Employee Background Check Rights

You need to know your employee background check rights because when you apply for a job, the employer is not only going to look at your application and resume but also the employer is going to order your background report. The background report provides detailed information about your criminal record, your employment history, and your driving record.

When an employer buys your background report, they must follow some rules. Similarly, when you apply for a job, you have certain employee background check rights.

To request and review your background report, an employer needs your permission. Usually, you have to give your permission in writing by signing a form which is often buried somewhere in the job application. You have the right to reject an employer’s request to check your background, but if you do that, you might not get the job.

Please remember that with our expanding social websites and the amount of private information available on public websites, the employer doesn't need your permission to learn more about you as it is very easy to find information about people online. That said, the employer might still want to perform a formal background check for more details and save time.

Your credit report is a very important part of your background report. A credit report has information about whether you pay your bills on time or late, how much money you owe, and if you have filed for bankruptcy or someone has sued you.

To minimize your risk of losing a job because of some information in your credit repot, get a free copy of your own credit report by calling Annual Credit Report at 1-877-322-8228 or visiting www.annualcreditreport.com before you apply for the job. By reviewing your credit report, you can see exactly what your future employer will learn about you. And if you find errors, you should contact the credit reporting agencies and ask them to investigate the errors.

Background reports also include criminal records but don’t assume that a criminal record allows an employer to automatically rule out a job candidate. A criminal record might disqualify you from some jobs but don’t assume how the employer will react and don’t get discouraged to apply.

Employee background check rights also include government assistance and if you suspect your rights are violated, call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 to file a complaint.

So let's say you apply for a job, but the employer is thinking of not hiring you because of some information in your background report, the employer has to let you know by giving you an Adverse Action Notice, and a copy of the background report that was used to make the employment decision. The employer also has to give you information about your employee background check rights which include a free copy of your credit report, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the company that produced the report. If you ask that company for a copy of your report within 60 days of getting turned down for the job, you won't have to pay for the report.

Then, you must review your background report and if you find things that you think you can explain to the employer, you should contact the employer and offer some explanation. You might also find mistakes in your report that you can ask the background report company to fix and send a new corrected copy of your report to the employer.

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