Criminal History Checks – Reducing the Risk of Workplace Violence

Criminal History Checks - Reducing the Risk of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence impacts nearly two million workers every year. It can include everything from verbal abuse to stalking and harassment and even homicide.

Criminal history checks can reveal felony and misdemeanor convictions and pending cases. Some criminal checks will also report arrests that did not result in convictions. The results of these searches can be found in state and county court databases.

Conduct a Risk Assessment

Workplace violence claims a heavy toll on employees and businesses. It ranges from verbal abuse and stalking to physical assault and homicide. It’s the third leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.

Employers have a legal responsibility to keep their workplaces as safe as possible. Conducting a risk assessment helps you determine the likelihood of workplace violence in your company and take steps to prevent it. If applicable, a risk assessment should be conducted by a designated employer representative in collaboration with the workplace committee or health and safety rep.

A criminal record check can help you make informed hiring decisions by providing important information about a job candidate’s past. It can include searching federal, state, and county court records, watchlists, sex offender registries, and international criminal records searches.

A reputable screening provider can save you time and help ensure compliance with local laws, EEOC guidance, and ban-the-box rules. Additionally, they have experience working with courts and law enforcement to speed up processing and can help you navigate complex issues like restraining orders or expunged convictions. They can even help you set up ongoing criminal record checks to remove knowledge gaps and keep you up-to-date on reportable changes as they occur. The more you know about your potential hires, the better your chances of keeping them and others safe.

Offer Additional Support and Training

Employers can use a criminal background check to determine whether an employee is a good candidate for the job. A background check is a search of an individual’s official criminal history record, which details all disclosable court outcomes for offenses (excluding spent convictions). Criminal records are stored by state agencies and local jurisdictions that vary by the method they use to store, access, and report records. Third parties that sell criminal records searches use data from various sources, including law enforcement and corrections departments, court repositories, offender registries and watch lists, and public databases.

A criminal record check also reveals arrests and pending charges, but employers are typically advised to weigh these findings less heavily than convictions in hiring decisions. In addition, some states have laws that limit or restrict how much information can be considered in hiring decisions based on arrest or charge results.

A comprehensive criminal background check is a valuable tool for preventing bad hires, which can cost your business money, damage your reputation and put your team at risk. A criminal record search can uncover many offenses, such as drug and alcohol offenses, violent crimes, sexual assault, and child abuse. It can also reveal an inmate’s release status so you know when they can return to work and how much supervision they will require once they are back on the job.

Create a Policy

Companies need to create firm policies on workplace violence. These policies should outline the process by which employees can report threats and incidents, as well as the steps that will be taken to respond to or prevent them. They should also clearly indicate no room for favoritism when punishing people who violate them. Additionally, they should assure employees that they will not face retaliation for reporting acts of violence in the workplace.

One of the most important steps in preventing workplace violence is to conduct background checks on all new hires. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, especially when you partner with an experienced CRA. Having experience working with different states’ laws and regulations, an experienced CRA can quickly search criminal records for you so you can decide whether or not to offer someone the job.

Workplace violence occurs in various situations, including robberies, crimes committed by customers and clients, acts committed by disgruntled co-workers, and domestic incidents that spill over into the workplace. Employers can reduce the risk of this type of violence by ensuring that all hiring processes are thorough, creating a safe environment for employees, and offering support and training to help those affected.

Report Suspicious Activity

A criminal background check searches national, state, and county court records to find information about a person’s criminal history. The results can reveal convictions, arrests, detentions without charges, incarcerations, and release dates. They may include felony and misdemeanor charges and case dispositions like plea deals, dismissals, and pardons. Criminal record checks are often used to evaluate job candidates and may be included in the pre-employment background screening process.

The types of crimes that are reported to the police and appear on a background check depend on the type of check run. An official criminal background check (often called a RAP sheet or state criminal history) includes all arrest, indictment, and conviction information reported to the Division of Criminal Justice Services. This information is used to determine whether or not someone meets the legal qualifications for employment, a license, or rental housing. Third parties or businesses that sell background checks get this information from public records and databases, including those available to individuals.

A criminal record check can also reveal misdemeanor and pending cases, but they do not carry the extreme penalties that felonies do. It can also reveal expunged or sealed convictions, but this depends on the laws of each state. An experienced CRA monitors the growing number of state and local ban-the-box and fair hiring laws and EEOC guidance regarding criminal background checks to help employers ensure they follow the law.

Written by Joshua Galyon

Joshua is a senior editor at Snooth, covering most anything of interest in the world of science and technology. Having written on everything from the science of space exploration to advances in gene therapy, he has a real soft spot for big, complicated pieces that make for excellent weekend reads.

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