Requirements for interpreters working as independent contractors through an agency
Thread poster: ceciterp
ceciterp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 14, 2007

Fellow Prozians,
I've been working for an interpreting and translating agency for close to two years and now they are implementing some new documentation requirements regarding the particular interpreter's credentials. These requirements are rather extensive and involve submitting a lot of personal sensitive information which I really have serious doubts is necessary. They say it is an industry requirement for all interpreters. For example, they require a yearly Child Abuse Investigation and a Criminal Background Check. Does any one out there know whether the industry in fact has this requirement? Thank you in advance for your input.
P.S. Other requirements are a copy of your social security card, your driver's license, copies of all of your credentials, to name but a few.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:58
German to English
+ ...
Not an "industry requirement" Dec 14, 2007

Interpretation per se is not a regulated profession, so I don't see how this could be an "industry requirement." However, it may well be that such requirements exist for certain government, court, social services, or hospital assignments.

As a matter of policy (or out of ignorance), some agencies may ask all their interpreters to submit this kind of information even though it is only required for certain jobs.

If you're not comfortable giving them all this info, you may want to contact them to clarify whether they really need it for the type of work that you do.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
ceciterp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
that's just it Dec 14, 2007

Thank you ,Norbert, for your response.
I contacted them to ask why so many requirements and their response was: it is required of all interpreters. As if to say that their agency is only following regulations. I am aware that teachers of young children need the Criminal Background and Child Abuse clearances, but interpreters? There is never a time when an interpreter is alone with a child in the course of interpreting.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lynda Tharratt  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
here in Canada... Dec 14, 2007

I had to supply a Criminal Background Check when I started interpreting. However, this is an agency requirement and not an industry one. I also work for other agencies and have not supplied this information. For my two cents worth, I think that it is good for the interpreter to cover themselves in the case of any eventuality as we are often put in very compromising positions by doctors, social service workers, courts etc. We are always told not to be left alone in a room with the NES if the client is not present but in reality, this happens all the time. Service providers with ignorance of the interpreter's role sometimes see us as a "buddy" for the NES or another person who can watch over them. I always try to leave the room if the service provider does but I have been left alone with people suspected of child abuse, psychiatric patients with violent tendencies, people with criminal records, etc. If anything were ever to happen, I would feel a bit better if it is immediately known that I have no criminal record so that I do not become a suspect. Of course, this agency sends interpreters for community services so, courts, hospitals, etc. The other agencies I work for mainly handle insurance claims so there is not as much risk.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Explanation Dec 14, 2007

Number one is to ask them for an explanation of why and under what authority they are imposing such requirements. As others have mentioned, I also have no knowledge of the existence of any such "industry requirements".

Certain clients they may contract with, such as government agencies, could have requirements by law. If so, then that situation should be explained and they should not be applicable unless you will be assigned to such agencies.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 00:58
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the agency... Dec 14, 2007

In Toronto, the Immigration Board where I sometimes work ran a background check on me, but none of the agencies I work for have asked me for anything like that...

Direct link Reply with quote
 
ceciterp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Dec 15, 2007

My sincere thanks to all of you who responded to my question. Knowing that there are no such blanket requirements of interpreters I'll feel more confident in requesting detailed information as to the reason and authority for any such future requests for sensitive information.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
biling2
Spanish to English
Re: Requirements for interpreters and background checks Jan 3, 2008

ceciterp wrote: ... they require a yearly Child Abuse Investigation and a Criminal Background Check.

By law, any employee or paid volunteer that works in the presence of children must get a background check. The Child abuse investigation and Crimiunal background check give them the flexibility to send any of their interpreters to work at any government, social service, immigration office, or school. Making all employees get the background checks really simplifies their administration, because they do not have to track and schedule work around employees who do not have the background check. It also gives your company the blanket acceptance by corporations that have their own background check policies. And finally, any company if foolish to bear the risk of employees without background checks. Law suites for negligence are very costly. One bad employee can literally destroy a company.

As a job candidate or employee, your privacy rights are protected by several laws. According to BackgroundSearch.com, these laws include:

1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
2. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
3. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
4. Different states have different legal frameworks, such as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act which exists in California.

Generally, employers always get written permission, especially if they do a credit check. The FCRA is very strict on this and can cause the employer a lot of trouble and fines if he does not have your permission for a credit check. However, information like criminal records is available to the public and he does not need your permission to check it. If your employer does the background check himself, and does not pay an outside company to do it, he is allowed to get almost all the information that he can get, without your permission.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
ceciterp  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 4, 2008

Thank you, biling2, for your thoughtful response to my query.
I do see the points you made.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Requirements for interpreters working as independent contractors through an agency

Advanced search







LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs