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NFL Arrests vs. General Arrests

Many sports fans hold the perception that NFL players have more run-ins with the law than the rest of the nation. That's untrue, according to an NFL Arrests Database compiled by the San Diego Union-Tribune, which revealed that since 2000, NFL players have an arrest rate of 1 in every 45 – or 2.2 percent. However, FBI statistics from 2009 show that fans watching the NFL games are more likely to be arrested than the players on the field. The FBI's reports the national arrest rate for all arrests was 1 in 23 – or 4.3 percent.

The number of NFL players arrested for crimes more serious than speeding tickets since 2000 came to a total of 573. The arrest rate was calculated by accounting that the 32 NFL teams carry a roster of 53 players for a total of 1,696 players. The NFL's arrest statistics cannot be considered comprehensive in part because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive.

The draft and screening players

In addition to "on the field" talents, NFL recruits also consider "off the field" behavior, including


arrest records, when deciding which college players to draft. Just as other employers, the football teams may run pre-employment screening on their prospective employees who could be future players. 73 percent of employers – nearly three out of four – conduct criminal background checks for all job candidates, according to a 2010 survey conducted by SHRM.

The annual NFL draft is the process used to hire new employees for the NFL teams. Similar to any perceptive employer that hopes to prevent wasting time and money on unsuitable staff members, the NFL utilizes background screenings to safeguard themselves and their investments.

The NFL uses the same precautions as small businesses

Whether the business is a professional football team or a small business, or the job candidate is a potential football hero or an mid-level manager, pre-employment background screening can help to ensure a safe work environment and help to avoid the costs in time and money of a bad hires.

New E-Verify Bill Introduced

On Oct. 12, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) introduced H.R. 3160, which would make the federal government's E-Verify pilot program permanent. Broun's bill would also allow employers to use E-Verify to check the work authorization of currently employed persons in addition to applicants for new employment. The bill also establishes a penalty of $200 to $2,000 for employers who knowingly accept false documentation for employment purposes.

Statistics show that:
  • In as many as 40,000 documented incidents of on-the-job violence, the victims knew their attackers intimately.
  • It’s been estimated that businesses lose millions of dollars annually because of the consequences of domestic violence.
  • More than 70 percent of Human Resources and Security personnel surveyed by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence reported an incident of domestic violence occurring in their workplace.

How Domestic Violence Affects the Workplace

As an employer, you have reasons to be concerned about domestic violence entering the workplace aside from safety issues for victims:

  • A violent incident at work could escalate to the point where not only the intended victim but also co-workers might be endangered.
  • Abusers often disrupt the workplace by delivering threats by phone, email, or fax, making it difficult for employees to perform job-related duties.
  • Women who are abused at home may have higher rates of depression and absenteeism, exhibit poor job performance, have higher healthcare costs, and have substance abuse problems.
  • Domestic violence acted out in the workplace could also result in vandalism and property damage.
Still not convinced you should get involved? Although it is essentially a personal issue, there are legal implications to the victim's employer.

To begin with, the OSHA Act requires employers to provide a safe workplace for all employees. In addition, if you are put on notice that domestic violence exists and the threats are affecting the employee at work, you must act on that knowledge or your company could face costly liability should an incident occur on your premises. And family and medical leave laws may require you to grant leave to employees who are coping with domestic violence.

Signs of Domestic Violence

Managers and supervisors are frequently among the first people in the workplace to become aware that an employee is the victim of domestic violence. You should look for employees who:
  • Have unexplained bruises or bruises that don’t seem to fit professed injuries
  • Wear inappropriate clothing that may be covering up injuries
  • Seem distracted at work
  • Have a high rate of absenteeism
  • Appear upset, anxious, or depressed
  • Receive repeated upsetting phone calls at work

If you notice any of these signs, you should:
  • Talk to the employee privately, tell the employee what you’ve noticed, and express concern about possible abuse
  • Be supportive and refer the employee to available company or community support
  • Report the situation to HR and security personnel (otherwise keeping the information confidential)

What Can You Do?

To safeguard employees against domestic violence incidents on the job, there are additional basic security measures your organization may wish to take:
  • Encourage employees to notify their managers and supervisors about abuse, stalking, restraining orders, etc., and to provide photos of batterers to security personnel.
  • Create a buddy or escort system to walk employees at risk to and from the parking lot or public transportation. Consider offering nearby parking spots for threatened employees.
  • Provide a portable alarm that the employee can activate if confronted by an attacker at work.
  • Provide counseling services or inform the employee about services available in the community.
  • Make sure procedures limiting access to your workplace (IDs, visitor sign-in and escort, etc.) are effective and enforced.
  • Transfer threatened employees from frontline customer service areas to back offices or even to other worksites, if necessary, until the problem is resolved.
  • If possible, adjust the employee’s work schedule and/or grant leave if the employee needs to take time off for medical assistance, legal assistance, court appearances, counseling, relocation, or to make other necessary arrangements to enhance personal safety.
If you employ both the victim and the abuser, you can deal with the attacker under your organization’s workplace violence policy and discipline or even discharge the attacker. Of course, consult your company counsel or an employment attorney first.

Contact True Hire today for accurate employee screening.

True Hire, 11726 Cleveland Avenue
Uniontown, Ohio 44685
T: +1 800 262 7301


True Hire sets the standard for providing high quality background checks, drug testing, and applicant tracking systems to HR professionals.