South Carolina Background Check

South Carolina Background Check

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Now more than ever, finding the right employee or volunteer poses an onslaught of challenges.  Hiring managers and non-profit administrators constantly struggle to find trustworthy, reliable workers to keep their businesses running smoothly.  That’s why obtaining services for background checks is such an all-important factor in sussing out the ideal candidate who will be the right fit for your organization.  Getting a South Carolina background check is essential when it comes to making savvy, educated decisions about who you want to represent and support your business or non-profit.

How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in South Carolina 

Whether you own or operate within a business or non-profit, your time is best spent completing the tasks that keep your operations running smoothly.  PreSearch can help you free up your time so that you can do exactly that.  Moreover, when you choose PreSearch as a pre-hire ally, you have peace of mind knowing that you have the most accurate, reliable information to hire the right person for the job.  We simplify your work and pre-hire screening process so that you can continue to grow your business to the level of success it deserves.

How Can I Get a Background Check in South Carolina?

The easiest and most efficient way to get a background check in South Carolina is to use a professional background check service such as PreSearch.  We can provide you with all the information you need on your pre-hires while also complying with South Carolina background check laws. In short, PreSearch makes your screening process painless and effortless.

Alternatively, employers may submit a written request to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to get a South Carolina criminal background check on pre-hires. The information received will reveal if a candidate has a criminal history in the state.  Bear in mind, however, that the results may not include arrests or conviction information in other states outside of South Carolina.  

Employers should also know that the SC Law Enforcement Division criminal report does not include sex offender information – this is a separate search that should be requested from the sex offender registry.  Moreover, this state-provided criminal record will not disclose other information about an applicant, such as education history or employment verification. 

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Why Is It Important for Employers to Do Background Checks in South Carolina?

No matter how careful or scrupulous you are during the pre-hire process, without a South Carolina background check, you really have no foolproof way of knowing the candidate sitting in front of you is who he or she says they are.  

What’s more, a background check can protect your organization from hiring a candidate that may not have your organization’s best interests at heart.  For instance, according to the US Better Business Bureau, 30% of business failures are caused by employee theft, and 25 – 40% of small businesses are subjected to employee embezzlement.  

Fortunately, your organization doesn’t have to be a part of these and other disturbing statistics concerning employee misconduct.  By obtaining a background check for trusted employees, you can have peace of mind that you are hiring a qualified candidate who can be relied upon to work within your organization.

South Carolina Background Check

How Does the Background Check Process Work in South Carolina?

Many employers in South Carolina opt to go through the state to obtain a criminal background check. As mentioned earlier, getting a criminal background check in South Carolina is done by submitting a request to the SC Law Enforcement Division.  Going through this process through  the state is certainly better than nothing – however, it’s an incomplete picture of a candidate’s history.  

Increasingly, employers are going through the background check process by using professional services such as PreSearch.  This is because we make the process seamless.  Simply provide us with the information you need on your applicant, and we do all the rest of the work for you.  

Furthermore, we can give you a more complete overview of your applicant’s history by providing any report you need.  From employment history to driving records – PreSearch is your best ally in obtaining a thorough, up-to-date South Carolina background check. And, we’ll meet your needs in a fraction of the time it takes to get results through the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina Employment Background Check Laws

While getting a comprehensive history on applicants is essential in order to find the right person, the screening process must also comply with South Carolina employment background check laws.  It’s important to keep abreast of federal, state, and local laws in order to avoid litigation or other pitfalls such as violating an applicant’s privacy or civil rights.  Here are just a few leading laws every employer should be aware of when conducting background checks on their own.  

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks

Not only are the state of South Carolina employment laws critical in the screening process, abiding by federal laws is equally important.  Here are a few federal employment laws every employer should be mindful of.

Federal Civil Rights Act

Employers should adhere to the Federal Civil Rights Act (FCRA) passed by Congress in 1920 as a means to protect credit and financial information of consumers (in this case, applicants).  This law prevents consumer report agencies from accessing certain information as well as how credit information is used once collected. 

