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Use contractors? Be sure you can trust the workforce.

When you sign a contract to bring workers into your place of business from a contractor or staffing agency, be sure the agreement specifies the same strict background screening requirements for those workers that your own employees must meet. If you don’t, you’re putting your business at significant risk.

Here’s an example based on a true story. You hire a contractor for a construction project on your property. The signed agreement doesn’t require the contractor to conduct background checks on his workers, or it doesn’t set mandatory guidelines for the level of background screening services. As a result, the workers show up on your premises unscreened or merely surface-screened through an Internet database.

During the construction project, one of your contractor’s workers abducts and rapes a resident from the adjacent neighborhood. Your company is named as a defendant in the resulting litigation because you own the project property and hired the contractor. The plaintiff’s lawyers discover that the contractor hired a worker with a prior sexual assault conviction. The conviction did not show up because your contractor either did not run a background check or did one that was not thorough enough, and the plaintiff claims your company is responsible for liability and damages. Newspaper articles name your company continuously as the property owner. The publicity and financial liability could cause your organization irreparable harm.

WOLFE can help you prevent this kind of catastrophe by conducting a new contractor account review. Our process evaluates proposed agreements to ensure they require the optimum level of background screening for the contractor’s or staffing agency’s employees.

WOLFE recommends that you forward this article to your plant, purchasing and facilities managers so they can make more informed decisions on best contracting practices as well.

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