Privacy is an important part of our lives, but with so many different crimes being committed and deceitful people in this world, it is necessary for employers to do background checks. Federal and local government agencies have done it for years, but now it is almost every employer’s duty to be certain they hire someone they feel is competent for the job as well as honest. Honesty comes with trust, but trust is usually earned over time. There are also individuals who are involved in petty theft which has become very common. The number of thefts has risen. It has become increasingly difficult to trust only a background check when there are many people who have anger issues and undiagnosed mental disorders. You would think government employees would undergo an extensive background check similar to Federal workers or anyone applying for these types of positions.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, background checks are conducted by two-thirds of organizations and are very useful. Even individuals who choose to meet others online will do background checks, but of course they are not foolproof! Just as someone may falsify information on their application for employment, the same is done with on line social media. The numbers are staggering. Many jobs today are required by state or federal laws to conduct background checks and some now use social networking sites such as Facebook to view personal profiles.

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has a set national standard for employee screening. This lets the employer conduct interviews with friends, family and past associates about your characteristics and reputation, to see how others perceive you. It is called an “Investigative Consumer Report”. During the interview process with a potential employer you are usually asked to sign documents for a background check and drug test, but the investigative report will have its’ own disclosure which is required. What is interesting is that the California laws are a bit different in this area. California has a different meaning of the “investigative report” as well as different laws for gathering educational, criminal and medical records. One must go to the state you reside in to find the guidelines for such reporting. If your potential employer would like to do an investigative report on you, you do have a right to inquire as to the “nature and scoping” about your life. While laws protect the employer, they also protect you. There is an abundance of information available regarding the laws and reporting… if you have questions or concerns about information in your report, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission. I believe we all need to access our reports on occasion, as it can eliminate potential problems. An incorrect report could even be responsible for you not getting a job you applied for. Whatever your interest, know that a background check will most likely be done, even if it is a volunteer position or internship. I will leave you with a link that can be valuable to you…

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