Blog

 
     

Local Communities in Massachusetts Take Background Checks into Their Own Hands

By Michael Klazema on 10/1/2013
A law enabling towns to conduct fingerprint-based state and national background checks went into effect in Massachusetts in May of 2012. Since then, 15 communities have chosen to pass their own background check policies, in part to fill gaps in policies enacted by the state.

The town of Stoneham, Mass. is considering following suit. Their proposed background check rules would require ice cream truck drivers, door-to-door salesmen, and various representatives of out of town businesses that may come into contact with town residents to pass a fingerprint-based background check.

According to town officials in Stoneham, the goal is for their policy is to extend the protections already offered by state laws and make sure that the most vulnerable members of the community's kids and the elderly'sare protected from those who would do them harm.

For example, as of earlier this year, state law in Massachusetts requires all school workers and licensed childcare providers, as well as all individuals who regularly visit a property where childcare is provided, to undergo national background checks.

But what about chance visitors to the property such as a salesman or a repair man? Communities like Stoneham have identified these individuals as potential risks as well. By requiring these individuals to pass a background check such as US OneSEARCH from backgroundchecks.com, town officials can prevent anyone with criminal convictions indicating a potential predisposition to commit new crimes from interacting with vulnerable populations as part of their jobs. US OneSEARCH is comprehensive, affordable, and returns results almost instantly.

Large corporations already require their door-to-door vendors to pass background checks. Stoneham's proposal will make sure that other smaller companies follow suit. Adopting a background check policy is often easier than implementing it. This has already been seen on the state level, as the new background check law for school and childcare workers has already missed its implementation goal. The checks were supposed to be enforced at the beginning of this current school year, but have now been pushed back to the end of year. By that time over 250,000 individuals should have been checked under the law.

As with any background check policy, there has to be a balance between detecting nefarious characters and protecting people's rights. Officials in Stoneham are aware of this, and may model their policy after a similar one in Wakefield, Mass. which provides for individuals to explain their criminal record and provide any relevant information that may convince officials not to exclude them from employment on the basis of their criminal convictions.

Source: http://www.bostonglobe.com

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California‚Äôs biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.