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Back to Work and Re-Screening


As certain segments of the economy start to reopen, some employers are calling back workers who were laid off or furloughed. Should those people, assuming they had a background check when first hired, be re-screened as they return to work? First, I would always recommend that you follow your own policies & procedures. If a person was separated from your company (lay-offs are generally considered a separation) and your policy calls for a background check on all new hires, a person who was laid off may be considered a new-hire. Furloughed workers probably remained on your payroll even though they were temporarily not working or being paid. Is this a distinction without a difference?


Other considerations: How long was the separation? Did you remain in touch with the person regularly during his/her time away from work? What are the inherent risks associated with the job? If the time away from work was relatively short, you may decide to conduct a partial background check (amend your policies if necessary) upon the return of the employee. No need to re-check education, verify previous employment or check for criminal records in a jurisdiction where they lived 3 years ago. But a search for criminal records in your local jurisdiction and a social media search might make a lot of sense. If they drive a vehicle on company time, a re-check of their driving record may also be a good idea. All good things about which to check with your employment law attorney (or speak to ours – we’re glad to make an introduction if you don’t have one). To help our customers during this time, we’re offering 20% off current prices for re-screening returning workers in June and July. Call me to discuss a screening package that makes sense for you and how to take advantage of our special offer.

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