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August 2022

California Background Check
California Background Check
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The state of California affords employers ample opportunities to hire top-notch workers. The state attracts thousands of potentially qualified people from all around the world each year.  It’s no wonder.  With a booming tourism industry and a thriving biotechnology scene, California is a mecca for employers and employees alike.  That said, getting a background check in California for pre-hires can pose quite a few challenges. Here are a few things for California employers to consider that are specific to the Golden State.

Why Look To PreSearch for Background Check Services in California

If you’ve done even the minimal amount of research about conducting a legally compliant employment background check in California, it should be clear that employers in California could all benefit from having an ally on their side.  That is what PreSearch is all about.

When you partner with our professionals, you can expect superior quality results, with a fast turnaround.  You can also gain peace of mind knowing that you are getting comprehensive, current, and accurate details on your pre-hires – all conducted within compliance with federal and California state employment laws. 

Contact us today and let us show you how we can save you time, money, and frustration by making background checks in California as seamless and simple as possible.

How Are Background Checks Different for California Employers?

It’s important to know that a pre-employment background check in California is relevant only to employers who are registered as a business with the secretary of California state.  This means that a California background check may only be conducted by a company that is a certified CA business, and is employing workers to work in the state.  Therefore, anyone hiring an employee in CA must be a CA employer and must follow the state’s specific requirements during the pre-hire process. 

Because compliance with California background check laws is essential for working and hiring in the state, most employers opt to work with professionals who provide services for background checks, such as PreSearch.  We ensure all pre-hire background checks are compiled to employers’ total satisfaction while also adhering to employment laws.  With this in mind, here are the details that specifically pertain to CA employers when obtaining a background check in California for pre-hires.

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Background Check Laws in California

As mentioned, California is bursting with opportunities for employers and workers alike.  However, there are aspects to working in CA that are unique to the state. For example, one in three of the 40 million residents in the state have some sort of criminal record. That means at any given time, employers have a high chance of screening a pre-hire who has some kind of criminal activity in their employment background check in California.  

In response to this unique circumstance, the federal government and the state of California have initiated specialized laws and regulations for employers hiring in California.  These regulations are meant to give Californians with criminal records seeking employment opportunities a better chance at getting jobs, rehabilitating into society as well as encouraging them to contribute to CA communities and the state economy.  Considering these special circumstances, here are critical details about a background check for employment in California that all employers should know.

California Background Check

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks in California

While it is certainly necessary to abide by background check laws in California, employers must also pay close attention to federal pre-hire laws too when it comes to conducting a compliant screening.  Here are a few federal employment laws that every employer should know about and abide by.

Civil Rights Act, Title VII

This federal employment law was established in 1964. It is meant to prohibit employers from discriminating against pre-hires based on certain characteristics.  These characteristics include but are not limited to an applicant’s race, religion, gender affiliation, or national origin.  These and other qualities in a pre-hire must not be weighed in the decision-making process of awarding or denying employment based on this federal employment law.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Depending upon the job position, a credit report might be included with some background checks in California. If this is the case, the FCRA is intended to protect consumers (in this case, applicants) from violating their privacy when it comes to credit reporting and how that information is used.  

Regarding an applicant, the FCRA states that employers must notify pre-hires that a credit report will be conducted and obtain their permission before the report is run. It also mandates that employers must inform the applicant if the credit report information reveals a conflict in granting him or her the job position.  The FCRA also allows applicants to dispute any information in the report deemed incomplete, inaccurate, or in dispute.    

California State Laws on Employment Background Checks

In 2018, the California Supreme Court made a judgment that determined overlaps between Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRA).  The ruling was based on the class action between Connor v. First Student, Inc. in which the Defendant did not receive written authorization to conduct a background check during the pre-hire process.  Here is a breakdown of both ICRAA and CCRA as each applies to performing a background check in California on pre-hires.


While the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act works in tandem with the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, there are some deviations when it comes to conducting credit reports on pre-hires.  Section 1785.20.5 of the CCRAA states that credit reports and investigative consumer reports should be treated as background reports.  This means that applicants are not to be charged for credit reporting – just as they should not be charged for background checks in California.


