Red Cross Backs Off On Credit Checks For Volunteers

Red Cross logoCQ Magazine Public Service Editor Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, reports that the American Red Cross has announced changes to its controversial policy requiring background checks of all volunteers, including, in many cases, hams working through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Many hams were concerned about invasion of privacy, as the standard consent form granted permission not only for criminal background checks but also for credit checks and “mode of living” checks.

A spokeswoman for the Red Cross region serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, has confirmed the following changes in the background check policy:

* A new consent form will be developed that eliminates all references to credit checks and mode of living.

* People who signed the previous forms will not be subject to credit checks or mode of living checks. A new form will be developed for those positions requiring credit checks.

* Red Cross senior management will establish a policy to define which positions will require credit checks and how those checks will be evaluated.

WA3PZO will have additional details in his April “Public Service” column.

–Thanks, Stillwater ARA

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