Why Screening Employees Is Important

If you haven't been conducting a background check as part of the pre-employment screening process, here are some considerations:

The average cost of recruiting, hiring and training an employee is over $4,000.

An employee background check that includes an Address History, Criminal Record Search, Employment and Education Verification is between 1 and 2 percent of that cost.

Approximately 11% of our Criminal Record Searches reveal the applicant or employee has a criminal record.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, over 70 % of dealership vehicle thefts are originated internally.

30-40% of applicants submit incomplete or inaccurate resumes.

Each year, nearly 1 million individuals are victims of violent crime while working.

Workplace victimization's cost 1,751,100 days of work each year.

6 out of 10 incidents of workplace violence occur in private companies.

Internal employee-related theft occurs 15 times more frequently than external theft.

Embezzlement accounts for $4 billion in losses each year.

30% of business losses are the result of acts by employees

Fl. Statute 768.096 Employer presumption against negligent hiring.

  1. In a civil action for the death of, or injury or damage to, a third person caused by the intentional tort of an employee, such employee's employer is presumed not to have been negligent in hiring such employee if, before hiring the employee, the employer conducted a background investigation of the prospective employee and the investigation did not reveal any information that reasonably demonstrated the unsuitability of the prospective employee for the particular work to be performed or for the employment in general.
    A background investigation under this section must include:
    • Obtaining a criminal background investigation on the prospective employee under subsection (2);
    • Making a reasonable effort to contact references and former employers of the prospective employee concerning the suitability of the prospective employee for employment;
    • Requiring the prospective employee to complete a job application form that includes questions concerning whether he or she has ever been convicted of a crime, including details concerning the type of crime, the date of conviction and the penalty imposed, and whether the prospective employee has ever been a defendant in a civil action for intentional tort, including the nature of the intentional tort and the disposition of the action;
    • Obtaining, with written authorization from the prospective employee, a check of the driver's license record of the prospective employee if such a check is relevant to the work the employee will be performing and if the record can reasonably be obtained; or
    • Interviewing the prospective employee.
  2. To satisfy the criminal-background-investigation requirement of this section, an employer must request and obtain from the Department of Law Enforcement a check of the information as reported and reflected in the Florida Crime Information Center system as of the date of the request.
  3. The election by an employer not to conduct the investigation specified in subsection (1) does not raise any presumption that the employer failed to use reasonable care in hiring an employee.

History.--s. 16, ch. 99-225.

Note.--Section 34, ch. 99-225, provides that "[i]t is the intent of this act and the Legislature to accord the utmost comity and respect to the constitutional prerogatives of Florida's judiciary, and nothing in this act should be construed as any effort to impinge upon those prerogatives.

To that end, should any court of competent jurisdiction enter a final judgment concluding or declaring that any provision of this act improperly encroaches upon the authority of the Florida Supreme Court to determine the rules of practice and procedure in Florida courts, the Legislature hereby declares its intent that any such provision be construed as a request for rule change pursuant to s. 2, Art. 5 of the State Constitution and not as a mandatory legislative directive."

Hiring Employees screened by others:

© 2003 WD&S Publishing • 800-321-5312 September 22, 2003

Car dealer learns a $12,973 lesson –the hard way
By Jerilyn Klein Bier

Who is responsible when a temp steals? This answer, plus other advice about hiring temps, may surprise you.

Dealer Kurt Von Mechling was caught off guard when he discovered that a temp he had hired to work in his dealership’s accounting department had been stealing parts and service deposits.

What surprised him even more was the runaround he received from the employment agency that sent him the temp.

"The whole reason we hired a temp was because of the (employment agency’s) pre-screening process," says Mr. Mechling, president of Performance Motor Company in Seneca, SC.

What the agency sent him, he says, was a young woman who ended up stealing $12,973 in parts and service deposits over 45 of the 90 days she worked at the Chevrolet-Buick-GMC dealership.

Mr. Mechling says the temp did the in-house receipts properly, but then took duplicate receipts from the back of the book.

She used these duplicate receipts to deposit the checks for herself rather than making bank deposits for the dealership.

It wasn’t until the first statement came in that Mr. Mechling found out what was going on in his dealership.

Then he notified the agency.

"I had the worst experience with the staffing agency. We got the runaround from them. They were looking to skirt the issue," he says.

Mr. Mechling learned that an employment agency is only responsible for a temp’s actions if they occurred while he or she was performing a function the employer designated on the "needs form" provided by the agency.

Fortunately he had checked off handling money. The temp’s grandparents helped quickly resolve the situation at Performance Motors because she was eight months pregnant and they didn’t want her to go to jail, says Mr. Mechling.

Incidentally, the temp initially used some of Mr. Mechling’s money to post bail.

"Comical, complicated and pathetic," is how Mr. Mechling describes the situation.

The real moral, he says, is not to get "a false sense of security using a prescreened candidate."

His advice:

Do your own screening and get additional references, even if you’re going through an employment agency.


Employment lawyer Rob Bekken recommends asking the agency to supply you with the results of the background tests it conducted on any person sent to work for you.

He says an agency should conduct drug tests, criminal background checks, and a pre-employment evaluation report based on a credit check.

This last item is especially important if an individual will be handling cash.