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Background Checks for Non-Profits: Volunteer & Employee Screening

Employees and volunteers who work for non-profit organizations often work with vulnerable populations who need to be protected, such as children, the elderly, or disabled individuals. One of the best ways that a non-profit can protect the people it serves from harm is by conducting thorough background checks on the employees or volunteers it hires.

Conducting background checks on applicants for paid and volunteer positions can protect your non-profit from liability for negligent hiring. Stakeholders who work with your non-profit may expect you to conduct background checks on the people who employ. Insurance companies may also require background checks as a way to manage risk.

What Does a Background Check Include?

A background check can include several components. It should always include a check of criminal records and may also include employment and education verification, reference checks, and credit checks. These can help you make sure you are hiring qualified people who are not likely to commit crimes against anyone who works for the organization or any individuals it serves.

If you run a non-profit organization, you should consider the risks associated with an open position. Think about whether or not the individual you hire will be interacting with vulnerable populations or will have access to money or financial resources. This information will affect the type of background information you should obtain on applicants.

Protections for Applicants for Employment and Volunteer Positions

The Federal Trade Commission has stated that the Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to volunteers. For the purposes of the FCRA, volunteers are treated as employees and receive the same protections related to the accuracy of the information in their consumer reports.

Some states and cities have placed restrictions on questions about applicants’ criminal records. Excluding all candidates with criminal records, even if their crimes were many years ago and are not directly related to the position, can make it difficult for people who committed crimes in the past to find employment and to be reintegrated into society.

Non-profits should be careful about using social media to gain information about candidates for employment or volunteer positions. Information that is obtained from social media and used in employment decisions could discriminate against people who are members of a particular group, which is prohibited by law.

Contact DataCheck for Background Check Services for Your Non-Profit

If you run a non-profit organization, you have a responsibility to the people you serve to conduct background checks on candidates for employment and volunteer positions. A background check can reveal a criminal record or some other information that may be a cause for concern so you can make informed employment decisions.

DataCheck has helped many non-profit organizations across the United States conduct background checks on applicants for paid and unpaid positions. We can provide you with information on applicants’ backgrounds and make sure you comply with all applicable laws. Contact DataCheck today to learn more.

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