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Essential Guide to Delaware Background Checks (2023)

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In the realm of hiring new employees, it’s often hard for business owners, hiring managers, and volunteer administrators to know where they stand. What types of questions can be asked? How is Delaware new hire reporting done? How can you stay compliant with federal and the state of Delaware background check laws? If you’re asking yourself these questions, we’re here to help. From criminal history searches to ban-the-box laws, we’ll address everything you need to make informed decisions when it comes to hiring trusted employees for your company. Let’s dive in!

How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Delaware

At PreSearch, we take pride in being a reliable and trustworthy background check service provider that can help employers conduct thorough and efficient background checks on pre-hires in Delaware. With our impressive experience in the industry, we have developed an effective system that ensures accurate and up-to-date information retrieval.

A big advantage of using our services for background checks is our quick turnaround time. We understand that employers need to hire new employees as soon as possible without sacrificing quality, which is why they provide results within just a few days.

What is a Background Check?

It’s a deceptively simple question with an equally simple answer. A background check is an investigation conducted by employers or other organizations to verify the accuracy of information provided by job applicants. It gets more complex when Delaware background checks search more deeply into details such as criminal records and credit history. A thorough background check will also explore a pre-hire’s education and employment history.

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Importance of Delaware State Background Checks

Think on this: You really don’t know anything about an applicant except what he or she presents to you on an application or a resume. So, that’s when a Delaware background check is a major part of the hiring process for any employer. These necessary investigations into history and background can confirm, validate, and flesh out crucial details you need to know as a hiring manager or volunteer recruiter.  

Furthermore, it helps employers avoid liability by ensuring they’re not hiring someone with a criminal history that might jeopardize others in the workplace (or to the business itself). Additionally, pre-screenings protect against fraud as background checks can verify education and employment history, protecting companies from potential lawsuits or losses due to dishonesty or misrepresentation.

Delaware Background Check Laws

Delaware has specific laws in place to regulate background checks conducted by employers. These laws are meant to preserve the rights of job applicants and ensure that the hiring process is fair and non-discriminatory. As an employer in Delaware, you not only have to abide by state laws but also federal laws when conducting a background check on pre-hires. To this point, here are a few laws of which any hiring or recruiting entity should be aware:

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks

Federal laws regulate employment background checks in the United States. These laws ensure that employers treat all job applicants fairly and don’t make any missteps during the pre-screening process. Here are a few important laws to be mindful of when conducting a background check in Delaware:

Civil Rights Act,Title VII

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents employers from discriminating against pre-hires on the basis of individual characteristics like a person’s color, gender, sexual preference, religion, or national origin – to name a few. This means that employers cannot use background check information to make discriminatory hiring decisions.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is another federal law that regulates employment background checks, and it governs an applicant’s consumer report (ie, credit check) is obtained and how that information is used. This Act is meant to protect consumers (in our case, applicants) from threats like fraud or credit hijacking. 

Failure to comply with FCRA ground rules can result in legal consequences for employers. It’s crucial for Delaware employers to conduct background checks to familiarize themselves with FCRA requirements and ensure proper adherence during hiring processes.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Employers must comply with EEOC regulations when conducting background checks, as information uncovered during these checks might be used to influence hiring decisions. For instance, employers cannot use criminal history or other types of background check information in a discriminatory manner.

Delaware State Employment Background Check Laws

As we’ve discussed, Delaware has specific laws that govern employment background checks, which employers must comply with. Employers may conduct criminal background checks and verify an applicant’s education and work history, but there are limitations on what information they can request. Here are some of those restrictions and regulations for the great state of Delaware:

Salary History Information Requests

When it comes to background checks, Delaware employers must be mindful of the state’s laws on salary history information requests. This refers to the practice of asking job applicants about their previous salaries or wages. In Delaware, employers are admonished from inquiring about a pre-hire salary during the hiring process. This is meant to thwart pay discrimination and reinforce fair pay.

Ban-the-Box Law for Public Employers

This law prohibits employers from asking pre-hire if they have any criminal activity on an application or before a formal interview is conducted.  

Polygraph Examinations

Also known as lie detectors, polygraphs are a controversial topic in the realm of employment background checks. In Delaware, employers may not subject pre-hires to a polygraph test. There is an exception – police agencies are permitted to administer a lie detector test to applicants. 

Social Media Information

Employers and volunteer recruiters may not ask applicants for access to their social media accounts. It is illegal for a hiring entity to ask for a pre-hire (or employee) password or log in credential for any social media account. They are also prohibited from asking to be a participant in the applicant’s social media (as in, asking them to “friend” an employer).

Expunged Records

Expunged records refer to criminal records that have been sealed or erased from public access. These are typically non-violent misdemeanors and minor offenses for which the person has completed probation or paid fines. In Delaware, expunged records may not be accessed, viewed, or taken into consideration when deciding to deny or award employment to a pre-hire.

