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Are you looking to hire new employees for your Alabama-based business? Are you familiar with how to go about getting an Alabama background check? From state laws to federal regulations, there’s a lot to know before embarking on this process. That’s why we’ve crafted this ultimate guide to everything you need to know about getting a criminal background check in Alabama, employment verifications, credit checks, and more in the Heart of Dixie State.
How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Alabama
Conducting a background check in Alabama is crucial for ensuring the safety and protection of your business. With all the laws and regulations to comply with, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the process on your own.
This is where PreSearch comes in to provide expert background check services that are quick, cost-effective, and compliant with all relevant laws. Our team of experienced professionals utilizes advanced technology to deliver accurate results within a short period.
Don’t compromise on quality when it comes to background checks – choose PreSearch as your trusted partner today!
What is a Background Check?
A background check is a process of investigating and verifying an individual’s history. It involves searching public records, criminal databases, credit reports, employment, and educational histories, and other relevant information to determine the person’s suitability for a particular position or purpose.
Importance of Alabama State Background Check
Getting an Alabama background check is crucial in determining whether or not an individual is being completely forthright on his or her application or resume when applying for a position. This is important because, according to Forbes, Inc., up to 75% of job-seekers admit to embellishing or lying on applications when applying for a job. Knowing this, a background investigation is essential in getting the real truth about the person sitting in front of you during the pre-hire interview process.
Alabama Background Check Laws
Alabama has specific laws and regulations in place for conducting background checks. The federal government also has laws that must be followed in the pre-screening process. That said, here are a few overarching laws every employer in AL should know before engaging in looking into an applicant’s past history.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
Understanding and complying with federal laws in screening pre-hires is just as critical as following state laws. Here are a few federal laws of which all employers in AL should be mindful.
Civil Rights Act, Title VII
Passed in 1964, this federal landmark law is regulated by the EEOC and was initiated for the purpose of stomping out discrimination when hiring individuals. The law expressly outlaws employers from basing employment on individual characteristics such as religion, race, color, or sexual orientation – among other traits.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
This is another federal law that governs how consumer credit information is gathered, used, and distributed by consumer reporting agencies. The FCRA was enacted to ensure that consumers receive accurate and fair credit reports, which are used by employers in making hiring decisions. The law is also intended to protect the financial privacy of consumers (applicants).
Alabama Employment Background Check Laws
Alabama background check laws are in place to protect both employers and employees. As an employer, you need to comply with these laws before conducting any background checks on potential or current employees.
Alabama Redeemer Act
One such law is the Alabama Redeemer Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals who have been convicted of a crime but have already completed their sentence. Under this act, employers cannot use past criminal convictions as a basis for denying employment or promotions.
Another important piece of legislation is Ban-the-Box, which prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on job applications. This means that applicants can only be asked about their criminal record during the interview process or after they receive a conditional offer of employment.
Consequences When Failing to Comply to Comply With Alabama Background Check Laws
Failing to comply with Alabama background check laws can result in serious consequences for employers. For starters, they may face legal penalties and fines if their screening process violates state or federal laws.
Additionally, failing to conduct proper background checks on employees can lead to negligent hiring claims if an employee causes harm or injury on the job. This not only puts the company at risk of lawsuits but also damages its reputation.
Types of Background Checks in Alabama
There are an array of different types of information an AL employer can access when learning more about an applicant for a work position. The two most basic types of background check Alabama permits are criminal and employment verification screenings, and these two types involve:
Criminal Background Checks
Typically, a criminal background check in Alabama will reveal information about convictions, arrests, and other legal proceedings related to a person’s criminal history. An Alabama criminal record check will show information such as the date of the criminal activity, types of sentencing, judgments passed, type of offense(s), etc. If you are hiring for positions that deal directly with vulnerable community members such as the elderly, disabled, or children, a more in-depth background check for trusted employees will dive more deeply into criminal history.
Employment Background Checks
These types of pre-screening checks are designed to investigate a person’s history, including their work experience, education, or volunteer experience. Formulating this check may involve contacting previous employers to confirm dates of employment, job titles, and responsibilities. It may also entail verifying educational history, such as earning degrees or certifications.
How to Get a Background Check in Alabama
One option is to go through Alabama law enforcement agencies or courthouses directly. However, this can be time-consuming and may not yield all the necessary information. Alabama state-generated criminal reports will only show a limited amount of information – they will not reveal any criminal activity in other states or countries.
Another option is to use trusted services for background checks, such as PreSearch Inc., which offers quick and reliable background checks tailored to your needs. We provide a range of reports that can put you at an enviable advantage when hiring the best candidate for your business.
How Long Does a Background Check Take in Alabama?
The length of time it takes to complete a background check in Alabama depends on various factors. For example, criminal history checks usually take longer than employment verification. Furthermore, state-issued criminal reports are notoriously slow.
Rather than spend precious time and money doing a background check in-house, consider using a reliable and professional quick background check service like PreSearch. Because our business is background checks, we have all the tools, expertise, and resources to get you results – fast.
How Far Back Does an Employment Background Check Go in Alabama
The state of Alabama follows the seven-year lookback standard as established by the FCRA. This means that information such as lawsuits, arrests (not resulting in convictions), bankruptcies, and the like should not show up if committed seven years prior to the time of initiating a background check. There are stimulations. For instance, if you hire an applicant who will earn $75,000 or more, then a credit history check can look past the seven-year standard time period.
What Can Be Found in an Alabama Background Check?
When conducting a background check in Alabama, several types of records may be searched to determine any potential red flags. For instance, when you opt to use PreSearch, we can provide you with vital details such as sex offender registry information and driving record history. Of course, we can also run criminal background checks as well as employment and educational background checks.
Alabama Background Check Costs
If you go through a state agency such as the AL Dept. of Human Resources, the cost is $48.85 per report. A criminal background report from the AL Law Enforcement Agency will cost $25 each. It bears repeating that these reports will only provide criminal information – and only in the state of Alabama.
Alternatively, when you have the resources of PreSearch on your side, you can get a full buffet of criminal, credit, employment, and educational history for an affordable price. Our expansive reports go far beyond state-issued checks and are the best value for your business budget.
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
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