Waltham, MA (PRWEB) December 19, 2011
A new law in Pennsylvania that went into effect in September 2011 "mandates background checks for all employees of public, private and vocational schools." The potential impact of current employees is significant, to the point that some may be fired for failure to disclosure past criminal convictions. In addition this law requires "school employees ... inform administrators within 72 hours of fresh arrests or convictions. A school administrator who suspects an employee was arrested or convicted and failed to report it can require the employee to get a background check."
While portions of this law certainly will be challenged, specifically the retroactive aspect, it does highlight the urgent need to conduct criminal background checks on all individuals that interact with children, as well as other at-risk populations. Every day the public places loved-ones in the trust of others with the demand that they will be protected. Criminal background checks can provide protection to our at-risk population.
The Pennsylvania law is broad ranged and covers a wide area of potential malfeasance. It continues:
The law bans anyone convicted of certain crimes from school district employment for anywhere from three years to life. A conviction for stalking, kidnapping, aggravated assault or other child-related crime convictions would result in a lifetime ban.
It is difficult to comprehend that a school might employ an individual convicted of a crime such as those highlighted above but consider that few schools, both public and private, continuously background check their employees. Once an individual is employed by a school district, or many other private entities, it is reasonable to assume that they will never be background checked again. A criminal act that occurs after hire has the potential to go unnoticed or unknown to the employer. More distressing is the level to which school districts or any employer conducts a background check. While industry statistics suggest that 85% or more commercial enterprises conduct background screening it is unknown the percent of private or volunteer entities conduct screening and to what level.
At-risk populations demand protection and an important step in providing that protection is a background check. All employees exposed to at-risk populations, in any function, regardless of its level of interaction, should be screened. Also, post-hire screening is becoming increasingly popular and just as important as pre-employment screening.
As the Pennsylvania law illustrates there is deep concern regarding the protection of our children, as well as others. Criminal background checks conducted on a more regular and continuous basis may provide greater protection. As headlines continue to fill with reported criminal activity within the halls of academia both at the elementary level on up through University, greater steps should be taken to protect at-risk populations.
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CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is an Information Enterprises, Inc. Solution and is a national background checking site that specializes in criminal background checks. The site has been providing background checks to employers, schools, universities, landlords, individuals and other entities for a decade and has active members in all 50-US States. Individual products consist of criminal background checks including county, state and national background checks, Social Security number validation, address history traces, Federal court searches, driving records and professional verifications. Visit them online at: http://www.CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.
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