Backlog on Background Checks in Iowa

If you’re starting a new position, expect a background check. In the current state of the economy, however, this often ends up being a two-part or abbreviated procedure. For the latter, an employer may only run a basic background check on a candidate to backup the information on his or her resume. This will include a basic criminal background check on the state level, which examines police records from all locations a candidate has lived. For the former, this may include a brief background check before employment, and this will most likely be followed by a more detailed background check at a later date. But, as we saw last week, neither of these are good strategies.

A recent article regarding the wait on background checks in Iowa supports this notion of conducting a thorough background check upfront before a worker starts the job. The article mentions the state experiencing a backlog, and thus significant delays, on adults who have applied for care-giving positions, such as working in a daycare center, a nursing home, or as an in-home worker. The procedure begins with contacting the Division of Criminal Investigation to submit a candidate’s name, birth date, and social security number. This may take eight to 10 days for results but, if something looks suspicious, a much longer investigation is done. However, this may take several months, particularly if a person’s charges aren’t in Iowa’s system. During this time, a worker has already started the position and may already be committing crimes.

Iowa needs to take a few pointers from Florida in regards to background checks for care-giving and home workers. As seen last week in the post regarding Florida’s law revisions, the state made all workers applying for such positions submit to national background checks – not just those starting on the state level. Additionally, workers weren’t able to start work until they passed a check.