CBS3 in Philadelphia is reporting that former Penn State coach, Jerry Sandusky was denied the opportunity to coach at a local college because the school saw that he was under investigation at the time they conducted a background check. Well, thank goodness for that.
It’s been quite a year for those involved in the background screening industry: employers, consumer reporting agencies, attorneys, etc. Every time we turn around it seems the industry is being attacked and accused of being the sole reason why people cannot find jobs. And sure, it’s easy for these folks to file suit against, conduct studies unfavorable to background checks and to create a media storm about people that are denied work. There are a lot of stats they can rely on and in many cases, twist to prove their point.
However, on our side of the equation, the stats are hard to come by. How do you prove that you prevented loss, violence, a bad hire when you didn’t hire the person because the background check gave you pause? Well, unfortunately, this Sandusky case helps us prove our point. Being denied this job might not have stopped him from abusing others, but it wasn’t going to happen at this school.
Do we need further proof that background checks work; that they are a vital part of the hiring process? Do we need to continue to prove that children’s lives were not altered, that families weren’t shaken to their core, and that the employer wouldn’t be responsible for millions of dollars in damages?
It’s time for those who oppose what we do to take a good look at the whole picture. There are many ways to address the problems of former convicts finding work, combating recidivism and not create a disparate class of those who are unemployable. They just can’t come at the expense others.