Is it Legal to Obtain Personal Information For a Background Verification Report?Posted on: September 8, 2019 by Gavin Muirhead
When people are told that they need a background check for employment, they usually think of a criminal history check. However, background checks entail much more information than that. Employers use these checks to weed out candidates that may not have been truthful in their resume.
Background checks also give prospective employers information regarding education and employment history. Everything that employers look for during a background check can be critical in hiring the right candidate.
Why do employers perform background checks?
A criminal history background check can help to keep a company, employees, and clients safe. Knowing if an applicant has a violent past or criminal history can help employers determine if they will fit into their organization or not. Background checks also ensure that applicants are not lying about their past employment or education.
If an employer has hired a criminal and did not run a criminal background check, they can be sued if the offender causes harm to other employees or customers.
What information can an employer request?
Many employers request information that is going to be directly related to the job position that they are filling. For instance, if they are hiring someone to drive a delivery truck, they often request information related to the candidate’s driving record. The following are the most common types of records that are requested for pre-employment background checks:
- court records
- credit reports
- driving records
- drug tests
- licensing records
- previous employers
- property ownership records
- sex offender lists
- social security number
What type of information is restricted?
Laws vary from state to state. Most states prohibit employers from obtaining some information during a background check, but other information can be accessed with the applicant’s consent. The following types of records usually are off-limits to employers:
- Educational Records: Educational records are important for different types of jobs. Employers can only obtain these records with consent from the prospective employee.
- Criminal Records: For some jobs, it is essential to know if the applicant has a criminal history; for example, law enforcement officers and childcare workers. Some states will allow prospective employers access to criminal records with the applicant’s consent. Criminal background checks include arrests, misdemeanors, felonies, warrants, tax liens, judgments and bankruptcies.
- Credit Checks: Some states will not allow credit checks to be performed unless they are pertinent to the job. Other states allow credit checks for any job position. If an applicant is turned down because of their credit history, they must be provided a copy of the credit report and an explanation of why the decision was made. They then have a right to challenge the decision.
- Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy records are public record, but they cannot be used as part of the hiring decision.
- Military Records: Military records cannot be requested as part of a background check. These records are confidential under the Federal Privacy Act.
- Workers Compensation: These records are public record and can be used if they are pertinent to the job position.
- Medical Records: A person’s medical records cannot be used as part of the hiring process. Records are confidential. However, employers can request a physical examination by a qualified physician.
What is needed to run a background check?
For a background check to be run, an employer will need the applicant’s full name, social security number, date of birth, and current or past address. The applicant will also have to give consent for the check to be performed.
Results You Can Trust
A company needs to run a background check to avoid the mistake of hiring someone that is going to be a threat or a liability. Background checks usually happen when someone is applying for a new job, but they are sometimes required annually or semi-annually. Employers sometimes run regular checks to make sure that they are providing a safe work environment for their employees.
To build a successful business, you need a team that you can trust. Background verification reports are a very important part of finding the right people for the job. Checks will verify essential information and make sure that there are no inconsistencies.
If you require a background verification report Affordable Background Checks can get the information that you are looking for. We will get the job done fast, and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. We offer affordable prices with quality results.