background check company, it is important that you have a plan in place to deal with this situation.

When it comes to criminal history, the best practice is to consider only convictions, not arrests, when making your employment decision. Arrests do not determine guilt, so it makes sense they should not be part of the hiring equation.

When you have evidence of a conviction (especially those verified through a quality background check company), you know the record is that of the applicant and you know the outcome of the case. Only then can you make a truly fair and informed determination of the applicant’s suitability for the job”, excerpt from “Why Checking an Applicant’s Criminal Past Should be About Convictions, Not Arrests!”.

But with a pending or active case, there is no such determination of guilt or innocence. And there are times when courts will have significant delays in trying a case, closures due to COVID-19 are a perfect example, that can delay your ability to fill the job.

So what is an employer or background check company to do? This is where a well thought out plan of action is invaluable.

Pending charges can impact the employer, the company, and the company's other employees. 

For example, there is likely to be one or more scheduled dates where your applicant will have to appear in court. If hired, they would need to take this time off.

If your new hire is simply found not guilty, or the charges are dropped or withdrawn, time off for court may be as far as it goes.

However, there is also the possibility they will be found guilty. What then? 
If they are sentenced to jail time, you may have to start the entire hiring process all over ~ wasting the time and money spent in vetting and training your new hire. 

Even if granted probation, or a sentence requiring county or state sponsored rehabilitation programs, your hire will most likely miss work to fulfill this part of their sentence. This is also a drain on your finances and on the other employees who must cover your absent employee’s work.

If you as an employer were unaware of the pending case, you would have hired blind to these possibilities. That is why reporting pending and active cases is so important. But it is also vital to remember, pending or active cases should not determine your final employment decision. 
So, what should you do if your applicant's background check contains Pending or Active cases? Hire them on a conditional basis! 

Hiring your employee on a conditional basis means that they would be placed on a probationary status pending the final outcome of the case. You will then have the opportunity to "pre-plan" how you will handle possible absences due to their court case obligations.

On the positive side, you will also be giving someone a second chance and the opportunity of better themselves. Face it, people make mistakes. Being solely defined by those mistakes, however, serves no one.

That is why it is important to balance cautiousness with fairness.

Employers must continue screening their potential hires to protect themselves, their company, and other employees. But if a criminal past is found, that is when employers have the opportunity to make a difference.

Find out more about safely hiring ex-offenders in, “Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal ~ Why We Need to Believe in Second Chances”.

The key to handling Pending and Active cases is going in with your eyes wide open and fully aware of the potential outcomes when the case is finally decided.

The bottom line ~ 
Employers have every right to know all the relevant information there is to know about their applicants before they hire
And that includes any pending or active cases. Hiring without this knowledge can put them at a disadvantage and cost a company time and money in the long run.

Please Help Spread the Word and Share this Article on Your Favorite Social Sites!

Authored by  

and discover how API can protect You and Your Company!

Learn more about API and visit our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services pages!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting our website. Contact Us! We can answer your questions and offer you a consultation on how we can help You with your Hiring, Business, and Security Needs!

We also invite you to Subscribe. Just leave your email and you will get one new article each month with tips and information focused on You and Your Business!