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September 2022

Oklahoma Background Check
Oklahoma Background Check
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While recent upheavals across the nation have wreaked havoc on employers and employees alike, Oklahoma still enjoys a healthy job market.  In fact, according to the US Congress Joint Economic Committee, the state of Oklahoma added roughly 46,000 new payroll jobs, and 500 private payroll jobs were added as of August 2022.  Considering these promising statistics, it’s no wonder that the Sooner State is attracting qualified workers who are relocating to the state for better employment prospects.  

While the state might be alluring for prospective employees, employers are under more pressure now today than ever before to suss out the best candidates for their business or volunteer vacancies.  This is when an Oklahoma background check can be invaluable.  If you are a hiring manager, employer, or volunteer organization seeking trustworthy and qualified workers, you should read this in-depth information about conducting a background check in Oklahoma and why it’s crucial to do so.

Why Look To PreSearch for Your Background Checks 

Getting the all-encompassing information you need to hire the right candidate for your business or volunteer organization can be complicated, confusing, and overwhelming.  But it doesn’t have to be.  With PreSearch, we make the pre-hire process seamless and easy.  Simply reach out to us and apprise us of your needs, and our experts can return current, accurate results – in many cases, with an impressive turnaround time.  

What’s more, we conduct all of our background checks within the full letter of the law, so you never have to worry about compliance issues with state and federal regulations.  With all the responsibilities you face every day, PreSearch is your best solution for making your work and life easier.  Ultimately, PreSearch provides you peace of mind because we give you the right tools, resources, and data so you can make the right hiring choices for the future of your business.

What Are Background Checks Exactly? 

A background check can mean many things depending upon what type your organization needs.  For instance, an Oklahoma criminal background check looks a lot different than a credit check or verification of employment.  Nevertheless, the overarching commonality all background checks share is the end-purpose of confirming and verifying an applicant is qualified for the job positions offered.  Furthermore, a background check is designed to reveal key information about an applicant in order to assess if he or she is who they say they are and can be trusted to work within your organization.

How Can I Get a Background Check In Oklahoma? 

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Your best plan of attack in obtaining a fully compliant and comprehensive Oklahoma background check is to utilize reliable background check services, such as you will find with PreSearch.  Our professional experts make background checks in Oklahoma simple, quick, and easy.  Moreover, we can provide you with all the information you need without having to hunt down different sources – and we do it all in full compliance with state and federal laws.

However, if you want to get a background check in Oklahoma on your own, you can submit a request to the OK State Bureau of Investigation.  The Bureau has a database of individuals who have criminal records.  You can request this information either online or by mail.  If you are a hiring manager in the education system, you can request criminal background checks from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

If you choose to take on the exhaustive task of background checks independently, you should know that these state-generated criminal records will only show infractions committed in the state of Oklahoma.  This means you will not attain criminal history if your applicant might have committed a crime in other states, or internationally.  

Why Should Oklahoma Employers Conduct Background Checks?

Oklahoma Background Check

There are a myriad of reasons that confirm getting background checks on applicants during the pre-hire process is a good idea.  Most importantly, a background check can verify an applicant’s identity – essentially informing you the applicant is who he or she claims to be.  Secondly, the screening process can confirm the applicant has indeed received adequate education, training or experience for the job by verifying education and employment history.

When you consider that an applicant (if granted the job) has access to sensitive information such as business material, financial data, etc. – employers should make every effort to ensure those assets are protected by getting background checks.  Furthermore, if your potential new-hire might be associating with vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly, that’s all the more reason to get a thorough background check to confirm the applicant can be relied upon and trusted.

What Is Unique About Background Checks in Oklahoma?  

In addition to abiding by federal laws and regulations during the pre-hire process, it’s crucial to understand specific state laws when screening applicants.  For instance, Oklahoma requires that employers must individually assess applicants should they have a criminal history.  This means that employers must determine if the criminal history is in direct conflict with the employment position for which the applicant might be hired.  If this is the case, Oklahoma employers are required to prove that the criminal charges on an applicant’s record justify denial of the job position.  

