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College Football Player Dies During Workout, Strength Coach Not Certified

Employment Screening Services is a company that prides ourselves on ensuring your organization hires the right man or woman for the job. The way we go about this is by verifying and checking the background of your potential new hire, and ensuring that they are completely honest and compliant with your organization’s regulations. Education and employment verification is something we specialize in. The following story is a very tragic one.

This past June, a teenager attended his football workout. The temperature was 81 degrees. A hot day, but nothing out of the ordinary. Running the workouts that day would be Ross Bowsher, the head football sports performance coach. Tyler Heintz, 19, was enrolled in early summer classes and preparing to fulfill his long term goal of playing division 1 football at Kent State. As an incoming freshman, he had yet to even strap on the pads, as this was a summer preseason workout, to show dedication and commitment.

That morning, Tyler Heintz would collapse around 9am. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

A tragic story of a young man destined to fulfill his dreams. The cause of death was initially undetermined, but has now been determined was due to hyperthermia (inability of the body to properly cool itself). This was one of 35 college football players that have died since 2000. 29 of those deaths were related to outside preseason conditioning or offseason drills.

One of the things the NCAA has done to combat this problem is requiring all strength coaches to be certified by a sanctioning body. This was a change made in 2015, after Bowsher had been employed at Purdue and Arkansas Tech. He clearly had no intention of harming any of the players, as he was employed to strengthen and condition his players. He was entering his 2nd year as the strength coach at Kent State. 

Following Heintz’s death, both certification bodies, the National Strength Coaches Association and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association reached out to CBS Sports to tell them that Bowsher was not certified by either association.

A teenager died during a workout with an uncertified strength coach.

So what does this have to do with background screening? Well, what we do is prevent organizations from hiring someone who is unqualified. Depending on the industry, which all have different regulations, we check and maintain that everything on their work history is verified, and ensure that any obligatory accreditations are met. This helps prevent lawsuits. Lawsuits like the one that will probably be instituted on the case of Tyler Heintz. Though the coach had been certified in “Personal Training” from IUPUI, which is a program designed to prepare students for accreditation tests, he was never formally certified.

This not only causes a bad look for the University and it’s administration, but is going to lead to a hefty lawsuit. The Conditioning Coaches Association Executive Director has this to say about the matter.

“Today, the way liability is, if you’re not certified by an accredited organization you’re walking on thin ice.” Lawsuits could be $20 million-$30 million dollars. I can’t imagine hiring someone without the appropriate credentials.”

A tragic story of a young man losing his life. An unfortunate example of how improper hiring practices and failing to ensure all regulations are verified can end up costing massive amounts of money to an organization.

Embezzled For Years | Local Dealership Looted for Over $1 Million

 

How well do you know your employees? Background checks and pre employment drug testing can certainly help weed out the majority of potential bad hires, but what about existing employees? Recently right here in Buffalo NY, an unfortunate case of broken trust is haunting a local automotive dealership.

Way back in 2001, a woman began working for the dealership. We can’t know whether or not she was given a background check back then, but she has worked for the company ever since. Even if the dealership had run a background report, and done a drug test during the hiring process, a lot can happen, and change, in 15 years. When someone works with the same company for 15 years, and they do a good job, everyone begins to trust them.

So imagine this, the 55 year old woman who’s been with the company for 15 years, serving as Controller for the last 8, has embezzled over $1,000,000!  This nightmare became a reality for the owners of Towne Automotive in Orchard Park. Apparently the woman had been stealing money since 2012. She went almost 5 years without anyone even batting an eye.

It wasn’t until a credit card company called the dealership inquiring about a credit card that wasn’t being used by the dealership that anyone even asked a question. It’s safe to assume the woman was in contact with the credit card company directly, and must have slipped up in some way. But, that didn’t stop her from taking a 7 figure sum over the course of 4 years, right under the other employees noses.

What’s worse, is that an attorney told WGRZ Channel 2 that in most embezzlement cases, the estimated total of money at the time of discovery is only a third or a half of what the actual total is at the conclusion of a case.

“Usually when you first find out about an embezzlement case, it usually then increases by magnitudes of two or three as to what the final amount is in my experience, so if this is the initial amount by the time they get through all the books and find out if she and or other people were also engaged in further embezzlement, it could be a much higher amount,”

This is cold reminder of the reality of what can happen if you don’t pre-screen all potential employees, and keep a close watch over ALL employees. This is how trust is built, over time and experience. Step one is to establish trust with all new hires through verifying they are who they say they are, and ensuring they are drug free and safe to work alongside your other team members. Step two, especially with employees handling large sums of money, is to pay attention to all the details. Letting someone’s leash out, just because they’ve been with the company for x amount of years can cost you large sums of money. In this case, millions of dollars.

For more information on pre employment background screening and various forms of drug testing for employees, contact Employment Screening Services today. We have worked with companies all over WNY, as well as around the country. With a background in law enforcement, we pride ourselves on being here to protect and serve all employers, to ensure they hire, and retain the most trustworthy candidates to help their business grow.

How a Potential Hire’s Driving Records Give Important Insight Into Responsibility

A quality and comprehensive employee screening processes has increasingly become an integral cog in both filling job openings and establishing the trusted, and effective human capital needed to run a successful business and/organization.  While it’s common knowledge that companies use criminal and credit history during the screening process, driving records are often overlooked and underutilized.  Some employers may not fully understand the potential benefits of including driving records in the hiring process, but in reality, these records can yield a myriad of information that can signal problems down the road and should be taken into account by employers.

