Background Checks

A national, Internet-based caregiver provider was in the news recently when one of its caregivers was allegedly intoxicated while working in a client’s home. According to one published report, firefighters had to break down the door to gain access to the home. The same agency has been implicated for several other alleged problems with its caregivers, including a the death of a client’s child at a caregiver’s home.

This agency offers background checks, and in most cases the clients purchased enhanced screening services, but the checks were not sufficiently robust to identify all prior criminal convictions. We at Barada have always advocated for stringent criteria in background checks—especially when an organization or its personnel or contractors are responsible for vulnerable populations, such as children or the elderly.

Unfortunately, there is no legal “standard” that ensures background checks are thorough or limits how recent they must be (reports should use checks no more than a few days old). We urge both consumers and corporations to be cautious when working with a company that purports to conduct background screens, whether it is personnel agency like this one or a professional screening services provider. Only by working with reputable, quality providers that use the most reliable information sources can anyone feel confident about the reports they receive.

We also invite employers to review our new “When to Background Screen” page, which helps firms determine how much care they should exercise when performing pre-employment checks.