Post-employment Background Checks

The Case for Post-Employment Background Checks

Why Post-Employment Checks?

Post-employment background checks are not as recognized as pre-employment background checks, but they can prove to be just as important.

“Former bank employee admits to stealing more than $130,000”.

 “Pharmacy Tech Pleads Guilty to Stealing Drugs”. 

These are all too common headlines that have everyone scratching their head and asking “Why did we miss this?”.

In the case of the bank employee who stole $130,000, an investigation found that the employee had substantial credit card debt. The pharmacy tech who stole drugs had experienced a head injury which led to him stealing pain medications.

As in many of these cases, there were red flags that could have helped to find these issues earlier or stop them entirely.

A Form of Protection

Pre-employment background checks are done as a way to protect the employer from investing in the wrong person as well as a form of protection from negligent hiring suits. What many employers may not consider is that negligent retention suits can be just as costly.

Yunker vs. Honeywell, Inc. is a perfect example of negligent retention. In this case an employee of Honeywell killed a coworker by strangulation. After he served his prison sentence, the same man was rehired by Honeywell as a custodian. He  later shot and killed another employee in her driveway.

Pros of Post-Employment Background Checks

Post-employment background checks, aka infinity screening, offer value to companies. Employers should keep the following benefits in mind when deciding on implementation.

  1. Peace of mind. There is a certain peace of mind that comes with a background check, both for the employer and the other employees. Knowing that everyone is keeping the same high standards they did when they were first hired creates a kind of unity in the workplace.
  2. Can be a deterrent. While post-employment background checks won’t alleviate negligent and criminal behavior altogether, it can be an excellent deterrent. For instance, the pharmacy tech who is periodically drug tested won’t be as quick to steal drugs from the pharmacy. Likewise, a credit check on a banker who is sinking in debt may deter them from stealing.
  3. Creates a paper trail. If the unforeseeable does happen, post-hire screening records will aid in investigations and/or lawsuits that may arise due to the employee’s indiscretions.
  4. Cost. The cost of screening an employee is far less consequential to the bottom-line than a negligent retention case or the theft of thousands of dollars in inventory or cash.

Is it Necessary?

As in most cases in life, what is necessary to one is not necessary to all. Employers need to ask the following questions when determining if they should submit employees to continuous screening.

  1. What is the main responsibility of the position? Will this person have access to large amounts of money, drugs, sensitive data or other precious commodities?
  2. Will the position evolve? If a position evolves to add additional responsibilities, it may be a cause for post-hire screening.
  3. Is it a law? Certain positions require annual re-certification which in turn requires annual screening.
  4. Is public safety a concern? Will this person be driving a company vehicle? Will they carry a weapon? These are the types of concerns that a company should address when determining the need for post-employment background checks.

Get the Proper Authorizations

As in any type of background check, it is important that the proper authorization forms have been completed. Failure to comply to the FCRA and EEOC regulations can cause additional  fallout and lead to costly fines and lawsuits.


When considering the use of pre-employment and post-employment background checks , make sure you are aware of the facets that distinguish one provider from the next. At Sentinel Background Checks, our team has more than three decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing an unsurpassable level of accuracy, service and attention to our clients. Call 888-725-2535 today to learn more about our many services.