Family of Woman Murdered during Appliance Delivery Calls for Background Checks on In-Home Service Workers

Criminal Background Check

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The family of an elderly woman brutally murdered during an appliance delivery at her home in Boca Raton, Florida, in August of 2019 has called for “state – and possibly federal – legislation to require comprehensive background checks for in-home service workers, as well as continuous monitoring for any arrests and serious traffic infractions that occur during employment,” according to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the family of Evelyn “Evy” Udell – a 75-year-old woman who was having a new washer and dryer that she ordered from Best Buy delivered and installed when Boca Raton police said Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, beat her with a mallet and set her on fire – want to “require retailers and subcontractors to put at-home service workers through extensive background checks before hiring them.”

In addition to calling for background checks on in-home service workers, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the Udell family filed a civil lawsuit against Best Buy, J.B. Hunt, and X.M. Delivery Service since Udell was unaware Best Buy contracted the delivery of her products to J.B. Hunt, a shipping services company in Arkansas, which then contracted with X.M. Delivery Service, a company in Miami, Florida, that employed Lachazo.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that “it is unclear whether Lachazo ever underwent a background check at X.M. Delivery Service” since he was arrested in January of 2018 for stealing a cellphone but that charge was dismissed and “it is unclear whether Lachazo began his job before or after his arrest – and what, if any, background checks he underwent during his hiring.” No laws exist requiring the vetting of in-home workers.

In addition, the Udell family has partnered with Lucia Bone, founder of the nonprofit organization Sue Weaver CAUSE (Commit to Always Using Screened Employees) that “advocates for comprehensive background checks for service workers.” The organization is named after Bone’s sister who was murdered in her home in 2001 by a service worker sent to clean air ducts who was a twice-convicted sex offender on parole.

Melissa Sorenson, executive director of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) – a nonprofit trade group representing the screening industry – said in a statement that “some states require background checks for certain licensed positions” but the PBSA “is not aware of any broad-based background screening requirement for all in-home workers,” the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global provider of background checks – offers a complimentary white paper titled “Background Screening of Extended Workforce Necessary to Compete in Modern Economy” to show employers why they need to perform background checks on temporary, contract, and volunteer workers just like they do on full-time workers. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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