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Background Checks Aren’t Just for New Employees – Keep Your Workplace Safe with Ongoing Screening

July 21, 2020

By Susan Chance, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Do you know what your employees have been up to during the four months of the stay-at-home order? If you are watching the news, you know that a lot of people have been up to protesting, sharing their views on wearing masks, and sharing political views.

While many people protest peacefully, we have all seen the violence and destruction done by those who are not peaceful protestors. You can watch any news broadcast or view any social media site and see that some people are more than belligerent about masks, and some resort to violence.

Recently one Dearborn restaurant closed their dining room after two weeks because customers were behaving badly towards staff regarding the mask requirement. At one point it was necessary to get the police involved.

Businesses have the right to require masks and are now required to by executive order.

A gym in Lincoln Park defied the executive order to remain closed. It wasn’t only the owner and manager who were ticketed. Everyone in the gym was also ticked. It seems people may not realize that executive orders are law, and those ticketed for being in the gym may end up with a misdemeanor on their record after their court appearance.

Could any of the bad citizens been one or more of your employees? We don’t see each individual on the news, and while a person may not act out during normal times, things are different now. According to a licensed clinical psychologist, Andrea Bonior, who was interviewed by TODAY, the “chronic, constant threat” of the Coronavirus affects our peripheral nervous system and our decision-making processes, which causes some people to act out.

So how do you know if any of your employees are acting out in ways that are at best unhealthy, and at worst unlawful? Perhaps updating background checks is a good way to start. An arrest record can show up in as little as 24 hours of the arrest.

If you have been on the road at all, you may have noticed that drivers are driving faster and more reckless now than ever. This has caused a spike in crashes, and unfortunately, in fatalities. State Police in Michigan have cited people for driving in excess of 100 mph in northern Oakland County and in Metro Detroit. One driver in Monroe, Michigan was ticketed for driving 180 mph. This is true across the U.S. and while there are less people on the roads, it is more dangerous to be on the road at this time.

If you have employees who drive for work and you have not checked their motor vehicle records recently, you may want to take another look. It is a best practice to check driving records at least once a year for any employees who get behind the wheel for business purposes. Driving infractions can take four days to be filed. You should also have your employees verify that they have valid insurance if they are driving for company business.

This is an unprecedented time, and people are acting out in ways that may not be their normal behavior. As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep the workplace safe. While this may look a little different with so many people working from home, your employees are still part of a team. It is also important to protect your company’s reputation and brand. Putting a plan in place for ongoing background checks can help, especially during this time.

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