Is Your Small Business Falling Behind in HR Compliance?

Staying compliant when it comes to business functions can be a giant undertaking – especially for small businesses with little resources – but it’s absolutely necessary. Being up to code with constantly changing industry standards and knowing the rules for everything from finances to hiring practices, is critical to operate successfully.

Small Business Compliance Issues

If you’re a small business, perhaps it’s been a while since you took a look at some of your HR functions and how they’re operating. Now’s a great time to ensure that you’re in compliance or risk hefty penalties.

One recent survey found that smaller businesses are lacking confidence when it comes to HR functions today in issues including overtime laws, youth standards and laws around employee classification.  Of all the core functions in the Human Resources role, survey respondents said they we’re least sure about the rules when it came to onboarding, handbooks and background checks.

Importance of Background Checks

Bringing on new employees involves a lot more than finding someone whose resume matches with a job opening. Employers today must find candidates who have the proper training and education, fit in with the company culture, and who meet requirements based on their backgrounds to remain compliant. The only way to be sure all of this is happening, and that all information provided is accurate before you onboard a candidate, is with background checks.

Depending on the industry, everything from criminal history, to drug tests may be needed. What’s most important is to work with a company that specializes in obtaining the pertinent information to assure your company will make the right decision. This can also protect the company and workplace from risks or other losses.

DataCheck offers employment screening as well as information, education, and training on “all things background checks.”  Our goal is to promote a safe workplace that both employers and employees benefit from. Contact us today to learn more.

New Legislation Could Affect School Bus Drivers

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Earlier this year, federal legislation was introduced that would impact how school bus drivers are hired.

It all comes down to background checks. It’s called The Safety for the Schoolchildren Act. The legislation would instruct all states and school districts nationwide to obtain FBI background checks on all new job applicants, including potential school bus drivers.

The bill would also prohibit local education officials from hiring people for school bus driver positions who have been convicted of or plead guilty to drunk driving or a serious moving violation. The proposal also covers any new school job applicant who has been convicted of sexual assault against a minor.

The law would also add an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It would also cover teachers, substitute teachers administrators, cafeteria workers, custodians or any contract employees that work in a school district.

The National School Transportation Specifications & Procedural Manual will recommend school districts check both state and national criminal identification agencies for record of any criminal activities among school job applicants. School districts will also be encouraged to check the driving records of school job applicants.

This is just another reminder of the importance and wide-ranging impact of proper background checks.

Holiday Background Checks

BadSanta

The holiday season can be a busy hiring time for businesses that depend on seasonal employees. We’re talking about everything from extra counter and sales help to store Santas. The demand is high and positions need to be filled.

This is why this is such an important time of year for background checks. Employers need to exercise good judgment when making those seasonal hires. They should also consider the importance of thorough background checks.

Temp workers will often have access to an employer’s place of business. It’s like trusting someone inside your home. Those temporary employees may have access to some intellectual properties and receive training on specific business practices.

It goes beyond business practices. Stores, malls and charity organizations that hire seasonal Santa Clauses need to sure about hiring for a position that call for a great deal of time to be spent with children. Thorough background checks conducted by professionals are essential. Google searches won’t cut it. It’s all too easy to skip a background check in the interest of saving time. Yet, the same due diligence that would be done on an employee being considered for a full-time position should also be done on a part-time or seasonal employee. Employment classification should not matter.

Employee background checks and pre-employment screenings are an integral part of the hiring process. It’s about the safety of the employer, employee and customers. A thorough background check can prevent a negligent hiring lawsuit. It can ensure that person with a criminal background is not hired for a sensitive position, such as one that calls for spending time around children.

These are just some of the reasons it’s important to do due diligence before hiring that mall Santa Claus or adding that extra store cashier. Background checks can make for a safer holiday shopping seaso

Background Checks for School Bus Drivers

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Something new is taking place for school bus drivers in one area of the country. They will soon have to undergo background checks.

It’s happening in Aiken County, South Carolina. Public school officials say potential school bus drivers will be subject to driving and criminal-history checks.

This comes in the wake of several DUI arrests around the country involving school bus drivers. Now, potential school bus drivers in Aiken County will need to submit to a driver record check with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Officials say they will also need to undergo criminal background checks with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division.

One official says if a potential driver has anything on their driver record that has anything to do with DUI, the potential driver is immediately disqualified from consideration. That official also says potential drivers that have more than four points against their license will also be turned away.

The criminal background checks look for any arrests or convictions.

Each state has different policies and procedures. South Carolina has a ten-year back check period. This refers to the period of time in which a DUI is relevant for sentencing. It’s also known as a “washout” period.

School officials say they are always looking for drivers and currently have about 220 drivers, all of whom have undergone the background check process.

Many states require a background check for potential school bus drivers. Some states have changed or toughened up background check requirements. Unfortunately, some of those changes took place after an accident or arrest.

Part of the background check should obviously be looking at driving records. Many states do require a check on a potential school bus driver’s driving record as part of the pre-employment screening process. It’s one of the first steps that can be taken to ensure safety and security.

A New Type of School Background Check

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A new background check system implemented in Massachusetts is prompting plenty of questions.

The new standard for schools in Wareham, Massachusetts asks that schools adopt a new background check policy for certain individuals who interact with schools in various capacities.

These means people who are not teachers but still have contact with the school. This includes people such as student teachers, maintenance workers, and school volunteers. Massachusetts already has the Criminal Offender Record Information check. It’s been in place for years.

The new background check is much more thorough. Fingerprinting is among the things required as part of the new process.

The school committee decided that student teachers and volunteers for overnight events take part in the new background check system and still take part in the Criminal Offender Record Information check program.

However, the new background check system was not without confusion. There were some questions about the policy in terms of outside maintenance workers. The superintendent of schools asked the committee to adopt a policy that would allow workers to work with just the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, provided they are supervised by school staff. At least one committee member expressed concern about how this was going to be enforced. There was concern that no teacher or facility member would have the time or the resources to enforce the policy.

There was also the question of timing. A maintenance worker who has not completed the thorough background process may not be available to deal with an emergency maintenance problem.

For now, there is no resolution to the problem. Suffice to say, the committee put this proposal into effect because it wanted a more thorough and comprehensive background check.

Background checks remain a key part of the hiring process, despite the issues that sometimes arise when trying to decide on the best course of action.