Q. I just found out that an employee filed for bankruptcy. I’m concerned, because she works a cash register and has access to money. Can I fire this employee?
Employment Background Check
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Although many of the biggest changes in the new health care law won’t take effect until 2014, others kick in this year. These changes mostly affect insurers and the benefits they must offer. It’ll be up to you to understand (and explain) these changes to employees. Among the health insurance changes to expect in 2010:
Recent workplace shootings in Orlando, Fla., and Fort Hood serve as powerful reminders that employers must heed signs that an employee could act out and harm co-workers or supervisors. There were 768 violence-related deaths in the workplace in 2008. Despite those disturbing numbers, many employers stick their heads in the sand. They put their assets and employees at risk by gambling that “it couldn’t happen here.”
Q. We suspect one of our employees has filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation claim. We would like to hire a private investigator to gather information on the worker’s activities. What laws would govern that decision?
Q. I’ve never required background checks on any job applicants. To get a better understanding of whom we’re hiring, I’ve retained a professional screening company to begin vetting our candidates for things such as criminal convictions. Are there any specific protocols we should be following?
University of Alabama Professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues and wounding three others. Last week's headlines of the newest workplace shooting serve as a stark reminder to employers of their legal obligations to ensure their staff is safe and free from violence — but how?
The EEOC has cited national convention marketing firm Freeman Companies with discriminatory hiring practices based on the company’s use of applicants’ credit scores and criminal background checks in hiring. The EEOC alleges the company’s hiring practices have a disparate impact on minorities and women.
Q. Currently, we don’t do any background investigations on job applicants. I’m considering instituting an informal background-screening program, whereby my HR director would conduct a Google search for every job applicant, in addition to looking at any Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace pages. I can’t imagine there’s any legal risk in researching information that is already publicly available on the Internet, right?
As the effects of the recession linger on, personal bankruptcy filings are still climbing. If you’re a private employer that doesn’t want to hire managers who can’t handle their financial affairs, be careful before rejecting someone because he’s filed for bankruptcy.