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Employer Nightmares

The following classic stories are typical of stories that appear in the news every day. Unfortunately, each of these stories could have been avoided with a proper background check.

New York, New York
A 9-year-old girl was locked in a city park playground equipment room and repeatedly raped by a park department employee. The worker had an extensive criminal record, including several rape convictions. The court awarded $2.5 million for negligent hiring.

Washington, D.C.
School officials hired an escaped convicted murderer who taught at the middle school for more than month while they waited for the results of a fingerprint check.

Memphis, Tennessee
A parcel delivery company employee attacked the crew of a company cargo plane while in flight. Three crew members were critically hurt, and the fourth was injured before the crew wrestled the attacker to the ground and safely landed the plane. The attacker had falsified his credentials when he was hired.

Huntington Beach, California
A bookkeeper with a criminal file a foot thick stole $2.5 million from 15-20 businesses over a twelve-year period. An accomplice, whom he met while doing prison time for fraud, gave glowing recommendations to anyone who called the reference number listed on the resume.

Washington, D.C.
Hiring a bookkeeper based on "chemistry" cost a consultant $70,000 from her business bank account and family savings account.

Mitchell County, Georgia
A man was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pains and was told by the staff physician that his condition was not serious. After being sent home, the pains increased, and he died on the way back to the hospital. Although the doctor was licensed in the state, the hospital was found liable for not requiring satisfactory proof of professional qualifications.

San Jose, California
A school district superintendent pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and four counts of grand theft. He was sentenced to one year in jail for stealing $6,200 from student body funds. When hired, he had lied about having a doctorate degree. Upon completing his jail sentence, he was hired as a mid-level manager for a well-known telecommunications firm. On the section of the job application asking whether he had ever been convicted of a crime, he answered, "No." A routine company audit later disclosed discrepancies in a contract he had struck for the company, resulting in a multi-million dollar billing dispute. The company acknowledged that they would never have hired him had they been aware of his past.

Palm Beach, Florida
Among the finalists listed by a headhunter for a top county job were a psychologist who had her license revoked for having a social relationship with a patient and a man forced to resign a job for lying on his resume.

In Summary, Background Checks Reduce Risks
Employers substantially reduce risks to themselves, their businesses, their employees, and the public with Comprehensive Background Checks.