Clearance Before Clearance


A background check does no one any good if the background check is not completed. The subject of incomplete background checks came up in California a few months ago.

A local TV station discovered the state was allegedly giving out letters, clearing people for work before past arrests were investigated. Some of the arrests were for serious crimes. During the investigation, an employee told the station the state had sent letters to employers of daycares, foster homes and elderly care facilities clearing people of having criminal records.

Here’s the problem.

The investigation found that some people were apparently being cleared for work, even if they had felony arrest records.

The letters were needed for applicants to start work in any of the facilities licensed by the California Department of Social Services.

California state law states that if a person is convicted of a crime, that person cannot get a clearance to work in one of those facilities without a special exemption.

However, if a person is arrested or not convicted, the department still investigates the charges to try and determine if a person is a threat or danger to others in those facilities.

A state employee told the tv station that people received letters before their arrest investigations were completed.

The importance of background checks cannot be stressed enough. Background checks and pre-employment screenings are an important part of the hiring process. Checking the background of a potential employee can prevent a negligent hiring lawsuit down the road.

Thorough background checks also help provide a safer work environment for the employer and employees.

An incorrect hiring decision can have wide-ranging effects. Earning and productivity may suffer. This is why background checks and pre-employment screenings are so crucial to human resources departments in companies across the country today.

Clearance letters should never go out until the background check is complete.