Guest blogger Linda Vincent, RN. PI. of Vincent & Associates and The Identity Advocate, speaks to the home health care industry about the importance of conducting employee criminal background checks, especially before hiring caregivers, to stem the rise of identity theft.
Identity theft can easily happen right under your nose, so the best defense is a good offense. Do you know how easy it is to infiltrate, expose, and compromise a home health care agency? Know your rights and know how you can protect your business by performing an employee criminal background check for prospective employees during the hiring process. Unfortunately, as crime statistics for identity theft continue to soar, an employee criminal background check is more important than ever before for corporations and physician’s offices of any size.
Any employee can be a potential thief, so an employee criminal background check should be conducted on every new hire, whether it is a full time in home caregiver or a temporary /transitional caregiver.
As the aging baby boomers discover it is better to have in-home care, and now economy continues to recover, more agencies are hiring more employees. As such, it’s important to know the “do’s and don’ts” of an employee criminal background check. An employee criminal background check ensures that you are protected from identity theft predators or opportunistic criminals masquerading as enthusiastic job applicants. There are many things to consider when performing an employee criminal background check, including the components, laws, and processes necessary to ensure a new employee can be trusted with sensitive information.
What’s Included in an Employee Criminal Background Check?
Every employee background check also includes a thorough employee criminal background check. Some of the information is public and some is private, but all of the information is important in assessing a job applicant. Although the type of information checked varies from state to state and county to county, an employee criminal background check can include:
- Credit, driving, criminal, education, medical, drug test, court, military, and bankruptcy records
- Social Security Number Vehicle registration
- Property ownership
- Past employment
- Professional and personal references
All of this information is invaluable, but one aspect that is often overlooked is the credit report. A poor credit rating makes the average applicant a higher risk for identity theft. Additionally, research shows that one in four disputes over information on an employee criminal background check is connected to identity theft issues, so take every precaution to thoroughly evaluate every prospective employee’s credit and criminal records.
Are There Employee Criminal Background Check Laws?
Yes! They vary by state, but the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) set national standards for performing an employee criminal background check. The law only applies to an employee criminal background check conducted by a consumer reporting agency, which is a firm that administers the employee criminal background check on your behalf. If you decide to perform an employee criminal background check in-house, make sure you follow your state’s background check laws carefully.
Remember: Employees have rights, too!
According to the FCRA, some information cannot be reported in an employee criminal background check:
- Accounts in collection longer than seven years
- Paid tax liens beyond seven years
- Bankruptcies after ten years
- Arrest records, civil suits, and civil judgments after seven years
Employee Criminal Background Check: An Overview
Follow this employee criminal background check “cheat sheet” to safeguard your company from identity thieves and potential criminals in the workplace:
- Who: Every employee!
- What: A comprehensive employee criminal background check that abides by all applicable laws
- When: Before an employee is hired
- Why: To protect your business and your employees!
- How: Either in-house or by a consumer reporting agency.
Not every background check is the equal — so go with a tried and true resource. Caregiverlist’s background checks are powered by a trusted provider, Intellicorp.
Lead consultant Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., an identity theft, medical ID theft, and healthcare fraud prevention expert, has over 35 years of experience. As a registered nurse, private investigator, and healthcare consultant, Ms. Vincent is passionate about helping individuals and businesses prevent theft and fraud. Her experience includes hospital and physician audits, managed care consulting, and healthcare fraud education, training, investigations, negotiations, and case review.