Starting Your Background Check

WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECK?

An employee background check is a process a person or company uses to assist in verifying that a person is who they claim to be, and provides an opportunity for someone to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities that happened in the past in order to confirm their validity generally for a specific purpose.

WHO IS PRE-EMPLOY.COM?

Pre-employ.com is a leading provider of employee background check services and is committed to helping create safer and more secure work and home environments. Our 15+ years of experience and our dual focus on organizational safety and consumer advocacy sets our company apart in our industry.

DOES PRE-EMPLOY.COM SHARE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION?

We share your information in ways that are necessary to complete the background check, for example, with a court researcher or other service providers. We may also share your information in certain other circumstances, such as with your consent. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.

WHAT IS CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE WHEN RUNNING A BACKGROUND CHECK?

As a critical piece of accurately and quickly completing your background check, you will be provided a temporary portal to assist in the management of your background check. It is crucial that you login and assure that the information that has been provided is accurate, current and complete. You may also be required to submit additional information based on geographical legal requirements, special circumstances or for additional information to aid in the investigation.

WHAT DOES EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECK SHOW?

An employee background check report contains a number of different screenings, which are selected by the company ordering your report.

The information included on your background check report comes primarily comes from public records, but based on your consent and the services can include other types of information. Previous addresses and other names associated with your information may also be checked.

To check what items are included, and the most up-to-date status of your report, log into the Candidate Portal (Mybackgroundcheck.com) using the email invitation you were provided initially or with the credential you established.

Unfortunately, our Client Service team does not have any information beyond what is available in the Candidate Portal.

WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?

Pre-employ.com collects different information depending on the type of background check ordered. To deliver accurate results and ensure your privacy, we require:

  • Legal nameDriver’s
  • License Information
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number

If the background check includes an employer or education verification, we collect past employer and school details (such as name and phone number).

WHAT INFORMATION CAN BE REPORTED ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?

Pre-employ.com reports information according to the Federal, State, Municipal and FCRA guidelines. Specifically, the FCRA scope is up to 7 years for all non-convictions for reporting purposes.

WILL RUNNING MY BACKGROUND CHECK AFFECT MY CREDIT SCORE?

No, running a background check will not affect your credit score.

CAN ARREST INFORMATION BE REPORTED ON AN EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECK?

Under the FCRA, arrests are reportable for seven years from the arrest date and can appear on a background report for seven years.

However, some states entirely prevent arrests from being reported. These states include California, Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico.

Understanding the Background Check Process

HOW LONG DOES A BACKGROUND CHECK TAKE?

Most employee background checks take 3-7 business days to complete, but can take longer depending upon the services requested, geographical location or court house operations. A basic criminal search is typically returned within 1 to 2 business days while a more comprehensive package (including verifications) may average 3 to 5 business days. The turnaround time may also lengthen depending on the counties being searched and the responsiveness of the source. For example, Massachusetts courts are limited in responses and can take longer to process.

If these time periods are extended, and your report is still in PENDING status and we haven’t asked for any additional information or documents from you, then we will process as soon as information is received from the source (such as county court or verifiers).

To check the most up-to-date status of your report and to review for accuracy, log into the Candidate Portal (Mybackgroundcheck.com) using the email invitation you were provided initially or with the credential you established. Unfortunately, our Client Service team does not have any information beyond what is available in the Candidate Portal.

Please be sure to check your email inbox and spam/junk folder for items that we may have requested from you to assist in completion.

WHAT CAN LEGALLY SHOW UP ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), convictions can appear on background check reports regardless of when they occurred. However, some states have limited the scope of conviction reporting.

Under the FCRA, non-convictions are reportable for seven years from the file date and can appear on a background report for seven years.

However, some states entirely prevent non-convictions from being reported. These states include California, Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico.

A “non-conviction” could include dismissed cases, not-guilty verdicts, alternative or deferred adjudications (programs that result in dismissed charges if the defendant completes certain conditions), and nolle prosequi (formal abandonment of prosecution).

Other state- and industry-specific considerations can be discussed with any questions.

WHAT IF I MADE A MISTAKE IN ENTERING THE DATA FOR MY EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECK AND WANT TO CORRECT IT?

If you need to make any changes to the data you provided during this process, you will need to contact Pre-employ.com at 800-300-1821 and advise Customer Service of the issue. For security purposes, you cannot access the EAP questionnaire after it has been completed and submitted.

Background Check Pending Questions

HOW CAN I SEE BACKGROUND CHECK OR STATUS?

To check the most up-to-date status of your report and to review for accuracy, log into the Candidate Portal using the email invitation you were provided initially or with the credential you established.

Unfortunately, our Client Service team does not have any information beyond what is available in the Candidate Portal.

WHY IS MY BACKGROUND CHECK STILL PENDING?

