Philadelphia TV stations are reporting that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was denied the opportunity to coach at a local college last year because the school saw that he was under investigation at the time they conducted a background check. Well, thank goodness for that.
Officials at Juniata College said Wednesday that Sandusky applied for the volunteer football coaching job in May 2010 and rejected the following month after a background check showed a high school where Sandusky previously volunteered was investigating him.
Juniata spokesman John Wall said the college was not informed of the details of the investigation or the existence of a grand jury, but based on the report informed its coaches Sandusky was not to have contact with the program.
“We basically did our due-diligence,” Wall said.”
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.
Proof the background check system does work
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.
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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 of others.
A version of this was originally published on EmployeeScreenIQ’s IQ Blog. Click here to take the third annual Employment Screening Trends Survey. All participants will receive a free download of the executive summary of the survey.