Background Checks

Companies will use all sources, whatever sources have worked for them in the past.  So it’s hard to know exactly which service or company they’re using to find things out about you.  But there top-tier services that you want to look out for.  You can also find out what is on any report about you yourself.  

Companies enjoy using these services:

1. Consumer Reports from the Federal Trade Commission.  That’s not the magazine. 

Employment background checks also are known as consumer reports.  When you use consumer reports to make employment decisions, including hiring, retention, promotion or reassignment, you must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA.Oct 31, 2016

The information obtained from Consumer Reports is your credit and banking history.  Work. Chron explains that

The primary sources for consumer financial information are the three large credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These credit reporting agencies give employers detailed information about your personal credit activity, including consumer debt and payment activity as well as adverse information, such as bankruptcies and late payments. Your credit report also includes adverse tax payment information at federal, state and county levels. Sometimes the report includes an overall credit score – often called a FICO score – provided by the Fair Isaac Corporation.

One detective I spoke with said that he uses the DMV, neighbors, Insurance companies, local courts, and anything else they can get their hands on to find things out about you.  Depending on the client, their efforts can be quite aggressive.  

2. There is also Checkr.
3.  Here is another site, NAPBS, for National Association of Professional Background Screeners.  I don’t like the acronym.  It’s too close to Nab, as in nabbing you.  This sort of thing is not accidental.  
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It’s troubling but it’s the world we live in.  This video was interesting because shows how the government uses fear, illegal immigration, to get things passed on American citizens.  Not good.  He mentions E-Verify.  Not good.  As an employer, I had things go sour with a group of employees, most of whom I didn’t even hire; someone else in the company hired them.  I trusted him.  He said he knew them.  Apparently, not as well as he had thought.  That said the loss was not catastrophic.  The guys who left the company did take equipment from me, that is true.  Unfortunately, I know who they are. 

 

They will check your credit history, employment history, criminal background, and your driving record.  Employers do have rules to follow. 

YOU HAVE RIGHTS
1) an employer needs your permission to see a background report.  “Usually” you have to give permission in writing, meaning that not always; in fact, all you need to do is answer “Yes” when the employer says something like “Are you okay with a background check?”  Sometimes the permission might be buried in the papers of your job application.  Pay attention to the papers you’re signing.  You have the right to tell the employer that they can’t do a background report.  But if you do that, you might not get the job.  I wonder.  Why can’t someone simply point to all the relevant documents, like resume, job history, DMV record, criminal record?  “I’ve got nothing on my record” should be enough and then followed by proof. 

The employer doesn’t need your permission to look you up online, like at Facebook or a website or your address or publications at your previous employment.  Be prepared.  Know what to expect.

HOW IMPORTANT IS MY CREDIT REPORT?
Has info on whether you pay bills on time, or late, how much you owe or if someone has sued you.  Before you apply for a job, get a copy of your own credit report.  The video recommends calling 877-322-8228 for a Free Credit Report.  Be careful.  Use an agency that you’re familiar with.  Also, anytime you order a report, there might be a slight ding on your credit ironically.    

BACKGROUND REPORTS CAN INCLUDE CRIMINAL RECORDS
At the FTC, they’ve heard that some employers shouldn’t apply for their job if you have a criminal record.  That’s discimination, but there’s nothing illegal about discrimination.  Everyone discriminates.  We have to for our survival.  It is true that a criminal record might disqualify you from some jobs.  But employers are not supposed to rule out everyone who’s been arrested or convicted.  She recommends calling the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 800-669-4000.  There are time limits on any complaint that you register with the EEOC.  Any time you see a phone number with all those zeros, it means that you will be lost in their phone labirynth and that it’s not really worth it to pursue any form of justice before you actually get a job.  Simply walk away if you suspect someone has mistreated you.  You probably wouldn’t want to work with them anyway. 

WHAT IF I DON’T GET HIRED BECAUSE OF SOMETHING IN MY BACKGROUND REPORT?
Suck it up.  If an employer doesn’t like you for whatever reason, what would be the point of sticking around?  If you stay with the company, they’ll only make your life, time, and efforts with them miserable.  You’ve got to pick your battles more strategically.  The point that was interesting in that video was that if the employer decides not to hire you, they have to give you a copy of the report they purchased from the background vendor.  Good luck getting that.  Most companies and employers don’t play by the book.  Playing by the book costs time and money that they can’t afford.  Instead, they’ll simply make it miserable for you off the books, so that you end up leaving on your own accord.  “You might find things you can explain to the employer.  You also might find things you can fix.”  Ha!  I mean unless you’re the top salesman at another company jumping to its competitor, you can forget about any employer acting nice and listening to your story.  If they’ve already judged you AND made a decision, there is nowhere for them to back peddle to.  Adverse Action Report corrected copy of the report.  They have to give you the AAR.  You have the right to dispute the finding in the report.  And the company has to give you the name of the company who wrote the report. 

WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE TO FOLLOW?
Too much of one’s rights require reporting to Federal agencies.  It’s too much!

National Background Investigations Bureau, NBIB.  This agency is responsible for conducting security clearance investigations into individuals who need to hold security clearances for employment purposes. Creation of the agency was announced in January 2016.[1]NBIB is the primary service provider of background investigations for the U.S. Government and conducts approximately 95 percent of government-wide background investigations for more than 100 federal agencies.[2] The agency’s background investigation information technology (IT) systems will be designed, built, secured, and operated by the United States Department of Defense

Single Scope Background Investigations, SSBI.  

What is an SSBI? Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) is reserved for employees (military, civilian and contractor) requiring a TOP SECRET security clearance and access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI).