Did you know that only 17% of employers screen their employees at least annually? However, with the availability of continuous criminal monitoring, this number is on the rise. And with a nationwide increase in home delivery services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise.
While in-home utilities services and delivery of goods such as appliances have been around for years, home delivery of goods such as groceries and restaurant/takeout food increased 113% as a result of the pandemic. This increase means more employees and independent contractors are gaining access to homes and communities of consumers, and with that comes risk.
When are employers liable?
In cases where a crime has been committed by an employee at the home of a customer, an organization may be considered negligent if it has not taken reasonable steps necessary to verify that an employee, in-home technician, or delivery driver is safe to be around customers.
According to this article by attorney Michael Morra, an employer may either be found directly liable or vicariously liable for the illegal action and resulting harm caused by an employee:
Direct liability occurs when an employer neglects a legal duty owed to its clients, customers or tenants. An example of direct liability might be if an employer neglected to run a background check at all on an employee who had a criminal history, and this employee predictably committed a similar crime while working for the employer.
Vicarious liability means “an employer can be liable for the wrongful acts or omissions of an employee that occur in the course or scope of employment.” Even if an employer has policies and procedures in place to protect against illegal action, if an employee commits a crime in the course of their duties for an employer, that employer could be held vicariously liable.
What’s the solution?
Employers can mitigate much of this risk with the availability of annual or continuous screening, and by utilizing a criminal matrix.
Most companies utilize what’s called a criminal matrix when screening potential candidates. A criminal adjudication matrix is a set of rules or guidelines selected by a company to determine an applicant’s eligibility for employment. Organizations may decide what criminal charges are unacceptable or acceptable, and how far back they want to search.
For instance, a healthcare organization would not want to hire an employee with a history of abuse or neglect in its facilities. A financial institution may have a no-tolerance policy for previous criminal convictions related to embezzlement. A transportation company may have zero-tolerance for anyone previously convicted of human trafficking.
But how does an organization know if its employees have been charged or convicted of these crimes during employment, without the employee disclosing the information themselves?
The solution for many is Continuous Criminal Monitoring.
Continuous criminal monitoring allows organizations to receive real-time arrest record monitoring on an ongoing basis. These alerts arrive within 60 minutes of criminal arrests and/or convictions. Organizations can place a “watch” on employee lists, receiving automated alerts when an employee is booked into custody, released from custody, or incarcerated for a certain “length of stay.” Sources are updated hourly, and Cisive provides alerts to clients upon validation of arrest, typically within 1-2 days.
With continuous criminal monitoring, your organization can ensure you’re doing everything possible to reduce liability and keep your customers safe.
How can Cisive Help?
Cisive offers a unique solution for the continuous monitoring of employees, delivering both industry-leading 24/7 real-time crime alerts and the most accurate, compliant background screening solution. Contact us today to develop a continuous criminal monitoring program that protects your organization and your customers.