Employment Screening

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Employment Background Check Limitations

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All Pre-Employment Screening Background Checks Have Certain Limitations
Never rely solely on criminal record background checks.  Even the best and most thorough background checks offered may not disclose the existence of all possible criminal records. An employer should consider it an important tool along with other verifications and record checks. Prospective employers should know that the criminal record information searched and reported for each type of employment background check can sometimes vary in accordance with state, county, and Federal regulations that govern criminal record reporting systems. 

Our ability to search the records pertaining to every courthouse in some 3,000 plus county criminal record repositories in a few states is sometimes limited by law and record availability. As an example, a number of states prohibit background check companies or credit reporting agencies (CRA’S) from reporting records that are more than seven years old.
States, such as California, Kentucky, New Mexico, and New York, prohibit us from reporting most arrests, or other non-conviction information, regardless of its age. Therefore  only criminal convictions are typically reported and some criminal records will not appear on the background check results. Moreover, in the states listed above and some others, we have found the county criminal record repositories lacking in both speed, overall access and record content. In these states, given the limitations on use of certain records, we usually find the state criminal record repositories to be a better and faster source of criminal record information for our clients. As a result, occasionally some criminal records of arrest will not appear on the applicant’s background check as we have to rely on the state criminal record databases for information on criminal activity.

Federal Limitations

Federal law prohibits employment screening background check companies from reporting non-conviction information that is more than seven years old.

Incorrect Applicant Information

Remember, criminals know what they are up against and are often quite clever at obfuscating their past. We all have seen cases where someone who is incarcerated is able to circumvent the criminal justice system and walk out of jail. If an applicant falsifies information on their employment application, the background check inquiries will be run using inaccurate identifying data such as SSN, DOB, drives license number etc. Unless caught, it  will impact the validity of the criminal record background check.

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