Hiring new drivers means accepting a certain degree of risk and potential liability, as any new employee could make major mistakes on the job. Some people have a history of making mistakes that could impact their reliability or overall safety at the wheel. A proper background check is crucial to making informed choices about whom to add to a company’s employee roster.
Transportation companies are often on the hunt for new talent, as there is often more freight to drive than there are competent and skilled drivers to handle available routes. Unfortunately, adding the wrong worker to a roster might mean a crash that leads to a lawsuit and a big insurance claim that drives up a company’s liability coverage premiums.
A thorough background check is an important part of making the right hiring decisions, but there are two important factors that California transportation companies need to keep in mind when executing them.
Background check laws constantly change
California laws often focus on supporting workers, and there are some rules limiting what companies can do when performing background checks. For example, with certain rare exceptions, only recent issues should influence employment decisions. Any relevant records about a worker from within the last seven years could influence a company’s hiring decisions and liability.
With a few exceptions for safety-critical positions that require public trust, state law does not mandate background checks before companies hire employees, and the law may soon make that even clearer following legislative efforts. In fact, worker protection rules limit what companies can do when performing background checks.
Driving records aren’t all that matter
There are numerous kinds of background checks that transportation companies can perform. Obviously, a review of someone’s recent driving history is important, as someone may have had citations that could be reason for concern.
Criminal records can also be important to consider, as someone with a history of addiction or involvement in drug trafficking, for example, might do unsafe things while working that could put the company at risk. Companies often also look at credit reports and even someone’s history of workers’ compensation claims.
When hiring workers, it is important to understand the risk they could create for a company and also what rules limit a company’s background check and research process. Being fastidious when hiring new talent and also carefully complying with California employment laws is important for transportation companies that are hoping to onboard new commercial drivers efficiently, effectively and while mitigating risk.