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While other states in the US are still struggling with unemployment and economic instability, Colorado is enjoying a surge of prosperity. Ranked as the 2nd highest worker participation in the country by US News & World Report, Colorado has seen an additional 107,000 new jobs in the private sector over the past 12 months. This means employers in the Centennial State have an enviable largesse of potential applicants to choose from when hiring.
Moreover, Colorado is rated number 10 in the nation for being one of the best states to start, own, or operate a business. Therefore, if you’re an employer in Colorado, you have a lot to celebrate. However, one thing that can shut down your business’s prosperity is failing to conduct an accurate and compliant Colorado background check on your pre-hires. To help you stay on track, here are some important details you should know about conducting background checks in Colorado.
What Are Background Checks?
Background checks are a critical aspect of the hiring process in Colorado. Employers use them to verify an applicant’s employment and education history, confirm one’s identity and check for criminal records. A background check may also investigate an applicant’s financial background. All details in a Colorado background check should be used to assess if a pre-hire is qualified, trustworthy, and viable for a position of employment.
Are Background Checks Important?
In Colorado, as in most states, employers are allowed to run background checks on job applicants. Employers may use criminal records, credit reports, and other information to make hiring decisions.
Background checks can be important for employers because it helps them to discern which candidates might be a great fit. Alternatively, screenings can also inform employers if a candidate might have issues in their history that could conflict with the job position or with performance on the job.
How To Get a Criminal Background Check in Colorado
If you’re looking to get a criminal background check in Colorado, there are a few different ways to go about it. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) offers an online service that allows you to request a criminal history report for yourself or someone else. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including the applicant’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number. There’s also a fee associated with this service.
Another option is to partner with a professional Colorado background check service such as PreSearch. When you understand that going through CBI only provides you with criminal histories, you can begin to see the benefit of using PreSearch. To explain, we provide you with essential data such as past employment histories and educational background checks. This broad-spectrum screening allows you to fully assess whether or not your candidate is the best for your job opening.
Background Check Laws in Colorado
There are different types of details employers can access when it comes to obtaining a Colorado background check. From credit history to criminal past, employment history to educational background – Colorado employers have a wealth of resources to help them determine if a candidate is ideal for the job. However, there are state and federal laws all employers should abide by when obtaining and utilizing any personal information from applicants. Here is a Colorado background check law run-down so you can prepare yourself and your business when screening pre-hires.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
There are crucial federal laws that regulate background checks in Colorado, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Civil Rights Act, Title VII. Please read further to get familiarized with these federal laws while conducting pre-hire screenings.
Civil Rights Act,Title VII
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, religion, color, race, or national origin. This law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local government employers.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce Title VII. The EEOC investigates charges of discrimination and works with employers to prevent discrimination from occurring.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that regulates how employers gather and use consumer (applicant) credit information. The FCRA promotes the fairness, accuracy, and privacy of information belonging to individuals who are subject to consumer reports and credit checks.
Under the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies are required to provide consumers with a notice of their rights before they obtain a credit report. This notice must include a summary of the consumer’s right to access their credit report, as well as information about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.
In addition, the FCRA requires companies that use consumer credit information for employment purposes to provide applicants with a pre-adverse action notice if they plan to take adverse action based on information in the applicant’s credit report. The notice must include the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting agency that supplied the report.
Finally, the FCRA gives consumers the right to sue companies that violate their rights under this law. If successful, consumers can recover damages for any injuries suffered as a result of these violations, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
Colorado Employment Background Check Laws
Colorado has a few laws in place that regulate how employers can conduct background checks on potential and current employees. These laws are meant to protect the rights of workers and ensure that they are not being unfairly discriminated against. Here are a few of the things every Colorado employer should be aware of.
Colorado 7 Year Background Check Law
The Colorado 7 year background check law applies to all employees of companies that do business in the state. The law requires these companies to conduct a criminal background check on all new hires and the lookback is seven years prior. Established by the Colorado Consumer Credit Reporting act, the Colorado 7 year background check law states that details such as arrests or indictments may not be reported if they occurred prior to the 7 year lookback period. There are two caveats. One is that if an employee stands to earn $75,000 or more, then background information can go beyond seven years. The other instance in which an employer can look beyond seven years is if an employee works with vulnerable communities such as children or the elderly in medical or educational industries.
Ban the Box Policy
The “ban the box” policy is a movement to remove the question about prior convictions from job applications. The theory is that this will give people with criminal records a better chance of getting jobs, which will, in turn, reduce recidivism rates. The policy has been adopted by a number of states and cities, including Colorado.
What Shows Up in a Background Check in Colorado
What shows up on a background check in Colorado depends upon what an employer has requested. For instance, a Colorado criminal background check requested from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Public Safety will reveal convictions, felonies, arrests, etc. It is important to remember that this is limited to criminal activity in the state.
If you need more than that, you can partner with professional background check services, such as PreSearch. These providers can give you a wide range of information on your pre-hires. At PreSearch, we can give you up-to-date, comprehensive data on full past employment history and education credentials on your pre-hire.
We can also run credit checks on your applicants, which are highly regulated by the state. The Colorado Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to follow certain procedures when obtaining consumer reports (including background checks) for employment purposes. Employers must:
- Get written permission from the applicant or employee before ordering the report
- Inform the applicant if the information in the report might be used to make an adverse employment decision
- Provide a copy of the report to the applicant or employee
- Give the applicant or employee a chance to correct any inaccuracies in the report before taking any adverse action based on its contents.
Colorado is an “open records” state, which means that most information about an individual’s criminal history is available to the public. This includes arrests, convictions, and any pending criminal cases.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, juvenile records are not accessible to the public. Additionally, some types of information may be sealed or expunged from an individual’s record under certain circumstances.
How Far Back Do Background Checks Go in Colorado
In general, background checks will go back seven years. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if an individual is applying for a job that requires them to work with children, the background check may go back further to ensure that the applicant does not have any previous convictions for child abuse or sex crimes.
What Do Employers Look for on a Background Check
Most employers will look for any criminal history on a background check. In Colorado, this includes a check of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database, which includes all felony and misdemeanor convictions in the state. Employers may also run a national criminal background check, which will include any felonies and misdemeanors from other states.
In addition to criminal history, employers may also look for credit history, employment history, and education verification on a background check. They may also run a drug test as part of the background check process.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Colorado
There are a few different types of background checks available in Colorado, and the cost will vary depending on which type you choose. The most common type of background check is the criminal history check, which is a fingerprint-based criminal history search conducted throughout Colorado state. The cost for this is $39.50 per report.
Keep in mind this is only a criminal report. Employers typically want more information, such as employment history and educational background. If done in-house, gathering all this information can become very costly in terms of accumulated man hours to collect all the information. Plus, if in-house background checks are not conducted in compliance with state and federal laws – that could mean hefty fines and penalties.
Therefore, employers are strongly encouraged to get a professional background check service such as PreSearch. We can save you time, money, and a lot of hassle with our compliant, accurate screenings.
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Colorado
If you are looking for background check services in Colorado, PreSearch is an excellent resource to consider. With its comprehensive search capabilities and wide range of features, PreSearch can help you find the information you need quickly and easily. We also give you peace of mind because we conduct all of our screenings to the letter of state and federal laws.
Moreover, we can provide you with an accurate background check with quick turnaround. At PreSearch, we believe you need the best, most reliable information to make an informed decision about your new-hires. Therefore, we put this data in your hands so that you can rest assured you are hiring the best person for the job. Contact us today, and see how we can make your life much easier with our variety of Colorado background check services.
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