High School Journalists Demonstrate the Importance of Pre-Employment Background Checks

Earlier this month, a newly hired high school principal in Pittsburg, Kansas resigned several days after students writing for the high school newspaper published an article that questioned her credentials. When the students could not get clear responses from the new principal about her education and employment background, they did some digging and eventually uncovered that one institution she attended lacked accredited status and that another university did not even offer the kind of degree she alleged to have received from it. Shortly after meeting with the school superintendent to voice their concerns, the students published a front-page story in the student-run newspaper calling the principal’s credentials into question, which prompted her resignation.

This story should serve as a warning to business owners that their exposure to claims of negligent hiring may be greater than they think, as nosy co-workers may very well perform their own background checks on their new colleagues. Employers should seriously consider the benefits of comprehensive background checks which assist in the hiring of highly-qualified candidates, reduce employee turnover, and protect against negligent hiring claims.

Before conducting criminal background checks, utilizing consumer reporting agencies, and/or doing pre-employment drug screening, employers must ensure compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws, including where pertinent, federal guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and applicable guidelines in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, before adopting and implementing any pre-employment screening policies and procedures, the best practice is to consult with an experienced attorney who is familiar with these requirements. Ali Law Group can help you effectively navigate the issue of pre-employment screening and many others that constantly arise in labor and employment law. Contact us today at 631-423-3440 or visit alilawgroup.com.