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If you’re a business owner or non-profit agency administrator, you can look at a potential candidate’s resume all day long and still not fully know if he or she will be a good fit within your organization. Sadly, anyone can spruce up their resume or even falsify documents to make it appear as though they are the perfect solution for your organization. This is when a background check can be invaluable.
Why Look To PreSearch for Your Background Checks?
Your best option is to save time and money by using PreSearch for your background check needs. We save you money because PreSearch protects you from lawsuits that could arise if a screening is conducted unlawfully which often occurs with those “free” online vendors. PreSearch saves you time too, because doing a check on your own can cost a lot of time that is better spent running your organization.
Moreover, our services are fully customizable. That means we can tailor your background check according to your organization’s unique needs. Whether you need a basic screening or more specialized, in depth reports – we are here to help.
Ultimately, PreSearch is your best choice for one-stop-shop screenings that are compliant with Wisconsin state laws. We provide fast background check services that are easy and convenient to obtain and we also keep your organization safe from potential litigation. With our service, you never have to worry about breaking any laws, regulations, or getting in the crosshairs of the EEOC.
Let’s face it. Running an organization is hard enough. Let us make your job easier by having us do all the heavy lifting for you. When it comes to selecting the best applicant for your organization, we’re the partner you need to get the job done right.
What Is a Background Check?
A Wisconsin background check is a safeguard to ensure the potential new hire or volunteer sitting in front of you is exactly who they say they are. Background checks verify and clarify issues such as a person’s identity, criminal history, educational accomplishments, past employment experiences, and more. Ultimately, a background check is a necessary measure every administrator should take to authenticate and verify a person’s identity, experience and history before deciding to hire an applicant.
How Can I Get a Background Check In WI?
If you are an employer who needs to conduct a Wisconsin caregiver background check, you can do so by submitting a request to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Or, you can have a dependable background check service such as PreSearch do a Wisconsin caregiver history check for you and your company’s behalf. Just keep in mind that Wisconsin caregiver background check requirements assert that these specialized screenings must be done every four years after the employee is hired in a caregiver position.
For other work positions, an employer can initiate a DIY (do-it-yourself) background check in Wisconsin by putting in a request for a criminal history check to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) on the Wisconsin Online Record Check System (WORCS). The person you are requesting criminal history for must create a user account and become a registered user on the WORCS website. This entails the user/applicant to provide the site with his or her name, social security number, date of birth, and other personal details.
While this online Wisconsin DOJ background check is state-supported, it only provides criminal history, and it may not reveal an individual’s entire picture when it comes to illegal activity. To explain, this online Wisconsin criminal background check only shows criminal activity in the state of Wisconsin; it will not show any crimes that may have been committed in other jurisdictions. Furthermore, the online database will not provide other vital details such as employment or educational history.
With this in mind, your best option is to use reliable and thorough background check services. A proven provider such as PreSearch will present you with a full-spectrum, 360° view of your potential employee’s past history so you can rest assured you are obtaining the most current, accurate background data about any individual considered for employment in your Wisconsin organization.
Why Should Wisconsin Employers Conduct Background Checks?
A better question might be, why would employers not conduct a background check? If you think about it, as a hiring manager or business owner, you are entrusting a virtual stranger with access to vital statistics, sensitive information and assets to your organization.
When you consider this, you should be motivated to do a pre-hire verification via a Wisconsin background check in order to confirm if this person is trustworthy or not. Of course, confirming a candidate has the qualifications they claim to have is also essential. This allows hiring managers the assurances that a candidate can perform the job according to the credentials they presented in their curriculum vitae or application.
Ultimately, employers can’t afford to neglect getting a Wisconsin background check conducted upon a potential employee. It is a question of security and provides business owners better insight into whomever they are entrusting to work within their company.
What Is Unique About Background Checks in Wisconsin?
While there are many commonalities in pre-hire protocols in the US, every state is different. Therefore, it’s important for employers to familiarize themselves with their state’s laws when it comes to staying in compliance.
For instance, Wisconsin background check laws mandate that an employee’s criminal records can only be accessed for seven years prior to pre-employment screening. That means any unlawful activities committed prior to seven years will remain undisclosed, unknown, and inaccessible in a Wisconsin background check.
Wisconsin is also unique with pre-hire screenings in that the state does not allow an employer to ask applicants about any arrest records unless a legal charge is pending at the time of consideration for employment. If there is a pending arrest or conviction, an employer can lawfully refuse to hire the applicant if, and only if, the charges directly influence or relate to the position of employment that the applicant would hold if hired. Otherwise, criminal activity in an applicant’s history can not be used as a factor in being hired or denied employment.
Wisconsin background checks are also distinctive in that since 2014, the state prohibits employers to demand or request prospective employees to hand over login credentials (passwords) for their social media accounts. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to ask to be added as participants (friends) or review applicant social media accounts within the applicant’s presence. This means that Facebook, Instagram, and other social feeds are off-limits to employers when weighing the character of potential new hires.
How Background Checks in Wisconsin Work
Wisconsin holds the new-hire process and background checks in strongest legal regard. That means any information an employer or hiring committee attains about an applicant should be held in the strictest confidence. Additionally, whatever data is gathered by an employing agency about an applicant must never be reused, revealed or resold to another agency.
Furthermore, any candidate, potential new-hire or volunteer prospect must be fully aware and informed that he or she is subject to a background check if considered as a potential employee or volunteer conducting business in the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, any prospective employee who is subjected to a background check must show his or her consent in writing. Written consent could be a signature from the applicant on a form that clearly explains that he or she accepts and consents to having a full background check conducted.
