There are many excellent reasons to look into potential and current employee public records. Naturally, you want honest employees for your business' sake, but there have also been cases in which businesses paid high costs because they unknowingly hired dishonest employees. In one case, for example, burglars who murdered a homeowner turned out to be employees of a carpet cleaning service the homeowner had hired. In court, the carpet cleaning company was accused of "negligent hiring" and paid $11 million in damages because the burglars had criminal backgrounds.There are various levels of background check is in order for anyone who'll be working around children or in customers' homes, but a minimal to medium-level check makes sense for many other employees. With that in mind, consider these possible ways to look into employee public records:1. Use free information on employee public records.2. Pay for medium-level employee public records research.3. Hire a pro to conduct thorough employee public records research. Choose free employee and criminal background checks It is always free to look at court and public record office paperwork, either online or in person, but these records aren't always accurate. Still, for potential employees whose jobs warrant only cursory looks at their backgrounds, this is a viable option. As with all types of background checks, keep records (notes and printouts) of your attempts to look into employees' backgrounds. Pay for mid-level info on public records There are many online services offering more advanced information on court record searches, employment history records, bankruptcy records, criminal reports and similar information. Again, the details have the potential to be inaccurate or incomplete. Also, be sure to check your state's laws about what sort of information you, as an employer, may pay to discover about a potential or current employee. Hire an investigator to conduct a thorough employee public records research For high-level positions or positions in which dishonest employees could seriously harm your customers or your business, an exhaustive search is probably in order. Private investigators usually begin with public records and do further research when red flags appear. There are bogus agencies out there, however, so if a PI won't tell you where he or she got the information, or says the information is "proprietary," find another agency.