School girl accuses construction worker of rape

Could one or more of your employees be dishonest, distrustful, even violent?

I read an article about a sixth-grade girl accusing a construction worker of raping her in a bathroom on her school campus. It was determined by the police that the girl was lying and thank goodness it didn't really happen but it has brought on a lot of questions about construction workers being present on school campuses when the students are also present.

Even though it didn't really happen, there is fallout...

And, as a parent I have to honestly say that I agree with all of the suggestions being made by other parents but as a contractor (or past contractor) I recognize that there still remains the question as to whether or not some of the changes are reasonable (but then my parent side kicks in again and says nothing is unreasonable when it comes to the safety of my kids)...

A list of some of the ideas:

  • Install a separate entrance to a workzone and require the construction workers to use that entrance only, and barring from the project any worker who doesn't use the special entrance (which could cause a job to suddenly be short on manpower).

  • Require employee background checks, and fingerprinting of contractors and their employees, just like the schools require of teachers and other school workers. In all honesty, having hired (and then fired) some guys that I found out later that I would most definitely not want around my children, this is something contractors should be doing already.

  • Restrict workers from areas where children might be present (which may be possible provided the school has a place to put the children when the work that's being done is in an area where the children are normally present).

  • Restrict construction work to non-school hours such as night, weekend, holiday and summer hours (which would most likely greatly increase the expense of already expensive union-priced work, not to mention complaints from neighbors).

  • Require children to travel in pairs (which could cost a child the expense of missing part of a lesson). Require more teachers in the hallways between classes (this has always been a huge duh-huh with us).

Depending on what state you're in, chances are you were fingerprinted and your background was investigated by the licensing board as part of your licensing procedure.

So why not employee background checks?

All it takes is that one bad apple to cost you big time.

Be informed and know who you're hiring by conducting background checks and even possibly running fingerprints. It's not enough anymore to have a potential employee fill out an application, interview him, and then contact past employers. Heck, these days it's a good idea to check up on those who are already working for you!

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