What Is Covered by a Background Check for Employment?

A person’s business, criminal, employment, and/or financial records are reviewed during an employee background check. For prospective employees, many employers run background checks. Following the hiring of an employee, some employers perform checks.

In the US, 1 in every 11 workers (9% of the workforce), according to Recovered.org, suffered with drug or alcohol usage in 2021. The annual expense of drug and alcohol abuse is pegged at 70–80 billion dollars.

Absenteeism rates are 4–8 times greater when substance misuse is present. It is responsible for 65% of workplace accidents, and 38% to 50% of all claims for workers’ compensation are based on substance addiction.

Knowing your rights is the greatest way to get ready for a background investigation. Find out what information employers may look into during a background check, when they must give you advance notice, and what information they must disclose with you.

How Background Checks Are Conducted by Employers

An employer must provide you written notice and obtain your consent before doing a background check on you.

However, if the employer is merely making enquiries on their own (as opposed to obtaining a report from another business), they are not required by law to obtain your permission.

For instance, they do not need your permission to contact your old employer. If they make use of a third-party employment screening company, they merely have to let you know.


Employers are required to provide you with a “pre-adverse action disclosure” if they decide not to hire you or decide to revoke a job offer as a result of a consumer report. Along with an explanation of your rights, this also contains a copy of the consumer report.

How Employers Can Verify

A background check might be as basic as verifying your Social Security number or as extensive as looking into your past.

Your employment history, credit, driving history, criminal history, vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical history, references, property ownership, drug test results, military history, and information about all things that an employer might examine.


Employers may also interview your friends, neighbors, and other members of your personal network as part of a character check.

They typically check data that is relevant to the work. For instance, it would be reasonable for an employer to inquire about your past of theft or embezzlement if you were hired to work in a bank.

Background Check Privacy

What information is excluded from a background check? There are some things that, no matter what, cannot be revealed. Included in this data are bankruptcies after ten years, civil lawsuits, civil judgements, arrest records after seven years, paid tax liens after seven years, and accounts designated for collection after seven years. These limitations, however, don’t apply if the wage is $75,000.001 or higher.

Important Factors

Education and military history

Only with your permission are some records accessible to employers. For instance, school records are private and cannot be disclosed without the student’s permission as a part of education verification.  Military service records are also private and may only be disclosed in specific situations. Your name, rank, pay, assignments, and awards, however, may be disclosed by the military without your permission.


Although it is illegal to discriminate against someone for declaring bankruptcy, employers can easily access this information as bankruptcies are public records.

A criminal record

Additionally, the laws governing some background checks differ from state to state. For instance, questions about arrests or convictions that occurred more than a specific amount of time ago are prohibited in several states. Others limit the use of criminal background information to select job categories.


Medical records are also confidential in several places. However, businesses are not permitted to base hiring choices on a candidate’s disability. They may merely ask you about your capacity to carry out a specific task.

What to Do in Advance For Check? 

Knowing what data an employer might find is the best way to get ready for a background check.

Check Your Credit Report

Get a copy of your credit report and examine it ahead of time for any mistakes in your background information. Dispute any inaccurate information with the creditor or other source if it exists.


Get a copy of your driving history from your state’s department of motor vehicles to check it out. Do the same with your other records, such as your academic and legal records, and others.

Check your personnel files

Ask your past employers for copies of your personnel files, if they are still available. Be sure to anticipate what your references will say about you. (Read on for more advice on how to get ready for a background check for a job.)

Protect your privacy

Additionally, you should exercise caution when posting on social media and other internet venues. There is a great likelihood that someone will discover material that could be detrimental to your job. Your best course of action is to use caution while posting and to assume that, regardless of whatever privacy settings you may have, everyone may see what you publish.

You need to be honest for background check

Most crucial, make sure the information on your resume and job applications is true and accurate. If you lie, you might not immediately be discovered, but ultimately the truth will come out. It doesn’t matter whether you don’t get employed or fired because you believed your resume might

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