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Monday, July 07, 2008


When Not to Touch a Background Check

Standard procedure in today’s world of interviewing, assessing, and making employment decisions typically includes an employment background checks.

This type of investigation is meant to confirm that you are the best candidate for the job based on the information provided on your resume and application, your character, your credit worthiness, and other factors that may impact your ability to perform well in your job.

Consent forms for background checks give potential employers broad latitude to check into your background – including credit history, vehicular moving violations, criminal convictions, and a variety of other things. But it’s just as important to know what they are not allowed to check as it is to know what they are allowed to check.

Companies which utilize agencies for background checks are regulated by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act national standards. This organization ensures that they are only allowed to check into approved background information. It also clearly states that there are certain background areas that the agencies are not allowed to check.

Some of the areas that are disallowed for inclusion in employment background checks include:

  1. Accounts placed in collection that are more than seven (7) years old
  2. Paid tax liens after seven (7) years
  3. Records of arrests, civil lawsuits, or judgments after seven (7) years

Bankruptcy can be included, however, it cannot be used as a reason to discriminate against you if you filed for bankruptcy. When you personally file for bankruptcy, it is a protective measure to right your credit.

Make sure you know what is being investigated in your background when providing consent. Being prepared for something negative or detrimental that may be uncovered and discussing it with your potential employer directly is your best bet for success.


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