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If you’re a business owner, hiring manager, or volunteer recruiter in Louisiana, you know full well that your ultimate success is directly tied to the people you have working for you. In fact, employees are a reflection of your business and can make the difference between ongoing victory or ruinous outcomes for any organization.
With that in mind, the onus of getting the best representatives for your organization is key. That’s why we’re here to help you negotiate all the complexities of conducting a Louisiana background check for your pre-hires or new volunteers. We’ll cover all the details about things like Louisiana background check laws, federal background laws, how much these checks cost, how to obtain checks, and more.
How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Louisiana
Let’s get real. The screening process for pre-hires can present a tangle of time-consuming fact-checking and a wicked web of regulations that must be followed to avert punishing penalties. The days of hiring on a handshake are long gone. Today, federal and state laws play a titanic role in how Louisiana background check information is gathered, used, and evaluated to determine a worthy candidate for a position in your organization.
That is why PreSearch is your best asset. We take unknowns out of your pre-screening process. More importantly, we take on the burden of intimidating state and federal laws by conducting accurate, timely, and compliant background searches for our clients. Therefore, you need not worry about the legitimacy of obtaining the vital data you need in a Louisiana background check.
Reliable service, affordable price, fast results, committed and experienced team members that are available when you need them – you can expect these benefits and more when you reach out to PreSearch. We know you have so much to gain (or lose) based on your hiring decisions. That’s why we go the distance to ensure you have every iota of data on your pre-hires so you can make the most informed and laser-precise decisions about your new hires.
What is a Background Check?
As you may have already figured, a background check is the process of verifying the information provided by an individual before hiring them for any job. It’s a way of investigating someone’s past in order to determine their suitability for employment.
A state of Louisiana background check might seem like a simple or innocuous step in the hiring process. In truth, it can make an impactful difference in choosing the perfect candidate for your vacancy – or selecting one that could wreak havoc upon your business or volunteer organization.
Importance of Louisiana State Background Checks
How well can you possibly know anyone who applies for a job or volunteer position at your company or organization? Sure, you may have the application they’ve filled out. You may even have a resume or a curriculum vitae. But how far can you trust these few documents? This is where the validity and power of getting a Louisiana background check can ignite your pre-screening process into hyperdrive.
Armed with the savvy and effective PreSearch Services for background checks, you can slice through any potential deception and get clear facts about your pre-hires.
This is crucial. Why? Consider this: According to Forbes Magazine, 75% of applicants falsify or embellish details on their resumes or applications. With that staggering statistic in mind, you can easily understand the importance of getting a thorough, full-detail background history on your pre-hires.
At the very least, a history check verifies identity – which is important enough. At most, a check will reveal the level of trustworthiness of an applicant – and that insight is priceless for a successful hire.
Louisiana Background Check Laws
Louisiana has its own set of background check laws that employers must follow when hiring new employees. In addition to these state laws, employers must also abide by federal rules and regulations when conducting pre-screens on applicants. Here are some of the most common and noteworthy laws:
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
As mentioned, both state and federal laws play a significant role in employment background checks. These federal laws should be at the forefront of every employer’s mind while carrying out compliant pre-screenings.
Civil Rights Act, Title VII
The Civil Rights Act, Title VII, is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on characteristics such as gender, race, religion, or political affiliation – just to name a few. This law is meant to reduce workplace discrimination and allow individuals the freedom to work for wages – regardless of genetic factors or private beliefs. Compliance with Title VII is essential to avoid liability issues associated with discrimination claims brought forth by current or former employees.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
This is a federal law that regulates the use of consumer credit information by employers. Outside of employment, this Act was devised in order to protect the identities and financial information of consumers. In terms of getting a background check, Louisiana residents are protected by the FCRA when a credit check is run (either by an employer or a third party) so that their credit information is safeguarded from theft or fraud.
If compliance with the FCRA is not met, employers may face significant fines and penalties. In addition to fines, employers can also be sued by job applicants or employees who were subject to non-compliant background checks.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The prime law to note is that employers cannot base denial or award of employment based on characteristics such as an applicant’s gender, nationality, religion, sex, etc. The EEOC provides guidelines to employers on how to navigate information on criminal records when making hiring decisions. According to their guidelines, an employer cannot automatically disqualify a candidate because of past convictions unless the infraction is directly related to the job duties.
Louisiana State Employment Background Check Laws
Louisiana background check laws aim to protect the rights of employees and ensure that employers only hire trustworthy individuals, and here are some more mention-worthy regulations every LA employer should be aware of:
Arrest and Conviction Records
Under Louisiana law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants based solely on their arrest record. However, they may consider the underlying conduct that led to the arrest when making employment decisions.
Conviction records, on the other hand, can carry more weight when it comes to employment decisions. Employers in Louisiana have the right to consider an applicant’s criminal history as part of their hiring process.
In Louisiana, the “Ban-the-Box” law prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on job applications. This means that a question or box that inquires about criminal history cannot be included in the initial application process.
Expunged records refer to criminal records that have been erased or destroyed. In Louisiana, expungement is the legal process of removing a past arrest or conviction from an individual’s record. Expungements are typically granted for non-violent offenses and first-time offenders who have completed their sentence and probation. As an employer, expunged records may not be accessed, and they cannot be considered in any aspect of the pre-screening process for employment.
