More screening for licensed job holders may be coming


More screening for licensed job holders may be coming

Here’s something you might not know: nearly one out of three jobs in America now require a license of some sort.

And licensing doesn’t just include typical jobs like brokers or home contractors. Across the country, licensing requirements can touch everything from security guards and hair shampooers to home entertainment installers and florists.

But it’s not just licensing that these professionals may need to pursue in the future. Background screening may also be on tap for more professionals, thanks in part to a criminal case in South Carolina.

Todd Kohlhepp, a successful real estate agent living in Woodruff, S.C., pleaded guilty in July to committing seven murders over a 13-year period. During the years Kohlhepp committed his crimes, he was busy earning top-rated reviews from customers and hiding a serious criminal past. Sources say no background checks were completed during his tenure as a real estate agent. (It wasn’t a requirement when he applied for his license.)

This case rocked the region and caught the attention of lawmakers, some of whom believe it’s time to update the state’s licensing system.

Lawmakers there already added background screening and fingerprinting requirements for real estate agents, but another pending bill would add similar requirements for all of the state’s licensed occupations.

The bill gained only partial approval—the South Carolina House OK’d it, but the Senate did not—but that doesn’t mean the issue is forgotten. The bill can still come up for consideration in January. If approved, it would mean every licensed profession in the state—from hairdressers to plumbers—could be subject to background checks.

Does your profession require a license? If this trend edges its way across the country, will your company be ready?

ClearStar can help prepare your company for any change. Compliance is a moving target to which our experienced, accredited professionals and full-time legal counsel continually adjust. We can help you manage a program that meets ever-changing federal, state, and local laws. Contact us today to learn more.


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