What Do Employers Look For In A background Check?

Most companies employ a professional background check company to do their employment screening.

To be sure, criminal records checks are a significant portion of almost all background checks.

Since companies are often found liable for the actions of their employees, companies must conduct a quality criminal record background check to insure that they don’t hire people that may be a danger to the public or the other employees and clients of the company.

A comprehensive employment background check will include:

A criminal records background check

Verification of past employment

Educational Verifications

Reference Verifications

Identity Verification

Verification of  legality to work through I-9 s and social security number verifications

Driving Records are sometimes used to determine an employees ability to follow rules.

Credit Histories are also looked at for some jobs, particularly those with access to company funds.

Some jobs also require a state or an FBI fingerprint background check.

What kind of information is contained in a criminal record background check?

Information contained in public records such as arrest records, court records, including the disposition of charges made.

As arrests are not conclusive proof of guilt, some states do not allow arrest records to be reported on employment background checks.

However, many others do allow them to be reported.

Ban The Box Laws

Some States and cities have enacted “Ban The Box” legislation and have done so to prohibit employers from inquiring about criminal records on job applications.

The general intent is to move the questions further into the hiring process so that it does not act as an immediate bar to consideration for employment.

Is there a limit on how far back an employment background check can go?

Since there re no Federal laws which restrict the length of time a background check can go back, It varies by state. Most all states do allow at least a seven year look back and many have no restrictions at all.

States that ban or restrict the use of arrest records for hiring purposes

While these states have restrictions on the use of arrest records, they allow employers to look at them.
Several states ban the use of arrest records for hiring purposes. However, most laws in these states do not prohibit employers from looking at arrest records.

Sometimes they prohibit employers from making inquiries about arrest records or require employers not to consider them in hiring decisions unless a criminal conviction was the result of  those charges.

States with arrest record restrictions:

Some states allow employers to inquire about and use arrest records and/or consider them as a factor for employment decisions, but limit the circumstances in which they may do so.

Georgia limits employer inquiries about arrests records of first time offenders.

And, employers may not use or even consider the record if the arrest did not lead to a conviction.

This only applies to first time offenders. Subsequent arrests and convictions may, however be considered.

Georgia first time offenders can petition the courts to have  a first arrest record discharged.

The state of Maryland only permits employers to make inquiries about arrests or convictions that are demonstrably related to the job the applicant has applied for.

Employers are prohibited from asking broad questions such as: “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?

Maryland  employers must be specific when inquiring about crimes, and arrests and subsequent convictions the are asking about must be relevant to the job applied for.

In New Jersey, employers may consider arrests with pending charges. But, they are not allowed to inquire about arrests or records that did not lead to a conviction.
Nor, may an employers assume an applicant with a pending arrest is guilty.

Washington allows employers to inquire about arrests, but must ask about the status of the charges.

The employer is also required to ask if the charges related to the arrest are still pending, or were dismissed, or led to a conviction related to the job applied for.

Employers must also ascertain that the arrest in question occurred within the last 10 years

Employers are required to ask whether the arrest took place within the last 10 years. older Arrests older than that are not allowed to be considered.

Texas has salary limits with regard to arrest record inquiries. Jobs that pay $75,000 per year or more, the employer may consider arrests greater than seven years old.

For jobs paying less than $75,000, only arrests less than seven years old may be taken into consideration.

• Arizona• California• Hawaii• Maine• Massachusetts• Michigan• Montana• New York
• Pennsylvania• Wisconsin (Pending charges may be considered, but the charges must be related to the position the applicant is being considered for.)

Employers in these states may request their background check company not to report arrest records at all.

This is an area of frequent law changes and employers should check with their legal counsel to be kept up to date on background check informational restrictions.

Criminal charges that are brought do remain on an individuals record.

However, charges that are dismissed are sometimes not reported. In that connection, background check companies are obliged to be sure the final or most recent disposition of the charges are the ones reported to an employer.

This will often mean reporting that the applicant was found not guilty, Charges were dropped or dismissed (Nolle Prossed) or charges were reduced.

Moreover, employers should also consider that many times charges are not nearly as serious as they sound. See the page in our website for examples: https://national-employment-screening.com/criminal-charges-that-may-not-be-as-bad-as-they-seem/

Will expunged or sealed records show up on a background check?

Records that have been expunged or sealed absolutely should no longer be reported on a criminal record background check.

To expunge a record means it has effectively been removed from the records system.

To have a record sealed means just that. It should not longer be accessible to anyone as a public record.

Moreover, an applicant can state with certainty that they have never been convicted of a crime.

Even if the applicant discloses information about a sealed or expunged record, some states still restrict the use of such information in making employment related decisions.

For more information on this subject, See our web page on Expunging and Sealing criminal records:
Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records

Our  Automated Employment Screening provides an applicant controlled process that allows FCRA compliant background check forms, including Electronic Chain-Of-custody  forms and  releases to be completed online by the applicant.

We provide several short videos to easily acquaint you with the system.

This makes the background check process fast and easy.

Please Click or call for more information.

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None of the information contained in this web site should be construed as legal advice. All forms, policies, information and procedures should be reviewed by your legal counsel before being used in any way.

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