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Video:What's in a Background Check?

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Employers may request a background check before finalizing your employment. Find out what information they are and are not allowed to request.See Transcript

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Transcript:What's in a Background Check?

Today we'll be going over what time of information an employer commonly requests in a background check, and what type of information an employer cannot request. 

Your Consent is the First Step

It is common practice for employers to perform background checks on new employees.  This could be for security concerns or to verify the validity of your resume and work history.  It is required by law that an employer has your written consent before they can proceed with a background check.  

Here is a list of information commonly requested:  

  • Employee work history:  This is to confirm dates of your past employment, companies you worked for, salary, and titles.  This type of information helps employers verify the information on your resume. 
  • Credit Reports:  Some companies will want to check your credit score.  Often times this is required if you are applying for a financial position in the company.   The company will need to send you a request to get your credit score, and you will need to provide them with your written consent. 
  • School Records:  With your written consent, employers can access your school records.  They may be wanting to ensure that you did graduate from the college stated on your resume, and that you did in fact earn the degree you listed.  
  • Criminal History:  Access to criminal records varies from state to state.  Some states will only allow employers to access information up to a certain point in the past.  If the position you are applying for is a security position, your full criminal history may be required. 

Some Records are Off Limits

However, there is some information that employers are not allowed to have access to.   

  • Medical records:  Employers cannot request medical records.  However, employers are allowed to ask if you have any medical conditions or disabilities that may prevent you from successfully doing your job.   

Additonal Information

Finally, certain information, such as bankruptcy and your driving records, are public.  An employer would be able to obtain this information without notifying you and without needing your written consent. 

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