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Best Pre-Employment Practices - Keeping You and Your Employees Safe

Posted by Kristin Bowen on Oct 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM

bigstock-Hand-Of-Businesswoman-100249949.jpgEvery employer would like to reduce the chances of Worker’s Compensation claims.  We all want employees to stay happy, healthy and injury-free.  Today, we are sharing real-life Worker’s Compensation claims from our insureds (employers) to show how pre-employment best practices may have prevented some claims.   

  1. Upon hiring a full-time semi driver, the insured became aware of a significant rollover semi accident on the new employee’s record while with a prior employer. One month prior to that motor vehicle accident, the new employee had been cited for following too close.  Within 90 days of his new employment with our insured, the employee rear-ended a truck pulling a camper on the highway and was again cited for following too close.  The employee violated company policy and was terminated following the ticket.  Lesson learned:  A Motor Vehicle Report  check would have shown that the claimant was a poor risk behind the wheel.

  2. Prior to employment with our insured, the claimant had filed three worker’s compensation claims within less than a year. Each claim came with numerous red flags and concerns.  The claimant also had a known criminal history.  The claimant caused a high-speed motor vehicle accident on the highway by rear-ending a parked construction vehicle containing a lit arrow construction sign and was cited for inattentive driving.  Lesson learned:  Conduct a thorough background check on potential employees.

  3. Within a couple days of hiring an employee, the insured (employer) admitted to noticing a limp and walking difficulties.  The insured hired the employee for a position that required labor intensive shoveling, digging and climbing in/out of a commercial size dump truck with standard transmission.  Lesson learned:  Obvious pre-injury concerns that the employee would be able to complete the required duties.  Pre-employment physical may be appropriate as a hiring practice.
  4. The employment application for this particular person listed various employers from 2010-2016. When the background check was completed, there were four employers listed and the references noted this person was a poor employee, that he was terminated, and not eligible for rehire.  The candidate also had a long list of driving violations.  The insured still hired the employee after knowledge of this information.  Lesson learned:  Take background check information seriously.
  5. An employee was hired without documentation or background check. The employee was paid cash.  The employee had poor performance, reliability, and a history of intoxication at work.  The insured got in a physical altercation with this questionable “employee” who is now claiming a traumatic brain injury through his attorney.  Lesson learned:  Background check and proper ID should be required before hiring.

To avoid issues with new hires it’s crucial to require background checks and, depending on the job requirements, pre-employment physical screenings and motor vehicle records may be a good idea.  A little effort and cost up front will save you headaches, money and even possible lawsuits in the future.

For more information on pre-employment screenings, visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

For sample employment policies, visit the Society for Human Resources Management and our website.

Do you have any information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the comment box below.  Thank you.

Topics: Workers' Compensation, Human Resources, Risk Management

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