Are You Hiring the Right Employees?

How often have you brought on a new employee only to find that their resume or CV didn’t tell you everything about their character? Let’s face it, a questionable candidate trying to land a job in your company may not be forthcoming about a criminal record or a history of trouble-making at their previous places of employment. A person who has changed jobs frequently may exclude negative information from their interview. High employee turnover rates and bad employee reputations can financially cripple your company and keep you from being effective in a highly-competitive market. With all the demands of managing your company, you may not have time to vet every applicant thoroughly. What can you do?

If you are preparing to bring on a partner or to hire a new staff member, a Tampa Private Investigator can do a pre-employment screening. The hiring process involves one of the riskiest decisions a manager or business owner makes, let Sig14. Inc. help you with background screening checks. Sig14 prides itself on being a professional and dependable Tampa Private investigative team!

Here’s an example of what happens when you don’t check.

According to News Channel 8 WFLA, a registered sex offender was discovered working at a St. Petersburg Gym. The employee, Christy Lynn Martin, once helped with childcare services at Suncoast Fitness. Parents were shocked to find out that she was arrested back in 2009 for sexting with a student at Azalea Middle, where she was teaching. The fact that a sex offender could have ever been hired to a job that involves so much close contact with children is disturbing.

The urgency.

The FBI maintains a database indexing criminal records known as the Interstate Identification Index (III). As of July 1, 2015, more than 70 million people have records indexed by them. With nearly one-third of the adult working age population having a criminal background, it’s not if you will run into a criminal past, but when. Background checks are an important tool for eliminating any surprises.

The Legal Dilemma.

At the same time, just because someone is arrested it doesn’t mean that they are guilty. Should you treat an arrest the same as a conviction? There are a number of State and Federal Laws that you need to consider.


When making a decision during the hiring process, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) grants you the ability to weigh arrest records from the last 7 years. The FCRA imposes obligations on employers who request criminal background checks in Tampa and on the firms that provide them; however, employers must do all of the following:

    • Get the applicants written consent ahead of time.
    • Tell the applicant if the employer intends to disqualify him or her based on the contents of the report. The employer must also give the applicant a copy of the report.
    • Notify the applicant after the employer makes a final decision not to hire him or her based on the information in the report.

The employer must also take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the report. If the candidate disputes the contents, the agency must conduct a reasonable investigation and provide the results to all persons and agencies involved.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
protects applicants and employees from discrimination in every aspect of employment, including screening practices during the hiring process. Having a blanket policy of excluding from consideration anyone who has been arrested might be considered racially biased since Latinos and African Americans have a higher arrest rate.

Also, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects applicants and employees by ensuring that employers won’t use the background check information in a way that denies equal opportunity for a position.

Florida Law. Florida law actually provides employers with an incentive to consider an applicant’s criminal record. Some states allow people who are injured by an employee’s misconduct to sue the employer for “negligent hiring,” claiming that the employer should have known that the employee posed a risk of injury. In Florida, employers are legally presumed not to have been negligent during the hiring process if they conduct a background investigation before hiring employees, including a criminal records check. As long as the employer conducted such a check, and it didn’t uncover any information reasonably demonstrating that the employee was unfit for the job (or unfit for employment in general), the employer is entitled to a presumption that it did not act negligently.

Contact Sig14 For More Information About Our Tampa Private Investigator
You need to act now to save a business from negligent hiring process practices. Tampa Private Investigator Kenneth Stevens is the answer. Sig14 is a team of local, qualified investigative professionals who can start work on a background screening check fast and get real, dependable results. Let us guide you through the process.