October 26th, 2015 | Sterling

5 Terrifying Things That Will Spook HR

5 Terrifying Things That Will Spook HR

Ghosts and goblins may not have the same frightening effect as they did when you were a youngster, but don’t fear, we’ve got you covered this Halloween with our list of terrifying topics for HR managers:


Nothing strikes fear in an HR manager like the dreaded words “ICE Audit”, and for good reason. One of the largest penalties, a staggering $605,250 fine was recently doled out to Hartmann Studios for their Form I-9 violations. The event design and production company used a “three-in-one” form and failed to sign Section 2 for approximately 390 employees. They also employed 205 unauthorized workers. Massive penalties for failing to comply with Form I-9 requirements have become more common and employers across the country have been learning this lesson the hard way.

Take the fear out of Form I-9 by using a third-party service provider. Look for a Form I-9 solution that has remediation capabilities to catch any errors and prevent costly penalties. Other helpful features include remote hiring capabilities, mobile-enabled technology, and cloud-based storage.


If an employee causes a motor vehicle accident while on duty that results in an injury or fatality, it can quickly become a HR Nightmare on Elm Street. The same goes for other accidents that occur as a result of an employee’s carelessness or negligence. In these situations, the employer can be held responsible for the damages if they did not appropriately screen their candidates or current employees.

There are a few ways HR managers can go about protecting their organizations from negligent hiring cases. First, every candidate should undergo a background check; and that background check should be pertinent to the position. For example, if an employee will drive a vehicle on behalf of the company, they should undergo a criminal record check and motor vehicle record check to identify any traffic infractions, suspensions, restrictions, accidents, and DUIs.


For companies in the retail sector and those that experience seasonal high’s and low’s, extra hiring may be required during certain times of the year. Although these temporary, casual, or seasonal workers may only work for a short period, they still pose a risk to employers as they often handle cash or inventory and in many cases, they interact with your customers. Conducting a mediocre background check or skipping the step altogether could have frightening consequences.


A simple mistake like hiring the wrong candidate can have a devastating impact on your organization. A bad hire will almost certainly result in lower productivity and diminished employee morale, not to mention occupational fraud, theft, or workplace violence.

Screening is a critical part of the hiring process. Even if a candidate looks good on paper and in person, there may be more to the story after you dig into their criminal history or past work experience. Background checks can help prevent that dreaded bad hire from joining your organization.


If the first four terrifying topics didn’t give you a scare, class action lawsuits certainly should. While the other scary subjects can be mostly prevented by conducting better background checks, preventing class action lawsuits is not as simple.

One way to prevent becoming the subject of a class action lawsuit is to ensure your screening policy and practices are compliant with the FCRA and any other relevant local legislation. Additionally, your practices should align with the guidance provided by the EEOC. Background checks should only be conducted when relevant to the position and in compliance with applicable legislation in order to prevent claims of discrimination. Most importantly, your screening policy and practices should be regularly reviewed by legal counsel.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.