Background checks have become an essential tool for private companies and governments alike. But with all the different places requiring background checks, it can be challenging to figure out whether background checks are carried out at the federal or state levels. But don’t worry: In this blog post, we tell you everything you need to know.
Are Background Checks Federal or State?
The simple answer is background checks can include both federal and state information. For example, at Plexus Global, our range of background screening services comprises both County criminal court checks and searches on federal court databases.
On the other hand, state background checks are conducted by state law enforcement agencies or third-party agencies. Employers and landlords use state background checks to verify a person’s criminal history and other records at a more localized level. State background checks can vary by state and may not have the same regulations or processes as federal background checks.
Background Checks: Federal and State Legislation
In short, federal and state are two of the most important dimensions you need to consider when it comes to background checks.
The same goes for legislation. While there are important pieces of legislation that govern background checks (most notably the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA) each state has its own laws and regulations regarding background checks.
Some states have different laws regarding what can be included in a background check, how far back they can go, and when the employer can access certain types of information.
Moreover, some states place restrictions on how background checks are used for employment. For example, some states prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on the initial application. Instead, employers must wait until later in the hiring process, such as after an interview or a conditional offer of employment.
Wrapping It Up
In summary, background checks can be carried out at the federal or state levels, depending on the needs of the organization that commissions the background checks.
You need to keep in mind that, in addition to federal legislation, each state also has its own regulations and laws regarding how background checks can be conducted and used.
That’s why it’s crucial to research and partner with a dependable background screening company that can offer both advanced screening technology and up-to-the-minute compliance.
Plexus Global: Background Screening Services in California and Beyond
Plexus Global is a California-based background screening company serving organizations all over the U.S. and abroad.