In a case in which a U.S. university should have abide by the saying "leave no stone unturned," an educational administrator was recently disciplined because of a criminal record he had but did not disclose to the school. To make matters worse, the university admitted it had not run criminal background screenings on employees.
Solicitation of a prostitute led to jail time
Recently, news broke that a university in South Carolina had suspended its chief brand officer after the educational institution discovered the employee had not informed the school of his criminal record.
The school employee was suspended indefinitely as a result of the scandal while the university gathers information on the incident and assesses the situation. Initially hired in 2007, the brand officer was charged with soliciting a prostitute in 1991 in a different state, a charge that led to him to serve three days in jail and being sentenced to three years probation.
While the criminal incident did occur more than two decades ago - which some say mitigates the offense to a degree - the university put itself at risk by not screening the administrator. The school confirmed to local NBC affiliate WYFF that only recently had it instituted a criminal background check policy for all hired individuals.
Details on how the university came about the information on the employee's criminal past are unclear, but upon being confronted with the school's findings, the brand officer admitted to the allegations and has cooperated with the investigation.
Any organization that does not properly vet employees and applicants through background screenings exposes themselves to the same risk this university recently encountered. Working with an HR service provider can effectively equip an employer with the tools necessary to prevent such situations.
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