Background Checks - Why Do Them? Which Ones Should I Do?

Good morning!

If there is one single “to do” item you should not skip in the recruitment process, it is administering background checks.  Why are they so important?  Let me provide some examples, and give you my top four (4) background checks you should administer on any potential employee of your organization:

  • Criminal Background Checks – If a prospective employee committed an offense in the State of Kansas (KBI check) or anywhere in the United States (federal background check), knowing what their history is becomes critical to decreasing liability for your organization.  Through these background checks, I have discovered past issues of aggravated assault (one time against a police officer), theft, drug charges and even murder!  Conduct a criminal background check!
  • Credit Check – HR Partners encourages this when three primary areas of responsibility will be in the employee’s job description. 

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Required DOL Posters - IMPORTANT TO READ

HR Partners receives numerous calls each year from our clients (or potential clients) about getting an “updated” Department of Labor (“DOL”) poster for their businesses.  They receive phone calls or emails from very aggressive companies that state you “have to” get the new updated DOL poster ASAP or you will not be compliant with the law.   Clients share with us how much they have spent in the past, or how much the current company is charging for this service.  With multiple locations, this expense can add up quickly if multiple posters are required.

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UPDATE - Please Read

On November 12, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion reaffirming its earlier stay of the OSHA Private Employer ETS. As a result, OSHA has confirmed that it is suspending activities related to implementing and enforcing the Private Employer ETS pending future developments in litigation.

Moving forward, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will randomly designate one circuit court of appeals from among those where lawsuits against the OSHA Private Employer ETS have been filed to consolidate and hear all OSHA Private Employer ETS lawsuits.

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Religious Accommodations: Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

Employers typically should assume that a request for religious accommodation is based on a sincerely held religious belief. However, if the employer has a valid and objective reason to request more information from an employee or to doubt the validity of a request, they may ask additional questions, tailored for the individual assessment being conducted.

The EEOC identified the following factors that might undermine the credibility of an employee's claim:

  • The employee has acted inconsistently with the professed belief. However, the EEOC said, "employees need not be scrupulous in their observance."
  • The employee is seeking a "particularly desirable" accommodation that is likely to be sought for nonreligious reasons.
  • The timing of the request is suspicious. For example, the employee may have recently requested the same benefit for secular reasons and been denied.
  • The employer otherwise has reason to believe the accommodation is not sought for religious reasons.

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How To Conduct A Proper Termination

Last week, several clients did what sometimes needs to be done:  they terminated an employee’s employment.

Some of the reasons for last week’s terminations included:

  • Attendance issues; refusal to adhere to their job description.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse on company property.
  • Complaints from team members and clients about the employee; creating a toxic work environment.

Some points to remember when terminating an employee:

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What our clients say...

MRH Insurance Group, Inc.

Ross T. Hendrickson

President
MRH Insurance Group, Inc.

"I want to thank you and your team again at HR Partners for your amazing work in securing a high-quality Customer Service Representative (CSR) for our Topeka MRH Insurance Group office.

Without a doubt, if it were not for your company’s ability to understand the different paths to communicate our need, we would not have been successful in securing, in our opinion, the very best CSR in Topeka. HR Partners was instrumental in providing the strategy to secure such an individual for our company and my workings with each and every member of your team was professional and impressive.

I shall ever be grateful for your assistance in helping our company grow in Topeka and northeast Kansas by securing the right MRH Team Member for our operation."