Unpaid Workers & Background Checks


Here’s another example of how background checks are used beyond the usual job screening process. A school district in Pennsylvania has approved guidelines requiring background checks for school volunteers.

We’ve been down this road before. This is just another view of how background checks have become a crucial part of job screening, even when the jobs are volunteer positions.

This is the reality for 560 folks in the Parkland School District who are classified as volunteers. The people affected do work such as chaperoning field trips and assisting with school athletic teams. These volunteers will now need to undergo a state criminal background check and a state child abuse history clearance.

The required checks just went into effect as of July 1st of this year.

Last fall, a bill was signed into law in Pennsylvania, mandating that adults who work with children must get clearances every three years. This was for both paid and unpaid employees.

It appears state and local officials are trying to make for a smooth process. A human resources director says those screening and checks can be done online. And, beginning on July 25th of this year, Pennsylvania is set to waive fees for the criminal background check and the abuse history check for people who work with children.

Let’s not overlook the importance of background checks and the role they play in hiring practices, both on the professional and volunteer levels.