As an avid investigator, I often get suspicious looks from friends, and occasionally they ask if I'm investigating them. I think sometimes it's easy for friends and family to get a little concerned you may be paying too much attention to what they are doing and we all have things we don't want the world to know about. From a personal standpoint, I must say that I do notice most things but not because I'm investigating. I notice them simply because that is how I am trained to be and how my mind works. I never purposely investigate any of my friends or family members for many reasons. It's too personal. I don't want to know their secrets, because it puts you in a position of secrecy with other family members which can ultimately destroy relationships.
That being said,
there are private investigators who take their work too far. While I
can somewhat understand their reasoning, I still believe their moral
values should hold them back at least occasionally.
example, I read several private investigation blogs, and this morning I
stumbled upon one that recommended retailers investigate their
employees, the employee's spouse and children "if warranted." Now I
can't image a situation that would warrant investigating or doing
background checks on children. Yes, kids steal, especially before they
are old enough to know better. However, I feel like investigations of an
employees' family members is a complete violation of privacy rights.
The family members are not under contract with the company, they have no
reason to expect that they will have their personal lives penetrated by
the company. Therefore they do have a reasonable right to the
expectation of privacy (under U.S. laws) in this situation, and an
investigation would be a violation of their rights.
that but it would be immoral for a store to investigate a potential
employees family members and then deny employment because their teenage
son had made the mistake of shoplifting or had ever taken something from
a friend or neighbor and been charged. Kids make stupid mistakes, but
this doesn't mean their parents should be punished and income potential
taken from them. Not only that, but what if the employees spouse had a
history that they hadn't told them about. I personally don't keep
secrets from my spouse, but there are couples out there who live by the
standard that what happened in the past is the past and they don't
discuss it. Does this mean they should be denied a job because their
spouse made a stupid mistake as a kid and stole something from the mall?
I don't believe it does.
Now before you bring up the argument
that juvenile records are sealed in the U.S., you should know that
private investigators and certain other law enforcement personnel can
still access the records. It's a privilege granted under the law to
enable them to do their jobs more effectively. In many situations they
do need to know about juvenile records and those records are quite
relevant to other cases, so sealed or not, they can be viewed -- just
not by the general public.
What are your thoughts on this? Do
companies have the right to investigate (or run background checks) on an
employee or potential employees' family members? What about children?
Should private investigations be done on children who have no ties to
the retail organization?