Employee Background Screening

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Careful employee background screening is great protection against negligent hiring, yes, but it also can nip cases of "wrongful termination" in the bud as well. It's one thing to have claims brought against you for damages suffered at the hands of a third-party employee (that is, not you, and not the accused). It's wholly different to have charges brought against you by the discharged employee, even if you feel you have justifiable grounds for his or her termination.

How did the labor situation in America get to this point? It used to be that "employment at will," the principle that either employer or employee could end a business relationship at any time and for any reason, was standard law. Over the years, however, state and federal legislation has gnawed away at this longstanding idea and has made it much more difficult for employers to fire their workers without proper cause.

The Role of Employee Background Screening

One way in which employee background screening aids businesses in their fight against wrongful termination claims is by keeping troublemakers at bay to begin with. The better your success at weeding out mischievous or ineffective workers at the start, the greater your likelihood of avoiding problems later. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to say from initial impressions alone which applicants may be future headaches. That's why more and more companies are opting for employee background screening firms to help them.

Another advantage of working closely with a screening agency is thwarting "failure to hire" claims, which can be just as devastating. In such cases, applicants who are rejected for employment bring complaints (or file formal charges) against their interviewers for asking illegal questions or violating anti-discrimination policies. Screening companies are all too familiar with cases like these and have hence become more adept at protecting themselves (and you) from them.

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