There are many factors that can affect how long your background check will take to complete. Geographical location – some courts take longer to obtain information, Depth of Searches – Employment and Reference verifications are dependent upon those persons or entities response time, Accuracy of Information provided – typos, entry errors, and missing information can add significant time to your background check.

What you can do to assist, is log into the Candidate Portal using the email invitation you were provided initially or with the credential you established. Here you can review the accuracy of your information (typos can happen by you or the company that requested the background check). Ensuring your data is accurate is the best way to help. You can also upload copies of paystubs, diplomas, drivers license any information that Pre-employ may have emailed you about to assist. Check your email inbox and spam/junk folder for items that we may have requested from you to assist in completion.

HOW CAN I EXPEDITE MY BACKGROUND CHECK?

One of the best ways to help expedite and assist in accuracy, is to log into the Candidate Portal using the email invitation you were provided initially or with the credential you established.

Here you can review the accuracy of your information (typos can happen by you or the company that requested the background check). Ensuring your data is accurate is the best way to help.

Check your email inbox and spam/junk folder for items that we may have requested from you to assist in completion.

Verifications (Previous Employment, References, and School Verifications) can also take more time due to name changes, school procedures & holidays, and employees workload. You can submit copies of paystubs, W-2’s, diplomas or alternate contacts for references. You can log into the Portal and upload or provide this information.

After My Background Check is Complete

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY BACKGROUND CHECK IS COMPLETE?

The company that ordered your background check and report of findings (consumer or investigative consumer report) will be notified and review your report.

Please know that Pre-employ.com is a consumer reporting agency. We provide background check reports for companies that request them. We do not review reports, make employment or engagement decisions, or determine company requirements regarding employment or engagement. The company you applied with will make its own determination based on its own requirements and review of your report.

Once your report is complete, please reach out to the company you applied with for updates. Our support team is not informed about hiring timelines and will not know how long the company you applied with will take to get back to you.

MY EMPLOYMENT OR EDUCATION SHOWS UNVERIFIED. CAN I PROVIDE DOCUMENTS TO ASSIST WITH MY BACKGROUND CHECK?

If your background check is completed, Unverified means that your information was unable to be confirmed during the investigation. You may contact your potential employer to discuss your options now that the background check is complete.

WHAT DO I DO IF SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MY BACKGROUND CHECK?

If you feel something is wrong, please contact us and open a “dispute”. A dispute is any challenge or claim that information on the background check report is inaccurate or incomplete. The disputed item can pertain to anything on the consumer report, such as criminal searches or verification results. Pre-employ will review and verify the contested information during a reinvestigation.

Please visit our Consumer Resource Information Center for valuable information including a form you can complete online. You may also contact us via phone at 800-300-1821 Ext. 777.

Please note that reinvestigation times vary. In compliance with the FCRA, Pre-employ has 30 days to complete a reinvestigation. Pre-employ.com strives to complete reinvestigations as quickly as possible.

HOW DO I ORDER A NEW BACKGROUND CHECK OR REPORT?

You can visit Mybackgroundcheck.com and purchase a background check. After payment, you will receive an email with a secure link to complete the submission. The actual report may take multiple days to complete. Check back at anytime for the status, up to 5 times per day is the maximum for security purposes.

How Will My Background Check Effect My Employment?

IF MY BACKGROUND REPORT SAYS HIT OR NEEDS REVIEW, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT MY JOB OFFER OR EMPLOYMENT?

Pre-employ is a credit reporting agency, meaning that our company merely reports information located. Pre-employ does not make decisions regarding your employment, nor is it involved in any way in the hiring process. Pre-employ does not evaluate the information returned on your report, nor can we pass on supplemental information provided by you to the company you applied with.

Please submit any supplemental information directly to the company you applied with.

However, If you believe information is inaccurate, or is not up to date, then please contact Pre-employ immediately to “dispute” the specific information. You may submit via our website HERE. If you do not have the ability to submit via this form, you may call 1-800-300-1821 to submit the information verbally.

WHAT IF AN EMPLOYER DECIDES NOT TO HIRE ME AS A RESULT OF MY BACKGROUND CHECK?

If an employer does not hire you as a result of your background check, you have the rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Click here to learn more (this should open up with a PDF of the summary of their rights). Additionally, you may have other state or municipal rights to review.

WHAT IF MY CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED?

Pre-employ is not involved in the hiring process and does not evaluate the information returned on your report or pass on supplemental information provided by you to the company you applied with.

Please submit any supplemental information directly to the company you applied with.

Candidate Experience Questions

WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND CHECK CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE?

As a critical piece of accurately and quickly completing your background check, you will be provided a temporary portal to assist in the management of your background check. It is crucial that you login and assure that the information that has been provided is accurate, current and complete. You may also be required to submit additional information based on geographical legal requirements, special circumstances or for additional information to aid in the investigation.

