Oklahoma Lawmakers Considering Forcing Volunteers to Pay for Their Own Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 2/22/2012

Lawmakers in Oklahoma are seriously considering a bill that would make it legal to force volunteers who work with children to pay for their own background checks. Some of the background checks, which cost about $40, could be paid for by organizations, but the organizations would not be responsible for the payment and would have the option to pass the fee along to the volunteers. Currently, Oklahoma law does not make it mandatory for volunteers to undergo a background check, but this bill aims to change that as well.

Oklahoma State Rep. Joe Dorman, who initiated this bill, states that he wants to make sure that honest adult volunteers are not swayed from volunteering because of this charge, but also wants to make sure that quality adults with no criminal history are the ones who are mentoring Oklahoma’s children. He additionally states that these volunteers would only need to go through a background check one time and stressed that organizations have the choice to pay for the background check, so the fee may not even be applicable.

These background checks would cover any adult who volunteers to work in any capacity where they would be with a child overnight or someone who volunteers to be in any position where they would be with a child in a locker room.

Though some opponents of this bill believe that the biggest problem is the cost, others say that this bill is simply not enough and other measures should be put into place in order to protect the children in Oklahoma State. For example, it is stated that anyone who works with children, such as a coach, who may be with children overnight will have to have a background check, but other volunteers, who may be with children during the day would not have to go through a background check.

For those organizations who want to perform background checks on volunteers, third party companies offer dedicated programs like’s selectCHECK tailored to volunteer screening. Screening packages can be customized for each organization’s standard, including the addition of the US OneSEARCH which will be able to instantly search criminal records across all fifty states and several US territories. This product also includes a search of sex offender registries, which is always a high priority for screening solutions targeted towards subjects working with children.

About - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.