In these highly litigious times, employers are trying to protect their reputation, brand, and organization from risk. While it is difficult enough to recruit and hire qualified candidates, organizations also may face potential liability for retaining employees who are (or reasonably should be) known by the employer to be unfit. If the employee is found unfit, the employer must investigate, take appropriate action to address the issue, and forestall the possibility of the incident happening again.
According to recent statistics documented by the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, employers have been found liable for negligent hiring or retention of dangerous or incompetent employees in more than half of the U.S.
Because negligent retention is based in part on the premise that employers will do what is reasonably necessary to remain aware of the status and qualifications of their employees, recurring background checks can serve as a solution for mitigating the legal risks associated with negligent retention. While pre-employment screening reduces the risk of uninformed hiring decisions, recurring screening helps reduces a company's ongoing retention risks by demonstrating reasonable diligence to stay well-informed of employee activity and qualifications throughout the employment lifecycle.
Additional statistics presented by the Institute also demonstrate the serious ramifications negligent retention could have on a company. Did you know that more than 10 percent of people within the United States have criminal records, and employees are responsible for 60 percent of workplace losses due to fraud and thefts? And that workplace violence alone costs employers $4.2 billion each year in lost work and legal fees?
Although companies are starting to take a growing interest in the use of recurring employee screening as a way to maintain a clear picture of their organizations and their employees, a recent survey conducted by HireRight shows that only 16 percent of the 1,411 organizations surveyed conduct background screening on existing employees and 9 percent screen their existing extended workforce (contingent, temporary, vendor, etc.). In addition, 29 percent conduct drug testing on existing employees.
So remember, this holiday season, as you’re making your list, make sure you’re checking it twice to find out if your employees have been naughty or nice. Implement a recurring screening process in your employment screening program to promote a safer workplace and mitigate the liability of your organization.
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