Under Louisiana law, employers may access credit reports for positions that involve handling cash or other financial transactions, as well as those that require access to sensitive personal information. Law enforcement agencies and government jobs may also conduct a credit check when required by law. That said, employers must abide by the FCRA (mentioned above) to stay compliant.
Drug testing can be another part of the pre-screening process in Louisiana, especially if a background check and screenings for trusted employees are required, such as in the case of a pre-hire working with vulnerable communities like the elderly, children, or disabled. Drug testing involves screening candidates for certain substances to affirm they are fit to work and will not pose any risks or liabilities to the company, its co-workers, clients, customers, patients, etc.
Failure to Comply: Potential Consequences Louisiana Employers May Face
Failure to comply with federal and Louisiana background check laws could lead to messy inconveniences at best and devastating consequences at worst. Fines, lawsuits, and other serious repercussions may ensue if hiring entities neglect to conform to the aforementioned and other state and federal laws when looking into an applicant’s past history. Not to mention, a business or organization’s reputation can be severely damaged if caught not adhering to compliance hiring practices.
Types of Background Checks in Louisiana
Employers in Louisiana have different options regarding types of background checks. For instance, employers may opt for criminal background checks or employment verification, or both.
Criminal Background Checks
Louisiana state police background checks are required when generating a criminal history report. Obtaining information on criminal checks is an employer’s duty to ensure new hires do not pose a threat to their customers, co-workers, or the general public. A criminal background check reveals any past convictions for crimes such as theft, assault, and even murder. And while this is vital information to be privy about on a pre-hire, it’s important to note that employers cannot discriminate against job applicants based on their criminal history alone.
Employment Background Checks
These types of checks can help you verify pre-hires have the requisite qualifications and experience to perform their job duties effectively. A general employment background check entails confirming historical details about pre-hires, such as education history, including verifying degrees, certifications, diplomas, and licenses earned. It will also look into employment history, which confirms where, when, and what positions a pre-hire has worked, along with other past employment details. A general check may also involve contacting personal and professional references.
How to Get a Background Check in Louisiana
If you’re going the DIY (do-it-yourself) route, you need to register with the Louisiana State Police on their online database. Once that’s done, you’ll need to submit requests for Louisiana state police background checks to obtain criminal reports on pre-hires. You can also request checks via the Bureau of Criminal Identification in Baton Rouge, LA.
That said, be mindful that this route will only present you with criminal history information on applicants. Moreover, you’ll only get criminal details (if any) pertaining to activities carried out in the state of Louisiana. You will be unable to see any other critical data, such as criminal activity in other states or countries. You’ll also be missing out on educational and employment background details.
How Long Does a Louisiana Background Check Take?
The DIY route to getting a background check in Louisiana can take a significant amount of time. To explain, state-generated criminal reports can take days or even up to a week to manifest.
Furthermore, in-house (DIY) background checks demand a lot of time to track down individual details, double-check facts, and do so, all while ensuring you or your HR department is delving into a pre-hire background according to the letter of state and federal laws. Therefore, if you or your staff don’t know what they are doing, you’re looking at a hefty amount of time to get results.
Alternatively, when you need quick and fast background checks, PreSearch is the smartest, best option. Forget about waiting days or weeks – PreSearch puts answers about your pre-hires right in your hands now, when you need them, so you can make the right hiring decisions without losing precious time.
How Far Back Do Background Checks Go in Louisiana?
As with most states, Louisiana defers to the FCRA guidelines and regulations when it comes to background check lookback periods. This lookback period mandated by the FCRA is seven years. This means that certain information, such as arrests (not resulting in convictions), lawsuits, bankruptcies, etc., older than seven years are not permissible to be viewed in a background check.
There are a few exceptions to the seven-year lookback rule. For instance, convictions (that resulted in arrests) may be considered beyond seven years. A pre-hire that could potentially earn $75,000 or more a year is subject to a longer lookback period than seven years too.
Additionally, there is no lookback time limit when delving into a pre-hire’s work history, educational background, personal and professional references.
What Shows Up on a Louisiana Background Check?
The answer to this question is ultimately contingent upon you and your needs. From credit checks to driving records, criminal histories to sex offender registries – you have a wealth of data to mine when it comes to checking on your pre-hires.
A background check can also provide you with identity verification, a record of known addresses an applicant has lived at, and even show you if an applicant is on the domestic terrorist watchlist.
When you work with PreSearch, you have a virtual buffet of different checks that can be incredibly comprehensive and insightful when determining the right person for your vacancy.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Louisiana?
Again, that depends. If you opt to go through the LA State Police, you can expect to pay $26 per criminal history report. That sounds pretty reasonable, right? But what about that wait time you’ll have to endure while sitting on your thumbs to get those state-generated reports? Time is money, and you’re losing it if you’re waiting for results.
Furthermore, you might think you’re cutting costs by taking the DIY route. Think again. The average in-house background check (such as done by an internal HR department) takes anywhere from two to five business days, according to Indeed. Now, multiply this average amount of manhours by their hourly salary rate, and you can see the costs of a background check skyrocket right off your spreadsheet.
So what’s the solution? Get the integral information you need and save money by getting the best value in PreSearch background check services. We give you fast, accurate results, and we do all this for an affordable price. With less downtime to contend with and the answers you need to make the best choice – PreSearch is the clear option for the best bang for your business budget. Contact our seasoned experts and learn how our background check services can save you time and money today.
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
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