To weigh the scales fairly between an employer’s “need to know” for the protection of their organization, other employees, and the people who interact with them, against an employee or prospective employee’s right to privacy and opportunity for equal employment, a number of federal and state laws regulate both the kind of information an employer or prospective employer might obtain about a job applicant or employee, and what they might actually look at.
The extent of the check also depends on the role in question: Whether, for instance, it is a security or safety-sensitive position, whether there is interaction with, say, children or vulnerable adults, and if that role also has to meet federal background check requirements because it comes under an industry or sector classified as critical infrastructure. Before conducting background investigations, employers should be fully aware of the requirements under applicable law and ensure that their pre and post-employment screening practices are in compliance.
Depending on the job in question, and the state, expunged records sometimes have to be made available during background checks. In Arizona, for instance, from April 2019 onward, all non-certified teachers must disclose whether they have had criminal offenses expunged from their records. In Virginia, however, employers are prohibited from requiring an applicant for employment to disclose information concerning any arrest or criminal charge against him or her that has been expunged.
Do note, Biometrica provides real-time data, i.e., arrests or convictions are reported on the day the event is updated by law enforcement in the jurisdiction concerned.
Please note: This is not legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel and HR departments for any legal advice or company best practices.