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How Background Checks Protect the Individual

In todayís digital world Ė where information often is at the tip of our fingers in an instant Ė conducting a background check on an individual has never been easier.

The curious can Google a personís name and find out just about anything there is to know about that person that is part of a public domain. If a more detailed history is desired, there are a number of third-party agencies which will conduct a thorough background check for an agreed-upon fee.

There are three common types of background checks that are conducted:

  • Full Background Check. This is a comprehensive and thorough check, which includes such information as date of birth, marriages/divorces and claims of bankruptcy. It also will contain a criminal conviction history.
  • Criminal Background Check. Less thorough than a full background check, the only information provided in this kind of check is a criminal/conviction history. A number of third-party agencies conduct these checks at prices ranging from $15 to $40. Only criminal convictions will appear in these records. Arrests that did not result in a conviction are not part of public information records.
  • Credit Report Check. Credit checks are the second most popular kind of background check conducted today, especially by employers. Credit checks cannot be conducted without the individualís consent, so any employer or private agency which wishes to conduct such a check on an individualís credit history must first obtain that personís written authorization.

As of January 2013, employers must revise their Summary of Rights forms to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. The act is a federal law which stipulates the guidelines by which employers and other agencies can obtain information about an individualís credit history, personal character, reputation or other consumer-reported data. Employers who fail to comply with the new provisions risk being fined by the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees the administration of FCRA. These rules are designed to protect the individual, who may be subject to a background check which results in false or misleading information which in turn can prevent hiring.

Businesses have a vested interest in protecting themselves and their employees, which is a major reason why 69 percent of all employers in the United States now require a background check as a pre-requisite for employment. An increase in negligent-hiring lawsuits has prompted the increase in the use of background checks by employers, who are legally responsible if an employee harms himself or someone else due to past issues which would have been revealed through a background check. By thoroughly reviewing the histories of all employees, employers are not only protecting themselves, but also others who work for them.

FCRA does not apply to individuals who are conducting a background check on another individual for personal reasons, such as looking into the criminal history of a romantic partner prior to dating. However, any report which reveals damaging information should be verified through a second source. As with other public records, there is always a chance of mistaken identity or other incorrect information being included in a background check.

New Haven police continue probe into alleged falsifying of background checks

NEW HAVEN-- A background check scandal in the New Haven police department has let the Chief "beyond disheartened." Two now former officers, Leah Russo and Kristian Ramirez, resigned last week when it was learned they had falsified background checks of ...

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:54:00 GMT



Two Former New Haven Officers Face Possible Criminal Charges For Falsified Background Checks

Police officials said more than 17 background reports were falsified by former officers Leah Russo and Kristian Ramirez. The two were partners in conducting background investigations for incoming police candidates. The issue was brought to light by a ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:21:00 GMT



More CPS sexual abuse fallout, background checks and pay gaps

We're (usually) Cassie Burke and Adeshina Emmanuel, and we round up Chicago public education news every week. Cassie is on vacation, but fortunately our summer intern Elaine Chen is here to help. Please send any tips, story ideas, or general shoutouts ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 02:50:00 GMT



New Haven police discuss falsified background checks

The New Haven Police Department revealed a bit more on Thursday about police academy falsified background checks. The department discussed the findings of an internal investigation. Chief Anthony Campbell called what happened a betrayal of trust.

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:14:00 GMT



Liverpool 'Run Background Checks' as They Step Up Interest in England International Goalkeeper

Liverpool are taking their interest in Nick Pope seriously and a move for the Burnley goalkeeper looks increasingly likely as the Reds are reportedly running "background checks" on the 26-year-old. That's according to the Mirror, which claims that ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 09:03:00 GMT



White House Agency Reorg Plan Touches Cyber, Service, Background Checks

While the White House's proposal to reorganize the functions of many Federal agencies made the biggest headlines today with major steps like the proposed merger of the Departments of Education and Labor, the lengthy proposal document released today also ...

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:24:00 GMT



Attorney General Fox responds to Missoula suit over background checks for gun sales

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by the city of Missoula earlier this year over universal background checks for gun purchases. In April the city of Missoula sued Fox, challenging the validity of a ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:00:00 GMT



Red flag restraining orders, background checks, waiting periods and mental health are in new report on school safety

SALT LAKE CITY -- A rapid response to a student in crisis, mandated mental health reporting and emergency restraining orders taking weapons from severely mentally ill people are top priorities for the state to ensure school safety, according to a new report.

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:05:00 GMT



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