More and more, employers are using criminal background checks in the process of weeding out job candidates. So, what can show up on a criminal background check that a potential employer is going to use? Surprisingly, there are not a lot of limitations – not nearly as much as one would think. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the statute that governs the procurement and sale of criminal background reports, this type of information is not as regulated as credit information. Below is some helpful information on what is included in a background check.
Convictions are FOREVER:
A criminal conviction does not have any deletion date or date where it becomes obsolete. According to the FCRA, a criminal conviction can show up on a background report or your arrest records forever. While some states have enacted laws that limit the time criminal information can appear on a report, the FCRA preempts almost all state laws. Only the few states whose laws regarding background information were on the books before the FCRA was enacted can still enforce those laws.
Arrests are for Seven (7) Years:
Any arrest, even those that do not result in a conviction, may remain on a report for up to seven years from the date of the arrest. Even if the charges are dropped before you get to court, this information can appear on a background report. This can have the effect of making one feel guilty despite being proven innocent.
If an arrest did not result in a conviction, it is highly recommended that steps be taken to have the arrest record “expunged” or erased. If a record is expunged, sealed, or even overturned, the background reporting companies must be sure to keep that information from being reported.
Dispute Incorrect Information:
Often times an arrest for a serious offense results in a conviction of a less serious offense. Sometimes that matters to an employer., If a report is made with incorrect information about an arrest or conviction, the person has a right to see that information reported about them, and dispute it to the background company making the report. Just as a credit bureau under the FCRA, this background company must investigate and respond within 30 days. Corrections can be made that save a job opportunity.
If inaccurate information is appearing on your background reports, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a free case review.
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