This consumer reporting regulation is similar to the FCRA, but it is specific to the state of California and has certain requirements upon employers when conducting credit report checks on pre-hires.  For instance, the ICRAA allows only the reporting of open cases of criminal convictions.  The ICRAA also regulates how employers may generate background checks, as well as mandates all pre-hires should be notified in writing that they are subject to background and credit report checks.  

According to Section 1786.16 (2)(B)(iv) of the ICRA Act, certain conditions must be met before an investigative consumer report is prepared upon an applicant.  Some of these conditions include the pre-hire being clearly notified that a consumer report will be conducted, and the results of that report are subject to dispute if the pre-hire deems it inaccurate.

The ICRAA limits conviction information to seven years.  This differs from the Federal Credit Report Act which can view an applicant’s credit history beyond seven years if he or she stands to earn over $75,000 per year if granted the job position.  Because the ICRAA trumps the FCRA, the time limitation stands, and California employers may not surpass the seven years.


This is the California Information Privacy Act.  It expands upon the FCRA by establishing strict requirements for employers who use third-party credit reporting agencies instead of doing in-house or independent background checks. For employers who opt to do credit and background check reports on their own, CIPA states that the applicant must have the option to subject themselves to the check voluntarily, and must also receive a copy of their background check results.

If the employer opts to hire a third-party agency to conduct a background check in California, then CIPA states the employer is required to present the applicant with a “Clear and Conspicuous” notice.  This notice must be in writing, and it includes the nature and scope of the background check.  The notice to the applicant should include the defining purpose of the background check conducted by the third-party service such as, the purpose of the investigation, the contact information of the reporting agency, and a summary of the applicant’s rights, as well as allowing them to receive a copy of the report once the third-party background check service has the results.

There is one caveat to the CIPA regulations.  If an employer conducts a background check as a result of suspecting an applicant or employee has engaged in misconduct or wrongdoing, the CIPA does not require the employer to issue a notice or obtain the applicant or employee’s consent to have a background check conducted.

CA Labor Code 432.7

According to this California labor code, both private and public employers in CA are not allowed to ask an applicant about certain aspects of their criminal history.  For instance, California employers are prohibited from asking an applicant about sealed or dismissed convictions or criminal charges that did not result in a conviction.  

Also, this labor code prohibits employers from asking applicants if he or she has undergone any pre or post-trial diversion programs. Employers may ask applicants if they have any currently pending criminal charges.  Lastly, employers are not permitted to make hiring decisions based on any of these factors. 

Ban the Box and Fair Hiring Laws

The “Ban the Box” is also known as the “Fair Chance Act.” It is a law that came into effect in California when the California Fair Chance Act was passed in 2018.  The law is meant to give applicants a better and fair chance at earning employment regardless of criminal history.  

Ultimately, the law mandates that an employer must base hiring decisions on applicants’ qualifications before conducting criminal background checks in California.  In short, the law prohibits California employers from inquiring about felony convictions or criminal history before presenting a job offer to an applicant.  

California Background Check

Anti-Discrimination Laws

We mentioned the Civil Rights Act, Title VII earlier, but there are still other anti-discrimination laws California employers must adhere to while proceeding with the pre-hire process.  Here are a few laws dealing with discrimination that employers should be mindful about while getting a California background check. 


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal organization that is meant to protect the rights of applicants and employees.  Both the EEOC and the state of California expressly prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals based on characteristics such as religion, race, or gender affiliation.  

As mentioned earlier, California is unique because statistics show that residents of the state have a high arrest rate.  Therefore, California has special employment anti-discrimination laws in order to give applicants a fair chance at obtaining work, contribute to the economy, and experience the opportunity to be a fully functional member of society after a criminal “mark against” on their record.

Additionally, the EEOC mandates that employers must provide applicants with a criminal record a chance to explain the circumstances and the opportunity to present information proving the applicant should not be passed over for employment based on the criminal offense.

What Is the California 7-Year Rule for Background Checks?

Criminal background checks in California can only go as far back as seven years. Under the California civil code, any complaints, indictments, convictions, misdemeanors or arrests older than seven years may not be reported according to California criminal background check laws. 

Also, according to the California 7 year rule background check, expunged or sealed records as well as full pardons and arrests that did not lead to a conviction are not permitted to be reported at all.  Additionally, California employment law mandates that employers must save all background checks for a minimum of two years.

Why Should Employers Consider Background Checks in California?

