Issues with Contingent Workforce – Background Checks | DCR Workforce Blog

Issues with Contingent Workforce – Background Checks

All of us are attuned to focus on achievement, success, reaching our goals, calculating the return on investment and the ultimate imperative of all, the bottom line. So, we are in urgent need of filling a slot and have no patience to put off, even for an hour, the addition of the person to our rolls and workforce. Would we be justified in waiving such requirements or how important is it to follow the laid down processes requiring us to do background checks and security clearances? For one, any failure to run the checks and obtain the required clearance could demonstrate a negligence in employment which could result in prosecution and could prove to be very expensive and crippling to any business!

In many cases, even though the employee is made to start his work on an immediate basis, the employment is made provisional upon successful completion of the various background checks and formalities. The time for verification gets extended in cases where the individual has moved around a lot. When and if an adverse report comes back, a decision may have to be taken to let the person go depending upon the implications of the report. Such a decision is the responsibility of the security department only.

The following are some of the checks and clearances required:

  • The foremost among the clearances is the verification of eligibility through Form I-9 or the e-verify database of the Federal Government.
  • The individual’s highest College degree also stands to get verified.
  • Verification of licenses and certifications where relevant to the role
  • Employment history for last 7 to 10 years
  • Criminal convictions history check at all locations of residence and employment also for 7 years
  • Violation history of Dept. of Motor Vehicles in the state where the person’s driving license is issued.
  • Bankruptcy or Credit score check
  • Denied party screening checks

The nature of employment may require many more checks to be included to the above list. There are more stringent requirements for roles which require working with sensitive or financial data and for people working with children or the elderly or the disabled. Certain jobs may require a clean chit in psychological health.

Some companies go for drug abuse testing and use  5 vs. 7 vs. 9 panel drug tests  – for the various possible drugs and their limits beings tested for in the person’s bloodstream. The drug test needs to clearly state what was tested for.  The company retains the right to disavow any liability for an erroneous result as well as to the right to have any employee tested randomly for drug abuse test.

All these verifications and their results will need to be filed and retained for use in case of any audit or inquiry into the hiring policies and procedures.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.