It’s very easy to learn a lot of information about anyone today – a simple search of a background check service like Check People will prove it. Quite understandably, people are worried about what can be seen when someone runs a background check.
What will show up following a screening depends on the type of search ordered. There are a few different sets of data and records to use as sources. In general, an employment background check includes credit history, identity verification, criminal records, employment verification, driver’s history, credit history, education confirmation, verification, and more.
We will review the most common types of background checks and describe them in detail. We assure you there’s nothing to worry about.
Criminal Background Checks
Most background checks include a criminal history check that will reveal misdemeanor and felony convictions, possibly a history of incarceration. Any pending criminal cases will show up too.
Cases pending prosecution may be revealed. So could any arrests that did not lead to convictions, although these are excluded under EEOC requirements.
Court-sealed records of juvenile detention and convictions normally do not appear, but all other convictions will. An exception is if the person was convicted in a state that doesn’t allow conviction disclosure after a specific period. If a conviction occurred more than seven years ago, the states of California, Massachusetts, Kansas, Montana, Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, and Washington will not report it.
Social Security Checks
Employers mainly use Social Security number validation to confirm whether a person is eligible to work in the USA. It lists the addresses and names connected to a given social security number.
National Sex Offender Registry
The national sex offender registry incorporates all territorial, tribal, and state registries. Sex offenses will show up on this registry as well as in criminal background screenings. In addition, each US state has to maintain a public database containing the personal data of sex offenders.
Credit Report Background Check
Employers can check the credit reports of applicants that have given them permission to do so. This permission must be explicit and in written form. A potential employer can see loan information, accounts in collections, and whether someone declared bankruptcy in the past. They can’t see job applicants’ credit scores.
If more than a decade has passed since someone declared bankruptcy, employers can’t see it under FCRA rules. The same applies if more than seven years have passed since an account was placed for collection.
Driving and Other Records
Each state has different regulations and rules where driving records are concerned. Some states allow schools, recruiters, and volunteer organizations to check driving records only three years back. Others allow them to check as far back as a decade. Universities, companies, and volunteer organizations can also check character references, military records, educational records, or drug test records, but each state has its own regulations for what third parties get access to.
The Risks of Data Accessibility
It’s very easy to fall victim to identity theft with all the information readily available. The Identity Theft Resources Center recently reported an increase of the number of debit and credit card breaches. There’s quite a bit you can do to protect your data and stop scammers from getting access to your personal information. Monitor your online transactions and watch your accounts closely. Register for free credit monitoring and avail of free consumer protection.
Sensitive information revealed in employment background checks is subject to stringent regulations on the protection of privacy. The use of screenings in connection with employment decisions is also subject to EEOC and FCRA requirements.
On a final note, some reporting restrictions don’t apply to applicants for jobs that pay over $75,000 a year. In addition, FCRA restrictions only apply when the company is running a background check through a consumer reporting agency. They aren’t effective if the company’s HR department runs the check.