What Do Employers Look at in Background Checks?


Different employers require background checks for prospective employees. The information uncovered is not necessarily used to discount an employee’s eligibility. Rather, it is used to ensure that there are no complications, especially legal ones, which could affect the hiring process.

Employers can uncover the following details:

  • Your work history
  • Verify that you can legally work in the U.S.
  • If you have served in the military
  • If any immigration issues that might impact your ability to work
  • If you have ever filed for Workers’ Compensation
  • Your credit report
  • Your driving records
  • Your educational background
  • Whether or not you have a criminal record

Is there ever a time when background checks are unlawful? Are you worried about how much peeking they are doing into your history? You should know that most employee background checks are perfectly legal—so long as you, the candidate, permit the employer to run it.

What Do the Background Checks Uncover?

Employers can find out a lot about you. Some will uncover more information than others while some even hire third-party and outside investigators to run the checks for them. You should know, however, that they cannot use this information against you to take some form of legal action. In actuality, they do this because they want to protect themselves from liability.

Here is a figure: one study showed that more than half of applicants lie either on their resume or during the interview. Negligent hiring practices and poor hiring decisions create headaches and legal liability for employers. So, employers are careful in their hiring decisions because they want to find the best fit for their particular workforce.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

As you are now aware, employers run background checks to protect themselves, and you should expect them to be part of most hiring processes. There may be trouble, though, if the employer is violating the law when running the background check. They can be held responsible for improperly performing a peek into your past. If you ever have any doubts, you can always consult with our Hollister employment law attorney to assist you with any issues relating to employment law and to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

Please feel free to discuss any employment law case with Polaris Law Group at any time. Call (888) 796-4010 today!