Does my background report contain a credit check? The majority of employment background checks DO NOT contain credit checks. Employers typically only order credit checks on a report if they are hiring for a position that involves handling finances, access to financial or other sensitive information, etc. Additionally, a number of states have specific laws that limit when employers can order and use credit checks in hiring and employment. And when a credit check is included in an employment background check, it does NOT include a credit score.
What happens if a previous employer will not verify information about me or if a former company is out of business? Lack of response from an employer results in an incomplete verification. There are only so many requests a CRA can make before the report must be closed. Whether it’s an unresponsive previous employer or a closed business, the result is a report with incomplete information that may not allow your prospective employer to quickly make a hiring decision about you. This is no fault of your own, but you may be able to provide information to help complete the verification. In such a scenario, you may be contacted by the screening company about these delays or about requests for additional information.
If I had a criminal record that was subsequently sealed or expunged, will it show up on a background report? Expunged and sealed records that have been removed from the county court would not appear on a criminal background check. Depending on the timing, there are instances when a defendant’s request for expungement has been signed and approved, but the court has not removed the record yet.
What’s usually included in a background check report? The components of an employment background check vary depending on what the prospective employer or employer select as part of the background check package. This information may be based in part on any applicable legal requirements that may apply when an employer hires a particular position that requires a certain type of check. Generally speaking though, a prospective employer wants to confirm the education and employment credentials of the applicant. They also want to know if the individual has any criminal history that directly relates to the position they are being hired for, but more importantly, they want to be able to trust their new hire, so they are looking for honesty in the candidate. Other types of screening include checking if the individual has an active license that may be required for the position or if they are sanctioned or excluded from participating in federal or state programs.
Where can I find more information about employment background checks and my rights as a candidate? Access the links below for more information Professional Background Screening Association PBSA is a non-profit trade organization established to promote a high level of ethics and performance standards for the screening industry. The PBSA mission is “to advance excellence in the screening profession.” Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) A Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) TransUnion Credit Report FAQ
What are my rights if a background check was run on me? Under the FCRA, if a background check report was run on you, then you would have already received a proper written disclosure informing you of such and you would have already given written consent. If any part of the report was used to make a decision that resulted in you not getting the job, being terminated, not being allowed to volunteer, etc. then the company has to follow what’s referred to as the “adverse action” process. This process involves letting you know that such an “adverse action” is the result of the background check report. The company does this by sending you a pre-adverse notice along with a copy of your background report and a document entitled “A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” Once you receive this notice, you should review your report and contact the company that prepared the report (their information is included in the Pre-adverse Notice) if any part of your report is inaccurate or incomplete. Once contacted by you about your dispute, the background check company must reinvestigate it at no cost and complete it under 30 days, but most likely it strives to complete the reinvestigation as quickly as possible so the company can move forward with a final hiring decision. Upon completing the reinvestigation, the background check company will update you, the consumer, and the company that ordered your report, on the outcome of the reinvestigation. The CRA will provide amended reports if changes were made; otherwise, it will confirm its original findings. The prospective employer would then make its hiring decision based on that new report.
What is the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act ? The FCRA is a federal consumer protection statute that regulates consumer reports and ensures the accuracy and security of consumer information. The FCRA applies when an employer uses a third-party to prepare the report. An employment background check is one type of consumer report. While the word “credit” is included in the name of the federal law, the FCRA does not only regulate credit reports. Credit reports are one type of consumer report. Most employment background checks do NOT contain credit reports. Under the FCRA, the “consumer” refers to the subject of a background report. The “End-User” is the party that orders and uses the report to make a decision affecting the consumer (e.g. employment, tenancy, credit, etc.). In the employment context, the end-user is the prospective employer. And the background check company that prepares the report is a type of “consumer reporting agency” or CRA.