If an employer determines an applicant’s criminal activity is justifiably cause for denying employment, the employer must then provide the applicant with a pre-adverse action notice.  This is a written document that notifies the applicant that explains the refusal of employment based on an Oklahoma criminal background check conducted on the applicant. 

The pre-adverse action notice must include the specifics of the conviction that are in conflict with the job position and a copy of the conviction report.  Additionally, the pre-adverse action notice must give a reasonable deadline for the applicant to have the opportunity to explain, clarify, or justify the criminal charges.  Essentially OK employers must give the applicant a chance to defend themselves in an attempt to vie for the job position.

Let’s say an applicant has pleaded his or her case against the criminal background check in Oklahoma by the specified deadline in the pre-adverse action notice.  But, as an employer, you still decide to decline employment.  In this case, a final adverse action notice must be sent to the applicant.  This formal, final notice lays out the details as to why the applicant was denied employment.  According to Oklahoma hiring regulations, the final adverse action notice must also include verbiage about the applicant’s right to challenge the final denial as well as his or her right to request reconsideration for employment.

While all this might sound very bureaucratic, it’s essential to comply with the Oklahoma criminal background check laws.  It might provide some solace to know there are some conditions that Oklahoma employers can absolutely refuse employment to an applicant.  For instance, if an applicant clearly lies or inordinately embellishes so-called facts on his or her application or resume.  If your organization requires a pre-hire drug test and the applicant fails it – that is also grounds for disqualification of employment.

How the Background Check Process Works in Oklahoma

As mentioned, you can DIY a background check by submitting a request to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.  After receipt of your request, the state will pull any kind of criminal history your applicant may have and send it back to you.  Bear in mind, this report will only show criminal activity that took place in the state of OK – it will not show infractions committed (if any) in other states or internationally.

The most convenient way to go about a background check in Oklahoma is to use a trusted, reliable third-party provider such as PreSearch.  In this scenario, all you need to do is reach out to us, tell us what kind of screenings you require, and we’ll do all the work for you.

Oklahoma Background Check Laws

Another advantage of using PreSearch is that we are current and well-versed in federal laws as well as state of Oklahoma laws. That means when you opt to have background checks in Oklahoma done by PreSearch, our reports will be conducted in full compliance with state and federal regulations.  Here are a few background check laws every employer should be aware of when moving forward with the pre-hire screening process.

Does Oklahoma Have a Ban the Box Law?

Yes.  The so-called “ban-the-box” law prohibits employers from asking questions about any criminal activity in an applicant’s past.  This was mandated in 2016 via Executive Order 1023.  This law bans the box that was previously shown on applicants that inquired, “Have you been arrested of a felony?” or verbiage along those lines.  The law also prohibits verbal questioning about past criminal activity before the interviewing process begins.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 

Also known as FCRA, this is a federal law that is enforced and governed by the Federal Trade Commission.  The Act was set into motion as a way to preserve and protect consumers (your applicants) privacy when a credit report is run.  It regulates how financial and credit information is acquired, reported and disseminated by consumer reporting agencies.  The act also governs how employers can use applicant credit information in the pre-hiring process.  Furthermore, if a credit check is done, the applicant must be notified in writing of this fact, and the applicant must sign that they fully understand a credit report will be conducted on them.

Title VII of the Civil Rights 

This is another federal law that protects applicants’ rights.  Title VII is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and represents a strong stance against discrimination.  The law is regulated by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and it is one of the most crucial laws to abide by as an employer in the US.  

Essentially, Title VII of the Civil Rights act prohibits employers from denying applicants employment based on gender, sex, religion, political affiliation, etc.  It also dissuades employers from making snap judgments against declining employment to applicants based on criminal history.

