Why Comprehensive Background Checks Matter

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Two recent nationwide stories highlight the important role comprehensive, quality background checks can play in protecting the safety of employees and consumers, in addition to the risks employers face in negligent hiring and retention.

Story One: Alleged FedEx Failure?

In December 2022, a contracted delivery driver allegedly kidnapped and murdered a 7-year-old girl. The driver worked for a company contracted to perform services for FedEx. As outlined in a recent article from Today, the girl’s father has now filed a negligent hiring lawsuit against the individual, FedEx and the contractor seeking more than $1 million in damages. Among other allegations, the complaint claims the companies failed to properly investigate the driver’s criminal history and prior employment, failed to properly supervise the individual and failed to implement and enforce safety policies and procedures. 

Story Two: What Happened at Walmart 

Following another tragic event, a mass shooting at a Virginia Walmart in November, an employee who survived has now filed a $50 million lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges Walmart continued to employ the store supervisor who committed the atrocious acts despite numerous warning signs and complaints from fellow employees. Further, the lawsuit claims Walmart knew or should have known about the behavior but failed to take any action including restricting his access to common areas, subjecting him to a background investigation or other mental health examination.

How Background Checks Can Help

While a background check cannot necessarily predict future behavior, it can provide a window into the person’s past and their relevant qualifications allowing the employer to perform a more informed risk assessment on whether that individual should be placed in a particular position. 

Here are additional stories highlighting the need for comprehensive background checks.