In this day and age, employers simply cannot rely on the “trusted handshake” method to hire new employees.  Not only are background checks in California essential to ensure you are hiring the most qualified candidate – they can also protect your business from damaging consequences.  

At the very least, a criminal background check should be conducted on pre-hires.  This is especially true if the job position entails sensitive tasks.  Employers may also want to seek out more in-depth background checks to gain verification that an applicant has the education, work experience and qualifications he or she needs to work effectively within the business.

How Background Checks in California Are Conducted

For employers going the DIY route, they must apply to become an authorized applicant to the California Department of Justice.  If approved, the authorized employer may then submit a request to obtain criminal records on applicants.  However, before requesting criminal records on a pre-hire from the DOJ, employers must obtain written consent from the applicant on a DOJ consent form and submit it to the Department of Justice.  Applicants must also have their fingerprints scanned in order to complete the process of criminal background checks in California.

It’s important to note that conducting a background check in this way will not provide employers with additional information such as educational background, qualifications, or work history.  Furthermore, getting a background check through the California DOJ will only show criminal history in the state of CA.  It will not show criminal activity in other states or internationally (if committed).

What Does a California Background Check Typically Show

The answer to this question depends upon how employers choose to go about obtaining a background check in California.  As mentioned, if an employer only requests a criminal background check from the Dept. of Justice, then only criminal activity (if present) will be revealed on that report.

Alternatively, if an employer opts to use a professional and quick background check service such as PreSearch, there is a wide array of information available.  PreSearch enables CA employers to choose from background check options such as educational histories, verification of credentials, employment history and more.  Of course, PreSearch can also complete criminal background checks in compliance with federal and California laws which will reveal information such as criminal charges (if any), date of filing, the level of offense (felony or misdemeanor), and sentencing information.

How Much Can a Background Check Cost in California?

*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.

Please reach out if you would like a quote for background screening services.

If an employer chooses to obtain a background check through the California Department of Justice, the fee is $35 per each request.  However, it’s important to calculate the cost of doing California background checks independently.  To explain, in-house background checks can be costly in terms of the amount of time it takes to track down all the information required.  

Moreover, conducting independent background checks could be costly if they are not done in compliance with federal and state laws.  Failure to comply with pre-hire rules and regulations could result in expensive penalties and fees – not to mention potential lawsuits which can also be costly.  Therefore, the most cost-effective and best value for employers is to obtain background check reports from a trusted service provider such as PreSearch.

Simple Background Screening

PreSearch delivers industry leading background screening services through simplified processes, clear reporting, and honest pricing.

South Carolina Background Check
South Carolina Background Check
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Now more than ever, finding the right employee or volunteer poses an onslaught of challenges.  Hiring managers and non-profit administrators constantly struggle to find trustworthy, reliable workers to keep their businesses running smoothly.  That’s why obtaining services for background checks is such an all-important factor in sussing out the ideal candidate who will be the right fit for your organization.  Getting a South Carolina background check is essential when it comes to making savvy, educated decisions about who you want to represent and support your business or non-profit.

How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in South Carolina 

Whether you own or operate within a business or non-profit, your time is best spent completing the tasks that keep your operations running smoothly.  PreSearch can help you free up your time so that you can do exactly that.  Moreover, when you choose PreSearch as a pre-hire ally, you have peace of mind knowing that you have the most accurate, reliable information to hire the right person for the job.  We simplify your work and pre-hire screening process so that you can continue to grow your business to the level of success it deserves.

How Can I Get a Background Check in South Carolina?

The easiest and most efficient way to get a background check in South Carolina is to use a professional background check service such as PreSearch.  We can provide you with all the information you need on your pre-hires while also complying with South Carolina background check laws. In short, PreSearch makes your screening process painless and effortless.

Alternatively, employers may submit a written request to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to get a South Carolina criminal background check on pre-hires. The information received will reveal if a candidate has a criminal history in the state.  Bear in mind, however, that the results may not include arrests or conviction information in other states outside of South Carolina.  

Employers should also know that the SC Law Enforcement Division criminal report does not include sex offender information – this is a separate search that should be requested from the sex offender registry.  Moreover, this state-provided criminal record will not disclose other information about an applicant, such as education history or employment verification. 