Employers Pay for Drug and Alcohol Testing

In some instances, such as with a trusted employees background check, an employer may require a drug or alcohol screening test on pre-hires.  This is a logical and practical request, especially if potential employees are working with vulnerable populations such as the elderly or with children.  It’s also a reasonable request if part of the applicant’s job function will be driving, using heavy equipment, or will be in direct contact with controlled substances. 

Oklahoma employers must notify applicants they are subject to a drug or alcohol test prior to the screening.  That said, according to Oklahoma state law 40-556, the employer is responsible for paying for drug and alcohol testing.  However, if an employee requests a copy of the drug/alcohol screening, he or she is responsible for paying for that copy.

Employers Pay for Pre-Employment Medical Screening

As an employer in Oklahoma, you are permitted to conduct a pre-hire medical screening if the job position requires it.  However, if this type of testing is required, the employer is responsible for paying the full cost of medical screenings on applicants.  Furthermore, the employer must give the applicant a copy of the medical screening results within 30 days of testing.l

Employers Can’t Request Social Media Information

Oklahoma law has had to scramble to accommodate the ever-changing landscape of the internet and social media.  As an answer to this, under Oklahoma state statute 40-173.2, employers are prohibited from asking applicants or employees for the social media usernames, passwords or access to their accounts.  Furthermore, employers cannot ask to be in the presence of applicants or employees while they access their social accounts.  Additionally, employers cannot demand to be “friends” or be “liked” by applicants or employees.  With this in mind, an employer can request access to an employee’s social media activity if he or she has used social media on the company’s internet or equipment if the need for investigation of this social media material is required. 

Employers Can’t Inquire About Sealed or Expunged Records

As with most states, expunged records are inaccessible to employers.  According to Oklahoma stat. 22.-19, hiring managers cannot ask applicants about any information that has become sealed or expunged by the state.  Furthermore, an applicant cannot be denied employment if he or she denies any criminal activity (if asked) if that activity has been sealed from the record or expunged.

What Generally Shows up on an Oklahoma Background Check?

Oklahoma Background Check

When you use PreSearch, you have a diverse variety of information at your command, because we provide you with an impressive array of different background checks. That means a broad-spectrum of information can show up on an Oklahoma background check when you opt to partner with PreSearch. However, if you opt for state-issued background checks, you will only receive criminal records that took place in the state of Oklahoma.

Whatever tact you choose to take with Oklahoma background check, you should receive the basics.  These essential details include, verification of identity, employment history, and educational background confirmation. You can also review Oklahoma criminal background check details such as felonies, misdemeanors (that have not been expunged or sealed), pending criminal cases, civil judgments.  You may also conduct a search on the national sex offender registry, check out motor vehicle reports for infractions, review prison records, and determine if an applicant has been placed on the Domestic Terrorist Watchlist.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Oklahoma? 

Would it surprise you that you could have a full identity verification, educational history check, employment history, and criminal background check in Oklahoma within the span of a day?  In some instances, you can have all this information at your fingertips within an hour.  That is, if you use a professional, fast background check service such as PreSearch.

Alternatively, if you opt to do background checks yourself, or dole the task to your human resources department – the length of time to gather, organize, collect and process background information could take days – or worse – weeks.  The reason for this is that gathering all this information is incredibly time-consuming.  Making calls to previous employers or educational institutions takes an arduous amount of time.  Furthermore state-issued criminal background checks are slow in coming, and can take days or weeks to get results.

How Far Back Does Oklahoma Go Back for Background Checks? 

As with most states in the US, the standard lookback time for background checks in Oklahoma is seven years.  This is due to FCRA mandates, which adhere to a seven-year timeframe when it comes to doing background checks on applicants.  This timeframe does not apply if an applicant may earn $75,000 or more per year in salary.  In this instance, a credit report or background check may look past the seven-year limit.

Additionally, criminal convictions can extend beyond the seven-year period, as long as the records are not sealed or expunged.  The same holds true for employment history, and educational background which can look back prior to the standard seven-year period.

How Much Can a Background Check Cost in Oklahoma?

