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This publication explains how to comply with both the federal nondiscrimination laws and the FCRA. It's also a good idea to review the laws of your state and municipality regarding background reports or information because some states and municipalities regulate the use of that information for employment purposes.
In all cases, make sure that you're treating everyone equally. It's illegal to check the background of applicants and employees when that decision is based on a person's race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information including family medical history , or age 40 or older.
For example, asking only people of a certain race about their financial histories or criminal records is evidence of discrimination. Except in rare circumstances, don't try to get an applicant's or employee's genetic information, which includes family medical history. Even if you have that information, don't use it to make an employment decision. Don't ask any medical questions before a conditional job offer has been made. If the person has already started the job, don't ask medical questions unless you have objective evidence that he or she is unable to do the job or poses a safety risk because of a medical condition.
If you get background information for example, a credit or criminal background report from a company in the business of compiling background information , there are additional procedures the FCRA requires beforehand:. Any background information you receive from any source must not be used to discriminate in violation of federal law. This means that you should:. When taking an adverse action for example, not hiring an applicant or firing an employee based on background information obtained through a company in the business of compiling background information, the FCRA has additional requirements:.
By giving the person the notice in advance, the person has an opportunity to review the report and explain any negative information. Any personnel or employment records you make or keep including all application forms, regardless of whether the applicant was hired, and other records related to hiring must be preserved for one year after the records were made, or after a personnel action was taken, whichever comes later.
The EEOC extends this requirement to two years for educational institutions and for state and local governments. If the applicant or employee files a charge of discrimination, you must maintain the records until the case is concluded.
Employment background check guide for job applicants
Once you've satisfied all applicable recordkeeping requirements, you may dispose of any background reports you received. However, the law requires that you dispose of the reports - and any information gathered from them - securely. Start Searching. Check your own record. Find out what others see about you. Get bankruptcy information. Check a new partner's criminal record. Search family history and relationships. Marylin - BeenVerified customer.
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Our company and industry experts have been seen on:. Our goal is simple - to help you find all of the public records information you need. Search Public Records By State:. New Jersey. New Mexico. New York. North Carolina. Puerto Rico. Most background checks are generated automatically from data repositories maintained by private companies and state and federal governments.
Personal Background Checks: How Do You Run One? | CriminalWatchDog
When people say public records, they are usually referring to civil issues such as lawsuits, traffic tickets, vital records such as marriage, divorce, birth and death , bankruptcies and the like. When people say background check, they usually have in mind criminal records, warrant searches, arrest records and other criminal information. Believe it or not, almost all of this information is public record by law, and is available to anyone who is willing to make the effort to search for it.
Some jurisdictions make it incredibly simple, and have dedicated web portals that allow you to search. Others are stuck in the paper age, and often require an on site search in the county courthouse. You never know what sort of worrying or dangerous details could be lurking in someone's past. Because checking people's background is such a pressing need, there are dozens of ways to go about this. Fortunately, several ways won't cost you a thing.
Choosing a Background Check Service: A Buying Guide for Businesses
Before I continue, I should point out a tricky fact about background checks. If you are performing a background check as a landlord or employer — or for credit, medical or insurance reasons — you can't use just any service. A CRA has to maintain certain standards for data protection and offer dispute resolution. If you do reject a potential tenant or employee even semi-informal employees like domestic workers based on a background check from a company that isn't a CRA, you could wind up in trouble.
You can find a fairly complete list of CRAs on my website. The list is helpfully divided into categories such as credit reporting, employment history, insurance, renting and so on. Note that you can request and dispute the information that these CRAs have on file for you.
For checking on potential roommates or romantic partners, you can use just about any service or legal method.
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The simplest option for a background check is to hire a professional service. You can find dozens of background check agencies online. You will need to watch out for scam companies.