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Why Is It Important for Employers to Do Background Checks in South Carolina?

No matter how careful or scrupulous you are during the pre-hire process, without a South Carolina background check, you really have no foolproof way of knowing the candidate sitting in front of you is who he or she says they are.  

What’s more, a background check can protect your organization from hiring a candidate that may not have your organization’s best interests at heart.  For instance, according to the US Better Business Bureau, 30% of business failures are caused by employee theft, and 25 – 40% of small businesses are subjected to employee embezzlement.  

Fortunately, your organization doesn’t have to be a part of these and other disturbing statistics concerning employee misconduct.  By obtaining a background check for trusted employees, you can have peace of mind that you are hiring a qualified candidate who can be relied upon to work within your organization.

South Carolina Background Check

How Does the Background Check Process Work in South Carolina?

Many employers in South Carolina opt to go through the state to obtain a criminal background check. As mentioned earlier, getting a criminal background check in South Carolina is done by submitting a request to the SC Law Enforcement Division.  Going through this process through  the state is certainly better than nothing – however, it’s an incomplete picture of a candidate’s history.  

Increasingly, employers are going through the background check process by using professional services such as PreSearch.  This is because we make the process seamless.  Simply provide us with the information you need on your applicant, and we do all the rest of the work for you.  

Furthermore, we can give you a more complete overview of your applicant’s history by providing any report you need.  From employment history to driving records – PreSearch is your best ally in obtaining a thorough, up-to-date South Carolina background check. And, we’ll meet your needs in a fraction of the time it takes to get results through the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina Employment Background Check Laws

While getting a comprehensive history on applicants is essential in order to find the right person, the screening process must also comply with South Carolina employment background check laws.  It’s important to keep abreast of federal, state, and local laws in order to avoid litigation or other pitfalls such as violating an applicant’s privacy or civil rights.  Here are just a few leading laws every employer should be aware of when conducting background checks on their own.  

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks

Not only are the state of South Carolina employment laws critical in the screening process, abiding by federal laws is equally important.  Here are a few federal employment laws every employer should be mindful of.

Federal Civil Rights Act

Employers should adhere to the Federal Civil Rights Act (FCRA) passed by Congress in 1920 as a means to protect credit and financial information of consumers (in this case, applicants).  This law prevents consumer report agencies from accessing certain information as well as how credit information is used once collected. 

The FCRA law also prohibits employers from granting or denying employment to an applicant based on credit history.  If, however, an applicant’s credit history is in direct conflict with the position they will be hired for, the FCRA has distinct guidelines (known as the “adverse action process”) as to how to proceed in the event the applicant’s information discounts them from employment. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

One of the most important and pivotal laws employers must abide by is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which was passed by Congress in 1964.  This law is meant to prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant based on particular characteristics.  For example, employment may not be withheld from an applicant based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  

Title VII is enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) which provides explicit instructions to employers in order to protect individuals seeking fair employment.  The EEOC also has regulations and guides for employers if there is a conflict in the pre-hire screening process to protect themselves and applicants in the event a background check reveals a conflicting issue preventing them from employment.

South Carolina State Laws on Employment Background Checks

Adhering to South Carolina background check laws is equally important as following federal laws in the pre-hire screening process.  Failure to follow the state’s laws and regulations when choosing to grant or deny employment to an applicant may lead to penalties, fines or even litigation.  

For example, under South Carolina Ann. § 37-20-170, employers must provide applicants with written notice and adequate evidence that demonstrates why an applicant might have been denied employment.

Additionally, according to South Carolina Ann. § 17-22-960, employers are prohibited from using expunged or sealed records in the pre-hire process to determine whether an applicant should or should not be hired. 

South Carolina Background Check

What Shows up in a Background Check in South Carolina

Now that you’re aware of the importance of a background check, and have a cursory understanding of the necessity to obey federal and state laws during the pre-hire process, you might be asking, “Do arrests show up on background checks?” Or perhaps you’re unsure what exactly you can expect from a South Carolina background check.

When you use PreSearch, you will receive exactly what you expect.  Our diverse array and varieties of background reports are tailored specifically for your pre-hire needs.  However, if you obtain a criminal background report from SLED (SC Law Enforcement Division), you will receive a record of arrests, convictions, and criminal history.  This will include dates of arrests (if any), the severity of charges (misdemeanor or felony), and other information such as sentencing and case number.     