*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 you are conducting checks through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the fee is $15 for a name-based check and an additional $19 for a fingerprint-based background check per each applicant report.

The cost of obtaining additional background information can be extensive in terms of payroll hours. This is because, as mentioned, gathering all the information required to conduct a thorough and comprehensive check can be extremely time-consuming.  Consequently, you could be spending a lot of money on HR salaries to get the information required during the pre-hire process.

Simple Background Screening

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Missouri Background Check
Missouri Background Check
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The state of Missouri enjoys a lot of enviable perks when it comes to attracting qualified employees.  The state is family-friendly, affordable to live in, and it’s also a great place for remote workers. What’s more, Forbes 100 cited three companies in Missouri as the top three places to work.  

In light of all this, the state is positioned to lure in well-qualified workers.  That’s good news for you, if you are an employer, hiring manager or volunteer administrator looking for the right people to fill vacancies.  However, no matter how ideal a candidate might be, every hiring organization should conduct a Missouri background check to confirm an applicant’s information.  With this in mind, here are some things all hiring managers and administrators should consider when getting a background check in Missouri.

How PreSearch Can Help

When you need the most up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive information on your applicants, PreSearch is your ultimate solution.  We are committed to providing your organization with complete details with fast turnaround times.  Moreover, we have a buffet of different types of background checks so you can get a broad-spectrum view of your applicants. By using PreSearch, you know that you have the right information at hand to make the best hiring choices – all within strict compliance of state and federal laws.

What Exactly Is Background Check? 

A background check in Missouri is pretty much exactly what you might think it is.  A background check is meant to inform employers or volunteer organizations about the history of a potential candidate for a job or volunteer position.  The purpose of a background check is to confirm an applicant’s past history, as well as assess if a candidate is a right fit for the position being offered.

As with most states in the US, a Missouri state background check – at a minimum – should include applicant information such as employment history, educational background, and criminal history. Depending upon the position for which an applicant is being hired, more detailed information may be included in a background check. Essentially, a background check is instrumental in verifying that the applicant is who he or she is who they say they are, as well as confirming an applicant’s identity.  

How Can I Get a Background Check In Missouri? 

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If you’re wondering how to get a background check in Missouri, you can start by requesting a check through the Missouri State Highway Patrol Automated Criminal History System.  This will provide you with criminal activity an applicant may have on their record (if any).  Bear in mind, that this Missouri criminal background check will only reveal infractions committed in the state.  It will not disclose any criminal activity an applicant might have been involved with in other states, or internationally.

You might obtain additional information by getting in touch with the Missouri Court System, which offers online background checks through their Case Net System.  This is a name-based database that searches through the state of Missouri’s court records.  While this information can be helpful in the pre-hire process, the Case Net System isn’t always the most reliable.  To explain, some search results may cull individuals with similar names and may be unrelated to your particular applicant.  Furthermore, there are some municipal courts that do not participate in the Case Net System. Therefore, you might not be obtaining all the information you need when going this route.

As a hiring manager, you can try to do a Missouri background check yourself, by personally contacting an applicant’s previous employers, calling previous educational institutions, checking personal references, etc.  However, this could take a tremendous amount of manpower hunting down all these details.  Plus, it can take a long time to receive the information you’re trying to obtain either yourself or through state government institutions.  Moreover, in conducting a DIY background check, you might not be fully aware of state and federal laws governing how background checks are conducted.

With this in mind, your best option is to partner with professional background check services such as those offered at PreSearch.  We know the letter of the law in the state of Missouri, as well as federal laws.  That means all of your background checks will be fully compliant with federal and Missouri background check laws – which thus frees you from any potential liability.  Additionally, our professional experts have the resources at their disposal to get you fast, accurate, reliable results.  We can also provide you with a broad-scope of information, so the details you receive are not limited to just Missouri state.

The Importance for Missouri Employers to Conduct Background Checks

Perhaps the most important payoff in obtaining a background check in Missouri is peace of mind.  When you have all the accurate details in your hands, you can rest assured that your decision to award or deny employment to an applicant is based on faultless data and current information.  

