Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On January 7, 2020, Representative Mike Caruso (R-89th District) filed the “Evy Udell Public Safety Act” (House Bill 1129) in the Florida House of Representatives that would require all home delivery workers to undergo background checks. The bill is named for a woman who police say was killed by a home delivery worker in 2019.
HB 1129 would require “home delivery service providers” who provide services for retailers to complete local and national criminal background checks for their home delivery workers regardless of whether the workers intend to enter a consumer’s home. The required background checks would include:
- A search of the Multi-State Criminal Database Records Information or some other similar commercial multi-jurisdictional nationwide criminal database.
- The validation of any records found during the database search through a primary source search.
- A search of the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) maintained by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
Under HB 1129, home delivery service providers may provide home delivery services before the completion of the required background checks. However, pending the results of the screening, these home delivery service providers may not enter the home or be unsupervised with a consumer.
HB 1129 defines “home delivery service provider” as a person or entity who “contracts for or engages in the loading, transportation or shipment, or unloading of household goods as part of a home delivery service. The term does not include a postal, courier, envelope, or package service.”
The call for stronger background checks on home delivery workers comes after 75-year-old Evelyn “Evy” Udell was allegedly beaten with a mallet and set on fire by a 21-year-old home delivery worker while having a new washer and dryer that she ordered from Best Buy installed at her Boca Raton home in August of 2019.
In October of 2019, the Udell family filed a civil lawsuit against Best Buy and two companies contracted and sub-contracted to make the delivery since Udell was unaware Best Buy had contracted the delivery of her products to these two companies. One of the contractors employed the suspected murderer.
The Udell family has also partnered with Lucia Bone, founder of the Sue Weaver CAUSE (Commit to Always Using Screened Employees) that advocates for comprehensive background checks for service workers. The nonprofit organization is named after Bone’s sister who was murdered in her home in 2001 by a service worker.
Contracted workers are part of an “extended workforce” that includes temps, on-demand workers, and other non-standard employment arrangements. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates the extended workforce can “range from less than five percent to more than a third of the total employed labor force.”
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – offers an extended workforce screening solution and a white paper on why screening the extended workforce is necessary to help home delivery service providers ensure safety. 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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