Buckland Plants

Criminal Background Checks – How to Conduct a Background Check on Your Employees

A criminal background check can help you identify potential risks to your company by revealing any criminal records associated with your candidates. It can help you make more accurate hiring decisions, protect your brand and reassure your customers and employees that you care about workplace safety.

The Fair Chance Act of 2021 restricts public employers, such as state agencies and government contractors, from examining an applicant’s criminal history until after the final interview or conditional offer has been made. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of criminal history, except for a direct relationship to the job, and requires that a rejected applicant receive written notice specifying the reasons and an opportunity to respond.

Public employers must consider a variety of factors in making a decision about whether to deny an application for employment. Convictions that have been pardoned, sealed, or expunged may not be considered, as well as non-conviction records. Detailed standards apply to determine whether a conviction is “directly related” to the position and if it will pose an unreasonable risk to people or property.

Private employers, with more than ten employees, may not ask about criminal histories on initial applications but must consider them only after a conditional offer has been made. A rejected applicant must be provided a written notice of the basis for denial, a hearing before an employee rights advocate, and an opportunity to respond.

Employers must also conduct individualized assessments to determine if the conviction reflects a serious offense, is a misdemeanor or felony, and whether the conviction has a “direct and adverse relationship” with the specific duties of the position. The employer must provide the applicant with a written analysis, the background check, and an opportunity to respond.

A CRA conducts a search of all municipal, state, county and federal criminal records naked databases to find any convictions or arrests that are relevant to the job applicant. Some CRAs only conduct searches in the states the candidate has lived in, while others can perform nationwide searches to find all possible conviction and arrest records that are reportable from any court record in the United States.

Depending on the type of criminal background check you order, a CRA can gather information from various sources, such as county, state and federal criminal courts and sex offender registries. A sex offender registry search, for example, can reveal if a candidate has been convicted of a sexual offense, while a domestic watchlist or international criminal records search can uncover any sex offender data for jobs at risk in the US or abroad.

The results of a criminal background check are compiled in reports delivered to the candidate or his or her employer. These reports can include any felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending criminal matters, and civil suits or judgments.

While there are many benefits to conducting a criminal background check, it’s important to be aware of the laws that govern the process. A reputable criminal background check service, such as Checkr, will use an advanced platform to ensure compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. Our FCRA-compliant processes reduce the administrative burden on your team, and our comprehensive criminal background checks deliver reliable results quickly.