What’s more, a background check can give you the insights you need to determine whether or not an applicant is trustworthy, qualified and capable of working within your organization.  If you think about it, you’re potentially hiring a virtual stranger to manage, care for, and operate within your business or volunteer organization.  Considering this, a background check is pivotal in making the best choice for your company or volunteer operations.

Is There Anything Unique About Background Checks in Missouri? 

Most states have commonalities when it comes to screening applicants during the pre-hire process.  However, it’s important to know about certain laws and regulations in Missouri when obtaining historical information on applicants.  

For instance, if you are an employer in Kansas City or St. Louis, or you are a hiring manager for an executive branch agency, you are not permitted to inquire about any criminal activity until later in the hiring process.  In other words, you cannot ask an applicant about criminal history until the applicant has been interviewed and it’s been determined that the applicant is a qualified choice for the job position. Even if you are hiring outside of Kansas City or St. Louis, you should still hold to the protocol to avoid stepping outside the law.

In the event you do discover an applicant has a criminal history, you must take this information under consideration as it relates or applies to the job position.  For instance, if the applicant has been convicted of embezzling, and the job position is for a cashier – this is clearly a conflict.  There are laws that prohibit denying a candidate a job based exclusively on a Missouri criminal background check. Therefore, an applicant must be thoroughly considered – even if he or she has a criminal history – before employment is denied.

If, after you thoroughly evaluate the criminal activity in relation to the job position, you determine the applicant is inappropriate for the job position – you need to provide the applicant with a pre-adverse action letter.  This is a written document that informs the applicant that he or she is being turned down for employment based on adverse information that was revealed in a background check. The letter must detail the negative information, as well as provide the applicant with a deadline for the applicant to provide evidence, clarify, or explain the criminal activity as well as show proof he or she has been fully rehabilitated.

Once you’ve provided the applicant with the pre-adverse action letter, and given him or her adequate time to prove their case, you still have the right to deny employment if you are not fully satisfied with the applicant’s response to the adverse action process.  If you still do not want to hire the applicant, you must send a formal and final adverse action letter to the applicant.  This final notification should include the name and contact information of the person or organization who conducted the background check on the applicant.  You must also include a copy of the rejected candidate’s rights under Missouri state law and the FCRA, along with the final adverse action letter.

How Background Checks in Missouri Work 

Missouri Background Check

As an employer in the state of Missouri, you have several different options regarding how you conduct background checks on potential new-hires.  You can go the DIY route, which, as we mentioned earlier, involves submitting requests to the State Highway Patrol Automated Criminal History System for a Missouri criminal background check.  You also have the option to request information through the Missouri Court Case Net System. Your best option is to use a reliable third-party background check service that can get you current, accurate results in a timely fashion – all while staying compliant with federal and Missouri background check laws. 

Missouri Background Check Laws

Speaking of compliance with Missouri state laws, here are a few overarching laws that all employers must abide by should a background check in Missouri be conducted independently.  Failure to comply with these laws could result in litigation by an applicant or penalties and fees imposed by the state or federal government upon the hiring organization.

Missouri Executive Order 16-04

As of 2016, the governor of Missouri signed Executive Order No. 16-04.  This is know as a “ban-the-box” law which is meant to reduce discrimination against hiring applicants with a criminal background.  This Executive Order prohibits hiring executive branch agencies from asking questions about criminal activity from applicants before a formal interview and evaluation has been done. 

Does Missouri Have a Ban the Box Law?

Yes, but it is not necessarily state-wide.  To explain, both Kansas City and St. Louis does have ban-the-box ordinances.  In St. Louis, under Ordinance 71074, employers with 10 or more employees are prohibited from asking about criminal information or requesting an applicant to divulge criminal activity on an application. This is to deter employers from denying employment to individuals with a criminal background.

