Can You Background Check Current Employees? A Helpful Guide!
Are you wondering if you can conduct background checks on your current employees? Or perhaps you are an employee who is wondering if your employer can run background checks on you?
In this article, we’re going to look at all aspects of whether you can run background checks on current employees. But first, let’s give you a quick takeaway answer, then we’ll dive into more details…
Can you background check current employees? The answer is yes you can, periodically, or regularly, in order to safeguard your business. Provided you have the correct consent in place with the employee, that you are not violating any laws and that you share your findings with the employee if you intend to take any further action.
Conducting background checks and extensive screening is a common practice when hiring a candidate for a new job. However, conducting background checks on current employees is not such a common practice.
By law, employers have the freedom to run background checks on current employees, provided they have taken consent from the employees and any decisions made after obtaining the results from the check are in line with all legislation regarding the rights of the employee.
Why are background checks on current employees needed?
Chances are that if someone is employed at your business, then they have already been screened at the time of hiring. So, what are the reasons for running further background checks after they have already been employed?
Well, sometimes performance and good character in a job can change. Here are the four main reasons are listed below.
- Job Performance – Employers can conduct background checks on current employees if they notice a decline in the employee’s performance and want to determine if there are any legal or other reasons behind it
- Security – If an employer is concerned that an employee might be involved in activities that may be harmful toward the business, then they are at liberty to request a background check on the employee.
- Damage to Business – If an employer suspects that the employee is involved in some illicit activity that might affect the business – or its reputation, then they can run background checks on the employee.
- Insurance Requirements – In some cases, employers might be required by the insurance providers to conduct periodic background checks on employees in order to keep providing them with up to date information, in line with their insurance coverage requirements.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – It may simply be a case that the business is taking a responsible attitude to the safety and well being of its staff and the working environment. Background checks ensure the safety of everyone in the business.
“sometimes performance and good character in a job can change”
Obtaining background check consent from an employee
Firstly, you have to make sure the employee is aware that you’re conducting a background check on them. This is true both at the time of hiring and for conducting background checks on current employees at any time. Some employers ask potential candidates to sign a consent form at the time of hiring.
In some cases, the wording of this consent form gives the employer permission to conduct as many background checks as required, when required. In such situations, the employer does not need to ask the employee for consent each time they decide to conduct a background check after hiring them.
However, in case the consent form states that the employee is only permitting the employee to conduct the background check for only one time, or, if the local laws dictate informing the employees each time they’re being background checked, then it is mandatory to do seek consent again.
Decision making following the background check
If you suspect any criminal activity or any behavior that is harmful to the business in any way, then as the employer, it is your right to conduct further background checks on the employee.
In fact, in such instances, background checks are encouraged as they can help you either debunk or prove your suspicions. This way, any decisions you make regarding the employee and their employment at your business would not be violating any of their rights.
Once you’ve conducted the background check, be it personally or through us here at Vertical Identity – as we specialize in conducting background checks on employees, it’s important to ensure that any decision you take after obtaining the results and analyses is in line with any rules ad regulations.
If the background check reveals any behavior or activity that can harm your business, other employees, hamper its growth in any way, or is in violation of any local, state, or national laws; then you can terminate their employment.
It’s important to ensure here that your decision to terminate their employment is not due to any prejudice or bias based on their race, color, gender, age, etc.
Disclosing the findings of the background checks with your employee
Once you’ve conducted the background check and have found something incriminating against your employee that is beyond any reasonable doubt, it’s important to disclose the findings of the background checks with them before you terminate their employment or take any action against them.
This is to ensure that the employee is aware of the reason for termination and gets the chance to defend themselves against any false charges or inaccurate findings from the background check. Doing so can help you avoid any legal repercussions in the future.
“It’s important to disclose the findings of the background checks with them before you terminate their employment or take any action against them”
When should you background check current employees?
It makes sense to conduct a background check on any current employee that you suspect might be involved in any criminal activity that can harm the business.
However, you don’t necessarily need this – or any reason to run background checks. It’s common practice in many businesses to conduct periodic background checks on their employers new and existing.
We can put a screening program in place that enables you to keep regular track of background check requirements.
Regular background checks help you to ensure that all of their employees are always performing at maximum potential and that they’re not involved in any activity that could harm your business or its reputation in the industry.
Determining the period after which you will conduct a background check is up to you. Some businesses conduct annual background checks while others might do so after every 5 years of employment.
The points to be taken into consideration are any requirements for insurance providers, state and national laws, and of course, the cost associated with conducting these background checks.
Running periodic background checks also helps you avoid any uncomfortable confrontations with your employees while seeking their consent for the background check.
If the employee is aware that you, as the employer, would be conducting regular background checks, then they would not only make an effort to avoid any activities that might lead to red flags during such checks, but they’ll also not perceive your decision to run a background check on them negatively.
This will help maintain a healthy relationship between you and your employees, while also upholding the standards and rules of your business.
How long can background checks take?
The time duration before you get the results on background checks on current employees depends upon how long it has been since you ran a background check on them previously.
If you’re in the habit of conducting regular background checks on your employees, then it shouldn’t take too long for you to get the findings of a new background check. This is because now you only need to trace back the employees’ activities since their previous check so the check is incremental.
We hope this has been useful in understanding if you can run a background check on your current employees. If you would like to get started or if you’d like more information then why not contact us using the details at the top of the page, and one of our team will be happy to assist.