Consequences for Employers Who Fail to Comply With Federal and Delaware State Background Check Laws

If an employer fails to follow Delaware background check laws or federal laws, they may be subject to legal action by the aggrieved party, as well as state and government enforcement agencies This could result in costly lawsuits and damage to the company’s reputation. Not only that, neglecting to adhere to the laws could result in hefty fines and penalties, which could be potentially ruinous for a business’s financial status.  

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Types of Background Checks in Delaware

Delaware employers may perform several types of background checks on potential job candidates, and here is some background information on the most common types:

Criminal Background Checks

In terms of a criminal background check, Delaware employers often take this paramount step to assess whether or not any infractions on their record might interfere with job performance or potentially put a business at risk. Conducting criminal background checks can provide valuable insight into an applicant’s past behavior but should always be done within legal boundaries and with careful consideration of all relevant factors beyond just someone’s prior convictions.

Employment Background Checks

These checks allow employers to verify an applicant’s work history, education, and other important information relevant to the job. Generalized employment checks might seem pretty standard, but they can be incredibly useful in determining an applicant’s honesty by determining if everything the applicant has provided on an application or resume is the actual truth. Additionally, these basic background follow-ups can confirm identity, and reveal the legitimacy of the applicant’s claimed past work and educational history.

How to Get a Background Check in Delaware

This is the million-dollar question, right? There are different ways to get a background check in Delaware – and not all methods are created equal. If you go the DIY (do it yourself) route, you can get a criminal history report from the State Police Department of Delaware. This will require the applicant to be submitted for fingerprinting because these state criminal records are fingerprint-based.

This method can be arduous, timely, and inconvenient for both you and your applicants. You are far better off partnering with a reputable background check service such as PreSearch. We eradicate all the guesswork out of getting a Delaware background check, and we handle all the details in a thorough, professional, ultra-timely manner.

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

How Long Does a Delaware Background Check Take?

They say time is money, and that is so true when it comes to being able to hire a qualified candidate quickly. Regrettably, if you go the DIY path to pre-screening, you can anticipate delays in your progress of hiring the right individual for your vacancies. To explain, state-generated criminal reports can take days or even a week to get results. Furthermore, your in-house resources (such as your HR department) can spend a lot of time gathering, tracking down, and confirming applicant history.   

Alternatively, you can get a quick background check when turning to PreSearch. In many cases, we can get your top-notch, accurate results in as little as one day! Consider this: With PreSearch in your corner, your pre-screening process is “one and done.” Just contact us, tell us your needs, and we’ll deliver the fast, precise results you need to make the best-informed decision about hiring your next gold-star employee.

How Far Back Do Background Checks Go in Delaware?

When it comes to background checks in Delaware, one common question that employers ask is how far back do these checks go? In general, private employers must abide by the seven-year lookback regulations as established by the FCRA. This means that any criminal activity past seven years may not be considered or utilized in the pre-screening process.

Furthermore, if a criminal record is sealed or expunged – these records may not be considered by employers (no matter how recent or old the infractions are). Also, if an employee you intend to hire could earn $75,000 or more in a position, you can extend credit searches past the seven-year lookback period. Some public positions (such as law enforcement) may also be immune to the seven-year lookback period.

What Shows Up on a Delaware Background Check?

Employers have options when it comes to what they can view in a background check, and that information varies depending on which reports you pull. For instance, a background check for trusted employees will contain additional and relevant information than other checks.

Criminal background checks will reveal any criminal convictions that an individual has received in Delaware or any other state. This includes felonies and misdemeanors, as well as pending charges.

Credit reports may also be included in some types of background checks. In these cases, employers are looking for financial irresponsibility or signs of fraud or theft.

Furthermore, you have access to other information on pre-screens. Here are a few additional pre-screening information you can expect when you work with PreSearch.

  • Criminal history information
  • Identity verification
  • Sex offender registry checks
  • Domestic terrorist watchlist
  • Employment verification
  • Education verification and credentials

How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Delaware?

The type of background check required by an employer will determine the cost. For instance, if you go through the Delaware State Police to obtain a criminal background check, Delaware charges $52 per request.

You should also calculate the accumulated costs of doing background checks in-house. DIY methods typically cost a lot of time and money due to the heavy investment in double-checking details, researching, phone calls, and emails – everything that goes into verifying and gathering all the details.

Hands down, the best value for your business is to partner with PreSearch. We give you everything you need to make the best hiring decisions – and we do this for an affordable price. Save yourself and your staff time and aggravation while saving your business money. Trust PreSearch for all your fast, compliant, accurate, and affordable background checks in Delaware.

*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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