Criminal Monitoring

The Need for Continuous Criminal Monitoring

Background checks that include criminal history are standard operating procedure for the vast majority of businesses. In fact, over 95% of organizations report conducting some type of screening for potential hires, which is an excellent practice. These checks provide valuable insight into the character of an applicant, but they represent only a snapshot of an employee’s background at the time of hiring. If an employee’s behavior changes days, weeks, or months after being hired, employers may be unaware that the individual could be putting the company, clients, and other employees at risk.

Negligent hiring and retention lawsuits are a growing concern in the legal community. A LinkedIn study revealed that 79% of employers lose these lawsuits, with a typical payout exceeding $1 million. When an employer knew, or should have known, that an employee could put others at risk, they can be held liable for the employee’s actions.

Continuous monitoring for continuous safety

Organizations are looking to bridge the gap between new hire screening and real-time assessments of their employees. These efforts can be challenging: over 40% of workers are aware their employers monitor their social media accounts after they’ve been hired. The actual number of companies who do so is likely much higher. But workers rarely post recent brush-ins with the law on their FaceBook page.

If an employee who drives for your company is involved in a traffic accident that results in license suspension, are you confident they’ll report the loss to you? If they’re involved in an accident, your business will be liable. If a worker who visits client’s homes has been arrested for battery, will the courts notify you they may pose a risk to customers? The risk of retaining an employee pending criminal prosecution could be great. The only way to assure staff members don’t jeopardize your business is with continuous criminal monitoring.

Where continuous criminal monitoring is critical

Some jobs simply pose more risk than others, and in these, additional steps must be taken to protect the public, customers, and the company. Organizations whose employees have access to vulnerable populations; private or proprietary information; or valuable inventory must remain vigilant. If an employee who passed through pre-screening offends after being hired, continuous criminal monitoring could alert the company that the worker poses a risk.

Types of businesses that should implement continuous criminal monitoring

  • Employees that work in customer’s homes
  • Employees that work with children, the disabled or the elderly
  • Employees who could pose significant financial or reputational risk to the organization
  • Employees who drive or operate machinery
  • Employees with access to sensitive or private assets; information or finances; including trade secrets, intellectual property, billing, or personally identifiable information
  • Employees in highly regulated industries

Implementing continuous criminal monitoring

A best practice for businesses who use continuous monitoring is to notify employees of the procedures before they are implemented. Notify employees that monitoring is to protect the business, their colleagues, and the public at large. Transparency is critical to maintain employee trust and respect. It’s necessary to assure monitoring practices are compliant with regulatory requirements within your location: look to your local Department of Labor for guidance.

While some positions require more scrutiny than others, another best practice is to monitor all employees, regardless of their job. This can assure there is no disparate treatment or impact on workers. Disparate treatment occurs when one protected class is deliberately treated (typically worse) differently than another.  Disparate impact generally occurs unwittingly: a practice or procedure has a higher (typically negative) impact on one protected class over others. If monitoring a category of workers may suggest the effort is targeted toward a protected class, your company may be accused of disparate impact. Monitoring all workers, no matter their job or job category, can minimize risk of disparate treatment or impact.

Outsource continuous criminal monitoring for added protection

Most companies know that employee monitoring is critical to keep their business safe, but they’re hesitant to perform the practice. They’re worried, rightfully, they may miss important information, or may be privy to data they wish they hadn’t seen. In some industries, periodic monitoring is mandated, but criminal activity can fall through timeline gaps. In others, there is no requirement for monitoring, and employers are unsure how often, or even how, to access information.

This is where outsourcing is key. A third-party provider can assure the right information is accessed and delivered in a timely manner. Rather than relying on periodic reports, businesses are informed of criminal activity as its reported, so organizations can act immediately to ensure safety and risk mitigation.

No company wants to monitor their staff members; but failure to do so could pose a significant threat. Outsourcing continuous criminal monitoring takes the burden off business, allowing them to respect their employee’s privacy as much as possible while safeguarding their company, clients, and their employees.

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