Lab Scandal Shows that Background Checks Must be Thorough

By Michael Klazema on 1/21/2013

A lab technician at a Massachusetts drug lab recently admitted to falsifying drug analysis reports and ignoring proper lab procedures. During the subsequent investigation, police found that she had not only not followed proper procedures but had also deliberated tampered with samples. Since much of the lab’s work involves criminal cases, the employee’s malfeasance has the potential to cast doubt in every one of the 34,000 cases wherein the testimony of the drug company was involved.

Investigations revealed that the employee had never been subjected to a complete background check. While much of her personal information was verified, her employment history and educational background were not. This could have been because the master’s degree in chemistry that she had professed to hold was not a job requirement. She apparently performed her work with reasonable competence, the tampering notwithstanding (and how long she had been doing that is still a matter under investigation), so her employer’s suspicions were never aroused.

The impact on the lab could be catastrophic. They could be held both civilly and criminally liable, and at the very least, could be forced to re-test thousands of lab samples from the last ten years. Of course, there is also the question as to whether or not the court will seek a new provider of drug lab services in the light of this scandal. Losing that business could be fatal to the company. Certainly, this scandal has compromised its reputation. If the company had done a more thorough background check on this employee, such as checking her academic and professional references, this huge problem could have been completely avoided. Now, it’s certainly true that an employee can pass even a completely thorough check and still act in bad faith or dishonestly. Verifying everything that an employee says about herself for truth and accuracy provides a measure of the overall truthfulness, or inclination to lie, of that employee as well as an assessment of her character. An employer that verifies the accuracy of information on a resume, whether or not that information is relevant to the job vets the employee’s character as well as the employee. As the malfeasance of one employee can destroy the reputation of the entire company, it’s vital to know everything you can about all employees you currently have or will hire.

The solution is to use only a reputable, painstaking, and thorough background check service such as A company that seeks to gather accurate information on its employees and potential employees must use a provider that is diligent in its background searches and reports. uses such advanced tools as the U.S. AliasSEARCH to ferret out aliases and assumed names via SSN searches and the OffenderOneSEARCH to uncover violent, drug, and sex offenses. They also have the ability to verify education claims and references, so your company can be sure you’re getting exactly who you paid for. The use of only thorough and accurate background check services helps to insulate a business from potential liability as well as feel confident about the qualifications and honesty of its workforce.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - 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


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