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With its strong economy, appealing tax incentives, and industrial flexibility, Arkansas has become an attractive state to start or own a business. You likely already know this if you run a company in the Natural State. But are you compliant with your hiring practices? Take a look at these tips on getting an Arkansas background check where we’ll explore how to obtain one, how long it takes, and how to stay compliant with Arkansas background check laws.
How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Arkansas
Understanding Arkansas background check laws is crucial for employers to ensure that they are hiring trustworthy and reliable employees. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to significant legal consequences. Therefore, it’s best to seek the services of a reputable background check company like PreSearch, Inc.
PreSearch, Inc. offers comprehensive and quick background checks with accurate results for individuals and businesses in Arkansas. With its advanced technology and experienced team of professionals, you can trust PreSearch, Inc. to deliver the most reliable information possible.
What is a Background Check?
A background check entails authenticating an individual’s personal, educational, and professional history. This procedure involves gathering information from various sources to ascertain if someone has any criminal record or other negative marks that may impact their eligibility for employment or admission into certain organizations.
Importance of Arkansas State Background Checks
By conducting a thorough background check, employers can make informed hiring decisions that reduce the risk of workplace violence, theft, or fraud. Background checks also help prevent negligent hiring lawsuits by verifying that applicants have no previous criminal convictions or other disqualifying factors.
Arkansas Background Check Laws
If you’re an employer in Arkansas, it’s important to know the state’s background check laws before conducting any employment screening. It’s equally critical to abide by federal laws when conducting pre-screenings on applicants. That said, here are a few federal and state laws all employers in Arkansas should familiarize themselves with.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
As mentioned, federal laws play an important role in regulating employment background checks. Here are a few of them that are predominant when conducting applicant history checks.
Civil Rights Act, Title VII
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants based on characteristics such as color, race, religion – and other traits. This means that employers cannot make hiring decisions based on any of these factors and must provide equal opportunities for all candidates.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
This federal law regulates how employers can gather, distribute and use information when obtaining credit reports from applicants. The FCRA is meant to protect consumers’ (in this case, applicants’) financial information and privacy. Employers must obtain written consent from applicants if using a third-party service when running credit reports.
Arkansas Employment Background Check Laws
Now that we’ve talked a bit about federal pre-hire laws let’s take a look at what employers should know about Arkansas background check laws.
Arkansas Human Rights Act
The Arkansas Human Rights Act (AHRA) was enacted in 1993 to protect employees from workplace discrimination. The act expressly prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants predicated on religion, race, or gender – among other characteristics.
Arkansas Code Annotated
The Arkansas Code Annotated is a compilation of all the laws in force in Arkansas. Employers conducting an Arkansas background check must comply with the strict regulations regarding privacy and discrimination.
Arkansas hiring laws also outline specific requirements for obtaining criminal records through state agencies. Employers must follow these guidelines when assessing an individual’s criminal history during the hiring process.
Social Media Law
Under Arkansas law, it is illegal for an employer to request or require access to an employee’s personal social media account as a condition of employment. Additionally, employers cannot force employees or job applicants to disclose their usernames or passwords for these accounts.
Sealing of Certain Criminal Records and Expungement in Arkansas
In Arkansas, individuals with a criminal record may be eligible to have their records sealed or expunged. A common question is, “How long does expungement take in Arkansas?” There is a five-year wait period to have records expunged.
A sealed record is made unavailable to the public, while expungement completely removes the record from existence. Therefore, expunged and sealed records may not be accessed or used when determining if an applicant may be awarded or denied a job position.
Consequences When Failing to Comply With Arkansas Background Check Laws
It’s crucial for employers to abide by federal and state laws when conducting an Arkansas background check on potential employees. Failure to do so can lead to significant legal consequences, including fines and lawsuits. Not abiding by the laws may also make a business vulnerable to liability suits, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Types of Background Checks in Arkansas
There are various types of checks employers can conduct in Arkansas, including credit checks, and criminal, and you can also get a background check for trusted employees. Here are some details about the two primary types of pre-hire checks.
Criminal Background Checks
In Arkansas, employers are permitted to conduct criminal background checks on potential employees with some limitations. It is important for employers to understand that not all criminal records can be considered in making employment decisions. For example, under Arkansas law, arrests that did not result in a conviction cannot be used as a basis for denying employment unless the infraction is directly in conflict with the job position or duties.
Employment Background Checks
Employment background checks are a common practice in Arkansas, and employers often use them to ensure that they are hiring the right person for the job. These checks can help employers verify an applicant’s identity, education, work history, and criminal record. This type of background check may entail calling previous employers and checking with educational institutions to verify degrees or certifications.
How to Get a Background Check in Arkansas
As an employer in AR, you may be wondering how to go about getting a background check in the Natural State. If you opt to go the DIY route, you may submit a request to the Official State of Arkansas Online Criminal Background Check System, which taps into the AR State Police records to curate criminal histories on residents of the state.
Keep in mind that this route isn’t the most complete, and it can be time-consuming. To explain, going through the state to obtain records will only provide you with criminal histories within the state of Arkansas – it will not present data if crimes were committed in other states or countries.
Furthermore, state-generated records can take a lot of time to process. Then you have more time invested in gathering information, making calls, and doing verifications in-house. The most advantageous solution is to use services for background checks, such as PreSearch. We have the knowledge, resources, and experience to provide you with comprehensive reports in a timely manner that will save your business time and money.
How Long Does a Background Check Take in Arkansas
At this point, you might be asking, “How long does expungement take in Arkansas?” A state-generated Arkansas criminal background check can take several days or up to a week to receive from the state. Furthermore, it may take your in-house HR department time to collect and double-check all the applicant’s information to verify.
That said, your best option for getting a quick background check is to use PreSearch. We have contacts and resources available that expedite the process – giving you the vital data you need fast so you won’t experience downtime in hiring the right person for your vacancy.
How Far Back Does an Employment Background Check Go in Arkansas?
The state of Arkansas abides by the FCRA seven-year lookback time period when it comes to how long an employment background check can go. That means any arrests (not concluding in conviction), liens, bankruptcies, etc., prior to seven years of the pre-screen will not show up.
However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if an applicant may earn more than $75,000 per year if granted the position, the credit lookback period can go beyond the seven-year standard.
What Can Be Found in an Arkansas Background Check?
When an employer conducts a background check in Arkansas, they can expect to find various types of information. The extent of the information found will depend on the type of background check requested by the employer.
One key component that is often included in an Arkansas background check is driving records. This can include details such as license status, accidents and violations, and any suspensions or revocations.
Credit history may also be included in certain types of background checks. This can provide employers with insight into how financially responsible an applicant may be.
Criminal history is another crucial piece of information that employers seek during a background check. It includes details about any prior convictions or charges against the applicant.
An additional aspect that companies may want to consider when conducting a background check in Arkansas is whether their prospective employee has ever been listed on the sex offender registry.
Cost of Arkansas Background Checks
If you opt to go through the Official State of Arkansas Online Criminal Background Check System, the cost is $22.00 per request for a criminal background report. If you choose to do background checks in-house, you need to add up the man hour costs required when tracking down applicant information and following up to verify this information. This can accumulate to a significant expense.
A far more affordable and simpler solution is to use a background check service like PreSearch. Our services provide the most value for your company’s budget because we save you time, effort, and frustration by doing all the work for you. Moreover, you can rest assured all of our reports are fully detailed and accurate. Not to mention, we execute all of our reports to the letter of federal and state laws, so you never have to be concerned about staying in compliance with the law.
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
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