Is a signed release required?

Yes. A signed release is required to conduct a background check on anyone applying for employment with your company. F.C.R.A, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(2)(A). See Library for all related documents.

How far back may an employer look to determine an applicant’s criminal history?

It depends on where the applicant’s work will be performed. The following states apply a limitation of 7-years for reporting criminal convictions: California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington.

For the remaining states, the Fair Credit Reporting Act does not apply a limitation of a term as to how far back an employer may go back to determine an applicant’s criminal conviction history.

Are you required to exclude anything from the final report?

Yes. As a Consumer Reporting Agency, we are required to exclude, “adverse items of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than [7] years.” F.C.R.A., 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(a)(5).

Will arrests, dismissed, or expunged cases appear in the final report?

No. In accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines and best business practices, arrests, dismissed, expunged and adjudication withheld cases will not appear in your final background check. F.C.R.A., 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(a)(5).