Background Checks

Five Examples of Employment Mistakes When Background Checks Weren’t Used

We see it time and time again in the news stories, a nurse, a daycare worker, a doctor or other professional, lied about their credentials or their criminal history.  In some cases the only thing at stake is money or the reputation of a company, which still is a serious issue, but other times a person’s life can be on the line. How would you feel if you left your child with a felon? Or if a nurse that was practicing medicine did not really have the certifications he/she claimed? While these scenarios may seem like something that only occurs on a made-for-television movie, they are all too often true.

The follow are some examples of what can happen when either a background check is not done or it is not done properly.

Expert Witness Lied about Credentials.  This recent headline that shocked the Tampa, Florida area details a 57-year-old man who posed as an expert witness in five jury trials involving possession of child pornography and/or sexual battery on a minor.  Chester Kwitowski swore under oath that he had a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of South Florida (USF). He also claimed to have top federal top secret clearance and several computer certifications.

In this case, it would have been very easy to check Kwitowski’s credentials by contacting USF for verification. On top of this, the master’s in computer and engineering is not even offered at USF. This alone would have been easily verified.

The most horrifying aspect of this story is that Kwitowski was an expert witness for the defense of the alleged molesters. Imagine knowing that your child’s molester was set free because a thorough background check was not done on someone playing such a pivotal role in the judicial system.

Two Childcare Workers Laugh while 2-Year-Old is Beaten.  Yes, you read this one correctly. In a Racine, Wisconsin childcare center, two employees laughed while other children beat a 2-year-old boy. One of them even took the time to record the event, all the while laughing. The child’s mother, Dominique Johnson was told that her son that the child’s injuries were accidental before she received a copy of the video recording what really happened. The facility was found to have more 50 rule violations on the state website- including incomplete background checks on employees. Parents should conduct their own background checks on daycare facilities and verify that proper screening is also done on any employees, especially those working with children.

School Nurse Faked Credentials.   A Salem, Massachusetts woman was sentenced to 2 ½ years after it was found that she lied about her nursing credentials.  Lisa Haney Bilodeau was hired to work with special needs children in Haverhill Public schools in August, 2013. It wasn’t until March of 2014 that the school department did an audit to verify her credentials. When the check was done, it was found that Bilodeau forged her aesthetician’s license to look like a nursing license. Luckily the lie was caught at that time, but by then she had already been practicing within the school system for six months. Had a thorough background check been from the beginning, Bilodeau would never have been hired.

Walmart V.P Lied about Degree. In this case, no one was in harm’s way, but a lie is a lie. David Tovar, lied about receiving an art degree from the University of Delaware. The vice president of corporate communications was being screened for a promotion to senior vice president when the lie was uncovered. Apparently the initial background check did not catch this lie when Tovar was first hired by Walmart. This type of error is costly to companies because the company had spent months and even years investing in this employee only to have to fire him and lose that investment and experience.

School Employee Stole Student’s Wallet  In 2015 a City University of New York employee stole money from a student’s wallet after the student forgot her wallet at the registrar’s office. After a video tape showed the employee taking the wallet into another room and allegedly stealing money out of it, CUNY investigated the employee. The accused woman who had been an employee at CUNY for four years was found to have a criminal record dating back to 1999. Charges included felony and misdemeanor crimes including four theft charges in 2005. Once again, a background check could have prevented this from happening.

These are just a few of the many, many instances where background checks could have been utilized to prevent further criminal activity. SB Checks is a professional background check company that offers a variety of screening solutions for every industry. Call our experts today at (888) 725-2535 to see what solutions are best for your company.