Rolling Background Checks Are Rising
U.S. employers considering a move to “rolling” or continuous background checks may have a good reasons, but they should proceed with caution. While background checks had primarily been used for pre-employment screening, the idea of checking up on current workers is starting to gain traction, perhaps somewhat fueled by the growing #MeToo movement.
Bloomberg reports that that while data on employers who constantly monitor employees doesn’t yet exist, the screen business is booming. For example, Bloomberg cites membership in the National Association of Professional Background Screeners has shot up from 195 in 2003 to 917 in 2017.
The trick for rolling background checks, according to Bloomberg, is balancing privacy concerns with rooting out employees who could “steal, harass or even commit violent acts in the workplace.” The article cites high-profile incidents, including a recent case where an Uber Eats driver in Atlanta allegedly shot and killed a customer earlier this year.
Tim Gordon, senior vice president of background-screening company InfoMart Inc., told Bloomberg that the practice is not new in healthcare and financial services, but it’s happening more often in other sectors, especially manufacturing and retail.
According to Bloomberg, employment lawyers and worker advocates say employers should step lightly due to the potential for erroneous information becoming part of periodic checks. Also, previous crimes don’t always predict future bad behavior, the article notes.