You may have only thought about background checks when an employer required you to have one, but they have become an important safeguard for other aspects of our life as well. Every day handymen, painters, repairmen and cleaning services are given access to homes and our families exposed to people we don’t know. So, who are you letting into your home?
The service companies we choose are most often determined based on cost, service reviews and recommendations, but there is often one aspect of service that we don’t consider – has the individual had a background check? Even if the company has nothing but stellar reviews, there is that opportunity for one bad apple to be hired and be the person that walks into your home.
While consumers need to understand the need for background checks on individuals in the service industry, business owners should make this their number one priority when hiring. After all, as a business owner, you share responsibility for sending a criminal into a customer’s home. The actions of those you hire will be held against you if you haven’t properly screened your employees. This responsibility falls under a legal theory called Negligent Hiring and Retention. Under this theory, victims of crimes committed by employees of a business can in many cases sue the employer for damages. Is it worth taking that chance with your livelihood? Business owners and managers at every level in the service industry should understand that if you don’t properly screen your employees, you are vulnerable to their actions. This can lead to financial ruin and/or the demise of the company you worked so hard to build.
What Can Go Wrong? Everything!
There are constantly examples in the news of what can go wrong when we let a stranger into our homes. Here are a few to think about before opening your door to someone without a background check:
- Cleaning woman stole jewelry. In this instance, a cleaning woman was charged with stealing over $40,000 from a St. Louis, MO neighborhood. After the initial investigation, police found that at least three homes were victimized and the woman was charged with three felony counts of stealing.
- A/C repairman attacks woman in her home. An A/C repairman in West Palm Beach, FL was charged with attempted first-degree murder, with a weapon, child abuse and two counts of false imprisonment after he brutally beat a woman and tied up her child during a schedule service call. A criminal investigation showed that the man had pled guilty six years prior to burglarizing a home while working for a different A/C repair company.
- Painter steals thousands. A painter in Nashville, TN stole thousands of dollars from customers who hired him to paint their homes. According to the charges, the man stole almost $80,000 from unsuspecting victims who hired him and paid for services they never received.
- Maintenance worker raped and killed woman in her apartment. A maintenance worker who worked in a West Philadelphia apartment building was charged with the rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman who lived in the building. The man’s criminal record dates back to 1982 when he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. In addition, he had past charges of burglary, theft, assault, gun offenses and trespassing before being hired as a maintenance worker with access to people’s apartments.
- Uber driver raped female passenger. A Boston, MA area Uber driver was recently charged with sexually assaulting a female passenger in September. This was the third driver charged with sexual assault in past two months in Massachusetts.
Background Check, Background Check, Background Check
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of having a complete background check done on any service personnel who has access to a person’s home. Service companies have a responsibility to their clients to ensure their safety and well-being when they send an employee who is representing their business. Consumers also have a responsibility to perform due-diligence when choosing a business for their service needs. While the majority of our service personnel are professional and ethical when performing their duties, there are those who see these jobs as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. A single mom with small children is an open target when opening the door to any service person. A business owner who spent years building the reputation of their business can lose everything over an unsafe hire.
As a consumer, be sure the company you hire performs background checks on their employees. As a business owner/manager, be sure that you choose a professional and thorough background check company to manage your screening needs.
Call the experts at SB Checks today to find out how we can help you manage your background screening needs and ensure that you are making a safe hire every time. Call (888) 725-2535 today!