Be Prepared for Background Checks When the Job Market Opens Up

With a vaccine roll-out and hope on the horizon, it is certain that the jobs market will open up, and employers will be seeking to hire again. Whether it be new businesses built during the pandemic or old ones getting back, employees will be needed. And with so many Americans being off work for so long, expect there to be competition for these openings. One way employers will be separating out the qualified candidates is by a background check. More and more employers are conducting background checks to weed out candidates they may deem undesirable. Before this hopeful employment boom begins, you should be prepared to know about the laws on employment background checks.

First, and most obviously, if you have never been convicted, or if you have not been arrested in the past 7 years, you are safe. Convictions do NOT have a deletion date. A criminal conviction can be permanently reported, but arrests can only be reported for up to seven (7) years. So, you should have no concerns if you have no convictions or recent arrests. If an arrest that is more than seven years old appears on a report, or a conviction that belongs to another person of perhaps the same name, do not hesitate to contact us at SmithMarco for assistance. There are immediate steps to take.

Many convictions and arrests can be expunged (erased) or sealed. Often non-violent, first time offenses can be eliminated from the public record. If you have had an arrest or conviction expunged or sealed, you should get your hands on the court order that granted the expungement or sealing. As the application process begins, you want to make sure that there is no false information on your background check. You also don’t want to be frantically chasing that down while you are busy looking for a job. If a report were to be created that contains the offense, you should be given an opportunity to dispute the report to that background reporting company. You would then have an opportunity for a new report to be created for that job. Failure to give you that opportunity to correct an erroneous background report may violate the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If you have a conviction that has not been expunged or sealed, perhaps it’s a good idea to check and see if you can. Perhaps your state has laws regarding the ability to expunge records if certain criteria are met after the conviction. To see if that is possible, reach out to a criminal defense attorney while you have time before the application process begins.

Everyone has a right to have their background, credit, and other personal information reported about them to be true and accurate. If you are facing issues with inaccurate reports, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a completely free case review.

Larry Smith
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