In Kansas City, Ordinance 180034 works similarly.  The difference is that employers with 6 or more employees cannot ask applicants or require applicants to share information about potential background history before they have had a formal interview. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act 

This is a federal law that is crucial to abide by in the pre-hire process the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is meant to protect consumer rights and privacy when data is collected.  The Act also protects how this information is collected, retained and disclosed to employers by consumer reporting agencies. Additionally, this Act prohibits employers from conducting a credit check on applicants without giving them written notice first. If adverse information surfaces from the credit check, the employer must go through the FCRAs adverse action process before denying employment to the applicant in question.

Title VII of the Civil Rights 

This civil rights act was passed by the US federal government as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act was established as a way to reduce or eradicate discriminating against applicants based on certain characteristics such as race, gender, religious affliation, etc.  Title VII mandates that employers cannot be selective about background checks based on membership of a particular or protected class within society.  Essentially, an employer cannot discriminate against an applicant, and must fully evaluate each applicant’s situation (including criminal activity) as it directly relates to the position offered to him or her.

Missouri Expungement Law

According to Missouri’s statute 610.140, if an individual proves to be convicted of certain misdemeanors or felonies, the applicant has the right to petition to the court and the county they were convicted in to have the expunged.  If the petition is approved, the individual’s criminal activity is sealed, and cannot be accessed by an employer during a criminal background check. Furthermore, if the candidate has an expunged criminal record, he or she reserves the right to deny having criminal activity if asked during the pre-hire process.

What Shows up on a Missouri Background Check? 

At the very least, a background check in Missouri should show employment verification, which verifies the applicant has worked with the past employers he or she claimed to work for on a resume or application.  A general background check should also include education background, and verify if the applicant has received the education, licensing, certifications, or degrees he or she has claimed on an application or resume.

If a criminal background check is conducted, various information will show up if the applicant has a criminal history.  Such details include the date of offense, type and level of offense, date of disposition and sentence information. 

A background check should also show verification of identity.  This type of report confirms the validity of an applicant’s social security number, legal name, and birth date.  All of these figures should match, which is a level of clarification that confirms an applicant’s identity.

There is additional information that can show up on a Missouri background check, and as an employer, you have the option to extend screenings to other areas such as conducting a sex offender registry check, credit checks, driving record checks, etc.

How Long Do Background Checks Take in Missouri? 

Missouri Background Check

The amount of time it takes to conduct a background check in Missouri and get results is contingent upon how you go about conducting the check.  For instance, if you choose to conduct checks independently, or have your human resource department conduct a check – this can take days, or more likely weeks to get results.  

The reason for this is because it takes a lot of time to collect, organize and track down the information you need for a comprehensive background check.  Furthermore, government agencies are not typically expedient when it comes to providing criminal background check results.  For a fast background check, your best option is to partner with a professional provider such as PreSearch.  In most cases, we can give you background check results within a day, or even a few short hours.  That is a striking time difference from waiting days or weeks for results.

How Far Back Does Missouri Go Back for Background Checks?

If you’re wondering how long does a background check take in Missouri, the lookback time for Missouri background checks is seven years.  Missouri’s expungement laws and the FCRA govern this seven-year term, and any information prior to seven years is inadmissible.  However, if an applicant stands to earn over $75,000 per year, the lookback period may go back further than seven years.   Therefore, information such as civil judgments, bankruptcies, non-conviction arrests, or civil judgments cannot be reported if they are older than seven years.

How Much Can Missouri Background Checks Cost?

*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 you opt to request a criminal Missouri state background check through the name-based Case Net System, the fee is $14.00 plus a convenience fee.  The fee is charged for each applicant you obtain a background check on.  The fee to obtain records from the Missouri State Highway Patrol is $41.75. Other government-sourced checks such as checking identity via a drivers license verification or MVR report can range from $3 – $10 per applicant.

