Who’s watching your kids: Summer hiring practices

The Noble Park pool is a popular place for kids during the summer and for high school students working as lifeguards.

Interim Paducah Human Resources Director Steve Doolittle said they all must pass pre-employment drug, alcohol and criminal background checks. They are even randomly screened during employment.

“We continue to put them in the random pool, and they are subject to random testing as well because of the element of working with children,” Doolittle said.

All employees go through the same screening process at the Parks Department, but hiring policies are often not the same from agency to agency.  The Paducah Symphony did not run a background check on volunteer Lawrence Varner. He was arrested in 2009 for theft and didn’t disclose it to at time he was hired. Board President Roger Truitt said he’s considering changing that policy for unpaid positions.

“I think what we are going into the process of now recovering and developing something that says when and how and why should we do background checks,” Truitt said.

Background checks can be expensive and may include credit history, criminal history and past employment verification

Doolittle said they take time and require a staff to handle: something nonprofits may not have resources for. “I can understand why a small nonprofit may not think that that’s necessary, always, to do.  But, we do them,” he told Local 6.

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