Just because a candidate has a clean criminal record when you hire them, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. This can cause trouble in any workplace, but U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is most concerned about what happens when school employees break the law but get to keep their jobs.
Investigative reporters took a close look at Pennsylvania’s Coatesville School district, which Toomey represents. They found that during the 2013-2014 school year there were two employees working there who were convicted of manufacturing drugs, one convicted of assault, a substitute convicted of purchasing alcohol for a minor and an instructional aid convicted of conspiracy to aid in kidnapping. All of these people had to pass criminal background checks before getting their jobs in the first place.
As a parent, this is flat-out terrifying. What good are those pre-employment checks if people feel free to break the law while getting a paycheck?
Senator Toomey is pushing for federal legislation that would require all school employees across the country to undergo periodic criminal checks. It will also block federal funds for any district that hires an employee convicted of homicide, child abuse, child pornography, spousal abuse, sexual abuse or kidnapping.
The U.S. House passed the bill quickly, but the Senate version has been stalled in committee since April. Senator Toomey believes the bill would pass overwhelmingly if it could only get to the floor. He points out that more than 325 teachers and school employees have been arrested for sexual misconduct so far this year. There’s no word on how many of them are still employed.
In the world of background screening, Senator Toomey’s idea is known as infinity screening. This post-hire monitoring is performed on an on-going basis. Employers are informed about new criminal record information, changes in existing records, new arrests, sex offenses and even healthcare sanctions when applicable. Infinity screening is just another facet of an employer’s due diligence.
Senator Toomey is hoping to get his legislation passed before the Senate breaks for the general election. We’ll keep you posted on that, but in the meantime, your business doesn’t need to wait. Infinity screening is a safety net worth looking into.
**** 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.