Simple Background Screening

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Oregon Background Check
Oregon Background Check
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If you’re a hiring manager, business owner, or volunteer organization who is seeking qualified help, you know how arduous that search for the perfect match can be.  At the time of this writing, the state of Oregon is struggling with workforce shortages as businesses are still recovering from the ravages of the pandemic.  If this isn’t enough, Oregon hiring managers are consistently tasked with hiring the right candidate for the job while still staying compliant with state and federal regulations.  While staffing shortages are an inevitable challenge in today’s business world – hiring the right applicant doesn’t have to add to your hiring challenges. Thanks to professional Oregon background check services, you can rest assured that the candidate sitting in front of you is the ideal person for the job.

How PreSearch Can Help

You can save yourself and your organization a lot of time, money, and frustration by using PreSearch.  Our professional technicians are fully versed on Oregon state law, so you can be assured that all your background checks are conducted according to state and federal requirements.  Furthermore, we eliminate all the time invested in contacting independent state departments which can cost money in salaries, and fees.  We have the resources and knowledge to expedite results, and guarantee your satisfaction.  Ultimately, when you align yourself with PreSearch, you have the most effective tool to help you hire the right candidate to work within your organization.

Oregon Background Check Introduction 

As a hiring manager, your primary objective is to suss out the best candidate for your business or volunteer organization’s vacancy.  While this may sound simple, the pre-hire process can get extremely complicated.  

To explain, the state of Oregon has specific rules about what employers can and cannot ask an applicant before he or she is rewarded or denied a position.  Moreover, federal regulations must also be followed during the pre-hire process.  

Failure to comply with hiring laws could mean costly consequences for any business or volunteer organization.  In order to help your organization avoid expensive lawsuits or penalties due to noncompliance, here are some helpful highlights you should know about conducting a background check in Oregon.  

How Can I Get a Background Check In OR? 

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According to Oregon’s Public Records Law, you have the right to view public records.  However, there are certain records that are prohibited from public view, and therefore must remain confidential according to the Oregon Secretary of State. 

Nevertheless, if you want to conduct a criminal background check in Oregon, you can submit a request for criminal background information from the Criminal Justice Information Services. Bear in mind, however, that this report will only provide you with potential criminal activity that occurred within the state of Oregon.  It will not disclose nationwide or international criminal activity on the candidate you are considering for hire.

If you wish to obtain court case data on an applicant, you can submit a request for this through the Oregon Judicial Department.  For general Oregon background check information, you should submit a request to the Secretary of State.  You can also access background information from the Oregon Department of Justice or the Oregon Health Authority.  

While Oregon has generous laws about making background information public records, it can be a time-consuming process.  The reason for this is that state governments are often understaffed, and aren’t entirely motivated to provide you with fast and easy Oregon background check results.  

Why Is It Important For Oregon Employers to Conduct Background Checks?

No matter how many times you interview a candidate, there is always a chance he or she might not be the best fit for the position.  Many applicants with a criminal record might convey themselves in an interview entirely different from the truth that an Oregon criminal background check may reveal.  Getting accurate, professional background checks can ensure that your candidate has portrayed him or herself honestly in interviews and on their resume.  

We could say that hiring an applicant without a background check is like operating without a safety net.  Background checks provide the critical information you need to make smart decisions about who you hire.  Furthermore, an Oregon background check provides peace of mind because you have all the current facts to substantiate the applicant is who she or he says they are.   

Is There Anything Unique About Background Checks in Oregon?

Yes. There are a few rules that every Oregon employer or volunteer organization must abide by during the pre-hire process.  For instance, applicants must be notified in writing that they are subject to a background check.  

Should a background check return unfavorable results, the applicant must be given a pre-adverse action letter that clearly defines the reasons an employer has made the decision not to hire the applicant according to the background check results. 

Furthermore, employers must give the applicant ample time to dispute the adverse information in the background check.  Employers must also provide the applicant ample time to correct any false information (if any) uncovered in a background check.

After an adequate amount of time, if an employer still refuses employment to an applicant, an  official adverse action letter must be provided to the applicant. that notifies the applicant will not be hired based on the background check results.

