Background Checks

More and more employers want to do a court check to find out if a candidate for employment has a criminal record.  Sounds like a sensible thing to do, considering the realities of the world in which we live, doesn’t it?  And it is sensible, although the term court check is a little misleading.

What does doing a court check really mean? The Internet is full of ads proclaiming that, for only a small fee, a national court check can be done for you.  In point of fact, there is no single data base where anyone can go to do a 100% accurate nationwide court check. Anyone claiming a company can do an accurate nationwide check is simply not being honest about it.  It can’t be done because that database doesn’t exist!

Here are the types of court searches we recommend to employers who are serious about insuring that they’re using reasonable care in the employee selection process. First, do a Criminal National Database Search.  This search includes the latest information from all state Departments of Corrections, the Sex Offender Registries, and a multitude of other domestic and international databases relating to criminal activity and excluded parties lists.  Second, do a Criminal County Court Record search.  This is a real-time, primary source based on the applicant’s county of residence, or county of employment, or both.  It is a county-by-county search of original court records.  Third, do a Criminal State Repository search.  This search will enable you to obtain as much information as there is available for a particular state.  Not all counties in every state report conviction records to the various State Repositories, so the information from a State Repository is only as good as the information that has been sent to it.  Last, do a Federal Criminal National database search to obtain possible federal convictions which won’t be found by doing a state or county criminal search.

This is the package of criminal court searches we recommend. Doing a series of targeted court checks is relatively inexpensive way to be reasonably sure that a prospective employee doesn’t have a history of criminal convictions and hasn’t lied to you on a job application.  This package of services will also clearly show that reasonable care was used in the hiring process, and it will effectively eliminate the possibility of an accusation of negligent hiring.  Doing a thorough package of court checks, in other words, is simply a very prudent and worthwhile exercise.