Temperament and Behavior

Driving records can provide a window into an applicant’s temperament and character — sometimes even more so than a traditional sit down interview.  Infractions or chronic traffic issues can mean behavioral trends and provide a candid look into the life of a potential employee.  Does a record implicate road rage or is there a regular occurrence of accidents?  Aggressive traits can translate into aggressive driving.  A potential hire who is a calm, careful and responsible driver is not going to have a long list of traffic violations and/or accidents.  Driving records that include a laundry list of infractions are riddled with red flags.  Think of it this way.  If an applicant can’t be trust with your vehicle, why would you trust them with your business?

But Isn’t Drug and Criminal Record Screening Enough?

While there is a plethora of information that can be gained from driving records, one of the main reasons hiring managers use them is to determine if an applicant is reliable and safe on the road — not to mention shedding light on responsibility and dependability levels.  For jobs that entail travel or transit via company vehicles, employers are rightfully interested in assessing the potential risk factor behind the wheel.  Needles to say if an applicant has a questionable driving record, it could bring high insurance rates.  Not only can insurance rates rise, but employers have to worry about liability.  The last issue any company needs is an employee being responsible for injury another individual.

No Show

Another important factor that driving records show goes a long way into determining general responsibility and professionalism.  If a potential hire’s history shows a repeated failure to appear in court, what makes you think they’ll show up to work or perform with the level of responsibility you expect out of a paid employee?  If an applicant hasn’t taken a summons into court seriously, it raises a substantial red flag.  If an individual is willing to blow off a judge, it’s time to questions where work falls in their hierarchy of priorities?

ESS offers the most comprehensive and effective packages of advanced background checks — From employment drug testing in Buffalo, NY and NYS  license verification to hair drug tests. For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Small Businesses Hesitant to Report Employee Theft

A recent study on small businesses reporting employee theft to authorities may surprise you.  The research studied surveys of 314 small business owners in the Cincinnati, Ohio region and covered an eclectic mix of industries including manufacturing, service, restaurant, retail and finance/banking.  30 in-person interviews were also included.

The study’s author, Jay Kennedy, published his results as a University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student.  His research shows that most small business owners decline to solicit police involvement when an employee is caught pilfering.  64 percent of small businesses have experienced theft by an employee although just 16 percent opted to report the incident to police. The study sheds light on the downfalls that could occur, should  you not include some sort of background check or pre employment screening in your company’s hiring process.

Four main reasons were offered as to why employers don’t report theft.

Victim-less Crime

Many owners won’t involve authorities because the crime isn’t seen as involving enough victims to be worth the time, trouble and/or resources required to advance through court processes.  Firing the employee is viewed as adequate enough.

Legal Counsel

Legal representation often advises against moving forward premised on required costs outweighing financial outcome.  The study points to one company that lost $200,000.  After the employee was successfully convicted, they were put on probation and required to pay just $50 a month in restitution.  Essentially, the business will never come close to receiving full restitution.

Relationships

Often, an employee that is caught stealing has worked at the business for years and become embedded with the business owner emotionally.  They sometimes are regarded as family or friend and have spent some amount of leisure time together outside work or know each other’s families.  The report claims that owners often want to put the incidence in the rear-view mirror and move forward as soon as possible.

Ineffective Justice System

Small business owners may view the criminal justice system as being incompetent or futile.  The study reports that employee theft often involves complex finances and a typical police officer isn’t viewed as having the skill set to deploy adequate intervention.  Additionally, small business owners often believe police forces are inundated with more stereotypical duties — such as patrolling the streets.

Cash was found to be the most common item stolen — making up 40 percent of small business theft.  Cash thefts involved in the study fell between just $5 up to $2 million with a median amount of $20,000 and Kennedy suggests the more money stolen has a direct relationship to the level of trust in the employee involved — both concurrently increasing.

Furthermore, Kennedy questioned a common theory that employee theft is based on lack of personal financial resources — pressing medical issues or other desperate circumstances.  Instead, he says the crimes are premised in what he calls “lifestyle enhancement,” with the convicted unable to account for how the money had been spent.

Besides cash, other items stolen were products (18 percent), production materials (12 percent), tools (8 percent) and equipment (6 percent).  Most thefts were found to have taken place over time, in lieu of a single occurrence.  61 percent of the thefts ranged from two weeks up to 20 years with the median being 16 months while most schemes were only uncovered by luck.

60 percent of employees identified as most likely to take part in employee theft were general or first-line in nature, meaning personnel at the lower rungs of the business that didn’t hold management or supervisory responsibilities.  Approximately 20 percent were managers/executives while the rest were made up in small numbers of accountants, bookkeepers, receptionists, secretaries and billing professionals.  Kennedy says only 2 percent of cashiers, who typically handle cash, were likely to take part in employee theft.

The damaging repercussions of employee theft is a process no business owner wants to go through.  ESS’s experience in the criminal background check process goes beyond the baseline.  Our reputation for  an advanced background check process can include hair drug tests, license verification or even 5 and 10 panel drug tests and offers employers the transparency to make the right choices.  We can cater to whatever unique safeguards your company requires.  Finding the best employees is a process and ESS is here to help you along the way.