Former Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is alleged to have sexually-abused at least eight boys, applied and was rejected for a volunteer football coaching position at Juniata College in 2010 according to a report by the Associated Press. The AP report, which can be found in an article published on USAToday.com, noted “officials at Juniata College said Wednesday that Sandusky applied for the volunteer football coaching job in May 2010 and rejected the following month after a background check showed a high school where Sandusky previously volunteered was investigating him. Juniata spokesman John Wall said the college was not informed of the details of the investigation or the existence of a grand jury, but based on the report informed its coaches Sandusky was not to have contact with the program.”
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm advocates for employers to conduct background checks of prospective employees (adhering to federal and state laws on background checks and related issues). A review of the United States Small Business Administration advisory on pre-employment background checks is a good read for employers. The following is an excerpt from the online advisory:
When you are hiring employees, you might need a bit more information on a candidate to make an informed decision. However, you do not have unlimited rights to investigate an applicant’s background and personal life. Employees have a right to privacy in certain areas. If this right is violated, they can take legal action against you. Therefore, it is important to know what is permitted when following up on a potential employee’s background and work history.