Frequently Asked Questions
There is no law that requires all companies do a background check. However, there are special laws for specific jobs that do require a criminal record check. For instance, a background check is mandatory for any job with the trucking industry, law enforcement, or a job that involves contact with children, disabled persons, or elderly persons.
Regardless of whether the law requires it, a background check is crucial to ensure your organization’s safety. Checking an applicant’s criminal past helps prevent theft, violence, and liability for negligent hiring. Employee background reports are also used to verify the applicant’s qualifications and trustworthiness so that you hire a good employee. Reports may often reveal red flags about an applicant, which ultimately save company time and money.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 69% of companies, big and small, reported that they conduct criminal background checks on all job applicants.
A reputable background screening company such as AGoodEmployee.com provides the guidance and appropriate forms that will ensure you are in compliance the FCRA employment laws. In addition, we access comprehensive information from multiple databases and verify that the information collected is accurate. With A Good Employee you’ll feel confident knowing you have access to the right information and that you are legally following the rules for pre-employment screening.
A typical background check for employment purposes may include:
- • Criminal records
- • Education verification
- • Credit history*
- • Social security verification
- • Drug testing
- • Driving records
- • References
- • Past employment
- • Workers comp
- • Medical history**
Certain industries may require more comprehensive reporting, but at a minimum we recommend employers check references, criminal history, and education. Other reports such as credit history, drug testing, and driving reveal additional information about an applicant’s general trustworthiness.
*Some states have special laws regarding credit history searches for employment purposes.
** The FCRA requires that the applicant consent to a medical history report. The medical report must also be relevant to the job.
Background screening costs vary depending on how comprehensive the report is and how many reports are requested. AGoodEmployee.com offers three packages that cover the most commonly requested reports. Prices range from $29.95-$69.95. A la carte reports can added on to the packages or purchased separately and range from $4.95-$39.95. Volume discounts are available for more than 10 background checks.
Yes, the applicant must receive a disclosure form and sign an authorization form. Pre-employment background checks must be conducted carefully and in compliance with privacy laws and regulations as stated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Our pre-packaged reports offer the most commonly requested reports. However specific industries may require custom reports. Contact us for a free consultation with a screening expert and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Certain reports can be obtained nearly instantly, while other reports may take 2-7 days. For instance, any report that requires manual verification such as drug testing, county courthouse records, and reference checks may take 3-5 days.
The FCRA and state laws dictate how far into the past screenings can go. Criminal convictions have no federal limitation. Information about bankruptcy has a limitation of 10 years and all other adverse information has a limitation of 7 years. However, there are some states which may impose a different limitation. A Good Employee reports cover seven years.
After the pre-employment background check, it is recommended to check an employee’s criminal record on an annual basis. Unless an employee volunteers information about a new criminal charge, there is no way to be certain that their record has remained clean.
Yes, but you cannot treat criminal history differently for different applicants, otherwise it could be considered discrimination as defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For a full list of guidelines for declining applicants based on a criminal record visit www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm.
This is known as taking adverse action and involves two steps. The first step before making a decision is to provide a copy of the background check report and a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” . The applicant then will have an opportunity to contest the report. If no action is taken by the applicant or if the company makes a final decision to not hire the applicant, the company must send a final letter of adverse action. AGoodEmployee.com can provide you with the pre-adverse and adverse action letter that complies with FCRA guidelines.
An employer can run what is known as an “investigative consumer report” to check the person’s reputation, character, or mode of living by conducting interviews with people who know the applicant. However, the employer and background screening company must follow additional rules. The employer must give the applicant a written notice that the report will include an interview and the employer must notify the applicant of their right to request more details about the report. If the applicant wants to know the specific nature of the reference interviews, the employer must give the applicant that information within 5 days of receiving the request from the applicant.