I CAN’T LOG IN TO SEE MY BACKGROUND CHECK, HOW DO I RESET MY PASSWORD?

Try These steps:

  1. Click here to get to the login page
  2. Click on “Forgot Password”
  3. Enter the email address associated with your Pre-Employ account
  4. Click on “Forgot Password”

You may click the Password Reset/Forgot Password link. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, you may contact Client Services. For security purposes, accounts that have not been accessed for a period of time, may be deactivated and Customer Service can assist with reactivation after verifying your identifying information.

IS THE INFORMATION I PROVIDED FOR MY BACKGROUND CHECK KEPT SECURE?

Yes, all of your personal data is secure. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for details on our commitment to protecting your privacy. Additional security information can be found by reading our Frequently Asked Questions. Pre-employ.com is based entirely within the United States and we never sell or repurpose your personal data. Your security is our number one priority.

HOW IS MY BACKGROUND CHECK INFORMATION USED?

Your information is used for fulfilling the request of the employer you engaged with and for your own personal use only.

Getting Started

HOW CAN I BEGIN USING PRE-EMPLOY.COM TO RUN BACKGROUND CHECKS?

Contact us at 800-300-1821 to discuss the steps to begin using Pre-employ.com for your Permissible Purpose needs. Steps include verifying that your company is a legitimate business, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The company credentialing process typically takes less than 24 hours – often as little as one hour – depending on the clarity and completeness of the information you provide at signup. You will also need to sign appropriate FCRA and business agreements.

HOW LONG SHOULD A BACKGROUND CHECK TAKE?

This depends upon the types of searches requested and the geographical locations. We can let you know the estimated delivery time on every background check you order, and we return the results as soon as they’re available. That means you can see the results of the National Criminal Databases Search, for example, even if employer verification isn’t yet complete. Although information from other searches can affect the entire investigation, so best practice would be to ensure all components are complete before taking action.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO START A BACKGROUND CHECK?

The easiest way to start a background check, is to provide your candidate’s legal name, email address and start date within our portal. We’ll take care of the rest.

We email your candidate a link to a secure site where they can provide the rest of the information we need including items such as: Social Security number, date of birth, and current home address. Our digital consent process, with built-in electronic signature, keeps the entire process quick, easy, and accurate.

Of course, you can collect the candidate information yourself and enter it in, if you prefer.

IS THERE A SETUP FEE?

No, Pre-employ is one of the few credit reporting agencies that does not charge an initial sign up fee. The only initial cost is the independent credentialing fee (onsite inspection) that is required by the primary 3 credit bureaus.

WHAT SERVICES CAN I ORDER?

Pre-employ has a Guide to Services for a summary of available services that is available within the Resources Section for our existing clients. Potential clients will be provided this upon request by contacting Pre-employ. If you are interested in a service that is not provided, please let us know what you need.

Ordering / Processing

WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ALTERNATE AND MIDDLE NAMES?

Middle names and accurate alternate names are critical to retrieve criminal records. Industry best practice is to conduct background checks of each name used within the last seven years.

Viewing Results

WHAT TYPES OF RECORDS WILL SHOW UP?

What we can report to employers depends on FCRA, EEOC, and state-level regulations and guidelines. In general, though, criminal convictions will be reported. In some states, we cannot include convictions that happened more than seven years ago, in accordance with specific state laws.

Our in-house compliance expertise and trained customer support staff will answer your questions and help ensure our processes protect your business and your candidates.

ETA DELAY

There may be several different reasons some estimates are more than a few days. Some examples are: Some counties are clerk assisted where the clerk needs to do physically examine court records, short staffed, applicant has common name, schools may be on break, Holiday delays etc.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE INACCURACIES IN THE RESULTS?

 Pre-employ offers accurate and reliable background checks but If you feel the results reported are in accurate, you may file a dispute on your applicants behalf, or have the applciant contact our Compliance department at Compliance@pre-employ.com or by phone at 800-300-1821 ext 777

WHAT IF I DON’T SEE SOMETHING I’M EXPECTING ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?

Sometimes candidates notify employers about an incident they believe will be included on their background check, but when the report comes back, that incident isn’t included in the results. This is often due to legal or regulatory restrictions. For example, under the FCRA certain types of records can’t be reported once they are more than 7 years old.

WHY DIDN’T A RECORD SHOW UP ON THIS REPORT?

There could be several reasons why a record didn’t show up on a report and may include:
The record isn’t digitized, but the search only covered digitized records.

The record isn’t located in the county’s central courthouse. For example, the record was in a municipal courthouse but not in the district courthouse.

