Did you know all your activities have some form of documentation and are subject to scrutiny at the time of application for employment, education, etc.? Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRT) is the law that regulates the background checks, and this law has several complex clauses to allow access to records about an individual that is made available on demand at the time of hiring by employers. But before we indulge in the details, I will be explaining to you what a background check is and why it is important. It is recommended that this article should not be considered as the absolute reference for the legal help and if you are in need of precise coverage about this discussion, consulting an attorney is your best option. Suppose you apply for a job posting, your potential employer will conduct a background check about yourself by referring to a veritable documentation made available by FCRA. The information what most employers usually look for is, if you have any early or standing history of criminal charges. It is a rap sheet about the candidate that is available to the public for reference at the time of engaging in any form of business with them. Hence, you may be curious what do background checks show?
These laws upon which the records are maintained are subject to modification from one state to another. The state laws and federal laws differ vastly. The State laws may benefit the defendant in many ways, but mostly their recommended use is for the informational purpose alone. Anticipating the details that show up at the time of background search is unpredictable and subject to complex evaluation and scrutiny.
What Does A Background Check Show?
Now we will be speaking about a few scenarios that highlight these laws in action
Non-Convictions Under Seven Years
If you are someone not convicted yet pending a trial completion, then your case may be a classification of Non-trial. If the case comes to disposition due to non-conviction or exceeds a duration of 7 years, then there is no need the records to show up in the background search.
Some cases are,
- Differed adjudication
- Pretrial diversion, etc.
The rules of FRCA indicate that the individual’s records can be made available on the background checks for a span of seven years post the date of disposition.
Non-Convictions Exceeding Seven Years
If the defendant has an active Non-conviction status, post the period of seven years, then the case is placed for disposition and cannot be enlisted in the background search.
Convicted During The Trial
If you are convicted post a court trial, then your conviction is recorded and enlisted in the background search. The details of the conviction are marked forever and under any circumstances the status is not de-escalated. The details are visible to the employers at the time of hiring. However, some states have laws to limit the record details to the employers. It is to bear in mind that these records may not necessarily prevent a job seeker from being hired in case the records are old and if they are irrelevant to the job that that candidate is applying.
Non-Convictions Progressing To Convictions
Federal laws indicate that suppose the defendant enjoying the status of non-conviction violates the clause of probation and results in his or her status being revoked or deemed convicted, then the records of the conviction are reinstated without limitation.
When Probation Violation Does Not Amount To Conviction
If the defendant is allowed a differed adjudication or sentencing and/ or having violated the clauses of probation, or despite the revised sentencing when the status of disposition have not been amended to the conviction. It is classified as non-conviction and may be open to the seven-year limitation.
Obliterated Or Terminated Records
Obliterated or terminated records cannot be enlisted in background search and are subject to removal by the approval of county courts.
Decoding The Rules
Federal laws are precise and direct when it comes to scrutinizing the details of the conviction that is allowed to be enlisted on the record.
- The duration of the reportable period in case of non-conviction is seven years.
- While the modified status of convictions are enlisted in the report.
However, FRCA version of state laws varies when it comes to enlisting the details of the conviction in reports. The facts that determine the limitations of records of convictions include the annual salary of the individual. In some cases, if the individual belongs to a lower income group, the there is a more effective limitation of records to give them a second chance.
But these apart, it is a complex task to decoding these limitations of enlisted records. Though there is a standard Federal version of this law, there are also State versions too, and the State version varies from one State to another. These are important because depending on the State, it is determined if the job applicants are having a chance of their Background search returning empty or being enlisted in the convicted records.
Truth Can Save You From The Situation
Although some job applicants do not hesitate to specify voluntarily about their conviction history at the time of hiring, this frankness can sometimes earn them the job by expressing intent of rehabilitative measures taken despite their history without affecting their career, but this is not always a guarantee. Also, the law does not specify that an individual must compulsorily specify the details of past conviction to his or her potential employers, but some employers consider the omission of details and failure to disclose the information as highly unappealing and are often viewed negatively. It may raise the chances of being disqualified for the role. Communicating a positive intent is better than being dishonest.
Licensure And High Profile Careers Like Healthcare
Having a history of rap sheet can be a little difficult for some pursuing the roles in a medical profession, especially those requiring licensure for their profession. Despite the fact that there are limitations for records in case of some states and employers, the licensing authorities have unrestrictive access to the records on demand for the background checks.
Hence, it is important to verify with the licensing authority on such conditions. But, it is important to know having old records doesn’t suffice reasons to have your licensure applications from being rejected.