Infinity Screening - What It Is and Why Your Company Needs It

Jennifer Gladstone

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infinityscreeningWhether you make five hires a year or 500, you put a lot of energy and resources towards finding the right people.  You check their criminal records, their driving records and maybe even their credit.  Once everything checks out you have a new employee. You might think clean records mean you have nothing to worry about going forward- but you could be wrong. Just because your new hire starts the job with a clean record, doesn’t mean it will stay that way!

The DOT requires post-hire or reoccurring background checks, known as “infinity screening.” Jobs in law enforcement, health care and those that carry fiduciary responsibilities also require recurring checks. But it’s important to note that you cannot take action on the results of these infinity screens unless you can clearly show how the offense relates and is detrimental to the job. For example, if a man who works on the production floor for a pharmaceutical company gets arrested on a drug violation, there is a correlation. Even an arrest for disorderly conduct could be used to terminate someone who works with children, and credit issues might be a problem for someone who has access to a lot of social security numbers. It is essential for companies of all sizes to have a clear policy on this, otherwise you open yourself up to wrongful termination lawsuits.

This periodic monitoring helps make sure the people you hire continue to qualify for their positions; it can also help you feel secure when promoting people. A great example of this is the scandal surrounding Marilee Jones, the former dean of admissions for MIT. 

Ms. Jones was first hired by MIT as an entry-level admissions officer in 1979. At the time she claimed to have several degrees from various colleges, including a Ph.D. It was all a lie. No one at MIT verified her claims until years, and several promotions, later. Background screening has changed a lot since the 70’s, but had MIT run a check anywhere along the way, before promoting Jones over and over, this would have been caught. Ms. Jones served as dean for nine years before being forced to resign when the lies came to light.

Obviously many employees are hesitant to share their mistakes with the person signing their paycheck, but putting your head in the sand can put your company at risk. We’re not just talking about the blatant dangers like a driver under the influence. If your employees have access to sensitive or financial information, it is your responsibility to know if any of your employees have had a run in with the law. If something happens your company could be liable for negligent retention.

Infinity screening programs like EBI’s Risk Monitor™ continually monitor your workforce. They can provide instant database searches like NCRD, OFAC, Motor Vehicle Records, healthcare sanction reports as well as county and statewide criminal record reviews. This helps manage the risk associated with your employees bad acts, and lets you be proactive instead of being blindsided by a crisis.

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Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security.  EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.

All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice.  Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on state laws and industry regulations.

 

Background Checks

Jennifer Gladstone

Posted By: Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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