I read an interesting article today that dealt with the issue of background checks and the length, or anticipated length of time it should take to complete a screening. As a company we strive to return reports in a timely manner (usually within 72 hours), while ensuring maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the subject of the report. That said, a school district in Oklahoma employed a bus driver named Steven Steffens (aka Terry Cobon) from November 10, 2010 to April 11, 2011. The district has a background screening policy in place that requires employees to be fingerprinted and screened against the FBI’s criminal database. It took approximately five months for the Oklahoma State Department of Education to return completed results for Mr. Steffens, which determined that he was a convicted sex offender.
In 2010, the state of Oklahoma passed Senate Bill 2199 which mandates the fingerprinting of new school employees as part of the background screening process. The only agencies authorized to conduct these types of checks are the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Therefore, third-party background screening companies may not perform these types of searches for school districts. Also, according to Oklahoma law, an employer may hire an employee as temporary for up to 60 days pending the results of a background check. (An employee can cause a lot of damage in 60 days).