Arizona Background Check

Arizona Background Check

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Ask anyone who lives, works, and plays in Arizona, and they will tell you it is one of the most remarkable destinations for endless opportunities.  This is especially true for business owners.  According to Forbes, Arizona is a highly appealing state for business owners and volunteer organizations due to its generous tax breaks for businesses and its healthy economic environment. While the Grand Canyon state might be ideal for business owners and volunteer administrators, what kind of hiring or recruiting laws does the state enforce?  To answer this question, we’re providing you with this detailed guide about getting an Arizona background check along with insights into how you can make the pre-screening process as effortless as possible so you can hire the right candidate – and do it according to federal and state laws.

How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Arizona

As an employer or volunteer administrator in Arizona, you can’t afford long wait times or inaccurate information on your background checks.  You also can chance the livelihood of your operations by having outdated information, or background checks that haven’t been conducted in compliance with state and federal laws.  That’s when PreSearch becomes your greatest pre-hire asset.  We have the tools, talent, experience, and work ethic to get you the results you need – and we get you those results fast.  Give us a call so we can show you how we can revolutionize your pre-hire process today.

What is a Background Check? 

There are various different types of background checks, but for employers and volunteer recruiters, we’re talking about a process that looks into a pre-hire or candidate’s history in order to confirm that person’s identity. Some checks, such as an Arizona criminal background check, can search into an individual’s history to see if he or she has committed any misdemeanors or felonies or has served time for a crime.  

When it comes to a background check, Arizona employers and managers have a powerful hiring tool in their hands. Why? Because a background check is the best way to assess and validate a person’s history and identity. That is why an Arizona background check is invaluable – because it provides a full picture of the individual applying for a position so that you and your organization can make the most informed decision about who to bring on board in your business or community.

Arizona Background Check

Importance of Background Checks in Arizona

Let’s get real. Not everyone who sits in front of you during an interview is telling the 100% truth about themselves.  In fact, a recent survey published by CNBC cited that over 50% of Americans lie or embellish their resumes.  With this in mind, you can see the importance of background checks in AZ.  Pre-screening candidates is crucial in order to get clear confirmation about the person applying for the job or volunteer position.  Without it, you might be flying blind – not knowing exactly who the person in front of you is.  This could potentially lead to on-the-job problems from a new-hire that hasn’t been clearly vetted. It might also lead to damages, theft, assault, or any number of other problems.  The best bet is to obtain services for background checks so you can have peace of mind you are hiring the right candidate for your vacancy.

Arizona Background Check Laws

Now that we’ve established what an Arizona background check is and why it’s so important to your organization – let’s take a look at the all-important details of state and federal laws that must be followed when conducting background checks in AZ.

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks 

There are some significant federal laws that govern what kind of information can be obtained on an employee background check and how that information is permitted to be used in the pre-hire process.  With this in mind, here are the top federal laws that all employers or volunteer administrators should be in compliance with when conducting an Arizona background check. 

Civil Rights Act,Title VII 

This federal law was passed by Congress in 1964. Title VII is intended to discourage any kind of discrimination against individuals when it comes to denying or awarding employment to applicants. This Civil Rights Act is overseen by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Among other things, the Act expressly prohibits employers using certain distinguishing characteristics against an applicant in determining whether or not he or she should be granted or denied employment. Some of these “untouchable” characteristics include an individual’s race, religion, political affiliation, sexual identity, or gender. According to the Civil Rights Act Title VII, these and other characteristics may not be grounds for disqualification of employment.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 

Some job positions require candidates to undergo a credit background check.  While this is perfectly legal, the way credit information is gathered and used in a pre-hire situation is regulated by this federal law.  The FCRA laws are meant to protect individuals from the invasion of privacy, and it is implemented to safeguard an individual’s financial and credit information.  If you use a third-party credit check service for credit checks on pre-hires, you must get written consent from the applicant, and your third-party credit check service must run credit reports within compliance with the FCRA.

Arizona Employment Background Check Laws

Now that we’ve covered some primary federal laws regarding properly conducting an Arizona background check, let’s take a look at some important AZ laws you should know when conducting pre-hire screenings.

Pre-employment background check laws in Arizona 

In addition to federal laws such as Title VII and FCRA, Arizona state adds a second level of security for pre-hires.  For instance, AZ state requires employers to get written consent from applicants acknowledging that they are subject to an Arizona background check (this is in addition to written consent for federal FCRA compliance).  Furthermore, Arizona has additional laws about discrimination that must be followed just as closely as the federal Title VII laws must be.

Ban-the-Box Law

In 2019, the state of Arizona was one among the growing number of states to implement the “Ban the Box” law.  This law prohibits employers from asking an applicant about any criminal history on a job application or inquiring about criminal activity prior to an official interview.  This law is intended to give people with a criminal history a better chance of obtaining employment in the state of Arizona.

