There are multiple reasons why a background check needs to be performed. The most common reason that you may have encountered before, is during the hiring process. Many organizations will want to complete a background check on a potential employee to help them to be as informed as possible for their final decision. A recent survey suggests that as many as 50% of candidates lie in interviews and on their resume; a background check can help determine if that is the case.
Other cases where a background check can occur include:
• Renting your home
• Hiring a care giver/nanny/housekeeper
• Starting a business venture with a partner
Background Check Laws
If you want to complete a background check on someone, you need to get their signed permission first. Completing a background check on someone who hasn’t given permission is a violation of Federal law.
If you are using a third party to obtain your background checks such as a consumer-reporting agency, you’ll need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). FCRA rules state that employers must disclose to applicants that a consumer report may be obtained, this is to be done before the report is requested.
When disclosing this information you must ensure you are providing a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, as per FCRA guidelines.
Using an authorization form show that the person in question has accepted and allowed the employer to conduct a background check. This prevents them from coming back in the future with a lawsuit claiming an ‘Invasion of Privacy’.
A background check can look at different things depending on what it is required for. Most commonly check are work history, criminal records and financial history. The authorization form makes the applicant aware that any of these can be checked, should they agree to sign the form.
Authorization Form Contents
As explained above, the authorization form must include a clear disclosure that a background check is required as a condition of employment.
Following this will be text on behalf of the applicant authorising the employer, as well as law enforcement agencies and/or private background check organisations to complete a background check.
The background check authorization form also needs to contain the following information about the applicant:
• Full Name (First, Middle & Last)
• Former Names & Dates the Former Name Was Used (If any)
• Current Address
• Previous Addresses & Dates of Residence (If any)
• Date of Birth
• Telephone Number
• Driver’s License Number (For positions that require vehicular use)
• Social Security Number
Authorization Form Templates