How Far Do Employers Go On Your Background Check?

Background checks are a significant source of anxiety for job seekers. Questions about how far backward employers go on such checks are prevalent if your past contains criminal activities. If that is not the case, and you have a DUI or any other type of traffic violation or bankruptcy on your record, this query may be troubling. You might be wondering if any of these flaws would jeopardize your search for a job.

In most cases, potential employers consider many aspects before making a final decision. First and foremost, most companies undertake checks that are relevant to the job. For instance, if you are not applying to drive a corporate car, there is no reason to be concerned about a traffic citation from five years back. However, it is advisable to disclose such information, as hiding certain matters are impossible. For instance, you cannot hide a DUI, especially if your potential position requires driving a company car.

An employer could conduct different types of checks to find out information about a potential employee. This article will look into the different types of checks available and the state and federal laws governing them.

how far back do employer background checks go?

How Far Back do Background Checks Go?

As mentioned earlier, various background checks search for different things and span different periods in an individual’s life. Generally, these checks usually encompass seven years of criminal and judicial records, but they can extend back further based on compliance rules and the information sought.

Remember that where you recruit impacts the laws, compliance, and regulations for various forms of background checks, including how far backward a person’s past may be reviewed and what you can check. Below are some necessary checks conducted by most companies.

Criminal and Court Records

Since there are no statutory boundaries on how far backward a search for criminal convictions may go, a criminal and court record search for an individual might span decades. Even though federal law allows for searches of a lifetime’s worth of conduct, there are reasons why businesses may not wish to look back further than the seven-year industry standard.

One argument is that it may not make sense to make a recruitment choice today based on an incident done decades ago, especially if it was a minor misdemeanor with no prior criminal history. Furthermore, several states have restrictions on how far backward criminal records may be checked.

In this case, companies must follow state rather than federal employment guidelines when hiring people in such states. Colorado, California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Montana, New York, New Mexico, and Washington State all restrict the filing of a felony to seven years from the date of conclusion of parole, disposition, or prison release. There are also varied income requirements in each of those states. If the candidate is projected to make a specific wage, various states will waive the limits.

Credit Reports

While not all companies check credit records, many of them do. In particular, credit reports are beneficial for jobs that require workers to have fiduciary or financial responsibilities. Bankruptcies, accounts in collection, tax liens, and civil cases or judgments are all examples of items that might appear on a credit report. Note that pre-employment credit history records do not include credit scores.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides how credit history checks should be conducted and how far back they can go. Most of the time, screening can only go back seven years, although there are certain exceptions. For instance, previous bankruptcies can be recorded for a maximum of ten years.

Employment History

Reviewing employment history necessitates careful consideration of how relevant the information will be to the company’s recruitment decision. Thus, it is critical to have a background screening partner with an established and effective procedure. Note that reviewing employment history can be confirmed throughout the employee’s lifetime.

Since the recruiter must contact all previous companies or their HR professionals, this type of investigation might take two to four days, or perhaps longer. As a result, the more jobs an applicant has changed, the more time-consuming the procedure gets. The background check might take one to two weeks if the applicant has worked in other nations. The candidate should anticipate signing a release document granting the firm access to the necessary information.

employer background check

Final Thoughts

Background checks can reveal upsetting and embarrassing information to potential employers. However, it does not have to cut out off potential employment opportunities. With the help of the legal system and PeopleFinders, it is possible to control the information found during these checks and secure your job. Contact us today for more information.

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