Two scary stories highlight the need for comprehensive criminal background checks, and a school district continues to set trends with its drug testing policy in this week’s EBI
Screening News Network presented by Jennifer Gladstone.
Woman’s Murder Shakes Trust in Delivery Helpers
Evelyn Udell, 75, died after being beaten and set on fire by a delivery helper who had been arrested for theft twice in the last year. Jorge Lachazo was part of a two-man crew hired to deliver a new washer and dryer Udell bought at Best Buy. When one helper stepped outside to take a phone call, Lachazo savagely attacked the woman. Lachazo admitted to using both marijuana and cocaine the day of the attack. Listen to the chilling 911 call the other driver made after discovering the grisly scene.
Lachazo, who was not convicted of those theft charges, was not employed by Best Buy. He wasn’t even employed by the retail giant’s subcontractor J.B. Hunt. Instead, he was hired by a third subcontractor called X.M. Delivery out of Miami. X.M. Delivery was not authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
There is no word if Best Buy, J.B. Hunt, or X.M. Delivery conducted proper background checks before sending Lachazo into customers’ homes. Best Buy is not speaking about its hiring practices for service workers or commenting on how it vets subcontractors, but CEO Cori Barry says the company has suspended its relationship with X.M.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviewed an attorney who has handled hundreds of negligence lawsuits filed against companies. He says companies “have a legal responsibility to do their best to protect customers by making sound decisions in hiring, training, and the use of subcontractors.”
We have talked about this kind of tragedy before on the Screening News Network. That’s one of the reasons why people are equal parts frightened, enraged, and confused about this senseless killing. How can another tragedy like this occur when companies know best-practices for hiring temporary or contract workers? EBI’s Extended Workforce Screening is a centralized method of risk management that helps you have confidence your people and your customers are safe.
More Information: Protect Your Family – What to ask before hiring a service worker
Felons Earn Security Guard Licenses Without Background Checks
A quick-thinking sheriff’s deputy stopped nearly 6,000 people from getting security guard licenses without passing a background check. For the past year, the state of Iowa has revoked 25 licenses granted to felons and people with aggravated misdemeanor convictions. Another roughly 5,800 licenses have been or are being reviewed after an audit uncovered the licenses were granted after an Iowa Department of Public Safety employee failed to run required national background checks.
These “guard cards” are required to work as a private investigator, bail enforcement officer, or security guard in Iowa. Background checks are supposed to be run on all applicants. A sheriff’s deputy figured something was wrong when someone with known convictions in other states showed his guard card to apply for a job. The deputy knew the man would never be able to qualify to carry a weapon. Within days, the Department of Public Safety began investigating and fixing the issue.
Another 600 guard card holders are still waiting to undergo FBI background checks, which is usually just one component of a comprehensive criminal background check. EBI can help you determine which searches are best for your business.
Bonus: What Employers Need to Know about the FBI Criminal Records Database by Robert Capwell, EBI Chief Knowledge Officer
School District Drug Testing Middle Schoolers
The North Olmsted Board of Education in Ohio is expanding its trend-setting student drug testing program to include middle school students. The district started testing high school students four years ago and will now randomly drug test middle school students who are involved in after school sports or extracurricular activities.
The school superintendent says middle school is a good time to start implementing the screening because it’s the time many kids start experimenting with drugs. If a child tests positive, their parents will be called. If they test positive several times, they could lose the chance to play.
Drug testing students for illegal drugs in public schools was legalized in 2002. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. While the American Academy of Pediatrics is not in favor of drug testing kids at this age, many parents in the district say they support the initiative.
Undergoing a drug test does not have to be a scary experience, no matter your age. EBI provides many different forms of drug screening solutions. Please contact us if you have any questions.
[ICYMI: How did a sex offender slip past a healthcare agency’s background check? Watch this EBI Screening News Network report.]