Blog

 
     

Missouri City Passes New Background Check Restrictions for Parks and Recreation Department Employees and Volunteers

By Michael Klazema on 12/11/2013

The Parks and Recreation board of Lee’s Summit, Missouri recently passed a new proposal tightening background checks on its employees and volunteers. A similar proposal has been percolating within the Parks department for several months now, but administrators were initially hesitant to tighten background check policies, fearing that they would prove “too restrictive” in scope. However, there was a recent incident in the city, involving the coach of a youth soccer team who secretly filmed members of his team nude in his home. The man is now facing a federal conviction for the attempted production of child pornography.

Parents in Lee’s Summit are likely glad that the incident did not involve more harmful sexual offenses or assaults, but the incident has undoubtedly put the spotlight on the city’s Parks and Recreation department and its background check policies.

Not that the Lee’s Summit Parks and Rec department had previously allowed employees to have close contact with children without any form of pre-screening. On the contrary, the Parks department has always required its employees to go through some form of background check. The newly approved proposal, however, will bring the department into closer step with the National Recreation and Parks Association. In the past, the Lee’s Summit Parks department has always been notably less strict than its federal parent organization.

In fact, Lee’s Summit will remain a bit more lenient than the national association. The new background checks policy will look mostly at criminal records and offender registries, disqualifying or approving potential employees or volunteers based on a number of criteria. Similar criminal and offender checks are offered on an affordable basis from backgroundchecks.com.

For instance, any previous sex offense is grounds for immediate disqualification from employment consideration. Felonies committed in the past 10 years also place applicants on the virtual blacklist, as do misdemeanor offenses involving violence (in the past seven years) or drugs (in the past five years). Finally, applicants who have been convicted for supplying a minor with alcohol, or who have any past connection with a kidnapping charge, will not be considered for employment or volunteer status with the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation department.

The major difference between the Lee’s Summit rules and the recommendations of the National Recreation and Parks Association is that the Lee’s Summit department has chosen not to view misdemeanor alcohol charges as a reason for rejecting volunteers. The organization reasoned that, since the area is home to many young families or recent college graduates, many otherwise qualified volunteers may have old minor in possession charges (MIP) or driving under the influence charges (DUI) that they are trying to work past.

Sources: http://www.lsjournal.com/2013/12/06/109079/lees-summit-parks-department-toughens.html


Tag Cloud
Categories
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.