A criminal background check is required in cases when an individual or organization needs to investigate any potential illegal and criminal activities, including violent or sexual offenses, embezzlement, fraud or felony before making a decision about employing an individual.
In the US, a criminal record is regarded as a severe barrier to entry into the workforce. For some specific industries like healthcare and finance, there may be restrictions preventing the employment of felons, if their crime is relevant to the position.
Employers performing criminal background checks are searching for whether the candidate might pose a danger to their customers, employees, any other aspect of the business. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the HR Policy for Criminal Background Checks and what it consists of.
What does a basic criminal background check include?
The following database checks could be part of a criminal background check:
National criminal databases
Many reports from the National Criminal Databases are also provided by several background check companies. It is focused on hundreds of millions of data across jurisdictions in the United States, including DOC offices, courts, counties, and offender registries that can be searched quickly in over 3,000 counties.
The primary purpose of conducting a national criminal database search is to cast a large network for finding out whether the applicants have committed a crime outside of the county or state where they live and work. The national databases hold a variety of specific data about your criminal and arrest history, which are also used to determine employment eligibility.
Sex offender registries
Sex offender registries allow you to look up people’s names in every State and show whether the applicants are registered sex offenders. Searches typically require both a full name and date of birth to show up on the database. The search includes records from all 50 countries and lasts for 10 years.
County criminal courts
County criminal courts are one of the most comprehensive sources for criminal background checks because all misdemeanor, felony, and jurisdictions are housed at the county court. With this information, researchers can find out the exact areas where applicants have lived and worked. These records are not based on the federal database or federal search but are determined by conducting a National Criminal Database search, making it an excellent starting point for any criminal background checking.
Domestic and global watch lists
A domestic and global watch lists ( or government watch list) search is conducted to investigate the individuals and businesses who are on the criminal list or banned in certain countries. It pulls from a variety of sources such as the DEA, SDN, OIG, FBI, SDN, ICE, BATF, OFAC, SAM, and assorted sources such as foreign sex offender registries and Interpol.
The purpose of conducting this check is to make sure that the candidate you intend to hire is not on the watch lists or has any outstanding sanctions.
Federal and state criminal records
Federal records are preserved independently from public and state-level records. Such jurisdictions include federal criminal offenses such as embezzlement or fraud, as well as other illegal activities that are committed on federally owned land. It doesn’t include records stored in the county or FBI.
Federal criminal checks use the US government’s criminal record system for a specific kind of research. Different from federal criminal records, state criminal records are used to scan databases such as arrest records and correctional facilities. It is especially helpful in states that don’t require county documents for larger databases.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
FCRA is a federal law to ensure the fairness, accuracy, and privacy of the customer’s information in the credit report. The law allows for the collection, usage, and sharing of data that credit reporting agencies gather through the customer reports.
The FCEA helps consumers to decide what actions they could take referred to the information in their credit reports. In HR Policy, employers often check your credit report for your hiring because your credit history can affect your financial ability and your past actions, and they may use your credit reports to consider your coverage.
Employers may use criminal background checks to assess their candidates on their honest and trustworthy characters and their potential threat to others. HR Policy for Criminal Background Checks also helps reduce risk, protect the company assets, and prevent any negligent hiring lawsuits.
Douglas Parker handles content management and communications for Manshoory Law Group, APC. He has always had a special interest in the sphere of Law and Human Rights. Dedicating a lot of his free time to understanding the small details and specifics of these fields, Douglas enjoys exploring and analyzing them in his articles. His main goal is to make this sometimes complicated information available and transparent for everyone.