The record can’t be reported because it would violate federal, state, or local laws.
The record violates our rules based on fair-chance hiring initiatives or other guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

HOW LONG CAN I VIEW OR ACCESS COMPLETED BACKGROUND CHECKS THROUGH MY ACCOUNT?

After 90 days, checks in your account will be archived. You can still view them for up to one year from the original purchase date. After one year, your report may not be accessible. You must initially set up transfer of reports that you may need longer than this.

Billing

HOW CAN I PAY MY INVOICE?

Log into your client portal under the Resources section click the link that says Invoice attachment and download. You will need to select the month you are wanting to pay, you can pay by Credit card or eCheck.

Questions About My Account

HOW DO I RESET MY PASSWORD?

From the client login page select “forgot my password”, you will be sent an email to reset your password. Follow the prompts to create a new password. If you require further assistance please contact Client Services at rapidresponse@pre-employ.com or you can reach us by phone at 800-300-1821 ext 139

WHAT LEVELS OF ACCESS CAN I GRANT USERS?

Access for users are set by the Administrators on the account. These levels of access are: (standard access – basic user will not receive report or details, parent access – access to everything on the account and will receive report details, no detail user – they will see the reports but no details on reports. These levels can be changed at anytime by the Administrators on the account.

Compliance

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (FCRA) RELATED TO DISCLOSURE & AUTHORIZATION OF CANDIDATES

Disclaimer: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your background check policy or a particular record, we advise you to consult legal counsel.

Fair Credit Reporting Act – The Basics
Before running a background check on a candidate, the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) requires that employers:

  • Provide the candidate with a written disclosure which states that a background check is being run for employment purposes.
  • Provide any applicable state disclosures
  • Obtain the candidate’s consent through a written authorization

Disclosures


The FCRA states that an employer can’t obtain a background report unless a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made to the candidate, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.

The employer has to inform the applicant, in writing, that a background check will be run for employment purposes. This must be done in a very clear way:

  • The disclosure should not be within a job application
  • It should not be provided in small font
  • It should not be amongst other information relating to duties of the job

The disclosure must be provided in a document that contains only information about the background check. Many lawsuits filed against employers allege that the disclosure wasn’t clear and conspicuous and wasn’t provided in a stand-alone document due to the presence of “extraneous language.”

State Disclosures


Some states will have additional disclosure and formatting requirements. You can find state-specific disclosures on our Employer Forms page.

Candidate Authorization


In order to run an employment background check legally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that employers obtain written authorization from the job candidate or employee before they’re screened.

By obtaining consent, employers can certify that they have:

  • Notified candidates about the details of the background screening process
  • Informed candidates about their legal rights in case of an adverse action
  • Taken steps to ensure candidate privacy and prevent discrimination

Background check laws are complex and may depend on your jurisdiction. For specific compliance questions regarding your hiring process, we recommend consulting with your legal counsel.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

Disclaimer: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your background check policy or a particular record, we advise you to consult legal counsel.

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, and other categories.

The EEOC has set out guidance that outlines how employers may consider the results of a particular background check. These guidelines are intended to prevent discrimination in hiring on the basis of protected class. In particular, EEOC guidance discourages background check policies (such as blanket bans) that may have a disparate impact on particular racial groups, even if the policy is applied across all job candidates.

In order to avoid disparate impact and potential violates of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the EEOC that employers conduct an individualized assessment when considering hiring candidates with a criminal record, taking into account several factors, including:

  • The type and severity of the offense
  • The age of the convictions and/ or completion of the sentence
  • The nature of the job the applicant is being considered for (and the relevance of the offense to the job)

Compliance with EEOC guidance can be complex. In some jurisdictions, EEOC guidance has been codified into law. We recommend consulting your legal counsel if you have questions about how EEOC guidance may affect your hiring practices.

WHERE CAN I LOCATE ALL THE FORMS NEEDED TO GET CONSENT FOR A BACKGROUND CHECK?

The easiest way is to use our electronic consent process to obtain candidate consent, where we provide the candidate with FCRA-compliant disclosure and authorization forms. For cases when the job, candidate, or employer is located in California, we also provide an ICRAA-compliant disclosure to the candidate. For checks requiring additional consent (such as drug screenings or motor vehicle record checks), we also secure this consent separately on your behalf. However, you may still need to provide certain forms or notices to your candidates, depending on the particular checks you order (for example, employment credit checks require that the employer provide the reason for procuring credit history). We recommend consulting with experienced counsel to ensure that your forms and notices are compliant. You can view Pre-employ.com’s template consent forms within our secure portal.

IF MY APPLICANT DISPUTES INFORMATION, HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RESOLVE?

Federal law gives us 30 days to process a dispute, and in some cases this may be extended to 45 days. We are typically able to process disputes faster than the 30 day timeline afforded by the law.