Background Checks

I saw an article recently that appeared in the Times-Herald newspaper in Newnan, Georgia.  It made the point that everyone, including those who clean houses, need to be checked before being hired.  Quoting from the story that was written by Wes Mayer, “Unfortunately, we live in a world where not everyone can be trusted.  A Sharpsburg family learned this the hard way after they had a surprising experience with a cleaning lady hired in June.  Now, they know the importance of background checks.”

In a nutshell, a woman hired the cleaning lady based on nothing more than a brief conversation!  She immediately noticed something odd.  First, the cleaning lady arrived with two other people who, among other things, cleaned the inside of her medicine cabinet!  Next, she got a call from the cleaning lady who said she was at Target buying cleaning supplies.  Next, the cleaning lady claimed she had gotten sick at Target and wouldn’t be able to return to finish cleaning that day.  Next, she called claiming that her car had broken down!  The woman who hired her then asked her to bring proof that she was licensed to clean houses.  That’s when the cleaning lady quit.  The only problem was that the cleaning lady had been paid $130 up front!

After doing some online checking, the woman discovered that the cleaning lady was “not only a convicted felon, but she [was] currently serving a 10-year sentence on parole for forgery and identity theft.”  The homeowner said, “We had a convicted criminal in our house.  So many people just let anyone into their house, and they have no idea who they really are.”

At the end of the story the homeowner concluded by saying, “People need to understand the importance of background checks.  But most people don’t even know how to begin.”

Fortunately, this story ended without much harm being done.  The lady finally got her money back, and apparently nothing was stolen.  But seriously consider the potential risk of admitting someone into your home for any type of service who hasn’t had a background check done – especially if there are children present or an elderly relative or parent!  At the very least, a criminal court check should be done; and, if people who are offering to perform an in-house service are who they claim to be, I can’t think of a good reason why they would mind.

Background checks aren’t just for businesses anymore, they’re for anyone who plans to hire someone for any type of in-home services – including a cleaning lady!