Trusting an expensive piece of company equipment and the valuable cargo inside is an act that should not be taken lightly. Motor carriers that do not give driver screening and selection due diligence are at an increased risk of having a newly hired driver abandon the truck and cargo or aid in their theft. For this reason, motor carriers should consider conducting background checks to verify an applicant’s history and identify red flags. Below is a list of background checks that give employers much-needed information to make an informed hiring decision. Read each description and consider how it can aid your loss prevention efforts.
You should also consult with your attorney prior to conducting any of the following checks. State law may require you to obtain express permission from the prospective employee in addition to meeting other requirements.
Verifying that an applicant has a criminal past may not eliminate the candidate from consideration, but it certainly raises a red flag. Running a criminal background check and comparing it to the application or resume is a good way to see how forthright and honest the applicant is being with you.
An applicant’s history of job hopping is another red flag to watch out for. If he or she has demonstrated a pattern of quitting jobs every few months, chances are the applicant will do the same with you.
Running the applicant’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) report provides an employer with five years of the driver’s crash history and three years of roadside inspection data. PSP is a valuable tool to learn if the driver tends to exhibit unsafe driving behaviors, even if those behaviors have not led to a crash.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL
Motor carriers must verify a current or prospective employee’s drug and alcohol violations before permitting him or her to operate commercial motor vehicles on public roads. Carriers are required to use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to conduct queries.
Similar to past employment, verifying an applicant’s previous addresses and looking for gaps can raise red flags. For instance, if a gap of more than one month exists, ask why. Perhaps the applicant was incarcerated or has another reason.
An applicant’s credit history can shed light on any debt or collections issues. If the applicant has money problems, this should raise a red flag.
CALL TO ACTION
- Conduct criminal background checks on all applicants.
- Register for the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
- Subscribe to the FMCSA’s PSP program.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.