Expungement Law for Misdemeanors

The state of Arizona is known as a “felony friendly” state – not only because of its recent implementation of the “Ban the Box” law but also because the state provides opportunities for individuals to have their criminal records expunged.  In AZ, anyone with a criminal record has the right to go before a state judge and have their convictions sealed from public record.  This might include felonies or misdemeanors, or other charges.  As an employer or volunteer recruiter, criminal activities such as misdemeanors may not be accessed during an Arizona criminal background check if the individual has been granted their criminal records successfully expunged by a state judge. 

Restriction on Criminal History Information Gathered by Consumer Reporting Agencies

When an individual has a court-approved, sealed, or expunged criminal history, employers and volunteer organizations are not permitted to access this information when conducting any type of background check – including consumer credit reporting from a third-party agency.  

Arizona Background Check

Types of Background Checks in Arizona

There are a myriad of different Arizona background checks employers and volunteer organizations can take advantage of when pre-screening candidates.  For instance, employers who are hiring for highly sensitive positions such as nursing or caretakers for elderly or vulnerable youths can conduct a background check for trusted employees, which is more in-depth and has the option for fingerprint checking.  Here is a breakdown of different types of Arizona background checks every employer should utilize during the pre-hire process.

Criminal Background Checks

As you might have intuited, an Arizona criminal background check is purposed to reveal any criminal activity an applicant may have in their past in the state of AZ.  A criminal background check is particularly important to obtain if a potential employee will be working with vulnerable people (such as the elderly or youth), working in a security capacity, or working around a lot of temptations (such as large amounts of money, assets, or prescription controlled substances).

Employment Background Checks

This is the most basic type of Arizona background check in that it assesses an applicant’s work history.  Additionally, a general employment background check will confirm an applicant’s educational history.  It may also permit employers to call references (if asked), such as friends, family members, or past employers as witnesses to an applicant’s character.

How to Get a Background Check in Arizona

As an employer, you might be wondering how to get an Arizona background check.  you can obtain a criminal background check in Arizona by submitting a request to the AZ Dept. of Public Safety. This department oversees a central database of criminal records of crimes committed in the state.  Keep in mind that getting a state-generated criminal background check will only reveal criminal activity that took place in the state of AZ – it will not cull up any criminal activity committed in other states or countries.

You might have heard about services that offer so-called free criminal background checks in Arizona.  While these might sound like a great deal, in reality, these “free” services leave a lot to be desired.  In most cases, the information you receive can be inaccurate, false, outdated, or just downright wrong.  Additionally, these free services often do not abide by federal and state laws when conducting criminal background checks, which could leave you open to liability. 

A far better and smarter solution for your background check needs is to partner with a trusted, professional pre-screening service such as PreSearch.  Our cutting-edge technology and highly-skilled staff are fully qualified to provide you with as much detail as you need to make the best hiring decisions possible.  And, we do this all within the letter of state and federal laws, so you never have to worry about staying in compliance.

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

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Arizona

If you go through the Arizona Department of Public Safety, you can expect to wait days or even weeks to receive criminal background information on your pre-hire.  This is because state agencies are typically understaffed, or delivering background check results might not be their highest priority.    

Alternatively, you could get your background check results in just a few days – sometimes even the same day when you opt to use our quick background check services here at PreSearch. We provide fast, accurate, and thorough background checks in Arizona. 

How Far Back Does An Employment Background Check Go in Arizona

As with all states, Arizona concedes to the FCRA standards when it comes to how far a background check can go. This means that, according to the FCRA, a background check lookback period may not go beyond seven years.  There are a few exceptions, however.  For instance, if a new hire stands to earn $75,000 or more at the job, then an employer may look back beyond the seven-year standard lookback period. Also, information such as employment history, personal references, or checks on the educational background can go beyond the seven-year lookback period. 

What Can Be Found in an Arizona Background Check?

There are various things that can be exposed in an AZ background check, including but not limited to:

  • Social security number and name trace
  • Validation of identity
  • Sex offender status on state and national registry
  • Criminal records in Arizona
  • Driving records in AZ
  • Employment history
  • Education history

How Much Does A Background Check Cost in Arizona

The cost of getting a criminal background check in Arizona ranges anywhere from $10 – $20 depending upon the state agency you choose, and if you opt for additional services such as fingerprinting.  

While this may sound reasonable, the time you spend waiting for these results (sometimes a week or more wait) can mean a lot of money in loss of productivity while waiting to hire your candidate. Furthermore, you can’t put a price on accuracy and a comprehensive background report.  Therefore, your best option is to partner with PreSearch. We provide thorough, highly-detailed, accurate reports in a timely manner for a reasonable, fair price.

*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.

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