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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

What are Employment Background Checks?

Employers run background checks to avoid hiring someone who may pose a threat to the workplace or become a liability to the employer.

According to, 96% of employers conduct one or more types of employment background screening.

An employment background check typically takes place when someone applies for a job, but can also happen at any time the employer deems necessary. For example, an employer may require annual or semi-annual drug tests or criminal background checks for their employees to help create a safe and secure workplace.

To run a pre-employment background check, the employer needs the candidate’s full name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), and current or past address, as well as the candidate’s consent to run the check.

Typically, an employment background check includes information and records from the past seven years, although some states allow up to 10 years. Learn more about how far back background checks go in your state.

An employment background check can include, but is not limited to, a person’s work history, education, credit history, motor vehicle reports (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, use of social media, and drug screening.

If the position is specialized, applicants and employees may undergo further screenings. For example, when someone is applying to be a financial advisor, public accountant, or to work at a bank, the employer may check the applicant’s financial history, as well as any certifications or licenses they claim to possess.

“It’s illegal to run an employment background check on the basis of an applicant’s or employee’s race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information, or age.”

Further, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to comply with certain regulations to ensure that the background check process is done fairly. For example, employers must get written permission from applicants and employees and let them know how they might use information found in decisions about their employment. With this advance notice, the candidate has a chance to review the report for errors as well as explain negative information, such as gaps in their employment history, convictions, and criminal offenses.

Employers typically outsource employment background checks to a third-party company that has access to the necessary databases, including police records, credit reports, medical records, and more.

For more information on background checks, call us 718-674-1245 or message here.



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