As an employing entity, non-profit, or caregiving hiring manager, you can approach a background check in Wisconsin in several different ways. Your best option is to get a trusted employees background check. This is a comprehensive pre-hire screening provided by PreSearch that reveals thorough, concise, multi-layered data that gives you the big picture needed to ensure you have the qualified, capable, trustworthy staff at your side to help your organization grow and thrive.
As mentioned earlier, you can also go through WORCS to assess criminal activity from potential new-hires. However, this gives you a limited view, and only provides criminal history.
In order for a background check to work thoroughly and seamlessly, every hiring manager needs the help of an experienced provider who understands the rules and legislation of Wisconsin. A professional, conscientious provider such as PreSearch can shield your organization from breaking any laws, as well as suss out details to help you determine the best candidate to fill your vacancy.
Wisconsin Background Check Laws
Every state in the nation has its own rules, regulations and laws surrounding background checks. When it comes to Wisconsin background check laws, every hiring organization must comply to avoid conflict with state legislation.
As we mentioned, the way you conduct a background check in Wisconsin can have serious consequences on any type of volunteer organization or business you might be running. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the laws cited below.
And please understand, these laws are ubiquitous, meaning they are common knowledge statewide. These tips are not to be taken as legal counsel or advice, but we offer them as a guideline on how to conduct proper background checks in Wisconsin.
With this in mind, here are a few laws you should know about when conducting background checks in the Badger State.
Does Wisconsin Have a Ban the Box Law?
Yes, but with exceptions. Currently, the counties of Milwaukee and Dane and the cities of Madison and Milwaukee have ban-the-box (BTB) laws that apply to employers in the public sector. These BTB laws mandate employers to evaluate criminal history data before deciding againts hiring applicants. The BTB policy gets its name because, on many standard applications, there is a box that applicants must check if he or she has been convicted of a crime.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
In 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) law was passed in order to protect the privacy of consumers. In terms of pre-hires and applicants, FCRA is meant to preserve sensitive information that is shared with employers when a Wisconsin background check is conducted prior to hiring.
To elaborate, many employers can, and should have a credit check run on potential new hires. Let’s say you have a position in your organization that requires an employee to handle significant amounts of cash, credit or money exchanges. In this scenario, an employer might want to run a credit check on a potential employee in this position.
However, according to FCRA law, there are restrictions an employer must abide by when acquiring pre-hire credit information. For instance, an applicant must give consent to have a credit check run on him or her. Furthermore, the applicant must be notified by the employer if the result of a credit check has adversely affected their chance at obtaining the position of employment.
If this is the case, the employer must provide the applicant with an Adverse Action notice which explains why he or she was passed over for the work position due to credit history. This notice should also include contact information from the credit reporting agency so the applicant can contact them if they so choose.
Under FCRA, the applicant has the right to ask for full disclosure of their background check and credit report. The applicant also has the right to dispute the results of their credit background check.
Additionally, the Federal Credit Report Act states that an employer can only screen an applicant’s credit report for the past seven years. This means that any red flags in credit such as bankruptcies or fraud prior to seven years is inadmissible when an employer is making a decision to hire the applicant. The only instance in which this seven-year lookback period does not apply is when a potential employee would earn an annual salary of $75,000 or more.
Title VII of the Civil Rights
This is a law that was initiated via the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the United States. The Title VII law addresses discrimination, and expressly prohibits hiring bias based on age, gender, religion, disability, ethnicity and other conditions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII and all its contingencies and regulations.
Title VII also governs criminal history data that may be revealed in a Wisconsin background check. As such, the EEOC recommends employers should individually evaluate criminal activity on a pre-employment background check as it relates to the position an applicant may be hired. In other words, an employer may not summarily opt against hiring applicants based on criminal activity or prior convictions.
What Generally Shows up on a Wisconsin Background Check?
The answer to this question depends upon the type of background check in Wisconsin you want prepared for the applicant. For instance, PreSearch has many levels of screenings you can choose from, so you can get in depth reports or opt for a basic background check.
In general, a background check can reveal vital information about an applicant such as: Identity validation, criminal history, credit history, employment verification, and educational history. PreSearch offers more detailed screenings that can disclose information such as sex offenses, DMV (driving) records, SSN traces (name and address search), multiple levels of criminal reports (state, federal, or international) and more.
How Long Does a Background Check Take in Wisconsin?
The turnaround time for a background check depends upon how you approach the process. For example, if you opt for the DIY route by collecting all the information yourself and submit requests from Wisconsin state agencies, it could take days or even weeks to get results.
Alternatively, if you choose PreSearch for your background check needs, in most cases, the background check results should be available in 24 hours, but often results can be delivered to your organization in far less time. Depending upon which background report you request, you could receive results in just a few short hours.
How Far Back Does Wisconsin Go Back for Background Checks?
According to FCRA law, the lookback period for a background check in Wisconsin is seven years. As mentioned earlier, the exception to this seven-year limit is if the annual salary of the applicant meets or exceeds $75,000 if hired for work in Wisconsin.
How Much Can a Background Check Cost in Wisconsin?
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
If you take the DIY route, you can expect to pay a fee of $10 when you submit a request for a background check through Wisconsin’s online WORCs system. The same background check through WORCs is $15 if you submit the request via mail. Bear in mind, however, that this report is limited in information. You will only get criminal history in the state of Wisconsin through the WORCs system – all other vital statistics and data such as work history and education verification will not be included.
A helpful tip here – be wary of companies touting “free background checks.” These reports are usually woefully inaccurate with outdated information. What’s more, online suppliers of so-called free background checks may conduct their searches unlawfully, which could put you and your company in hot water with the Wisconsin government and EEOC.
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