Background Checks Not Conducted for Oil Spill Workers

In this current economy, how desperate are you for a job? Are you willing to assist with cleaning up oil from the Gulf Coast, including picking up tar balls and waste from the beach? If you’re in the Gulf area, where the Gulf Oil Spill significantly diminished the fishing industry, this probably sounds like the only opportunity available for a while. So, why was a company contracted by BP not conducting background checks on the many workers applying for positions?

Having too many employees to screen is never an excuse. According to a recent story from CNN, a man chosen to be a supervisor in the Pascagoula, Mississippi area for the cleanup had a criminal past that involved probation for a felony and being an unregistered sex offender. He is accused of raping a coworker on the job, according to the CNN story. This leads to many in the area wondering, “Why didn’t the company conduct any background checks?”

According to the CNN article, the amount of candidates applying resulted in contracted company Aerotek – BP claims no responsibility – simply doing drug tests. However, what amount of candidates for open positions involving cleaning up oil from the beach qualifies as “too much”?

The fact is, the amount should never be “too much” to put the safety of coworkers at risk. While those with criminal pasts have rights when applying for jobs, those who have a past as a felon and sex offender should be put under more scrutiny than someone without such convictions. The only option for investigating the past of every candidate is through a background check – even a basic one. Although background checks have been in the news recently as being too stringent concerning criminal convictions and credit history, conducting an investigation on every candidate and employee is the only approach to finding and weeding out those with job-related criminal histories.