As mentioned, going through the SLED system will only provide you with a criminal history.  When you use PreSearch, you can uncover far more about an applicant, including employment history, and educational background.

How Far Back Do Most Employers Go For Background Checks

In most cases, a South Carolina background check will not go back past seven years.  This is mostly controlled by the Federal Civil Rights Act, which restricts the background lookback period for seven years.  This means that potentially negative information on an applicant’s record is inadmissible if the infractions took place seven years prior to the applicant’s background check.

However, there is a caveat.  Potential employees who stand to earn $75,000 or more are subject to background checks that look beyond the seven-year time limit.  Criminal convictions are also exempt from the lookback period, and can be reported regardless of age.

How Long Does a South Carolina Background Usually Check Take 

If you’re wondering how long does a background check take in South Carolina, the answer is contingent upon how you go about obtaining an applicant’s past information.  For instance, if you go through the SLED system as mentioned earlier, you may expect a long wait time.  This is because state resources are often limited, and the urgency to complete criminal background checks isn’t always a priority.  Therefore, it could take several weeks to receive the background information you need before hiring an applicant.

Alternatively, you can receive an accurate and quick background check when you use PreSearch for your pre-hire screening needs.  In many cases, we can provide you with the critical information you need on an applicant in as little as a few hours.  Moreover, we offer a wide range of background checks that the SC Law Enforcement Division is incapable of delivering to you. 

How Much Can a Background Check Cost in South Carolina?

*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.

Please reach out if you would like a quote for background screening services.

Again, this depends upon the method you use to obtain a South Carolina background check.  If you go through the SLED system, there is a $25.00 fee for each request.  Other resources such as educational facilities or private businesses may charge for background information on applicants, and these fees will vary.  

It’s important to keep in mind that when you use your human resources department, or opt to conduct background checks on your own – you are consuming a lot of time.  And, as any business owner knows, time equates to money.  When you consider the salary paid to do background checks in-house, you’ll see that this can add up to a costly process for you or your staff. 

Simple Background Screening

PreSearch delivers industry leading background screening services through simplified processes, clear reporting, and honest pricing.

Maryland Background Check
Maryland Background Check
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If you’re a hiring manager for any business or non-profit, you know how hard it is to find good help these days.  What’s even more frustrating is finding the right people who are not only qualified, but also reliable and trustworthy.  This is when a Maryland background check can become tremendously beneficial to your organization.  While getting background check services on your pre-hires is crucial,  understanding employment background check regulations in Maryland is equally important. With this in mind, here are some top issues your organization should be aware of when conducting a state of Maryland background check for any pre-hire.

Why Look To PreSearch for Background Check Services in Maryland

When it comes to ensuring you have the right person for a vacancy within your organization, you can’t afford to leave anything to chance.  This is especially true in today’s litigious world, and in a job market that is extremely competitive.  Moreover, as a hiring manager, you can’t rely on guesswork when it comes to the pre-hiring process.  It’s crucial to understand Maryland employment laws and remain in compliance.  When you make the smart choice to use PreSearch for your Maryland background check needs, we make the screening process seamless and simple.  We take care of all the details for you so that you can concentrate on hiring the best candidate for your organization without ever worrying about a thing.

How Do You Get a Background Check in Maryland?

As a hiring manager, you have the option of conducting a MD Background check on your own. However, this could be time-consuming and going this route might not give you the comprehensive details you need.  To explain, employers going it on their own must submit a private petition packet to the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services (MDPSCS).   After submission, the MDPSCS determines whether or not your organization is approved for obtaining a Maryland criminal background check on your pre-hires.  If approved, your pre-hire candidate must submit fingerprints to the state in order for the DPSCS to run a criminal background check.  

As you can see, this can pose a very lengthy process. Waiting on approval and then waiting to receive a MD fingerprint background check could take weeks.  Moreover, going through the state to obtain a background check will only disclose Maryland arrest records or criminal history.  It will not reveal vital information such as employment history, educational credentials, or other critical screening data.

