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Donald Wilson Interview: Co-founder “Safest Hires Inc” on California Caregiver Background Checks

Therese Johnson CEO, of Senior Care of Sacramento, on her Money Radio 105.5 FM’s “Senior Moments” radio segment with host Jim Chong, interviews Donald Wilson, co-founder of SafestHire Inc. ( The focus is on the enormous lawsuit risk and $10,000 per incident fine risk for business owners not complying, to the letter, with the state of California’s extremely strict employee background check laws. This is of critical importance to anyone offering caregiver services.



Jim Chong: We are very excited to have with us Therese Johnson of Senior Care of Sacramento. She has a special guest that is with SafestHires and they’re gonna be talking about the importance of background checks of employers and employees. So I want go ahead and introduce Therese Johnson of Senior Care of Sacramento, Therese?

Therese Johnson: Hi Jim, thank you and lovely to hear Mary talk and right after the show, I’m gonna go on and sign up for the caregiver conference. I’m very excited to be attending.

Jim Chong: Great!

Therese Johnson: And helping out, we’re gonna have a massage therapist there and a Reiki therapist for the caregivers, they’re gonna be there. I’ll see everyone out there and am looking forward to seeing Mary. Yes, we are talking about the importance of background checks for caregivers today. We, it’s a very important issue, I’ve been reading a different articles about it lately on some concerns about the California state’s conducting their background checks. Most of them are done with Live Scan and there’s some issues surrounding that apparently. So that’s why I’ve invited Donald Wilson to come and talk about that – are you there Don?

Donald Wilson: I am Therese, so how are you today?

Therese Johnson: Hi, good! Thanks for joining us. So Donald is with SafestHires, which is a veteran owned employment background checks company. Their services help insure that companies are hiring trustworthy employees and subcontractors and they are a great solution for small and medium size businesses because the range tends to be 15 to 30 percent less than most other screening companies. And Donald himself is a veteran who served in the navy. So I’m very happy to have him here with us today. So Donald, can you tell us what is the real value of a pre-employment background check?

Donald Wilson: Well, there’s a couple. I think it’s just overall protection for both the employer and client of the employer. So under the law every employer has what’s called the “duty of care”. And under what a lot of people we’re talking about, people who deal with the elderly and rehab and things like that. There’s actually something, I don’t know if it’s been completely defined what it is, but those employers are considered to have a quote “higher duty of care” unquote. And so what happens is if you end up hiring somebody that ends up injuring one of your clients, then you will often get a negligent hiring lawsuit, and those lawsuits have been, employers have been losing those to the tune of over 70 percent and about $1.6 million dollars per lawsuit. So, hopefully, you just wanna make sure your clients are safe anyway, but that makes it even more, so what a real value of a pre-employment background check for an employer is to make sure that the employer’s abiding by the law of duty of care, second make sure your clients are safe and helps prevents you from being a subject of a lawsuit. And three it helps with employee morale and just a workplace in general when everybody in that workplace knows that everybody belongs there, that one is not a danger to the other or the client or the employer. So really there is this growing industry of going after employers and that’s what we have, the courts have ruled that if you do a pre-employment background check, you have met a duty of care standard. So it really protects the employer those ways.

Therese Johnson: Awesome! And so I know there’s a little bit of difference between what your company does and the mandated Live Scan that the assisted living are required to provide. They have to have their caregivers fingerprinted, but sometimes I know the care the assistance living also need, if their caregivers are gonna be driving their clients, they need to make sure that they have a driver’s license and it’s good standing, or maybe they wanna do drug testing, so these are other services that aren’t mandated by California that your company does, and so it can be kind of one-stop shopping, sometimes a little bit easier to hire your service, and I know that it’s fairly reasonable. So what makes SafestHires different from other background check companies?

Donald Wilson: Well the really big big important part for employers is that there’s a couple of thousand background check companies out there, but just because you order a background check from them doesn’t mean that they’re complaint with the laws. So what we like to specialize in is making sure that whatever jurisdiction we’re going into, your complaint with that jurisdiction’s laws. For instance, California is far more severe than even the federal government. Any violation of the law that you do on a background check when doing it is the maximum 10 thousand dollar fine per incident, so, for instance, let’s say you hired me there is never even any damage done to me. I work for you, if they find out you’ve done something wrong they can come in and look at everybody you’ve interviewed in the last five years and class action lawsuit the employer to the tune of 10 thousand dollars per violation, even to someone that no damage was done to. So most people, there are business owners that have got lots of things in their mind they’re just trying to do their due diligence, and they have no idea that their background company is not complaint, and if anybody starts looking into, they’re gonna be in a world of hurt. They’re just trying to do business trying to help people out, especially in the industry that we’re talking about, the last thing they needed is the headache of “Oh, I have a background check company that knows nothing about compliance.” So that’s the big thing, and then also we run lower overhead so were able to give specific service. Anybody comes on with us gets at least two customer service representatives, and we tend to run 15 to 30 percent cheaper than other background check companies. So they get good compliance without us charging you a premium price – that is really what makes us different.

Therese Johnson: And I know that you are checking for different counties, not just in the state of California, so if an employee has been living somewhere else you can check in those areas, and you were telling me that certain in counties it all depends on if they report to the state or the agency, federal agency, and so it all depends on how good their reporting is, and if the county doesn’t report that, often then they’re not gonna be up to date, so your records are much more up to date maybe then a lot of the federal records.

Donald Wilson: Right! The thing about the Live Scan that a lot of people don’t realize is that say you’re getting your information from the California Department of Justice – they won’t report an out of state crime. So let’s say I said I did elderly care in Colorado; you have no idea from the California Department of Justice that I might have been convicted of elder abuse. Now hopefully you want to take that up on the FBI database, but if that county doesn’t upload to the FBI, you’re not gonna find out from the FBI either. Live Scan’s just gonna give you a green light “you’re okay” and you have no idea who you’re hiring.

Jim Chong: Well you know this is really an incredible thing. We’re gonna have to have you back as well. I appreciate so much you being on the show – this is a really important topic. Therese I just wanna see – you wanna summarize? And just definitely I wanna have a Don back just to talk about this issue.

Therese Johnson: Yeah, so I just really want assisted living’s to know about their service because it can benefit, they have a big issue right now with that Live Scan can take a while, sometimes two weeks or a month to get back, and if they have a caregiver that’s been hired, and they know they’ve already have their Lives Scan fingerprint done, but they can’t hire them till they get their test result, they can use Donald’s service SafestHires and it only takes them 2 or 3 days, and so they’ve done their due diligence knowing that that caregiver had already worked for another company and they do have their fingerprints but they can go ahead and put them to work instead of waiting till they get the Live Scan report. So that’s a big benefit for the caregivers. So I wanna thank Donald Wilson, the co-founder of SafestHires, for being here today. If you have any question for him you can reach him at 916-899-8144 or you can contact SafestHires on their website at

Jim Chong: Thank you so much Therese Johnson and Mr. Wilson and I think this is important information definitely. Thank you so much Therese Johnson. Of course you could find out more about Therese Johnson for placement and other information for seniors at

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