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How Employers Use Background Checks

Sending out resume after resume, but not getting any calls back for interviews? Wondering why your stellar experience and qualifications aren't getting you past the initial interview process? If either of these scenarios is familiar, you may want to conduct a background check on yourself - and you may not like what you find.

Effective January 2013, all employers conducting background checks are required by law to disclose their intentions to do so, and to seek written permission from the potential employee. The new guidelines fall under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Employers who fail to abide by the rules of the act are subject to fines from the FTC.

In the digital age, more and more employers are obtaining potential employee's approval, and with their consent conducting background checks before they extend a job offer. Financial companies may, for instance, wish to know if a potential employee has ever been arrested for theft before bringing them into their employ. A business which works with children in any capacity would want to be sure that any potential employee has never been suspected of or convicted of any child-abuse-related crime.

In addition to a background check, employers may search for other information about potential employees. Another popular source of information is a credit report. Like a background check, a credit report can only be conducted with a person's consent and authorization. A potential employer would have to seek your permission before doing it, thereby making you aware that the process is happening.

According to a report issued by EmployeeScreenIQ, 21 percent of the 738 respondents said they conducted credit checks on potential employees - a 15 percent increase over the previous year. However, four states now limit the use of credit checks during the hiring process. They are Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington.

Employers also like to check a person's education and work history to ensure they truly meet the qualifications for the job. With cases of "inflated" resumes on the rise, employers want to be sure that you truly have the education and experience you say you do. However, some states have confidentiality laws which prohibit the release of education records, military service records and medical records without a person's express written permission. If an employer intends to conduct such research, they will be required to seek your permission first.

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Background Checks In The News

New York City overhauls background checks for school bus drivers

New York City will overhaul its system of background checks for school bus drivers in response to reports of lax screenings of some of the private employees. The drivers are already fingerprinted ...

Published:  Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:22:00 GMT

Brady background check has failed to live up to its promises

"ATF agents did not consider most of the prohibited persons who had obtained guns to be dangerous." Those words, quoted last year by USA TODAY, explain why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

Published:  Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:44:00 GMT

Clinton: W.H. should ask FBI to reopen Kavanaugh background check

Hillary Clinton talks with Rachel Maddow about what the appropriate course of action is to ensure that Catherine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh is properly vetted. ...

Published:  Tue, 18 Sep 2018 22:23:00 GMT

Parent volunteers and adult learners subject to background checks at CPS schools

Parent volunteers and adult learners face a new barrier to participating in their neighborhood schools as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) implements a new security policy requiring background checks. CPS ...

Published:  Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:35:00 GMT

EXCLUSIVE: Schools officials overhaul bus worker checks after Daily News exposes loopholes

Education Department officials moved to overhaul background checks for yellow bus drivers on Wednesday after the Daily News informed them a director overseeing city school bus safety sent an email tha...

Published:  Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:35:00 GMT

FBI should reopen Kavanaugh background check

The FBI should reopen its background check into embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh without delay and do its best to confirm whatever facts it can surrounding the explosive sexu...

Published:  Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:02:00 GMT

How to run a free background check

Everyone has skeletons in the closet. Whether it's Facebook photos of underage drinking in college or the complete criminal record of your sister's new boyfriend, the internet is a treasure trove of b...

Published:  Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:31:00 GMT

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