Considering the time-intensive and incomplete results you receive by going through the state, it should be clear that your best bet to obtain a thorough, fast background check for pre-hires is using PreSearch Background Services.  We provide you with a full-spectrum of reports, including educational history, driving records, criminal history – and we do it all while staying compliant with Maryland background check laws.  Even better – we can cut your wait time significantly because we’ll provide you with the critical Maryland background check information you need in a fraction of the time it takes to go through state governmental organizations. 

Please visit our service page for a full list of our offerings

Maryland Background Check

Why Should Employers in Maryland Consider Background Checks?

While the State of Maryland criminal background check is certainly a necessity, it won’t give you the overarching insights you need to make the right choice to hire a prospective candidate.  To explain, your business or non-profit may require specialized reports when considering a candidate for employment.  For example, your job vacancy may entail driving a company vehicle. In this scenario, your business would benefit from obtaining driving records.  

At the very least, you should consider getting a comprehensive Maryland background check in order to validate work history, confirm educational background, or even assess personal and professional references.  When you come to the understanding that you’re risking the integrity of your business to a virtual stranger – it should be clear that getting a background check is a smart move.  Doing so will enable you to get a better understanding as to whether or not a candidate is who she or he says they are.  Additionally, background checks are essential to assess a candidate’s qualifications and trustworthiness. 

How Does the Process for Background Checks Work in Maryland?

Employers must register with the Maryland Department of Labor (and be approved by the department) each year in order to be eligible to receive background checks on applicants under consideration for employment in the state of Maryland. 

If approved, employers should submit a request for a Maryland criminal check with the state according to Under Maryland law (Code Ann. § 14-1204).  Additionally, employers need to give candidates notice in writing within five days that informs the candidate of his or her rights as well as informs the applicant that they will be subjected to a background investigation.  Applicant notice of rights should include details such as the name and contact information for the MD Commissioner of the Dept. of Labor.

There are other considerations when going through the process of background checks and complying with Maryland employment laws.  For instance, according to Maryland employment code § 3-711, employers may not factor a candidate’s credit history in granting or denying him or her employment.  Nonetheless, an employer can review a candidate’s credit history report after an offer for employment is made.  Please read further to learn more about MD background check laws.

Maryland Employment Background Check Laws

When you use PreSearch, the background check process is easy, simple, and seamless.  It also gives you the freedom to hire without worrying about staying compliant with Maryland employment laws.  To elaborate, here are some of the myriad of laws and regulations involved with legally obtaining a background check on candidates employed in MD.

Federal Background Check Laws

Not only must MD employers be aware of state employment laws – federal hiring laws must also be considered during the pre-hire process.  Failing to comply with any of these laws could lead to litigation, penalties or fines.  The two federal laws employers must be aware of are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Here’s an explanation of each of these federal laws.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed in 1970 as a way to protect consumer information. This includes credit information that might be acquired from an applicant during the pre-hire process.  The Act restricts employers from using credit information to make a decision to award or deny a candidate employment based on a credit report. The FCRA also mandates that employers must give applicants written notice of credit background checks as well as instructs employers on how to proceed if the results are in direct conflict with the position an applicant might hold if hired.

Title VII

This federal law is upheld by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Title VII is part of the Civil Rights Act that was passed in 1964.  The Act is meant to prohibit descrimination in the workplace as well as dissuade employers from discriminating against candidates during the pre-hire process.  

Title VII instructs employers that they cannot grant or deny employment due to a candidate’s status. In other words, employment may not be based on a candidate’s race, religion, gender, or other character points.  There are also specific instructions under Title VII that instruct employers how to proceed if a candidate’s background check reveals an issue, such as criminal activity, that will negatively impact his or her performance in the job position offered.

Maryland State Background Check Laws

In addition to regulations surrounding credit background checks in Maryland before employment, there are other Maryland employment laws that must be followed during the pre-hire process.  Here are a few that bear mentioning:

Maryland’s Ban the Box Law (2012 SB 671)

This law prohibits employers from asking if a candidate has a criminal history before he or she is granted a first interview.  The ban-the-box law was amended in 2020 to state that private employers with 15 or more employees may not ask a candidate about criminal past activity before a first interview.  This law is meant to give individuals with a criminal history a chance at work opportunities as well as prevent employers from excluding employment considerations to candidates who may have a criminal background. 

