COVID-19 and Return to Work
On several levels, employers need to take special care when employees return to the workplace. Each state and county seemingly have differing guidance and regulations regarding the return, and employers need to be cautious in their efforts.
Pre-employment background screening has many challenges without a pandemic or stay-at-home work orders. While it may appear that there are no jobs available in the workplace many employers are beginning to ramp back up. For the near future companies will have to work under stringent guidelines in order to keep employees safe. The same holds true during the hiring process.
Typical job interviews are managed face-to-face. But with COVID related safety protocols in place the hiring process has changed. Job interviews are now handled via Zoom and/or exclusively by phone. For many companies across the country the on-boarding process is managed the same way.
Pre-employment background screening has faced its own challenges. During the initial phases of the shutdown many county courts were closed and criminal court records were not updated on a regular basis. Many state and county employees worked from their homes during this time and did not always have the ability to update court records. And, more importantly, many courts were closed entirely, or worked on a limited basis.
As county courts begin to reopen there will be a deluge of delayed court proceedings. Records will be updated but certainly there will be delays in the process. In order to maintain best practices hiring managers and HR departments should work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain up to date with court closures, as well as maintaining access to those critical court documents required to fully vet a candidate.
A greater challenge for an employer may be with the return to the physical workplace.
From JDSupra.com (May 20, 20):
Despite the best of intentions to comply with the myriad of laws, orders and recommendations and to “do right” by employees while dealing with the current pandemic and recession, employers remain vulnerable to a whole host of potential COVID-19-related claims. Ever-changing guidance and return-to-work orders complicate the issues. Keeping abreast of the actual and potential legal theories being raised is key to assessing potential COVID-19-related litigation risk. (1)
And, just to add to the complexity, employees may be faced with whistleblowers, as related to COVID and return to work policies.
From Law360.com (May 26, 20):
Scores of COVID-19-related whistleblower retaliation complaints have recently been lodged with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and similar complaints are being filed in federal and state courts. This is the tip of the iceberg. Such claims are based on several legal theories grounded in alleged retribution against employees for voicing health and safety concerns and requesting leave or accommodations. (2)
Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “The challenges employers are facing now and will continue to face for the next several months are significant. One way to alleviate some of the stress of returning to the workplace is to work with a third-party pre-employment background screening agency.”
CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.
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