What is the point in searching one individual county out of more than 3,100 in the U.S.? Not much if that is the only search we are conducting. However, county criminal background checks are a critical piece of the background screening puzzle. Yes, you should view your background screening program as a puzzle that only works if you have all the correct pieces. No puzzle contains only one piece.
So what are the 5 reasons we need county criminal background checks:
1. Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirement. The FRCA requires employers to use up-to-date information and considers any data older than 30 days as stale.
2. Criminal Databases are Incomplete. No database, including the FBI’s, state repositories or privately held, contain all criminal records.
3. We Need Final Dispositions. Final dispositions are the key to keeping you out of court and out of the radar of the EEOC. Common changes in dispositions:
- Conditional dismissal
- Reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor
4. Personal Identifiers. Databases typically contain limited personal identifiers like partial DOB’s. We need to confirm personal identifiers with the court of record.
5. Criminal Records Should ALWAYS be Verified with the Court of Record. The county courts are the court of record for more than 90% of criminal cases. Verification of records is a Best Practice that protects the organization AND the applicant.
The bottom line is County Criminal Background Checks MUST be a solution included in your safe hiring program. Without them you expose your organization to the risk of a negligent hire or negligent volunteer and the legal risk of using a criminal record that is not up to date.
If your current background checks package does not contain county criminal checks, contact Safe Hiring Solutions today before it is too late.
How many county criminal searches should be included in your package? Leave us a comment below.