The FCRA law also prohibits employers from granting or denying employment to an applicant based on credit history.  If, however, an applicant’s credit history is in direct conflict with the position they will be hired for, the FCRA has distinct guidelines (known as the “adverse action process”) as to how to proceed in the event the applicant’s information discounts them from employment. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

One of the most important and pivotal laws employers must abide by is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which was passed by Congress in 1964.  This law is meant to prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant based on particular characteristics.  For example, employment may not be withheld from an applicant based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  

Title VII is enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) which provides explicit instructions to employers in order to protect individuals seeking fair employment.  The EEOC also has regulations and guides for employers if there is a conflict in the pre-hire screening process to protect themselves and applicants in the event a background check reveals a conflicting issue preventing them from employment.

South Carolina State Laws on Employment Background Checks

Adhering to South Carolina background check laws is equally important as following federal laws in the pre-hire screening process.  Failure to follow the state’s laws and regulations when choosing to grant or deny employment to an applicant may lead to penalties, fines or even litigation.  

For example, under South Carolina Ann. § 37-20-170, employers must provide applicants with written notice and adequate evidence that demonstrates why an applicant might have been denied employment.

Additionally, according to South Carolina Ann. § 17-22-960, employers are prohibited from using expunged or sealed records in the pre-hire process to determine whether an applicant should or should not be hired. 

South Carolina Background Check

What Shows up in a Background Check in South Carolina

Now that you’re aware of the importance of a background check, and have a cursory understanding of the necessity to obey federal and state laws during the pre-hire process, you might be asking, “Do arrests show up on background checks?” Or perhaps you’re unsure what exactly you can expect from a South Carolina background check.

When you use PreSearch, you will receive exactly what you expect.  Our diverse array and varieties of background reports are tailored specifically for your pre-hire needs.  However, if you obtain a criminal background report from SLED (SC Law Enforcement Division), you will receive a record of arrests, convictions, and criminal history.  This will include dates of arrests (if any), the severity of charges (misdemeanor or felony), and other information such as sentencing and case number.     

As mentioned, going through the SLED system will only provide you with a criminal history.  When you use PreSearch, you can uncover far more about an applicant, including employment history, and educational background.

How Far Back Do Most Employers Go For Background Checks

In most cases, a South Carolina background check will not go back past seven years.  This is mostly controlled by the Federal Civil Rights Act, which restricts the background lookback period for seven years.  This means that potentially negative information on an applicant’s record is inadmissible if the infractions took place seven years prior to the applicant’s background check.

However, there is a caveat.  Potential employees who stand to earn $75,000 or more are subject to background checks that look beyond the seven-year time limit.  Criminal convictions are also exempt from the lookback period, and can be reported regardless of age.

How Long Does a South Carolina Background Usually Check Take 

If you’re wondering how long does a background check take in South Carolina, the answer is contingent upon how you go about obtaining an applicant’s past information.  For instance, if you go through the SLED system as mentioned earlier, you may expect a long wait time.  This is because state resources are often limited, and the urgency to complete criminal background checks isn’t always a priority.  Therefore, it could take several weeks to receive the background information you need before hiring an applicant.

Alternatively, you can receive an accurate and quick background check when you use PreSearch for your pre-hire screening needs.  In many cases, we can provide you with the critical information you need on an applicant in as little as a few hours.  Moreover, we offer a wide range of background checks that the SC Law Enforcement Division is incapable of delivering to you. 

How Much Can a Background Check Cost in South Carolina?

*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.

Again, this depends upon the method you use to obtain a South Carolina background check.  If you go through the SLED system, there is a $25.00 fee for each request.  Other resources such as educational facilities or private businesses may charge for background information on applicants, and these fees will vary.  

It’s important to keep in mind that when you use your human resources department, or opt to conduct background checks on your own – you are consuming a lot of time.  And, as any business owner knows, time equates to money.  When you consider the salary paid to do background checks in-house, you’ll see that this can add up to a costly process for you or your staff. 

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