How Background Checks Work in Oregon

Oregon Background Check

As mentioned, you can obtain an Oregon background check by submitting a request to the Oregon Secretary of State, the Oregon Department of Justice or the Oregon Health Authority. For a state of Oregon criminal background check, you should submit a request to Oregon’s Criminal Justice Information Services.

Submitting multiple requests to different state government offices can be laborious, overwhelming, and it often takes a considerable amount of time to get results.  When you choose a third-party background check service, such as with PreSearch, you are ensured accurate, comprehensive information.  Furthermore, the results will be fast and will provide you with the information you need – including nationwide histories on applicants.  In essence, PreSearch makes conducting background checks in Oregon seamless and simple – all while staying compliant with state and federal laws

Oregon Background Check Laws

If you want to DIY a state of Oregon background check, then you need to be prepared to comply with state laws during every step of the pre-hire process.  With this in mind, here are a few laws you should be apprised of before obtaining background information on a potential new hire.

Does Oregon Have a Ban the Box Law?

Yes.  While some states do not, Oregon is one among 35 states in the nation with a “Ban the Box” law.  This law prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal background on a job application.  Moreover, the “Ban the Box” law applies to employers in both private and public sectors. 

Additionally, an employer cannot ask an applicant about past criminal history until he or she has been afforded an initial interview or is given a conditional job offer.  This means that an employer cannot obtain an Oregon criminal background check through the state or third-party services until an applicant has been granted an official interview or has been offered a position within the organization. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act 

This is a federal law that requires employers to notify an applicant in writing that a background check is going to be conducted. This notification must be done before the background check process begins.   

There are certain Oregon-specific factors to the FCRA.  For instance, unless an applicant is applying to work for law enforcement, a bank, or a financial institution, employers may not use information from a credit report as a basis for rewarding or denying employment to the applicant.

Pay Equity Law

In addition to restrictions about asking about criminal history, according to the state of Oregon, employers are also prohibited from asking applicants about salary amounts he or she may have earned in the past.  Of course, as a hiring manager in the state of Oregon, you have the right to conduct a check on past employment history.  In fact, this should be done in order for you to confirm the applicant has the work experience required to fulfill the position.  However, the Pay Equity Law prohibits employers from gathering information on how much an applicant earned while working for previous employers. 

What Generally Shows up on an Oregon Background Check? 

The answer to this question largely depends upon what kind of information you require.  In general, all employers should, at the very least, obtain criminal background information as well as past employment history.  The state of Oregon also permits employers to obtain educational history, as well as identity verification.  Employers are also allowed to check if an applicant is on the sex offender registry.  

How Long Does a Background Check Usually Take in Oregon? 

If you conduct an Oregon background check independently, or have your human resource department conduct a check – the results could take several days or even weeks to get to your desk.  However, if you use a fast background check service such as PreSearch, you can expect results within the same day. In some cases, we can even give you a speedy turnaround within a few hours.

How Far Back Can Background Checks Go in Oregon? 

In most cases, a background check in Oregon goes back seven years.  There are some exceptions to this lookback period.  For instance, if an applicant is being hired for a management or executive position, the background check can go back further than seven years.  Also, if an applicant stands to earn $75,000 or more if hired, then the seven-year rule does not apply in this case either.  You should also know that if you opt to go through the Criminal Justice Information Services to obtain a criminal background check in Oregon, you will only receive one year of reporting.  However, if you use a more comprehensive service such as PreSearch, our criminal background checks will provide you with the permitted seven-year lookback period on the applicant’s criminal history.

How Much Do Background Checks Usually Cost in Oregon? 

This depends upon which state institution you are requesting background checks from.  For example, the fee can range from $10 to $33 for a one-time criminal background check through the state.  If you request a background check from the Oregon Health Authority, you can expect to pay $70.50. Miscellaneous legal background checks obtained from the Oregon Judicial Department (which reveal information such as civil suits) start at $10 and plus .25 cents per page of the report.   

*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.