Seven year limit on background checks
If you have a criminal history odds are you have run into the challenge of passing a background check and securing a job. Most employers now have the technology in place to run a background check in minutes so for most people with a felony on their background finding a job can be difficult. This guide will shed some light on what states put a seven-year limit on background checks.
The FCRA or the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law that overseas how an employee’s information is collected and reported. Some states have enacted their own legislation and those states have limitations on what exact information cannot and can be reported.
What is a background check?
A background check is a snapshot of someone’s past. Criminal history, court records, contact information and more. However, when an employer searches a background it is most likely to look at the criminal side of someone’s history. They are looking to see if a person can be trusted and to clear up any fear that they are hiring someone with a criminal past. With that said, here are some main reasons a background check is performed before hiring
- It’s just easier and cheaper to run a check
- Checking to make sure an employee will not hurt others in the workplace
- Checking for false data on applications
- State and federal laws require background checks for anyone working with children, disabled, and the elderly
What data will show up on a background search?
Basic information will show like date of birth, full name, social security number and more. When broken down into sections one could find these types of data and information on a background search.
- Criminal records
- Court records
- State licensing
- Past Employers
- Incarceration records
- Sex offender data
- Social profiles
In terms of what employers are really wanting to know is the criminal records section This part of the report gets specific on what types of criminal history the person if any, were involved in during their past. Expect employers to find the following types of granular data when a report comes back.
- Civil judgments
- Tax Liens
- Marriage and or divorces
FCRA background checks will show non-convictions. So be prepared for these cases to show up on a Federal Fair Credit Reporting background check. You can expect to see these dispositions:
- Pre-trial diversion
- Will not persecute
Seven year limit on background checks
Convictions and non-convictions have different reporting timeframes. For a Non-conviction, it can be reported on a background check for up to seven years. If a conviction happens that can be reported without any time limitation. So this means that it can show up well after the 7-year mark.
Now, with that said there are some states that will not allow any case that is older than seven years to show on a background check. This is for a conviction or non-convictions. The below seven states follow this rule.
- New Hampshire
- New York
Be honest about a conviction
It is better to be honest if you know that your criminal history will come by in the background check. If you lie and say no to these questions and your potential employers see’s these criminal records the chance of you being hired is almost zero.
If you’re honest, this will give you a chance to explain and describe what happened during that got you a criminal record. Keep in mind that most employers check back from five to ten years in history. Some employers will ask if you have been convicted of a felony in the last 5 years. Or 7 years. If you haven’t been then answering no to that question.
Do you know what will show up your background check?
If not, you may want to pay for a background check to see what information will show up on your report. This will be beneficial in a few ways. Once, you won’t be surprised as you will already know what is on the report.
Two, if there are errors you will want to fix them now. There are times that information within a background report is not fully accurate.
This guide should shed some light on what an employer would see and what states have a seven year limit on background checks.