California has always received all manner of media attention and it does seem they like to make a splash no matter how controversial. The issues in this article aren’t new, but might bankrupt your business. If you are in California, are an employer, and have ever used the Megan’s Law Website, beware that you don’t embroil yourself in legal woes that could potentially leave you up to $25,000 short of where you started.
Despite the need for criminal background checks, any information you find on this website may not, with certain exceptions, be used against someone who is applying for a job not related to education, child care, etc. Despite the fact that this information is out there, and in your face, you are limited by the legal system in place. To be able to use it, you must provide solid evidence that you are protecting persons at risk, such as school children, toddlers, the elderly, etc. In other words your employees aren’t exactly considered at risk.
You may wonder why this website, maintained by the California Department of Justice, is accessible to the general public if the information isn’t legally allowed to be used by employers in many cases. Well, one of the best uses for the Megan’s Law Website is to the educational community which is always in need of volunteers, and educators, and has lately been in the news for hiring personnel with prior criminal convictions.
Many schools and educational facilities have s standard procedure in place to screen everyone who comes into contact with minors in any way shape or form. However, even so, registered offenders are being hired due to incomplete records, oversight, or just straight up negligence. The site just helps to eliminate one more chink in the armor.
The Megan’s Law website also serves the private community if someone wants to know if a sex offender is living in the neighborhood. I would certainly want to be informed about who’s living in my neighborhood if the kids are going to be running around and hanging out with their friends.
If you are an employer looking to use the site, you need to check out Mondaq.com for an article that helps explain the law, website, and the ramifications of use. Basically, make sure your ducks are in a row, or things could get really ugly, really fast.
Categories: State News and Tips