Employee background checks can range from verification of your personal information, such as your social security number or address, to a much more detailed record of your employment history, personal acquaintances, and profiles on popular social networking websites.
Here is a list of just some information that might be included in a background check:
- Social Security number
- Past and current addresses
- Past employers
- Driving and vehicle registration records
- Credit records
- Criminal or other court records
- Land records
- Education records
- Workers’ compensation
- Character references
- Medical records
- Military records
- State licensing records
- Drug test records
- Sex offender lists
Credit Reports for Employment Background Checks
It is important to ensure that your credit report contains accurate information, not only to aid you in obtaining credit at the best interest rates possible, but also because there are times when employers may request your credit report. However, there are specific guidelines set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) limiting the ability of employers to obtain and use such information. Consumer Reporting Agencies may only release such a report for employment purposes to an employer that certifies that it has advised the employee that it will be requesting a report, the employee consents in writing to the release, and that the employer will provide certain disclosures if it takes any adverse action based on any part of the report. One such disclosure is a “pre-adverse action disclosure,” which includes a copy of the report and an explanation of your rights under the FCRA. An “adverse action notice” must also be provided after the adverse action is taken containing the name, address, and phone number of the employment screening company, a statement that the employer and not this screening company made the adverse decision, and a notice that you have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any of the information in the report.
The FCRA also provides that the following information cannot be reported:
- Bankruptcies after 10 years
- Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest, from date of entry, after seven years
- Paid tax liens after seven years
- Accounts placed for collection after seven years
- Any other negative information (except criminal convictions) after seven years
If you believe you have been a victim of a background check that did not comply with federal law, it is important that you seek legal help from us or another consumer attorney as soon as possible.
If this is an issue you are facing, or has already occurred, please contact us.