Sunday, June 7, 2020

Should You do a Background Check on a Recalled Employee?

Are You ready to Recall your Employees?

Businesses around the country, large and small, are slowly reopening after the sudden closures due to COVID-19. They are making changes to follow safety guidelines. They are checking inventory and buying supplies. And they are also working out when and how to call their employees back to work.

But before taking that step and getting your employees back and up to speed, there are a few things to consider ~ and one of them is a background check!

Of course you may wonder why? Why would you need to do a background check on employees you already screened at their time of hire?

There are valid reasons why running another background check might be in you and your company’s best interest.

The most important reasons to re-screen are that it may be required by law or that your contractural obligations to your clients require it. 

There are certain industries where a break in employment longer than a certain period of time, often 6 months, requires that individual to be re-screened. If your industry falls under that category, then you are obligated to follow through.

Another reason to re-screen is that your clients expect it. Re-screening guidelines may even be part of your contract with those clients or customers. 

In that case, these clients will most likely require you to provide proof that all recalled employees have undergone a new screening and they are cleared to return to work.

When a re-screening is mandated by law or by clients, the parameters of that check are often pre-determined and must be followed during your investigation. Make sure you know what those guidelines are and follow them carefully.

Why You need to Re-Screen your Employees before a Recall “Tweet This”

You may also simply choose to do another background check on the employees you call back to work. And as an employer, it is your right.

Common reasons to re-screen include ~ a desire to protect your company from liability, your recalled employee was off for 6 months or more, your employee’s job duties will increase when returning to work, or any other reason that makes sense for you and your business.

The most important thing is that if do you choose to run a new background check on your recalled employees, that you follow definite steps to make sure you are doing it right. 

The key is to treat a re-screening the same way you treat any first time background check and follow all relevant local, county, state, and federal guidelines. 

These guidelines include:
  • obtaining a signed, stand alone authorization permitting the background check
  • providing your recalled employee with a copy of their rights as they pertain to an employment background check
Remember, if the background check comes back with any “red flags” that may keep you from recalling your employee, you cannot simply fire them. You must provide them, in writing, the results of the screening and give them a chance to exercise their rights as provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

This is where “individualized assessments” come into play. 

“Individualizes Assessments are used when the background check on your applicant uncovers are ‘red flag’ or a criminal past they may keep you from hiring them. And when this happens, there are specific steps you must follow to be compliant with EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines.

Steps involve informing your applicant, in writing, that they may not be hired due to their background check findings; giving them a chance to explain or mitigate the findings; and assessing the additional information provided before making a final hiring decision”.

These are considered the rights of any applicant, even an employee you are re-screening”, to be informed as to the findings of their background check and to be given the opportunity to refute, explain, or mitigate these findings.

There is also the possibility that due to court closures, backlogs, or a reduction in court workforce, your background check may be delayed. Because of this, it would be in your best interest to make all recalls “provisional” pending the results of the screening. This way your employee will understand that their return date is based on a completed background check.  

As in all background checks, in a re-screening it is still important to “fit the background check to the job”.

“It is wise, and cost effective, the fit the Background Check to your open position. This means covering only what is necessary in your screening process”. 

Learn more about fitting the background check to the job in “One Size does not fit all ~ Why You need to fit the Background Check to the Job!”. 

In the case of re-screening, you will already have a clear handle of the skills and duties required to do the job, so determining what to check for will be much easier than the first time around.

You will most likely want to focus on any criminal activity your employee may have been involved in while off. If that absence was for less than a year, then you will get the most up to date and accurate information by running a local and county criminal check. 

Keep in mind the types of crimes that would be of concern for the job to which your employee is returning. These crimes should be ones that would keep the employee from safely performing their job related duties or pose a danger to you, your company, or your customers and other employees.

You may also want to check for any civil court cases your employee was party to during their time away. This is especially important if their position requires access to company funds.

In the future, having a plan in place long before you need to re-screen is your best course of action. Deciding on your parameters beforehand, including how long the employee can be gone before running a new check and whether you will you re-screen for all positions or just those in upper level positions, will make the re-call process run much more smoothly and get your business up and running more quickly. 

While it is important as an employer to understand the reasons why and when to re-screen existing employees, it is also vital to be aware of the potential pros and cons that come with it.

“As a business owner, you may believe that since you checking into your employees’ history once, there is no need to check again. Or you may think that re-screening them shows a lack of trust. While we understand the confusion, there are legitimate reasons why doing post-hire screenings make sense.

Relying solely on your initial employment background checks to mitigate risk can give you a false sense of security and…..doing background checks on current (and returning) employees is an effective way of discovering whether there is new information you need to know to keep your company safe”.

Discover more about why and when re-screening makes sense for your business here!

There are times when re-screening your employees is simply good business. What is important is that no matter what, you are doing what is best for you, your other employees, and your company.

Whether you are re-screening a recalled employee or hiring for the first time, we can help. Access Profiles will provide you with the most accurate, timely, and cost-effective information to help you make informative hiring decisions. Contact Us Today to find out more!

Authored by  

Get your Background Check questions answered here! You can also reach us through our website for a personalized response!

Discover more About Us and our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services too!