Maryland’s Social Media Laws

This state law prohibits employers from asking candidates (or hired employees) for their passwords or usernames on their social media accounts.  Employers are also prohibited from asking employees or applicants to add them to their social media accounts.  This means that employers are not allowed to ask candidates or employees to “friend” them on social accounts such as Facebook.

Local Background Check Laws

In addition to federal and state laws, employers must also be aware of local city and county laws.  For instance, Montgomery County’s ban-the-box law applies to both private and public sector employers with 15 or more employees.  In 202, the law was amended with a local ruling that states any employer with one or more employees may not be asked about prior criminal activity or convictions three+ years old before being granted a first in-person interview.

What Shows up in a Background Check in Maryland

When your company utilizes the powerful Maryland background check services of PreSearch, you have access to a wide array of historical information on your applicants.  We can craft a specialized background history report that is tailored to your hiring needs and germane to the position you are hiring for.  

Criminal History

At the minimum, most employers will want to obtain a criminal background check from the state. This will include any kind of criminal activity, arrests or convictions (if committed) on the Maryland criminal background check.  This report will reveal details such as date of arrest, charges, disposition, level of the charge (felony or misdemeanor) and the judgment of sentencing.

Employment Verification

When you consider the applicant in front of you might be a virtual stranger, it just makes sense to verify past employment.  Using PreSearch’s powerful background check services will confirm your candidate has indeed worked where he or she claimed.  Furthermore, an employment verification report will validate dates of employment as well as positions held.

Education Verification

There’s nothing worse than investing time and money in finding the perfect person for the job – only to find out they are not qualified for the position.  That’s when getting education verification is invaluable.  This Maryland background check will confirm the applicant has successfully completed the education he or she claims on an application or resume.  Furthermore, an education history check will also show if an applicant has earned certain degrees, certifications, or training that might be pertinent to the position he or she will hold within your organization.

Maryland Background Check

How Far Back Do Most Employers Go For Background Checks

In most cases, a Maryland background check will go back for seven years.  This period of time is deemed by both federal laws and Maryland employment laws.  This means that specific types of background data such as lawsuits or civil judgments will not show up on a pre-hire check.

There are caveats to the seven year lookback period. For instance, Maryland law prohibits information such as bankruptcies that occurred 10 or more years prior to a background check will not be reported.

State law also prohibits Maryland arrest records, convictions or indictments from being reported if they are older than seven years.  The exception to this rule is that if a potential employee is to earn $20,000 or more in salary, then these records may be reported – even if they are over seven years old.  Alternatively, the FCRA salary cap is $75,000 or more per year.

What Employers Can Ask When Checking Your Background

Maryland employers are allowed to do a criminal background check on candidates who have been interviewed, and are under consideration for employment.  Furthermore, employers are permitted to ask about employment history as well as educational background in order to verify the candidate is qualified for the position.  Nevertheless, it is important for employers to provide candidates written notification that these and other Maryland background checks will be conducted.

How Long Does a Maryland Background Check Take

As a hiring manager, you need information on potential employees fast.  However, you may find that’s not the case if you choose to go through the background check process on your own.  To explain, if you choose to conduct a Maryland criminal background check through the state, you may expect those results to take a significant amount of time.  

This is because going through the state requires a multi-step process that is both timely and cumbersome.  As mentioned, employers must be approved after submitting a private party petition package.  Then, Maryland employers must have candidates submit a fingerprint card along with another written request for a background check.  All of these submissions can take weeks to render results.

A far better alternative is to use a reliable, qualified service such as PreSearch.  We can provide you with accurate, current Maryland background check information in far better timing.  In many cases, it may only take a few hours to receive results.

How Much Can a Background Check Cost in Maryland?

*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.

Please reach out if you would like a quote for background screening services.

As mentioned, if you go through the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, you will pay a fee of $18.00 for a criminal background report.  The fingerprint card processing fee is an additional $20.  Bear in mind that this price will afford you only a criminal background check for the state of Maryland.  It will not buy you criminal reports in other states, or educational or employment history.  

If you attempt to request background information from other companies or agencies, the price for these reports can vary wildly as well as take a significant amount of time.  Additionally, there is no guarantee that these reports will be up-to-date and accurate.  As a hiring manager, you have a far better advantage when using PreSearch Background Check Services because our experts will provide you with bespoke reports that give you the right information at your fingertips for a reasonable price and in a timely manner. 

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